Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
My name is Alyaa and I’m a yoga teacher and personal trainer based in Singapore. Unlike many people who work in this field, I was never someone who was active when I was younger.
I started running for the first time when I was about 18 and began yoga shortly after. This was the time I also began my first ever Instagram account and posted about my journey with learning yoga. And that was the beginning of who I am now!
How I feel about myself, my practice of yoga, my body, and exercise and has changed a lot over the years, and anyone who’s followed me for the many years I’ve been posting about it online, would know just how much.
I went from the typical yogi who did it for hours a day and wanted to be skinny and manage all the Instagram poses to learning more about what yoga had to offer and changing my pace. The journey I’ve been on has changed me a lot in the last 10 years and it’s something I’ve enjoyed sharing with other people.
Now I want to help other people discover everything I learned to love too.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
One big thing is how I put all of my knowledge together to improve what I’m able to do for my clients. A lot of people yoga teachers focus on teaching yoga and their approach may be more asana focused.
Since I loved yoga, and knew I wanted to bring my passion for it to other people, but also find smarter and more sustainable ways for them to use the practice, aside from what people just see on Instagram, I knew I needed more knowledge about exercise and how to best use our bodies.
Being able to this really changed how I was able to work with people! I teach classes and I also work with many people 1-1 now. Most of which see me for both PT and yoga sessions. Rather than teaching most of my 1-1 yoga clients how to do “cool” poses, I am now able to attract clients who see the benefits in both forms of movement.
Some people come to me to improve how they more or how they use their bodies (the smallest things we learn can make the biggest difference in how we live), others come to me to start an exercise routine and want a coach who also understands what they need to do make it work with a yoga practice.
Though it’s still an issue, I’m glad I can show people they don’t need to be flexible to do yoga and exercise isn’t just for weight loss. The two can go hand in hand and improve your performance in both areas so much than just doing one.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
It was definitely when I got feedback from a client after changing the style of my classes. I was teaching yoga classes part-time, doing typically what you would expect, lots of postures, something a bit more fast-paced, more like a Hatha Vinyasa class.
But I realized after a while that the clients coming to my classes were all people who regularly trained. They were swimmers, people who did CrossFit or went to their PTs 3 times a week and filled up other days with boot camps.
They didn’t need a yoga class that was challenging them, they needed something that could help them feel relaxed and complement what they were doing already. So I changed it. Of course, I wasn’t completely sure this would work but I wanted to give it a try.
And I was right! Of course, some people decided it was not for them, but those who stayed seemed happy. Then I got one client who specifically told me this is what she’d been looking for all along. She’s gone to so many studios and figured, she just had to deal with yoga classes being this way.
Yin/restorative classes were too slow for her but everything else was too much. So she picked the best option. And now that I’ve changed it, she said it was perfect for her (and seemingly everyone else who stayed!)
It’s been years since then and I keep getting clients in who tell me all the same things, so I know this is definitely what I want to keep doing!
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
As common as it is, it definitely imposter syndrome.
I started off as someone who loved yoga and turned into a yoga teacher. I knew I wanted to do more, so I studied and became a PT too. And I started working full time in a company where the other coaches were so highly qualified, so smart, and definitely much better at their jobs than I could imagine being at the time. So even though I was great at teaching my classes, I knew I had to be more.
I felt so stupid, to say the least. It wasn’t even that I was good and I was doubting myself, I knew there was a gap in what I was doing. I was here because I was good at one thing, teaching yoga. But that was not going to be enough for long.
So I did more. I signed up for more courses, attended workout classes, worked with different PTs, and outdid myself. I got pre-post natal certified, did 2 more yoga courses and I have a reformer pilates course as well as another yoga teacher training coming up this year.
It’s been tough. But I feel so much better about myself and much more confident about my work. I’m smarter, I’m a better coach, a better yoga teacher, and my clients tell me too.
While I can’t completely turn off that feeling, I know I’m improving and I am doing my best. And I know I’m making my client happy too
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Alexandria Crow! She’s a yoga teacher who I absolutely love. I’ve done her course on hyper mobility and I have a few more saved for the future. She’s so intelligent, has the kind of knowledge I absolutely look up to and I feel like learning from her has helped how I teach myself and my clients so much more!