Jasmin Chan at Jasmine Yoga

Posted by admin on 31 Jul 09 - 2 Comments

Jasmin was introduced to yoga by her mother when she was just a young schoolgirl at 15 years of age. Five years later, she began formally learning and training under Mrs. Yap, a well-known Taiwanese instructor during the 90’s, who had migrated to Malaysia. Since then, Jasmin has developed a life-long passion for yoga. In the year 2000, she opened Jasmin Yoga, her own studio which has now grown to two branches, both of which are located in Cheras.

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Archived in the category: Teacher Profiles

Gilbert Ng at Ojasyoga

Posted by admin on 31 Jul 09 - 2 Comments

After a decade of yoga self-practise, Gilbert was coaxed into teaching yoga by his friend. Since then, he has switched careers to teach yoga full-time. He taught in Yoga Zone where he was later promoted to Chief Instructor, and has since established his own studio, Ojasyoga, in Bukit Jalil. Gilbert is a well-known instructor in the yoga industry who is often invited to hold workshops and TTC in various countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand.

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Archived in the category: Teacher Profiles

Jane Siow at Ojasyoga

Posted by admin on 31 Jul 09 - 1 Comment

A ballet dancer since the tender age of six and a lover of sports, Jane easily adapted to yoga classes, which she initially attended with friends as a hobby. Gradually, she developed a passion for yoga and has since become a full-time yoga instructor. She trained under Gilbert Ng, the founder of Ojasyoga and former Chief Instructor of Yoga Zone whom she says is an excellent teacher. Her favourite types of yoga are those that are fast-paced and give a good work out to the cardiovascular system.

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Name Jane Siow
Started practising yoga 2005
Occupation Instructor at Ojasyoga
Benefits Improvement in flexibility and health, more energetic and strong
Trained under Gilbert Ng, International TTC trainer and founder of Ojasyoga
She teaches Hot Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Yoga Core
Specialty Yoga Core, a form of dynamic yoga that is fast-paced and works out the abdominal muscles
Archived in the category: Teacher Profiles

Yoga, Dance & Martial Arts at Sim Yoga

Posted by jean on 30 Jul 09 - 27 Comments

Sim Yoga & Health, located at Taman Segar Perdana, Cheras, started last year under the partnership of Jestine Yap and Kian Yap. The centre offers a wide range classes from yoga to martial arts and dance, including interesting variations of yoga such as Lift Yoga, Family Yoga, Kids Yoga and Man Yoga. Jestine Yap, a creative entrepreneur with a sunny personality, shares some insights on her yoga centre and her future plans for Sim Yoga.

Sim-yoga-2 Jestine Yap (right) relaxes in her lounge at Sim Yoga. Behind her is the kitchen showroom for her part-time interior design business.

How did you get involved in yoga?

Jestine: I was initially an interior designer for several companies such as Kitchen Cabinet Co. and Design & Built. But after working for several years, I decided to pursue something which was less hectic and could give me more flexible hours.

One day, I attended a yoga class and decided that was what I wanted to do – teach yoga. And because I had always been quite flexible and have a dancing background of 4 years, I found yoga quite easy to pick up.

How did you train yourself to become a yoga instructor?

Jestine: I took up Teacher’s Training Courses (TTCs). Even now, I still regularly attend training. I gained my teaching skills when I was attached to Dance Yoga as an instructor. Back then, I was very fortunate to be given 80 classes a month to teach. Although starting off my salary was quite low then, I learned a lot.

Is it important for an experienced instructor to still attend training? Where do you train nowadays?

Jestine: It is very important for a yoga instructor to constantly upgrade herself/himself as there are always new trends and techniques coming up. When I am teaching, it is not considered self-practise because I am concentrating on guiding the class and not on myself. So having time for self-practise is very important.

Currently, I am a member of YSynergy Asssociation, an association that is set up to foster quality yoga instructors through training. They invite international instructors to hold their training courses and workshops, which I frequently attend.

Did your health benefit in any way from yoga?

Jestine: Yes. Back then, even though I occasionally jogged, my body was often lethargic. And my body tended to put on weight easily due to the lack of exercise. When I started to practise yoga, the first thing I noticed was that all my pre-menstrual symptoms disappeared within a month.

My energy levels improved. Also, due to the exercise and breathing techniques, my body automatically needed less food, and so it helped me to maintain a slim figure.


Students warming up in the spacious Sim Yoga studio

You have some varieties of yoga offered at Sim Yoga which are quite uncommon in other centres in KL for example Lift Yoga, Family Yoga and Man Yoga. Can you explain what these are?

Jestine: Lift yoga incorporates the usage of 2 pound weights into yoga. This is especially suitable for women after 35 years old, who have given birth and are quite weak. It can help build better posture, denser bone structure, increase metabolism and increase strength of arms and overall body. Actually Lift Yoga is popular in Western countries but is still relatively uncommon here.

Family yoga is a family-bonding form of yoga. At least one parent and their child must be present to practise family yoga. This can really help parents to bond with their children, especially with the kind of hectic schedules that parents follow nowadays. It will help parents understand their children better.

We also have a special class for children called Kids Yoga. But Family Yoga and Kids Yoga are only held during school holidays for now as this is usually the time that parents and their children have the time for such activities.

Man Yoga is a yoga workshop specifically for men. This class is held to encourage more men to try out yoga, particularly those who are interested but feel uncomfortable attending yoga with ladies. The class is also conducted by a man instructor.

Where do obtain your certification to conduct these classes such as Family Yoga and Kids yoga?

Jestine: We are certified through Ysynergy.

Other than yoga, you offer a range of martial arts and dance classes too?

Jestine: Yes. My partner, Kian Yap, is a martial arts instructor and enthusiast. So we decided to bring in classes such as Capoiera, a rhythmic, dancing form of martial arts, and Kids Wushu.

What are the classes you currently hold and how many instructors do you have?

Jestine: We have about 10 free-lance instructors. Our usual yoga classes are mainly Hatha and there are several levels. More of our uncommon classes are such as mentioned earlier. Other than yoga, we also offer Pilates, Taerobic, Belly Dance, Kid’s Ballet, Kid’s Latin and Reggae Dance.

What are your corporate packages like?

Jestine: We cater to companies who want to encourage their employees to de-stress and lead a healthier lifestyle. Our packages varies from client to client and depends on how many people are involved, the location and how many classes are to be held. We can offer a variety of classes depending on what they like, for example we could conduct a mixture of yoga and dance classes.

The Chempaka School is one of our clients. They have a Sports Club and we hold yoga classes for their teachers twice a week at their schools in Damansara and Cheras.

What is your advice for budding instructors to become successful such as yourself?

Jestine: Lots of patience. And never give up. Never give up on building knowledge and on the practise.

Before we end, what are some of your future plans for Sim Yoga?

Jestine: Moving forward, we’d like to hold health cooking classes to encourage and to teach people to eat healthier and more natural food. Recently, we visited an organic farm to gain a little insight on this.

We will also start holding yearly yoga retreats for our students. Next year, we hope to have a trekking retreat to Kota Kinabalu.

For more information, you may contact them through the following details:

Contact person: Jestine Yap
Tel: 016-217 7761 / 016-263 1307
Address: Lot 2-25, Jln SP2, Taman Segar Perdana, Cheras, 43200, Selangor.

Archived in the category: Yoga Centres

Energy Yoga Launches with a Big Bang

Posted by jean on 24 Jul 09 - 1 Comment

The Energy Yoga launch held over the weekend on 18th July 2009 was a big bash! It was a day filled with exciting activities such as yoga performances, a memorable speech from the Health Minister Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, ribbon cutting ceremony and a feisty lion dance, to name a few. The event was held at the courtyard just in front of Energy Yoga at Plaza Damas. Lots of people and members of the media were already there by 9.45a.m. Soon, the guest of honour, Health Minister Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai arrived and the event pushed off.


From left to right: Dato’ K.Y. Lim – Managing Director of TSM Global Bhd (second from left), Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong lai – Minister of Health, Michael Lee – CEO of TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd


Michael Lee soon took to the stage to give a short speech on the newly-opened Energy Yoga.


Pilates group demo headed by Ken

This was followed by a group performance on Pilates, headed by Ken, Chief Instructor of Pilates in Energy Yoga. After their energetic performance, Matthew, a resident yoga instructor, got the crowd fired up and clapping their hands with his impressive solo performance.


Matthew performing the Firefly pose (Tittibhasana)


The Eight-angle pose (Astavakrasana)


The Scorpion Pose (Vrischikasana)

Following this, resident yoga instructor Jenny strutted her stuff and got the crowd even more excited with her mind-blowing solo performance.


Jenny performing a variation of a seated pose.


The Headstand (Sirshasana)


The Lotus in Crow Pose (Urdahz-Kukktasana)

And while all these were happening on-stage, fun stuff were going on off-stage too. They had a balloon-blowing clown to ensure younger guests were entertained.


Bozo keeping the kids happy and preppy!

After the amazing performances, it was back to more serious stuff, with speeches from Mr. Lim Tze Thean and Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong lai.


Mr. Lim Tze Thean giving a speech on behalf of TSM Global Bhd


The Health Minister stressing on the importance of health and exercise, and how to fit it into our daily regime.


Dato’ Sri Liow signing the Energy Yoga plaque


Left to right: Dato’ K.Y. Lim, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai and Michael Lee during the ribbon-cutting ceremony


Two lions dancing their way into the Energy Yoga centre at Plaza Damas

The Energy Yoga centre is officially opened!! After the lively lion dance performance to usher in luck and prosperity, there was still lots of fun and games lined up til 5.00pm. For those who are interested in finding out more on yoga classes at Energy Yoga, read our recent interview with Michael Lee or visit the Energy Yoga website at www.tsm-energy.com

Archived in the category: Events

Conduct by Justin Herold (Senior Certified Iyengar Teacher)?
Organise by : Living Yoga Academy


Date: 3-4 October 2009
Venue: Green Meadow Holistic Center, SS2, Petaling Jaya

This workshop will focus on the alignment of the backbend & inverted yoga poses according to the Iyengar method. This approach helps to deepen one’s yoga practice, prevent injuries and enhance one’s teaching skill, pragmatically. You will also learn how to use yoga props to work on your limitations/stiffness.

3 October 2009 (Saturday) 8.00am ~9.30am : Iyengar yoga class
Session 1 – 10:00am ~ 12.30pm – foundation of backbend
Session 2 – 2.00pm ~ 4.30pm – next stage of backbend to advance backbend

4 October 2009 (Sunday)?8.00am ~9.30am : Iyengar yoga class
Session 3 – 10:00am ~ 12.30pm – foundation of inversion
Session 4 – 2.00pm ~ 4.30pm – next stage of inversion to advance inversion
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Archived in the category: Events


The official launch of the Energy Yoga outlet at Plaza Damas is taking place on 18th July 2009, this Saturday, and you wouldn’t want to miss it! Held between 9am-5pm, lots of exciting programmess are in store for you. The event will start with a big bang with a grand opening by YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, the Health Minister of Malaysia. And lots of promotions are waiting to be snapped up all day long too.

-Membership packages for as low as RM112 per month
-Free trial class
-Wheel of fortune
-Chance of winning 1-year membership

The Programme:
-Official launch by YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, the Health Minister of Malaysia
-Grand Lucky Draw
-Pilates & Yoga performance
-Belly dancing, Bollywood dance, Freestyle dance & Lion Dance
-Ms.Energy contest
-Guest Artist appearance
-Tarrot card
-DIY jewellery workshop
-Kids colouring contest
-Games & many other exciting activities

Wow! Sounds like the yoga event of the year, doesn’t it? So mark the date on your calendar and don’t miss it!

Archived in the category: Events

The Elegance of Energy Yoga

Posted by jean on 13 Jul 09 - 1 Comment

Michael Lee, CEO of TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd, provides insights into Energy Yoga, the company’s newly opened chain of yoga and spa centres, that offers impressive facilities, service and a team of highly experienced instructors. The yoga centres, located in Plaza Damas, Kepong and Plaza Cheras, which were formerly owned by Yoga Zone and Urban Yoga, are now run by a new management team that appears to have the capability and perseverance to bring it back to its former glory. And perhaps, more. KL Yoga finds out how in the following interview:

energyyoga-team1 The new Energy Yoga family (L to R) : Matthew, Nicole, Michael, Pari and Michelle

How is TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd related to TSM Global Bhd (TSM Global)?

Michael: TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSM Global Bhd.

Why did TSM Global decide to venture into the yoga business and take over the three ex-Yoga Zone centres?

Michael: We were looking to diversify our business and felt that the wellness industry had a huge potential. Especially after speaking to some of the key people and instructors of the former Yoga Zone centres, we were even more convinced that it was a viable business.

On a personal level, I too used to attend Yoga Zone classes to help me overcome my back problems. At that time, I found that their yoga classes were authentic and conducted by a team of fantastic instructors, which further sealed my confidence in them.

That’s why we decided to take over the centres from Urban Yoga in February this year.

energyyoga-plazacheras-lounge11 energyyoga-plazacheras-lounge2 Elegant and sophisticated lounges of Energy Yoga, Plaza Cheras branch

Yoga Zone went into financial difficulties last year, causing a furor among its members who had paid substantial amounts of upfront money for their packages that were not returned to them. This has led the community to have a negative perception of large health and fitness centres. How will Energy Yoga avoid this?

Michael: First of all, Energy Yoga is structured under the umbrella of TSM Global Bhd, a listed company which reported a revenue of RM260 million last year and gross income of RM40 million. With our strong financial backing, we will definitely be able to take care of our members and instructors in any circumstances. However, we are confident that we will be here for the long run. We already have a three-year business plan in place for Energy Yoga and we are looking to break-even by this year.

Of course we have also retained the same team of experienced instructors who were originally with Yoga Zone, so that we can provide quality yoga classes to our members. In addition to this, we offer top-notch facilities and service.

We have also invested in getting experts to assist in marketing and running the operations of the centres. For example, we have just employed two new Club Managers to run the Plaza Damas and Kepong outlets respectively.

energyyoga-plazadamas-studio1 energyyoga-plazadamas-studio2 Spacious studios at the Plaza Damas branch of Energy Yoga

So far, have the people’s perceptions changed?

Michael: I think their perceptions are slowly changing. With more members’ meeting and as time goes by, they have started to see that we are serious and our memberships have gradually been increasing. We want to let our members know that we are fresh investors who are unrelated to Yoga Zone and Urban Yoga, who are here to stay for the long run.

Presently, how many classes are being held weekly at Energy Yoga and how many instructors do you have handling these classes?

Michael: Inclusive of all three centres, we hold 180 classes per week and we have over 30 yoga instructors.

Are your instructors mainly attached to Energy Yoga on a full-time or part-time basis?

Michael: At this present moment, our instructors are hired on a part-time basis with the exception of Matthew and Pari. We do not restrict our instructors in teaching at other centres. However, we are working out a plan to ensure that our instructors will have opportunity for career progression by gradually giving them more classes. Instructors will also be ensured of a stable salary and a fixed time frame for their classes that they will be comfortable with.

Going forward, we do hope to employ our instructors on a full-time basis where they will be able to enjoy benefits such as subsidies for workshops and training, for example.

energyyoga-class-in-session Class in session conducted by Ethan

Are you still hiring more instructors?

Michael: No, we are not hiring any more at the moment.

Do you currently hold any Teacher Training Courses (TTC) or offer them to your instructors?

Michael: Not currently. However, we do encourage our instructors to participate in TTCs available elsewhere, and as I mentioned before, we will look into providing subsidies to full-time instructors who wish to do so.

It sounds like Energy Yoga has everything in place and is now raring to go. Before we bring this interview to an end, could you share with us what Energy Yoga has in store for us in the near future?

Michael: We have lots of exciting events and activities coming up. On 18th of July this month, we will be having our launch, which will be officiated by the Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. During the launch, we will have performances, events and goodie bags to giveaway. We have invited members of the media to give coverage to the event.

Besides our current range of yoga and pilates classes, we intend to bring in more varieties of exercise such as Kids Yoga, Jazzercise and maybe even pole-dancing.

We have also begun talks with third parties in order to provide more privileges and discounts to our members.

Another exciting news is our plan to organize a yoga retreat with a difference. TSM Global owns a resort and golf course in Langkawi, so logistics-wise, we would be able to offer an attractive package to members.


Energy Yoga offers a wide range of classes which include Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, ChiPilates, Yogalates, YogaFit and X-Pilates, to name a few. For more information on Energy Yoga, visit their website at www.tsm-energy.com.

Archived in the category: Yoga Centres


Matej Jurenka, born in Slovakia, discovered yoga at the age of 20 through a book titled “Light on Yoga” written by B.K.S. Iyengar. Since then, he has dedicated himself to the art and now spends his days practising the most advanced levels of Hatha Yoga, conducting workshops and classes across the globe.

He is a graduate from the Yoga India School in Mysore, directed by Yoga master Bharath Shetty. The school is a reputable institution registered with Yoga Alliance, an organization which registers yoga schools and instructors all over the world. Matej’s other main influence is the Bihar School of Yoga.

Workshop: 2-days Yoga Darsshana The Art of Backbending & Twisting Workshop

Held by: Matej Jurenka

The workshop is divided into four sessions. They are as follows:
Session 1 : Backbending asanas using breath and vinyasa techniques
Session 2 : Advanced backbending asanas
Session 3 : Inversions and variations using breath and vinyasa techniques
Session 4 : Rotation using breath and vinyasa techniques

Date: 22 Aug – 23 Aug 2009 (Saturday & Sunday)

Venue: Ojas Yoga

Address: No.7-23-M & 1, Aked Esplanade Bukit Jalil Commercial Centre, Jln 14/155B, Tmn Bukit Jalil, 57000, KL, Malaysia.

Contact: 03-8994 9615 or 016-335 4773 (Felicia)

Fees: RM 200 per session (10% discount for 2nd & 3rd session, RM 600 for all 4 sessions)

Maximum: 25 participants per session (open to all levels of practitioners)

Although sessions can be taken individually, they are designed to flow sequentially.

A letter of attendance will be presented to those who complete the 2-day workshop.

Register early to avoid disappointment.

Closing Date: 15th July 2009

Archived in the category: Events

Being a beginner in yoga, I was a little intimidated by the Iyengar Yoga workshop, held at the Ojasyoga centre on 21 June 2009. This was my first experience of Iyengar yoga and learning from an experienced instructor such as Riana, who had trained under B.K.S Iyengar himself. I was afraid I’d be asked to fold myself into a pretzel, and that I would embarrassingly be the reason for a medical emergency holding up the class.
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Archived in the category: Learning & Lifestyle
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