I am super thrilled to release this podcast episode as marks the number 100 episodes of my #ConversationsThatMatter podcast. My guest in this episode is Rebecca Barrett, my yoga teacher who has completely changed my attitude towards yin yoga. I started her classes just 6 weeks after I gave birth to my second child (baby Noah) and I absolutely love her style of teaching, which always involves an aspect of yogic philosophy in the mix. If you are interested to know more about yoga, how it helps us to connect our body and mind, and perhaps most importantly, how to be a life long preparer for whatever comes in life, you’d love this episode!
- Sometimes when you meditate or when you practise mindfulness, it’s like you’re preparing yourself for the worst day of your life. You’re preparing yourself for these hard times when they happen, be it COVID or personal circumstances. It is about being a “life-long preparer”.
- The word yoga means union or to yoke. It is connecting the mental and the physical. So by use of the breath, you’re connecting your mind with your body.
- Yogic philosophy, storytelling and why it is so powerful in a Yoga Calm class
- Yoga on a micro-level is the “here and now” on your body, and on a macro-level, it is about how it relates to our life and mind.
- Learning how to be comfortable by being in the uncomfortable space (both body and mind) i.e. The practice of discomfort and just being okay with that.
- We’re all looking for what makes us happy, and we’re all trying to avoid suffering. But we often have different ideas of what’s going to make us happy when compare to reality.
- The tension between “just push a little harder” and “letting go”, when to stop pushing but releasing the tension, to surrender – that’s the art of balancing. (both in holding a pose and in life!)
- We often store different emotions and memories in our body. And so by coming into difficult yoga poses, it can help those emotions kind of move through us because it’s all about mindfulness and self-observation.
- You don’t have to believe all of your thoughts. Your thoughts are not facts. You can just choose what you want to do with your thoughts.
- What if every single thing that is happening to us is for our spiritual awakening? So everything, in a way, is a lesson to help us to get to where we are meant to be.
- Spirituality and productivity are not mutually exclusive, in fact, with a clearer mind with better focus, we can accomplish more things and be better at doing them!
- Intentions for 2021: Acceptance and letting go of control, not thinking how things could be different or how to fix things but appreciating what we already have or things are already here.
|Sze Wing:||Hi, everyone. I’m really excited to introduce my guest today. Today with me here is Rebecca Barrett. She’s my yoga teacher. I met her in my yoga studio. And I’m really excited to do this podcast because I think, if I’m not wrong, this is going to be my # 100 episode. So it’s a bit of a celebration for my side. And I think a lot of topics that we talked about in class and here today will be quite fitting for this celebration. So welcome, Rebecca.|
|Rebecca:||Hi. How are you?|
|Sze Wing:||I’m great. And so as we are recording this, this is just the beginning of 2021, so we just have a new start of the year. And I thought this is quite exciting, because we have been having a very crazy year, and I’m sure we are going to dive into a little bit more about it for our listeners, who are most likely to be interested in some sort of health and wellbeing related topics. And yoga is the big one, so I think today’s conversation, hopefully, it is going to inspire people to do probably healthier things or look after themselves better for 2021, given the year we had. So little short introduction. So Rebecca is a yoga teacher. And before she found yoga, I believe you had a very stressful job, an unfilling job, as a lawyer. And so you were inspired by the tangible, physical benefits of yoga, but then later on more the mental part of it as well, which we’re going to talk about. And I was really amazed by your over 1700 plus hours of teacher training. That sounds like a lot of hours. So–|
|Rebecca:||Yeah, I got a little bit addicted to just learning more, yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||But I can relate to it because once you become interested in something, you just want to learn more and more and more. And I can tell–|
|Rebecca:||Keep going, exactly.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, she uses it in her classes, because I can feel this new, I don’t know, every now and then when you come back from time off. So she’s very experienced, and I love her classes. And one of the things that really got me really wanting to invite Rebecca to my show is that she often talks about more the mental parts of yoga, which a lot of people maybe first started, like you and I, the physical part, but later on, the mental part, which I always found very interesting. It’s like a mini–, not lecture; lecture sounds very formal, but mini discussion or talk during the class, which I love. So that’s why we have you here today. So, it is a long introduction in a way, but welcome.|
|Sze Wing:||So this is the beginning of the year, and hopefully, we will set the tone, positive, and hopeful for this year, because it has been a crazy year last year, 2020, with the pandemic, so. And I know that I definitely want to ask Rebecca about what’s the meaning of yoga for her, but actually, kind of sometimes spontaneous, but I was wondering before coming on today that obviously you’ve been practising yoga for a number of years; and with 2020 being challenging for many people for many different reasons, how did you find yoga help you navigating the year? I could imagine that I will be very different if I don’t have my yoga or meditation practice to sort of ground me or centre me. So for you, or from your perspective, how did yoga help you to navigate in 2020?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. I mean, it definitely helped. I’ve heard my meditation teacher say before that sometimes when you meditate or when you practise mindfulness. It’s like you’re preparing yourself for the worst day of your life. You’re preparing yourself for when these hard times happen. So yeah. In all of the times that you’re doing well in your life, it’s good to keep up the practise so that if things do kind of fall apart you can have that practise to lean on for support. And, like I also had a bit of a tough time this year for sure. I stopped working. Obviously, with the lockdown, there was a good few months that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep being a yoga teacher. And I noticed, yeah, I needed to practise what I preached in a way. Because for a while I was feeling really down and I wasn’t practising yoga, I wasn’t meditating, and then I could see that was really affecting my mental health. So yeah. It’s sort of developing the skill as a preparation for when the hard times come, I think. Yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||I can relate. I remember I didn’t have a long career in, sort of, dancing, so I did amateur dance competing and Latin dance for a few years with my team, but I remember a lot of times that you practise, and practise, and practise. It’s not just that one day of performance but someone may randomly ask you to dance and then you kind of have it in you. It’s the same, isn’t it, that you practise the mindfulness or–|
|Rebecca:||You’ve got the habit.|
|Rebecca:||The habit. And then–|
|Sze Wing:||You’ve got those good habits.|
|Sze Wing:||–suddenly in the chaos you can find your feet and ground yourself. So tell me a little bit more about, first of all, what drew you to yoga and becoming a yoga teacher, and piggyback on that, what’s the meaning of yoga for you? Because, for me, I know that for all these years I’ve been practising as a student, for me, it’s really finding the union between my body and mind. It’s about balance and that sort of thing for me. I feel good after yoga class, but what does yoga mean to you and how did you come into this journey or this path?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. So yoga is a really ancient practise and the way that it sort of caught on in the West, the West really emphasises the yoga poses and the physical aspects of the practise. But yeah, the word yoga, it means union or to yoke. So connecting the mental and the physical. So by use of the breath, you’re connecting your mind with your body. And for me, and I think for a lot of people, when you first start getting into yoga it’s just for the physical reasons because yoga’s great at improving your flexibility and improving your strength and balance and all of these things. But then the more that you practise it you can notice little, subtle shifts mentally. I just kind of noticed that I felt so great after each class. And it wasn’t the same as doing any other form of physical exercise. There was just a little bit more to it. And I just sort of noticed a shift mentally as well. And now I would say I’m probably more interested in the mental mindfulness aspect of yoga than the physical, but it started off as physical for me. I think I heard before that if you’re already into kind of spirituality and meditation and then you practise yoga, that can help you connect to the physical side. A lot of people might be a bit disconnected from their body. But then if you are already connected to your body but you don’t necessarily have the spiritual side then yoga can help that as well. So whatever you kind of need more of yoga can kind of balance that out. Yeah, it kind of gives you what you need. So, yeah. I’m not sure if that answers the question but then just sort of how I came across yoga, it was when I was working as a lawyer and I was really miserable, I just didn’t like the job at all. In hindsight, I think I just kind of studied law because my parents were lawyers and so it was just sort of something that I wanted to follow. But then, as I started working, I just couldn’t believe that this was going to be my life from now on and I just felt really miserable. So I was sort of going to yoga as much as I could – before I went to work and then after I went to work – and it just really helped me just deal with the stress of my job that I didn’t like. And then, when I did finally quit my job, I took a while, sort of, to think about, well, what am I interested in and what am I good at? And because I sort of did gymnastics as a teenager, the poses kind of came to me pretty quickly and so, yeah, that was sort of what made me decide. It wasn’t sort of a dream to become a yoga teacher, it was more that it was just the timing. That I was looking for something to do with my life and then I realised this was what I was really interested in.|
|Sze Wing:||It’s interesting because I thought you were obviously doing yoga while you were in the job and then you make the transition that way but, actually, you quit the job and like regardless, isn’t it? But they say when the teacher is ready the student will appear and the student’s ready the teacher will appear. So I’m sure they kind of work in a holistic timeline where when you have the space and you think about what could be your next career then you just say, “Huh, maybe yoga?” The thing is, there’s yoga teacher and yoga class, there’s yoga teacher and yoga class. So yours for me was quite different. I mean, I wanted to interview you because of the elements that you brought into class. Obviously, you think about some of the concepts or what yoga has brought to you, not just the physical benefits, per se. You talk about, say, letting go or be mindful, watch your thoughts and they may not be always true, or that may not be really you, various topics. So obviously, I suppose, that could be a transition time or transformation but when you first started– I mean, what got you really becoming a teacher? Did you find out that, “Actually, I really like teaching,” after a while. Or, how did it work? Because you like, “Okay. I stopped working. What do I want to do?” And to become what you are now seems like you have been teaching for a long time. You come across really experienced. How did this happen?|
|Rebecca:||I think it’s just from all the different teachers and mentors that I’ve had. So I’ve been teaching for about five years now and, like I said, when I first did my teacher course, it was a very physical practice, which I still am. I’m very interested in sequencing, and I’m very interested in anatomy, and when people have breakthrough moments and they realise that their body is capable of more than they thought. But then, yeah, I guess because I’ve done some courses in yoga philosophy, and I explored lots of different teachers that I like, and I’ve realised that with certain spiritual messages or lessons, we can be a lot more receptive to them after we’ve been moving our body around or if we’re in stretch or that kind of thing rather than, say, you were going to go to a talk and you would just arrive there and you would sit in a chair and you would listen. A lot of what the people are saying doesn’t land as much, so again it’s just this mind-body connection. That if you’re using this meditative practice of moving your body around to put you in a meditative state, then, when you can, yeah, add little suggestions that come from yogic philosophy or spirituality. People remember it a lot more – you just listed a whole bunch of things from my classes – that it sticks more that way. So yeah, it sort of has come from– one of my teachers was telling me about how useful storytelling is and now that’s sort of become a really big part of my class, because I can see that, yeah, again, it just sticks in people’s heads. Little stories that can help you to remember things and yeah, so.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, and for those who don’t know, one of the great examples is that Rebecca teaches Yoga Calm or some people will, maybe in some other places, they call yoga a Yin Yoga class where you hold a posture for longer. So she has two special weapons. One is that she started with some warmup [laughter] /so we didn’t just go straight into Yin long-haul posture. So that’s great because I think we all need a little bit of movement first before we can calm down, which I think it works mentally as well. The second is that she tends to tell a story, and so you forget about the time instead of saying, “Oh, is it three minutes yet?” Then you kind of listen to the story, and then she takes a pause between the first and second part of the story then you’re like, “Oh, okay,” then you turn to the other side [laughter]. And I think that was really great because sometimes it’s quite uncomfortable in certain poses in Yin Yoga, but she kind of distracts us. So that’s your secret weapon, isn’t it [laughter]?|
|Rebecca:||It is a bit, yeah. Or also just sort of having– yoga is often– you talk about something that’s happening on a microlevel, so something that’s happening right now in your body in a physical way, and then relating it to a macro level, so relating it to something that you can bring into your day or into your life. So I liked having that in my classes as well.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, that’s why I feel like you’re going for a meal. You get the physical and the mental aspect which was really wonderful. That’s why I think that’s– I mean, I hated Yin Yoga for all these years until I started your class because I think it’s a very different approach. But what would–|
|Rebecca:||Well, it is just– if you’re not used to sitting still for a long time, it’s very difficult for people to just sit still for five minutes out of the blue in a stretch into that.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, and when we were talking, one of the things I thought of the theme of 2020, it’s about being in an uncomfortable space. With the pandemic where you may be in lockdown, depends where you live. We may not be able to see our friends and family or go to town or have a drink or eat dinner with a bunch of people, whatever that is. Or some people they love to travel, they couldn’t. Like us, we couldn’t visit our overseas family. So I think all of us are sitting in this very uncomfortable place and some people suffer more, like loss of job or illness, of course. But different levels, different humanity, we can’t really compare. But I felt taking yoga classes, so doing mindfulness or spiritual practices, just like what you said at the beginning, it helped us to prepare. And I felt that last year was a lot of uncomfortableness, different kinds. And it just reminded me of the Yin Yoga class and last year and being in that space. So what do you think about– what did you learn from 2020 in that sense?|
|Rebecca:||Well, yeah. You’ve just put it in the– yeah, you’ve just said it exactly. So it’s sort of the idea of the micro and the macro. So in the microlevel, maybe you’re just holding a Yin pose and it’s feeling very uncomfortable for you. And so then you’re just noticing, “What are my thought processes going on here?” And maybe it might be, “Oh, I shouldn’t have come to yoga today. Oh, what am I doing? How many minutes has it been? How much longer?” And then you can sort of practise this acceptance and, yeah, just kind of letting go. And, you know what? Yes, it feels uncomfortable but what if I got a little bit more curious about that discomfort. Is it constant or does it kind of come and go in waves? And also just to be able to focus on your breath and to know that it has an end, that it’s not going to go on forever. And then you can relate exactly that to the year of 2020 and just things that you’re going through. You’re like, “All right. Well, I can survive this. I can focus on my breath, that’s something that’s under my control, and it will have an end eventually.” And so yeah, I think that’s exactly right. The practice of discomfort and just being okay with that. Letting things just pass through.|
|Sze Wing:||All that shall pass.|
|Sze Wing:||No matter how long a Pigeon is [laughter]. One of the things I thought about before the show was that – and especially after talking to you just a few minutes in – how surprised you were that you eventually became a yoga teacher? Because I’m getting a sense that you probably studied law and you probably are quite analytical. I don’t know how to describe it, maybe some people would say left-brain driven or very much [to?] and very logical, practical. And I think in my first book, I talk about a [thin?] archetype, it seems to quite fit that bill. You probably tick all the boxes, do all the work, so that– it’s kind of, in a way, a lot of lawyers seem to have that archetype. Obviously, there are some [inaudible] on the [inaudible] otherwise you wouldn’t say you didn’t like that profession. So were you surprised that you actually became a yoga teacher, looking back, or you think there’s always been in that [crosstalk] [laughter]?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah, well I’ve definitely changed a lot. Oh, can you hear me okay? You just paused.|
|Sze Wing:||Yes, yes.|
|Rebecca:||You can hear me?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah, I’ve just definitely changed a lot since I’ve been a yoga teacher. If you were to meet me when I was a lawyer, I was just, yeah, completely different. But I think it’s just sort of we’re all looking for what makes us happy, and we’re all trying to avoid suffering. But we often have different ideas of what’s going to make us happy. And then for me, I just realised that a lot of things in my life that I thought were making me happy actually were not making me happy, so having a fancy, high-status job, or I used to drink a lot of alcohol and party. And yeah, I just kind of took a big look at my life and, yeah, I just kind of tried things out, just kind of used myself as a guinea pig just to see. And yeah, there’s definitely stressful things about becoming a yoga teacher. It’s a lot less money, so you have to really get used to just living a different kind of life. But because I’m so much happier now, yeah, it comes easily.|
|Rebecca:||But I still do have that side of my personality there. I know when I first started studying yoga I was quite resistant to a lot of the spirituality stuff because I was a very evidence-based person, and I wouldn’t have really actually described myself as spiritual, even though now I really am. And I think I just have to look out for those aspects of my personality too where it’s sort of like– say mediation, for example. I don’t want to just be good at meditating; I want to be the best meditator. But then that’s just so silly, because it’s only a fight with yourself. It’s sort of, “Oh, I want to do all of these sort of silent meditation retreats and get even better,” and it’s almost like, “I want to be the best at relaxing,” or something. It just doesn’t really– it doesn’t really work. But I know that I still have that side of my personality, that Type A that just–|
|Rebecca:||–pushes myself a little bit too far.|
|Sze Wing:||It kind of makes you have so much to teach. I mean, what you just said is actually extremely funny, like the best at relaxing. I mean, this is great, because many of us may have that problem as well. And I know that you often talk about telling people maybe today you’re more flexible or stronger or whatever, that you can do this pose easily, but tomorrow or yesterday, not the case. And I do think that sometimes we try very hard, even in yoga class. And obviously, you’re supposed to put in effort to an extent, but I often find it’s a very interesting topic, this tension and balance between trying hard and letting go. And it’s almost that– I mean, the surrendering, it’s important, but then part of us say, “Well, if you don’t try hard and if you don’t, not necessarily push too hard, but put in effort to earn your spot, then you surrender; maybe you’re just giving up.” That dynamic, it can be helpful.|
|Sze Wing:||[crosstalk] balance, yeah.|
|Rebecca:||This sitting on this tension is like sitting on this balancing pivot where it’s an art form, because part of it you kind of need to– if you want to accomplish, if you want to do unbalancing, you have to, I guess, do some strength to strengthen your core, your arm. You know better, But then if you let go, you cannot let yourself legs up in the air, right?|
|Rebecca:||Well, yeah, a lot of the time I can just kind of tell by people’s personalities. You kind of know what personality you have. So some people are the types of people that need to be pushed a little bit, like, “You can do this. If you just try, you’ll see that you can do this.” And then other people I can see that they’re wanting too much before they’re ready, that they have to slow it down. But then yeah, it’s strange too because Yoga, it’s a bit contradictory because it shouldn’t be about the ego. It’s about letting go of your ego. But then there’s kind of so much ego to it about sort of achieving a pose. And what I’ve noticed now– when I first started doing yoga, all I wanted to do was to get all of these cool poses. That was my main aim. I was like, “These all look so cool. I want to be able to do all that.” And now that I can actually do it, I just don’t care about it, because you expect that something’s going to happen when you can do those poses, but nothing really happens, and so the poses are just a byproduct of the practice. The real practice is just connecting to your body, connecting to your breath, and making yourself feel better about your day, so. Yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||That’s really cool. I mean, it’s helpful for a lot of people listening that getting all the poses doesn’t really make you happy. And I know that some people–|
|Rebecca:||Not at all. Yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||–are quite intimidating. Like, some more experienced yogi may be doing all kinds of weird things at the front, and then some days that we may not be up for it or just not– [inaudible] some of the pose, you have to be kind of strong or well-balanced. I mean, it’s not easy. A lot of poses aren’t easy. But I find it quite– it’s quite interesting. And also for me, in the first few months when I joined your class, I just had a baby. So my body– I think I was okay and strong and fit. But then sometimes I may lift the baby in a weird angle and then my back is out. And it made no sense, right? I may pick up a cup and then suddenly I’m frozen. I cannot move. But then you reminded me, because the next day or next week when I come to class– so I came in and I realized I cannot touch my knee or my toes. Then you kind of realize how your ego was operating beforehand, because before, “Oh, I can touch my toes. That’s easy.” But now it’s like, “I can’t even reach my knee.” But then you become ever more appreciative or grateful for those days that I have no pain and ache that I can touch something.|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Injuries teach you a lot about yourself and about your body, I think. There’s definitely some blessing in disguise about injuries because you just learn about what your body is capable of, what it’s not capable of, and when to push and when to hold back, so. Yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||It’s an art, isn’t it? And another thing I notice about yoga, definitely there’s a lot of yin and yang aspects. So some poses are very – I mean, I don’t know; maybe I’m making this up – young in the sense that it’s about strength. It’s about maybe holding. It’s about building the fire. And then some of the poses are very much about staying, being fluid or flexible, more yin. So that’s a lot of– I found it interesting to think about the duality, that aspect in terms of yoga, but a lot of times in our life as well. I mentioned in a conversation– well, email a while back about one of the podcasts I listen to about spirituality and politics and [inaudible] our body. There’s this destruction before you can create, and sometimes maybe you have to remove the clutter before you can add new thing, create space. And at the same times that– sometimes we have to change our mindset. Maybe we need to empty or we need to stop doing what we used to do and then move into a new chapter. So what do you think about that, and how do you see it apply in your life? Do you see this yin and yang aspect maybe coming from yoga? Because I imagine you do a lot of things through the lens of thinking and the philosophy of that path.|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. I mean, letting go is often a big subject in my classes. So it comes up a lot in just all sorts of different ways, especially just in the physical sense that we often store different emotions and memories in our body. And so by coming into difficult yoga poses, it just can help those emotions kind of move through us. Yeah, and I guess yoga just really helps because it’s all about mindfulness and self-observation and that kind of thing. Yeah, like what you were saying before about a lot of the time, just from observing ourselves and observing our thoughts, we realise that a lot of the thoughts that we have, they’re not even our thoughts. They’re just messages that we’ve received. So it’s then the choice that we have is what we’re going to do with those thoughts. And that’s when we can just choose to sort of let them roll over us and just kind of move on with our day and not try to sort of take on negative energy. And I think the same thing can happen just in a yoga pose. You might attempt it, if it’s a really challenging one. Maybe you can do it, and maybe you can’t. And you just try to sort that and just move on to what’s next. So yeah, yoga, it’s a practice, and you don’t always need to be amazing at that practice to receive all of its benefits. So yeah, it’s a yin and yang, sort of push and pull thing.|
|Sze Wing:||And I’m mindful of the time, but there’s one question that I’ve often wanted to ask you. So what inspires you these days? I mean, how do you come up with all this rich content or teaching? I mean, I get it; there’s a sequence, but there are also ideas behind things. And so what inspires you to stay on? Where do you get your inspiration from? How can you keep yourself being creative in that sense?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. Well, I’m always trying to stay connected to just different sources of inspiration and always reading different books and listening to different podcasts. But yeah, like I said, stories are my thing. So I’m often even just sometimes googling what are interesting Zen Buddhist stories that teach you a lesson, stories that have a lesson at the end of them? And then I try to kind of turn that into a class. But there’s a woman called Tara Brach, and she has a great podcast, and I get a lot of my ideas from her. Also from a guy called Joseph Goldstein. So he’s sort of a Buddhist meditation teacher, and his themes are really well-put. Well, if I was to recommend a book, my favourite book that really changed my life is called– I think we’ve talked about it at the end of a class as well, but it’s called The Untethered Soul, and it’s by a guy called Michael Singer. And that was sort of a big epiphany moment for me, because it just talks a lot about this voice in your head and how that voice is not you. And a lot of us are just so identified with that voice that we don’t even notice that it’s there, because we just think that it is us. And it was just so enlightening for me just to realise, “Well, okay. That’s a thought.” Or even I was just listening to a podcast today that says, “You don’t have to believe all of your thoughts. Your thoughts are not facts. You can just kind of choose what you want to do with them.” And then you can even sort of train yourself about the thoughts that you allow yourself to have, because we’re often just very harsh on yourself with lots of negative self-talk. And so I’m just kind of– I love learning about that, because that can just change the quality of your life so much, so.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, we had that conversation about Michael Singer, and I love his other book about his life story. Actually, I forgot the name. Oh, The Gratitude Experiment. Really about his [life star was?] fascinating|
|Rebecca:||The Surrender, was it? The Surrender Experience?|
|Sze Wing:||Experiment. Yeah. I found it quite– definitely a very interesting guy. How he put his thoughts into practice. Like how he really take the surrender to the next level [laughter], and I want to learn from his, but I think one more thing is that sometimes, even though we– when you make a commitment to surrender to something, even though you may not see why it’s relevant, or you may not like it, but he make the commitment to surrender. So he didn’t like people to pitch tents in his land, he just wanted to meditate by himself, but people came to him. He drew people. He attracted people. But then at the end, it turned out to be a very good thing, years later, but you may not have the full picture. But when we make the commitment to surrender, when we make the commitment to be mindful about our thoughts, sometimes we see the immediate benefit, I suppose, after a class, or even in a few moments if you meditate. But sometimes certain things are more long-term, like having this practice. You don’t see the full picture, but I think part of it is knowing you’ve just got to trust and keep going, and then it leads you somewhere [laughter].|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. It’s like there’s another sort of yogic phrase which is like, “What if every single thing that is happening to us is for our spiritual awakening?” So everything, in a way, is a lesson, and you can kind of think of it in that way. That it’s all sort of meant to be because it got you to where you are, and yeah. I like that idea.|
|Sze Wing:||I found it very interesting that– is there some misconception now they’re thinking like spiritual people, or I don’t know, maybe they were branded like some yoga teachers, or some I don’t know, psychic reader, let’s just say. They’re very spiritual, but then they would be all woo-woo, and therefore not very productive, but I think I know enough spiritual teachers and yoga teachers, they’re actually very productive people. Like you listen to podcasts, you read obviously, and you bring in fresh concepts, material to the class. And I actually think that spiritual people can be highly productive people, because their head is a bit above water, so they [laughter] do the right thing, rather than doing all sorts of things to keep them busy, but nothing real [laughter].|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. Well, I guess, I still just sort of have that lawyer side of me, as well, that’s always about being productive and getting things done.|
|Sze Wing:||But that’s what you think. And my observation is whether– the thing is that sometimes being productive doesn’t mean that you have to sit a certain amount of hours in a chair, but if your head and mind is clear, you produce things– maybe you read a book and immediately you have a very amazing lesson planned. But it may take people hours to dissect it, if they are not having that sort of mindfulness practice, or grounded, or I don’t know how to put it. But I actually think that a lot of this is actually making us more productive. I don’t know, but I found myself a lot more productive than I was years ago.|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. Well, I think it’s about just sort of staying curious, as well. I’m always just sort of seeing what’s out there that I can listen to, and using those things as ideas that could become a class, maybe. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||So it’s like Elizabeth– oh, suddenly I forgot her last name–|
|Rebecca:||Is it Gilbert?|
|Sze Wing:||Yes. Gilbert. Staying curious. Forget about passion, because sometimes we’ll put too much pressure on the passion–|
|Sze Wing:||Yes. Stay curious.|
|Rebecca:||That was a great book.|
|Sze Wing:||Yes. Yeah. And last word. It’s about 2021 now, we’ll just step into it. So if there’s anything that’s on your mind about bringing in the new year, or a new year dream, ideas, goals, kind words, what’s on your mind about 2021?|
|Rebecca:||Well, yeah, I think it has a lot to do with what we were talking about, and just sort of accepting, and not always trying to change things that are outside of your control. Yeah. I just spent New Year’s with a good friend of mine who’s also a yoga teacher, and we were talking about this quite a bit, and I think a lot of us are so busy thinking about how we want things to be different. So my intention is, this year, to want what I have. So to be really grateful for what’s already here in front of me. And of course, have goals, that’s great, but to not forget about how lucky I am to have what’s already here. Not thinking about how things could be different, and what I want to fix, and that kind of thing. So yeah, that’s my resolution.|
|Sze Wing:||Wow. That’s great. And that’s a great way to end our interview today. I think that’s really cool because we’re so outward-looking sometimes to say, “What’s the next best thing? Next level. Next goal. Dream board.” Just not to push ourselves into there, but thinking about what we have.|
|Rebecca:||It’s already here.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah. It’s already here.|
|Sze Wing:||I used to say, “Be grateful for what you have, and what you don’t have.” Because certain things you don’t want to have, but you only realise that, if you’re actually grateful for what you have [laughter].|
|Rebecca:||Exactly. Yeah. Thinking about, “It could be much worse.” And yeah, so, we’re lucky.|
|Sze Wing:||Well, thank you so much for today. And I hope we’ll inspire some people to be more mindful. Whether that would be explore the yogi philosophy, or come to a class. So yeah, if people are curious about joining you for a class, where do you teach, and how could people get in touch with you? Like your social media for instance?|
|Rebecca:||Yeah. So I teach at Fitness Playground, at BodyMindLife, and B-1 Yoga, three different studios. And I guess, maybe, the best way would be Instagram, if you wanted to get in touch with me. And my user name is Beck_asana, so it’s B-E-C-K underscore A-S-A-N-A. It’s just sort of a play around with my name and a yoga pose, which is also called beckasana. So that’s why [laughter].|
|Sze Wing:||Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s interesting. [laughter]|
|Sze Wing:||So thank you so much for today.|
|Sze Wing:||And I hope you will have a great start to 2021.|
|Rebecca:||You too. And I’ll see you at the next yoga class.. [laughter]|
|Sze Wing:||See you there.|
|Rebecca:||Okay. Thank you|