Hong Kong Madame - English


February 15th 2018

by Aude
IRIS: Your Escape is back in Hong Kong this March 3rd and 4th. What is IRIS? A two days Yoga and Wellness Festival at Nursery Park, West Kowloon, gathering people in a mindful environment with the aim of inspiring them through yoga, meditation, music, arts, health and wellness education.
Last year, I was too intimidated to join. Why too intimidated? Because I just started my journey toward a more mindful way of life and as a beginner I was afraid of looking silly or of feeling like I should not be here. Are you just like me? Then don’t be afraid! If there is one thing I learnt over the past few months, while getting onto a healthier routine (still addicted to my barre 2 barre studio and cannot recommend it enough), is that you should trust yourself and never be afraid or ashamed of who you are. We are all different and all got a different truth about or body. Do you think I am kinda nut? I just feel kind of great with my body and mind … and believe me that’s a great feeling.  
Still intimidated to join? Why don’t you drop me a mail at contact@hongkongmadame.com ? I’ll be there myself and would be happy to meet you … the more the merrier, right?
The line-up of the festival is quite impressive and I thought “why not seating with a few of the teachers before the event and ask them what make them want to join this beautiful event”

Cherry Li – Chimaga
Class for IRIS: Mindfulness Yin Yoga

  • What is your definition of mindfulness? 
To me, mindfulness is to be fully present in the here and the now. Being able to observe my own breathing, bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions on and off the mats. The consistent practice in daily life is much harder than it seems!
  • How did you first come to yoga?
I attended my first yoga class in a local gym back in 2005. I just wanted to try out 'something different'. It definitely wasn't 'love at first sight' but somehow, I continued to take classes casually. 
Until around 6 years ago I have become totally addicted to yoga after my first Vinyasa yoga class. I began to take class more frequently and found myself much less prone to sickness and more importantly, at a much more peaceful state than before. 
  • You will teach Mindfulness Yin Yoga at IRIS– how would you describe it? 
Yoga itself already includes a mindfulness practice as well as the asanas (physical postures).
I coined the term for the sake of the IRIS event so that students will know specifically what to expect: slow practice with breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation and poses are held in a longer period of time.
In this particular class, we will focus especially on the liver meridian and self-massage with aroma oil will be included!  My regular students always love the massage part! It is a really good away to connect to and thank your body for all the hard work it has been doing for you every day!
  • Any specific goal you are trying to achieve through teaching Mindfulness Yoga?
My goal is to create a space for students to feel and connect to their bodies, minds and emotions at meditation or different yoga postures. 
  • Is it your first time being part of IRIS? 
I decided to join because it is a great event with such rich definition of wellness. I would like to part of this big picture by emphasizing the importance of mind-body-spirit connection. On top of connecting to ourselves within, it would also be a good opportunity to allow participants to connect with nature at this big open space in West Kowloon and each and every participant around us for a balanced, sustainable 'wellness' for all.

Rosalie e’Silva – Rosalie Yoga
Class for IRIS: Vinyasa Yoga 

Hong Kong Madame insider tip: I actually had a chance to attend a Full Moon Yoga and mediation session with Rosalie early February and loved her energy. I will definitely be checking her class at IRIS. Meet you there?
  • What is your definition of mindfulness?
 Mindfulness for me is a way of being. It’s about doing even the most mundane things with awareness and intention. I try to practice mindfulness in those little moments, like washing the dishes or brushing my teeth! It’s about noticing all the details and really paying attention. It’s an incredibly useful tool for bringing you fully back into the present moment.
  • How did you first come to yoga?
I was introduced to yoga when I was 19. I dipped in and out of lots of different styles of yoga, from Ashtanga to Bikram and Vinyasa, but it was only years later when I started working as a television journalist that I practiced more consistently.
I loved how yoga helped me decompress and cope with the pressures of working in live television. I needed it! I started to realise that I could apply the tools and practices I learned during my practice to my everyday life. For instance, I would do 10 full rounds of ujjayi breathing right before going on air.  The difference it made was incredible - it was like a wave of calm washing over me.
  • You will teach Yoga Nidra at IRIS– how would you describe it? 
Also known as yogic sleep, yoga nidra is one of the deepest forms of meditation. It’s a combination of allowing your body to relax while you keep your mind awake. By doing this, you reach a profound state of relaxation.
I like to think of it as a kind of internal yoga. It’s practiced lying on your back with your eyes closed -  and the hardest part is actually staying awake! 
But relaxation is just the beginning… yoga nidra can truly transform your life because you’re working with your subconscious mind. It’s like opening a door to your inner world. Your mind in a state of yoga nidra is extremely receptive, so it’s the optimal time to work on manifestation.
It’s a very powerful practice and it has truly changed my life. It helped me overcome my debilitating fear of public speaking and go on to become a television journalist.
  • Any specific goal you are trying to achieve through teaching Yoga? 
I love watching the transformation of my students from when they first walk into a class. Many come in stressed and tense and leave feeling lighter, happier and more relaxed. My goal is always to help this transformation take place - to help students reconnect with that place of stillness within and leave feeling really good.  
There are the obvious physical benefits of practicing yoga like increased flexibility and strength. But for me, the real magic of yoga happens on the inside. 
It’s the changes that we cannot see that are the most transformative, like increased inner strength, resilience and determination. The ability to focus better and meet challenges with a steady and calm mind. These are some of the lessons that we learn on the mat that start to follow us into our everyday lives. 
  • Is it your first time being part of IRIS? 
This is the second year I’m teaching at IRIS. I moved to Hong Kong in February 2017 and saw an announcement for the upcoming IRIS. I just knew I had to teach there!
I absolutely love the energy that is created when thousands of yogis are gathered together - moving, breathing and flowing as one. It is such an honour to stand alongside some of Hong Kong’s leading teachers and share my love of yoga and yoga nidra with everyone there. It’s so much fun and definitely a highlight of the year!
Estelle Anhao – Anhao
Class for IRIS: Pilates 

  • What is your definition of mindfulness?
Mindfulness is to be aware of how your body works through the mind and body. Both match together. I always say to my students, a one-hour session is 80% from the mind and 20% from the body. If you get the mind and at the same time you workout you will get 100% result on your physical objective.
  • How did you first come to Pilates?
As a former gymnast and as of now personal trainer I realised adults have got injuries than kids do not have. I started to look for a method to solve those injuries, improve posture and work to get the right alignment. Here I discovered Pilates. It is amazing how a methodology such as Pilates can focus on your strength, core stability and flexibility at the same time. Who doesn’t ask to control his body?
  • You will teach Mat Core Pilates at IRIS– how would you describe it? 
Mat core Pilates is a workout of 55-min non-stop on a mat focuses on your core. Core is the center of your body and if you feel stable, you will be able to get the best basic skills. A strong core is necessary for your daily life because this is the center of your body, the bottom of the pyramid. Then you will be able to climb to the top of the pyramid.
  • Any specific goal you are trying to achieve through teaching Pilates?
Help students to reach their goals: to correct postures, to recover from injuries, to work on their alignment, to make them understand how their body work and control their movements. As of now I think nobody were disappointed as many osteopaths and physiotherapists refer students to us and results are achieved if you start to get a routine in your daily life.
  • Is it your first time being part of IRIS? 
No it is not my first time. They call me back because last year was a big success and more than 70 people attended my class. I enjoyed a lot this unique experience because I think it is only in Hong-Kong that you can teach a class with in front of you more than 20 different nationalities at the same time. From all horizons from all different cultures people were all together to share the same activity with smile and happiness. 


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