SINGAPORE TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: LISA LOW

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Meet Lisa Low, a smart and fit teacher-cum-healer for the elderly and rehab patients, with a deep seeded passion for yoga and pilates.

By YJ Editor

What kind of training do you provide and to who?

LISA: My classes are mostly anatomy focused. I am continuously learning under the direct tutelage of Tiffany Cruikshank (Founder, Yoga Medicine & YJ Cover Model) and my primary background is deeply rooted in movement, dysfunction and application. I typically work with the special population and the elderly in a one-on-one setting—a large percentage of them are undergoing post-surgery rehabilitation. I apply therapeutic yoga poses, pilates (on the mat or on a reformer) and also myofascial release techniques. My sessions include pranayama and meditation. I have personally witnessed my clients coming off antidepressants and insomnia after prolonged sessions. I have also seen improved posture, especially in the elderly. I work closely with healthcare practitioners in pre- and rehab programs, and often get clients referred by physiotherapists and traditional chinese medicine (TCM) doctors, as well as orthopaedics.

How has a combination of Pilates and Yoga helped you with your fitness?

LISA: I have been practicing yoga for over 24 years. I chanced upon pilates while living in Shanghai, at a point when I was starting to feel that my daily yoga practice had hit a plateau. I was ready to experiment with some other exercise to compliment my practice, and so I picked up Wushu and Tai Chi. A yogi friend invited me to a reformer pilates class, and I remember thinking during the hour-long class that ‘this is my next level!’ I had thought I had good strength control, but pilates showed me otherwise. Pilates gradually began to change and mould the way I practiced yoga. I loved how in yoga, one is constantly encouraged to ‘open’ and ‘melt into’, whereas in pilates, one has to ‘bring it all to the mid-line and the core’. I maintain an equal dose of yoga and pilates daily as my practice. Last couple of years, during my yoga teachings, I have included cues that I picked up during my pilates training.

How do you bring mindfulness into your rehab sessions?

LISA: I am a big fan and firm believer of pranayama. The breath is our life force, and without it, everything comes to a standstill. Even if I have only have 5 minutes to spare, I urge my students to quieten their minds and meditate: it can be as simple as observing your breath, its quality, the length and depth of each inhalation and exhalation. I love to teach visualization meditation technique as well, and if time permits, at least one myofascial release (MFR) technique that is easy to follow and replicate at home.

What do you think of the yoga scene in Singapore?

LISA: Yogis in Singapore are spoilt for choice—from affordable private yoga lessons in the comfort of their homes, to boutique studios, to the bright lights of big chain names. Various styles of yoga also catch on here very quickly. The yoga scene has become very competitive overnight. Personally, I would love a space where reiki, meditation, yoga, pilates on reformer—what I feel are feel good factors in wellness—were available under one roof.

** Fav Pose

Mandukasana or frog pose! I’ve been blessed with naturally opened hips and this is my go-to yin pose to stretch the adductors. when I apply the same pose in a restorative practice, it actually helps me relax. i know, it’s bizarre but true.

** Fav Pastime

Self myofascial release, meditation, reading up on human anatomy (no necessarily in that order)

** Fav yoga teacher

Tiffany Cruikshank, without a doubt. I also enjoy learning from Jo Phee, Maty Ezraty, Noah Mazé, Monica Jaggi and Rima Rani Rabbath

** Fav SG restaurant

Basilico at The Regent Singapore!

** Fav mantra in life

When it’s time for change, let go.

Lisa can be reached at lisa.low@hotmail.com