I’m a Yogi
Dr. Lim Hwee Yong, a senior oncologist at the Novena Cancer Center in Mount Elizabeth hospital, does yoga five times a week and says it helps him stay centered.
I lived in Salt Lake City for a few years and enjoyed hiking and skiing. I also completed a few marathons while in the United States. When I returned to Singapore in 2009, the weather was too hot and humid for me to continue with my vigorous outdoor sports routine. I was keen to pursue some indoor sporting activities. Unfortunately, gym and martial arts training incurred more physical strain for me and I felt my body was increasingly becoming stiff.
I stumbled upon yoga through a Groupon deal by Real Yoga and decided to try it. Prior to that, I had only tried out yoga briefly through Rodney Yee’s DVD which taught me that people with inflexible bodies can also practice yoga. After the first few yoga sessions, I noticed that even though I had worked out a sweat, I felt fewer aches and stiffness than those that I used to experience after a strenuous gym workout. Importantly, old aches from physical strains to the back and knees also improved with regular yoga practice.
My wife Zhiyan and I now go to yoga classes five times a week. She is a doctor too and both our jobs involve making life-changing decisions for patients regularly. This requires simulation of multiple inputs from all avenues and our minds are often pulled in many directions. This can cause the mind to be restless and lack focus. Yoga requires us to quiet the mind and immerse ourselves into our practice. Many postures require us to meditate using our breath to obtain the optimal benefit of the pose. My yoga teacher once said in class that no matter what we all do, for him we are all doing the same posture – each body has its own limitations. As long as we commit our mind and energy to the posture, we will benefit from the practice.
My patients often ask me how to lead a healthy lifestyle. In addition to healthy diet I always encourage them to engage in regular physical activity. I recommend yoga because it is both an exercise and meditation. It has benefitted me greatly and my teachers are all highly professional and patient in mentoring their students. I would advice everyone to make their next breath count by doing yoga.