CONNECT with Manoj Deshwal: Singapore Teacher Spotlight

Manoj Deshwal‘s Indian traditional yoga class is perhaps one of Singapore’s best kept secrets: a chock-a-block room where waitlisted students plead for extra mats.

Connect with Manoj, Owner of Trust Yoga in Singapore

I started yoga when I was 12 in my hometown of Palwal in Haryana, India. Then I took part in a yoga boot-camp selection process when I was a teenager, and was rejected because I lacked flexibility. I took that as a challenge and worked hard on my poses for a year, and when the yoga guru came back to Palwal, I was selected. From there on, I built on my foundation and my practice deepened.

What inspired me to learn yoga

It was a trophy that inspired the young child in me to learn yoga many years ago. My guru used to gift his students a trophy if he felt they had achieved good mental and physical health through a strong asana practice. That trophy became my goal; and once I achieved it, I found I was already deeply immersed in discovering my passion for yoga. I gradually understood that my asana practice needs to be strong to support my temple (the body in which our soul lives), and that we have to keep searching, applying and sharing yogic science. 

The most challenging aspect of teaching yoga

I find that most practitioners focus only on the asana part, taking yoga as a form of exercise. Some rush to achieve a “pose”, and may even end up injuring themselves. Practitioners need to be aware that yoga is challenging. It is the union of the body, mind and soul, and it takes time to balance and unite these three aspects—but for some it is heavily weighted on the body only.

The Indian traditional class focuses on all key aspects of yoga practice. It consists of pranayama, twisting, stretching, balancing and few basic foundation poses—that’s all one can fit into 60 minutes. Students learn to respect their breath, and with that, connect to their mind and body. Some people say they love the traditional chanting in the background too.

Yoga in Singapore

Practitioners in Singapore are highly active, and in a way more aware about the importance of a healthy lifestyle than in India. Their thirst to learn is encouraging and they put in a lot of effort. 

Manoj owns Trust Yoga in Singapore on Telok Ayer Street. Sign up to try two complimentary classes.