The Science of Yoga with Gilbert Ng

Posted by jean on 21 Apr 09


Well-known international yoga trainer, former chief instructor of Yoga Zone and the first Malaysian to produce his own instructional Yoga DVD (Living in Energy), Gilbert Ng sits down for an exclusive interview with KL Yoga on his experiences and on starting his own studio, Ojasyoga.

Q: How did you first get interested in yoga?
Gilbert: When I was 23 years old, I had quite a serious osteoporosis problem. I was suffering from joint aches and at one point, the pain got so bad I couldn’t even work.

After taking up yoga, my joint pains slowly disappeared in about 5 to 6 months. Ever since then, I developed a passion for yoga and have not stopped practising until today.

Q: Why did you decide to become a yoga instructor and how has your career progressed over the years?
Gilbert: After I was cured, I became highly interested in yoga. Back then, I was working as a hair-dresser cum make-up artist and my work involved lots of traveling to different countries.

Each destination I went to, I would always make the time to attend any yoga or physiotherapy workshop that was available. Over time, I gained a deep knowledge and understanding of the science of yoga.

One day, a friend requested that I conduct a yoga class as a favour to him. Things just progressed from then on. Later I took on a position as yoga instructor at Yoga Zone where I was promoted to Chief Instructor until the company closed down last year.

Nowadays I conduct Teacher Training Courses (TTC) and instructor workshops in several countries – China, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangkok – and when I’m not traveling, I’m teaching yoga in my own yoga studio, Ojasyoga, in Bukit jalil.

Q: Could you explain a little bit about the science of yoga?
Gilbert: Actually I’ve always been very interested in the science behind yoga. Although I could feel its health benefits but nobody could give me a satisfactory answer as to why yoga helped. What was the scientific and medical explanation behind it?

That was why in my own time, I would not only attend as many yoga workshops as I could but I also attended classes on physiotherapy and studied the human anatomy.

In Ojasyoga, I teach my students the science behind each yoga posture or movement so that they know what kind of muscle groups are involved with each stretch or pose. That is why we have an anatomy chart in our studios. By being more aware of their bodies, they will know their own limitations and won’t hurt themselves.

Q: What types of yoga do you teach in Ojasyoga?
Gilbert: Our faster-paced yoga classes are Energy Flow Vinyasa, Hot Vinyasa and Yoga Core. Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are two forms of our therapeutic yoga which are also suitable for students who need help with their health problems. Other than that, we offer Hatha Yoga, Pilates and the Healing sessions.

ojasyoga-studio Ojasyoga’s spacious studios provide a comfortable backdrop for students to learn and improve your yoga

Q: What are healing sessions?
Gilbert: Healing sessions are especially for students who need help with specific health problems. They are held in small classes where we interact closely with our students, provide consultation and help them with their health problems through corrective yoga, sometimes with the assistance of props.

These sessions are free as it is our way of giving back to the students by helping them improve the quality of their lives. But because these classes are very popular, the students need to book in advance.

Q: What made you decide to start your own studio?
Gilbert: It has been my dream to start a studio of my own, where I could pass on my knowledge of yoga and help others improve their quality of life. After I left Yoga Zone, it was the right time for me to do just that.

Q: Actually, what really happened at YogaZone ?
Gilbert: Yoga Zone used to be one of the strongest schools in KL at the beginning. It started with just two studios with about six or seven really good instructors leading the classes. Perhaps, the company expanded a little too fast then without proper financial planning.

In a short span of time, the number of instructors grew to 50 and the price of packages was slashed by almost half. Yoga Zone became more like a fitness club than a yoga centre. In the long run, the company just couldn’t sustain itself.

Also there was a drop in the quality of the classes as the company grew larger. When there were too many students in a class, we couldn’t provide everyone with the attention that they needed.

Q: Were you aware of the problems then?
Gilbert: Yes, towards the end it became clear that the centre was in trouble. I was still teaching classes even though I wasn’t paid. But I didn’t mind as I wanted to help out the owners of Yoga Zone who were my friends.

And Yoga Zone provided me with a training ground to hone my skills. I was allowed to conduct large classes, sometimes with 50 to 70 students, and taught five to seven classes a day. Also there was a large pool of talented instructors I was able to learn from.

On top of that, the studio gave me an opportunity when they promoted me to Chief Instructor. As such, I will always be thankful towards Yoga Zone as I gained so much experience there.

Q: Can you share with us what makes a good yoga instructor?
Gilbert: A good teacher is one who teaches from the heart. In my case, yoga is my devotion. I practise about 4-5 hours of yoga everyday. A good teacher must also spend at least an hour for self-practise daily to truly understand the knowledge and technique behind each pose. And of course, one should have an extensive knowledge of the science behind yoga.

Q: What are your plans for Ojasyoga in the future?
Gilbert: There is quite a lot of demand from my ex-students living in other areas of the Klang Valley who are asking me to start a studio closer to where they live. I may consider starting another branch. We’ll see how things go.

ojasyoga-reception Ojasyoga’s reception in trendy vogue design

ojasyoga-changing-room1 Newly renovated changing rooms offers the best of comfort for students

Gilbert Ng is an international yoga trainer and a former Chief Instructor at Yoga Zone. He is a principal in Ojasyoga, a boutique yoga studio in Bukit Jalil KL.

Archived in the category: Yoga Centres

18 comments for “The Science of Yoga with Gilbert Ng”

Miss Tan:

My friend told me the place is actually supported by the boss of TSM Energy yoga, and therefore his “Living in Energy” DVD, is that true?

April 23rd, 2009 at 11:32 am
jive pro:

TSM Energy started just in February this year, how is that possible?? thier website is still under construction!!!!

April 23rd, 2009 at 11:48 am
yoga diva:

Any idea where can find out about the packages for energy? I don’t see it on their website. What is their number? KL Yoga, can you include them in your listing?

April 23rd, 2009 at 1:06 pm

the studios looks really big, and I like ur bathrooms design :) the reception is nice also, but why nobody standing there?

April 23rd, 2009 at 1:11 pm

the studios looks big Gilbert, nice. Will you be teaching at Energy yoga as well?

Hei diva, Energy number is on their website, you can try calling the nearest outlet to you, think they have 3 outlets. I usually go to the Damas one for Ken’s and Pari’s class. Their packages are very reasonable and even have installment plan =p

April 23rd, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Ms Tan, not sure but will get back to you on that.

And for those interested in TSM Energy, we’ll try to get the inside story on them soon. Stay tuned and thanks for your feedback.

April 24th, 2009 at 1:46 pm
christopher su:

i am interest to participate in your classes, pls send me your fees and timetable. tks

June 15th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Hi Christopher,
Good choice, you’ll find experienced instructors and great facilities here. For more information, please contact them at:
No. 7-23, Jalan 14/155B, Esplanade Arcade, Bukit Jalil Commercial Centre,
Taman Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-8994 9615
Do let them know you heard about them from here :)

June 18th, 2009 at 8:59 am

Does anybody knows Mario Gilbert, he is doing Yoga too, my good friend with who i lost contact

July 17th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Hi Timur,
Is Mario based in KL, Malaysia?

July 18th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Yep he used to be in K.L. in 2004, but know i’m not sure… He was working in clinic Medeviron as well in K.L.

July 18th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I’ve left KL in 2004 and lost contact with him, if any body can help me to contact him, will realy apreciate that:)))

July 18th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Well, everyone.. if anybody knows a Mario Gilbert, do give a shout out to Timur here!

July 19th, 2009 at 11:55 am

I am sorry, I do not have a website here in Malaysia, neither do I have a work permit. My husband being a Malaysian citizen, the authorities gave me a one year long visa renuable. I haven’t applied for a work permit because till the end of February, I still get money from France since I am on the list of performers looking for a job. I am not looking but should do a research on multilingualism at birth and it’s influence on the notion of identity. It should include interviews filmed as well as written conclusion. It was actually the main subject of my doctorate and it matters very much to me because i have an identity problem. I was brn in Iran from a father who had a French mother. As for my mum, her mother was French , her Father Iranian but nestorian christian with a mother half Russian. I spoke French whereas I was born in Iran and learned Persian from others. There was a real cult for whatever was French. A French lady took care of me since my parents both worked full time. But I spoke Persian fluently. The problem started when I went to see a movie. The …PotemkinThe word I don’t know in English, battleship, but I am sure you know about the film by Eisenstein. I followed the action but could read. We went to France at least once a year. I was twelve when my parents left me in a very well known boarding school. I Went on, studying English, Spanish and Latin (6 years) and Ancient Greek(3years) The result is that I feel ok all over the world but just passing through.I was born in 1963 so the problem is not hurting me except for a fear of Muslims that I don’t showBut that is because after college, I went to Iran with nearly all students to fight for democracy. I witnessed gunmen breaking into our house to kill my mother, street fights finding myself between the two ennemies. I wasn’t scared. We fled in March 79 to Paris. My plan was to go to the US but I met a guy who tryed to make me change my mind and finally succeded. I was a body theatre performer before I finished college, I had be to La Mama experimental theatre with and as a member of a professional group. But that would be very long to explain. I startad Hatha Yoga in 1985 and never stopped more than a few months. My boyfriend was one of the favorite students or disciples of the first Zen master in France. Master Taisen Deshimaru. I practiced with him only one year since he passed in 80 or 81 But the practice went on, and we did our meditation every evening. Since 1991, year of our seperation, my boyfriend and I, I went on but was not vey disciplined. I skipped two then three days my meditation. Now, with age, and after 7 years of Freudian psychoanalysis that taught me a lot about myself but not the way to solve the problems or break the cycles I kept reprodicing, I feel its high time I turned to the inside, stop to be too brainy and logical but go towards unity. For yoga, I have improved, tried other ways, am trying to unblock my chakras but I realised that Zen meditation was maybe the way for me. A few days ago, I tryed to remember the The Heart Sutra in Japanese. Not much remained. I have it now but through internet. All this to say that you are the only person in Malaysia who does Zazen and I would like to attend. We hast bought an appartment in Penang. But I come to the KL nearly once a week. I stayed fisrt two days, then three. We have to go to France for the Xmas holidays. When we come back, I plan to rent a small flat in the area. Now I can come, well I shall come on Saturday afternoon till Tueday evening or Wednesday Noon. On Saturday I have a Belly Dance class with a person I love very much. I don’t like Belly Dancing but this person showed me ways of using the breath which I use when I dance Samba , mostly like in Bahia or western African dances (I love african beats but here they don’t seem popular. In Penang,I haven’t even found a Reggae club. My husband is a jazz drummer, I love jazz but am getting fed up. Especially when people request Mustang Sally or Road 66. Plus for me these songs are not jazz. Could you tell me a little about your schedule, what classes you have. I’ve seen your site often but was told you were closing down. A week ago, I even wanted to find your place to buy DVDs sold cheaper.

October 20th, 2009 at 10:21 pm
Shirley Gabriella:

Dear Gilbert

I would like to ask if you could provide your yoga services to home.

A friend of mine is interested to learn it but he would prefer to have it at his place. He do not mind paying extra for the fees and transportation. Do let me know please your thoughts in this.

Thanks in advance and appreciate it if you could consider the suggestion.

November 4th, 2009 at 10:28 am

Hi, I have a question
Is Gilbert Ng vietnamese orgigin ? I sa his performance on Youtube and it is very interesting.I’m practicing astanga in Hungarian.I would like to have a contact in oder to join in an additional course for yoga training in Malaysia.thanks.
My Nguyen

March 10th, 2010 at 5:33 am

Hi, My Nguyen

Contact gilbert by sending this mail.

April 19th, 2010 at 1:04 am
Hui Jia:

i am interest to participate in your classes, pls send me your fees and timetable. tks

May 27th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

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