THE AFTERGLOW with MARYSIA DO

Welcome to the second installment of AFTERGLOW, where we feature key individuals who made a wonderful part of the Glow Festival experience. Now, Team Carpe did not know much about the connection between yoga and confidence, and this talk with Marysia Do — whose yoga classes were a highlight of the day for many participants — enlightened us on the power of settling into yourself! Her bubbly personality shone through the larger-than-life drive she has for giving back to her community through her passion.

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You’re an amazing yoga instructor, teacher, mentor — as well as master of a lot of different craft. Given you extensive knowledge of yoga, what drives you to keep on acquiring more knowledge and skill-sets required to teach yoga and continue to contribute to the wider community?

Thank you! Well, there’s still so much more to do! (laughs) I’m hoping to be part of a global movement where we start a process of self growth. We live in a world full of expert opinions and brilliant minds, but the truth of the matter is that nobody knows what is actually best for you – better than you. So even if a famous person provides recommendations on, say, a certain diet, I’m hoping to empower people to say that that’s awesome, you do that — maybe I’ll give it a try, but if I fail, it doesn’t mean that I’m a failure: It means that your routine wasn’t the right fit for me. And that’s okay!

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I want to start getting people to believe in themselves and not listen to what people think their bodies crave. What time you wanna go to sleep, what time you wanna exercise, or what time your body sends poop down the chute (laughs) — trust yourself through your journey. We can still contribute in helping people trust themselves and the process, instead of feeling that you need to fit within the confines of a box — be comfortable with the fact that you’re not going to fit — none of us are, so we custom-make our own comfort. I hope to bring to the world that message. We all have a lot to learn – myself included — to believe in the messages that your body gives you, and respect that you are an individual.

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I’m really thankful to you for saying this! As someone who is in the position of influence and respected for understanding yourself — that is really important.

I’ll give you the best I have — I’ll research, I’ll study, but ultimately for me as a teacher, it’s about asking you: what do you feel? Are you sure about this decision? Let’s keep trying until you figure it out.

Then, could we also ask you — what advice do you have for younger people who wanna pursue a career that may not be so-called, conventional?

I would say that the start is probably the easiest part — because that’s when you have all that fire, all the wide-eyed innocence of I’m going to take over the world! — then it gets real. Now, there are going to be times when you question yourself, and are thinking that you may not be able to do it. The world gives you evidence that you can or cannot — and then it’s your choice. Where to place that passion, where to direct your passion, or stay true or change. I’ve been considering what you can live with, and not giving yourself too hard of a time if it’s not right for you. Probably most likely, it’s time to pivot — to open your mind up and see if there’s a new and more creative approach, where you can continue to stay true to a path that feels right here — but may not look how it expected to look.

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It’s about how you forge onwards, isn’t it?

Yeah! I didn’t mean to be a yoga teacher. I went to five years of Chinese medicine school, and I got to Singapore, and the government was like — we don’t take your American licenses — and I was like WHAT DO I DO. But I’ve been doing yoga since I was sixteen, and I was really passionate about it, and I didn’t — I was afraid that making it my career would corrupt my love for it — but the universe just didn’t give me a choice — and that’s the “best-worst” thing that ever happened to me; my first “upside-down” favour that Singapore did for me.

“Upside-down” favour! I love to use that term — it’s my version of a blessing in disguise. — Marysia Do

Marysia Do:

Known as “The Queen of Handstand” Marysia Do first became famous for bringing her
extraordinary passion for and knowledge of advanced asana to the yoga community. She
has since cultivated a global reputation as the meticulous, encyclopedic teacher of teachers. In addition to teaching yoga Marysia has her masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. Her teaching style is fun, unconventional, safe and effective in its power to magnify your capabilities both inside and outside the yoga classroom. Her classes are perfect for students wanting to strengthen their practice and teachers wanting to expand their confidence.

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My little fan-girl moment with Marysia! | Interview conducted by Athena Tan, Photography/Video by Lilian Seah

Thank you to AIA Glow Festival and Saffron Communications for making this collaboration possible. Read the first installment of the afterGLOW with Carpe Bloom here.

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