By Lim Deng Li, February 2012
I first tried yoga several years ago and was not impressed at all - I found the experience torturous and dreaded attending the classes. When I heard people talk about yoga and how much they loved and enjoyed it, I wondered why I had such a terrible experience. Fast forward to March 2011, I decided to give it another try and signed up for trial lessons at Real Yoga, and I have never looked back since.
I have been attending Instructor Hari's classes regularly and I always look forward to attending his classes. He is a dedicated teacher who is careful to ensure that everyone practises safely. During his classes, I was impressed with his attentive nature - he makes sure to check if there are any newcomers in class and takes note if any students have pre-existing injuries. When possible, he always makes time for individual attention and gives precise adjustments. He often reminds students to maintain our awareness in each pose, to ensure that we get the full benefit of the poses. Initially, I found his classes extremely challenging, however he helps to minimise my discomfort by giving suitable options for those of us who are not as flexible in certain poses. He would also suggest the use of props (like towels) so that certain poses can be done more accurately.
Hari is a competent and likeable teacher, whom students can feel free to approach for any queries at the end of each class. His understanding of the yoga practice and strong passion gives students confidence that he can be fully trusted to guide us. His friendly demeanour and clear explanations make his classes enjoyable and enlightening, which goes a long way in helping students deepen their yoga practice. He has a wonderful way of making his classes engaging and creative, giving students exposure to a wide variety of asanas and I can always look forward to learning something new in each class.
Hari often emphasizes that the true essence of yoga revolves around the breath. He also teaches students to listen to their body and know our own limits so that we do not harm our body. I keep coming back because his yoga classes help me to feel good. I always feel rejuvenated and energized at the end of his classes and look forward to attending many more!
Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to Hari for being an inspiration in my yoga journey and I know that this is a practice I will continue for the rest of my life.
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Working as IT professional does come with a price, that is my neck, back and shoulder get stiffer and stiffer. My weight has increased by 2kg every year due to long hours of sitting on the chair facing the screen, and this resulting in having a heavy breath. In general I often feel very tired in the afternoon, and this is affecting my work efficiency, but at the same time, bring me the "red" alerts about my health.
I have gone for back and shoulder massage almost everyday, and the situation does not improve as this massage does not help to fix the problem permanently, so at one stage I decided to sign up with Real Yoga to try out the yoga class to see if it does help.
A few classes with Master Saumik, Dr Kumar, Mira and other instructor, practicing the hot yoga, gentle and therapy. I start to feel there is some improvement on the stiffness on my neck. After 3 months of being there, my back pain, neck stiffness as well as shoulder pain start to go off, and surprising by then, I realised that I actually stop going to massage for more than 2 months!
This gives me confidence to try out the personal training session to look for further improvement on my general health condition, I managed to arrange a PT with Mira and the first session, she was very helpful in helping me to determine on my objective to achieve through the PT, and from there she helped me to design a series of yoga postures and exercise to help me to achieve my objective. After almost 30 session with her, now I am able to breath naturally through my nose (as compare to before I always breathe using my mouth), and I am able to breathe in correct manner. I have learnt how to apply a few healing postures that help me to reduce my sports injury and recover faster after heavy sports. I am more energetic now and I am able to keep myself fresh the whole day.
Now my colleagues and friend also commented that my body shape looks better now, looks more slimmer now, and the actual fact is the training design my PT teacher Mira has helped me to the shape up my body and also I am more flexible when doing all kinds of activities now. Mentally, this make me looks more confidence now.
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Prior to joining RY, I joined another yoga center hoping to shed off some weight doing a lot of hot yoga also as a form of workout that could be done regularly in rain or shine. But that never materialize. And I was getting bored and beginning to think yoga was not the thing for me after all.
Then I chance upon RY, and my perception changed totally after I joined, as I met a group of motivating masters and friends whom are serious practitioner and they have motivated me greatly.
I signed up because I like the way Master Saumik conducted the class. His flow is good and he is always so creative in his poses. He will take no nonsense in his classes as he expects members to do properly and sincerely when they are in his classes. Subsequently I signed up for his PTs (Personal Training) as well as I felt I needed to make further improvement. I nicknamed him Dr Saumik Bera because he was able to diagnose my back pain which have been troubling me for quite a while. He did a couple of sessions of therapy with me and miraculously the pain was gone and I was able to do my yoga posture without pain. So Happy!
The transformation was almost immediate. I lost weight by a kilo per month (probably due to doing the posture properly and sincerely), and so far I have lost more than a couple of kilos. Although many of my friends are still not use to seeing the new slim me but I am more than happy that my body has become more tone and most of all I felt I have gained strength and stamina enabling me to do more arm balancing and other more advance postures.
Although the training was not easy in the beginning as Master Saumik is a result orientated master and he will pushed you to your maximum potential. And I think it’s through this kind of training that I improved by leaps and bounds. In fact in a matter of 6 months after doing his training, and also attending his classes regularly and applying what I learnt from his PT sessions, I found myself able to do all the poses that I wasn’t able to do before and thought I would never be able to accomplish.
All being said, I think if one is serious about practicing yoga, be it health or other reasons, this would be the place to consider as the masters will give members attention in their classes and I must say all the masters are very passionate about their work. I think the reason being so is that the Master Saumik himself is very passionate about yoga and he sets a certain standard so that all who come thru the center are able to feel their own improvement and achievement through their journey of practice.
Me, I hope to continue my yoga journey and rise to the next level of achievement with body and mind in one as yoga should be done.
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Master Saumik for his patience and effort in making us (at least for me ) to be a better person.
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By Michelle Khundakar
I have been a member of Real Yoga for around eight months now. I have been practicing yoga on and off for around ten years, but only really started a dedicated practice around eighteen months ago, initially at a different yoga studio in Singapore. I’m a big fan of Real Yoga for many reasons. Probably the biggest of these is the quality of the yoga teachers and their own level of practice. Many are from India and have been practicing since they were small children. They are able to show you ‘the art of the possible’, postures I didn’t even know existed and they are willing to take you on your own journey to achieve them. At my previous studio, I was considered one of the more advanced students; here I am just a beginner, and this is a good thing.
In such a short time, I have advanced in ways I didn’t know were possible and I know I could keep coming here for many more years and still have something to learn. At my previous studio I had a favourite teacher; here I have many (Master Saumik, Mira, Hari, Omkar and Manoj), each who will teach you something different.
The classes are engaging, you can go to the same class week on week and it will encompass different asanas. There is a great mix of classes, including Gentle for those days where you’re feeling at bit battered by life, Yoga and Pilates which I use to strengthen my weak core, Hatha when you’re looking for a good balance between standing and sitting posture, and my personal favourite, Purna (‘complete’) which is a 2 hour class covering stretching/opening, flow, hatha and finishing with more advanced postures such as arm balances and inversions. It is the only thing that can get me out of bed early every Sunday morning. The classes cater for different levels of students, and there is a mix of hot and ‘normal’ yoga.
The pricing at Real Yoga is fair and the people are genuine and friendly. It feels like a home and a haven. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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By Mdm Wong Juan Meng, May 2011
Dr Kumar has been my yoga master for the past six months, both for personal training and group classes. He has helped me understand the world of yoga and has been very patient in getting me to learn and master in every "baby" yoga step I take. Learning yoga under Dr Kumar has been a turning point for me to improve my overall well being and I greatly encourage anyone who wishes to embark in the world of yoga to start that first lesson and many lessons thereafter with Dr Kumar.
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By Tan Chek Yin, May 2011
Nice things come in small packages and Real Yoga is one such serendipity that came into my life recently.
I like the highly personalized service and family-like atmosphere at Real Yoga. The teachers and staff take personal care to ensure that members have good experiences, and are observant and quick to rectify any perceived shortcoming. The body opening and yoga stretch classes really help to improve the flexibility of tight body type as mine, and the inversion class is creative and non-intimidating.
Real Yoga has also found me “new” yoga buddies – interestingly so, because most of the gals and I were mere acquaintances at another yoga studio. Now, we have become almost inseparable at Real Yoga, constantly sharing notes on our experiences and cheering one another on like excitable teenagers. It is apparent that Real Yoga has somehow reinvigorated our practice and/or passion in yoga.
As the saying goes, the guru will appear only when the student is ready and receptive. My first yoga master has taught me the importance of self-acceptance. Master Saumik is teaching me to work my body & mind with understanding and patience, and the experience has been humbling and inspiring. After 3 years of asana practice, I am now relearning how to do a proper forward bend. He prods me to explore, and suggested different ways to get around the obstacles faced in my asana practice (which are many!!). It was also through Master Saumik’s encouragement that I attended my first advanced hatha class.
Many a times I find asana practice frustrating and sthira sukkham asanam a lofty ideal beyond my reach. But as Master Saumik says, the journey is more important than the destination. Hence, I am truly grateful to the wonderful teachers and friends at Real Yoga for bringing light, warmth and laughter to this journey.
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My physical health improved significantly. I came to yoga as per doctor’s recommendation as I was diagnosed with lyme disease and it affected my knee so badly that tradition medicine was helpless in my case. The pain was gone after 6 months.
My body got toned and strengthen to a way I wouldn’t imagine. I learned to meditate and relax my mind on a daily basis. Inner stamina, focus, balance, patience, knowing own limits are some of those benefits I gained.
Master Saumik has a unique way of teaching. He truly lives what he teachers. It is yoga from the heart and one feels it every time during the class.
Yoga is not just an exercise for me – it became my style of life.”
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Who would I recommend Real Yoga to? Everyone. From a beginner looking for a good introduction to yoga, to more experienced students looking to deepen their asana practice.
As one of the latter, I have tried many studios in Singapore in search of a teacher and classes that would help me advance my practice. This proved harder that I had originally thought as most studios tend to cater mostly for beginners, and even intermediate/advanced classes tend to be homogenized after a while to build up student numbers.
At Real Yoga, Master Saumik is a rare gem. He is an inspiring teacher with an amazingly advanced practice. He has a wealth of knowledge and is deeply intuitive when working with students of different strengths and weaknesses, helping each one achieve their maximum potential. Real Yoga's advanced and multi-level classes are the real thing..providing an invigorating and challenging practice for even the most experienced of students. I love it that we are exposed to an incredibly wide variety of asanas, even though some seem physically impossible at the moment! But as Master and Manoj constantly remind me...most of the impossibility and fear is in our mind. Once we relax and let go of our perceived limitations, we can achieve more than we think.
Apart from the calibre of teachers and very friendly staff (Freddy gets a gold star from me!), I love the more intimate feel of a smaller studio. Less crowded classes also mean students get more adjustment
which helps them to learn proper alignment. And what can I say about my fellow students...just a wonderfully non-competitive and encouraging place for a genuine yoga practice.
My deepest thanks to Master Saumik, Manoj and everyone at Real Yoga for renewing my energy and passion for practice! :-)
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By Kimi, May 2011
Practising at Real yoga is laughing with friends, being inspired and personally assisted by amazing instructors, and being encouraged and cared for by everyone. Every person gets attention (you can’t escape!) and Master Saumik knows just how far to push you without breaking you! If you want to get stronger, more flexible, and enjoy your yoga practice more, this is the place to go. I am your typical unflexible Ang Mo who knows how embarrassing and disheartening it can be when everyone around you can do the splits and you still look like you are standing upright – but the atmosphere at Real Yoga is not competitive at all. The instructors don’t ignore you if you are not flexible and they really help you figure out how to improve. I may not be able to do the splits in this lifetime but now, I can enjoy the journey!
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By Connie Cheng, May 2011
Yoga has been a wonderful journey of self-discovery for me. My journey has been exponentially enriched by the satsanga in Real Yoga. Besides, I am having the most uproarious fun time here.
I have derived many benefits from asana practice here too. The most noteworthy of all is my hunched posture that I had thought to be my permanent trademark has unbelievably been corrected through the teacher’s guidance on the appropriate application of asanas. The sense of bliss and lightness of being that accompany this renewed body has not ceased to amaze me.
In a nutshell, I am most grateful for the opportunity to be able to practice yoga under a true Master in Real Yoga.
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By Shiou An, May 2011
I was relocated back to Singapore one and a half years ago. Everything is good except I missed my yoga teacher and the strong practices there. I recalled I tired out Pure and signed up membership shortly after I returned. I was still practicing very regularly but I could sense something was gone, the passion, love or faith?!
By chance, I was introduced to Real Yoga for a trial session. It was Chinese New Year eve in 2011. Before I entered the studio, the color and decoration of the studio brought sparkles to my eyes. Red, white and brightness, these were the theme of the facility, very vibrant! It felt like a lift of the spirit. It was a little cool in the studio room. The chill disappeared very quickly as soon as the class commenced. Master Saumik Bera, the founder of Real Yoga Singapore, came into the studio with a gentle smile. He looked very friendly, his eyes gave an affirmative confident gaze to all practitioners. A great respect towards this teacher grew within me just with his gaze... It was a two-hour long Purna class. "Purna" means "complete" in Sanskrit. The class began with slow stretching, gradually increased in depth for all parts of our muscles and opening the joints and girdles. Master Saumik came around to do adjustment for the practitioners. His adjustment made me feel very aligned at some asanas and also brought me tremendous "sweet" pain in others. We went into arm balancing and inversion in the second hour and concluded with pranayama. By the time the class ended, I felt very energized from within. And I knew immediately this is the place where I am going to practice in future. In the next few days, I came to Real Yoga twice a day (my Chinese New year holidays) to attend the different classes. A week later, I became member of Real Yoga. I found the passion towards yoga again! I fired up the heat within!
Real Yoga is like my second home now. I like the cozy facility, the friendliness of the staff and the professionalism of the highly qualified teachers. Master Saumik constantly encourages us to go beyond in search for our untapped potential. He is very strict and emphasizes on perfection. Teacher Manoj often asks us to "do better than before" and "give your best", he is another perfectionist. Their urge towards perfection help me to set the right attitude towards my practice. Teacher Mira does her practice with grace giving us lots of inspiration. Teacher Issey, Hari, Omkar and Dr Kumar are all easy going and very approachable.
There are so many different variety of classes offer to the practitioners. Beside the traditional yoga classes, I love Yoga Dance. Master Saumik is like a veteran dancer. He maintains his composure,
demonstrates a sensual grace in the dance movements that are integrated with either basic or advanced asanas. The speed of transitioning from one asana to another follows the rhythm of the music. Certainly I enjoy watching how he moves and also get a lot of fun moving along. Master
Saumik has also trained up a few students who can do performances in grand events in Singapore.
One most unique feature offer by Real Yoga is the Personal Training classes (PT). Master Saumik, a three time world yoga champion and practices yoga since the age of five, is extremely flexible in all yoga asanas. Moreover, he is a great teacher who can point out the mistakes and provides the right technique to the asanas I have difficulty with. He does not let me give up any asana easily. He is correcting all the wrong alignments and bad habits I built up over the past years. He encourages me to put in more endurance. No Pain, no gain. Though someone has renamed PT as "Personal Torture", I am doing PT daily. No sweat, there is a lot of "sweet" pain during my PTs..... especially
when I have to practice on "Saumikonasana" (aka samakonasana). Master Saumik is also a miracle doctor. When I explained how I tired myself out, especially the lower back, he gave me some magical twists and therapeutic bending, the pain disappeared. I begin my journey towards Perfection even though the road to be travelled is going to be very bumpy and long... When I get too tired, there is Real SPA to go to for a great relaxation.
Real yoga has united her members well. I find members who are truly happy here. They are often hatting and laughing heartily. I am used to a serene and quiet environment for my yoga practice, the ambience at Real at times is quite noisy. But when I use my heart instead of just
my ears, I find pure love and friendship among the members.
Last but not the least, an interesting person to be mentioned - Freddy Koh (GM of Real Yoga). He is humorous and highly service oriented. Despite his busy schedule, he helps in PT/class/SPA bookings, morning calls, reminders, etc. Every now and then, I get funny jokes from him
and I see his care towards Real members. He is even attempting to compose songs for the members, what a sweet gentleman!
Real Yoga, a place where we get connected, grow and glow together!
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by Maimonnesa Khanom (members), May 2011
When I first stepped into Real Yoga, I fell in love with the cozy lounge and soothing environment of the studios. My aimed is to have a healthy mind & body and Yoga is the kind of relaxing exercise apart from fitness gyms which more and a quite vigorous workouts which not suitable for me as I have asthmatic problems. My intention of joining Yoga is to relax my mind. I didnt intend to lose any weight as my aim is different and I knew that i can't lose weight for the past 14 yrs even I did yoga for 6 months at other centres there's no effect at all. After I joined Real Yoga in just 2 months, I am shocked my weight which is 63kg went down to 59 kilos in just 2 months and to me is a big achievement for 14 yrs I've been trying to lose weight but so far all didn't work at all except in Real Yoga and my hubby noticed too as he always said he dont believe I can lose weight after so many years. Furthermore, I am asthmatic and have been using inhaler, now ever since I joined Real Yoga till now I didn't take any medications or inhaler at all. In Real Yoga, we are like family, the masters are very helpful and advice me a lot on my flexibility what I can do and what I can't, especially Master Saumik he's a good adviser without fail answering my questions and thanks a lot to him for his patience in teaching me and advicing me in helping me to lose weight and the rest of the masters are very professionals and very qualified teachers too. Even the members & staff are very helpful and friendly too. Furthermore, the centre offers many classes daily which we have many choices too.
Now that I'm practicing Yoga, it helps me a lot in physical and mental awareness especially after hot yoga I am very happy to see my rosy cheeks. The most happiest thing is my hubby who used to join the gym now start doing Yoga as part of his daily life. After joining Real Yoga he really a changed person. He stops going jogging and practicing Yoga as a daily routine. Not only me even my daughter loves the centre kids yoga and she always looking forward to attend the kids yoga and for a 6 yr old, she learnt a lot from the centre too.
Today. I felt that Real Yoga had made me a more happier person, made me cope with problems & leave the past behind too and a place which made me feel calm and cheerful , furthermore it makes me and my family more closer as we share the same activities and its really value for money.
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By Vijyaletchumi T K, May 2011
I have known Mira nearing two years. She is my personal trainer for Hatha Yoga. She is a highly dexterous and skilled yoga practitioner cum guru. Her dedication in the field of yoga is vast and she takes pride in enhancing her knowledge through first hand experience gained with teaching, reading and her own journey as a yoga practitioner. She adheres to the philosophy of life long learning in the yoga field. Grace, gaiety, glamor and glow are her assets and strength as a lover of the divine art of yoga. She is consistent in her demands as a yoga instructor and places huge belief in her students ability to excel.
I owe my progress to my respected guru, Mira. I was lacking in balance and alignment as I joined her as a student. I was in for a surprise. As I recall, I has never came across a trainer as Mira. She is persistent in ensuring that a near perfect state is attained with every single posture that she teaches. As a talented trainer, she understands the fears, inhibitions and limitations of her pupils and works with them imparting her golden words of encouragement. Her explanations and instructions are clear, lucid and precise as she guides us into the various postures and simultaneously directs our attention to the theoretical knowledge as well. Being a perfectionist, she realigns until a degree of perfection is attained in a particular posture. She is a source of strength and support for beginner students like myself. She is very skillful in bringing out the hidden potentials of all, under her charge.
Learning yoga with Mira has been a fulfilling, fruitful and progressive experience for me. She has been instrumental in making timely realizations of my strengths and also alerting me to weak areas I have to work on in the long run. I look forward to my training sessions with Mira because she is very encouraging and helps me at every instance. She is a pillar of strength and a mentor l look up to. She is a living example of one who practices yoga as a way of life. She has guided me to go deep within myself as I attempt each posture and to understand the inner mechanisms of holistic yoga where body, mind and soul alike is being transformed and united. Her words of encouragement has made me cultivate my hidden potentials and dwell on my inner strength and capabilities as I enter into the mystic world of Yoga.
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By Susan, May 2011
My daughter and myself started taking yoga lessons when we realised that
something had to be done to our posture. We were both hunching. My chest was
tight and at times, breathing was difficult. As for my daughter, school health checks showed that her spine was curving, into a “C” shape, as she was suffering from scoliosis, a common medical condition that teenage girls suffer from. According to the Adam’s Back Bend check, her right thoracic hump was 5 degrees, her thoracoumbar hump was 7 degrees, and her right lumbar hump was 5 degrees. For degrees 5 or higher, the condition is quite serious. If it further increases, then a surgery has to be done or she will have to put on a back brace. Therefore, she was referred for half yearly checks at the Ministry of Health.
Upon the recommendation of a friend, we approached Real Yoga. Consultant
Lydia was very convincing, reassuring and most important, patient. Being first timers, we were shy and afraid of many things. She arranged for a trial lesson for both of us to see if we liked it before signing up for any package. Other places would have immediately forced us into signing one.
The first trial lesson with Instructor Mira was indeed torturing. Even
though they were simple stretching exercises, both my daughter and myself could
not perform it. Shocking! Did not realise we were really so unfit. We decided to first take up 10 private trainings with Instructor Mira to boost our confidence before signing for more or joining the open class.
Instructor Mira knew what our problems were. She would 'tear' us up during
lessons. Sometimes, we screamed in pain. During these times, I would tell my
daughter that "today is going to be my last lesson, I'm not coming anymore". She
would say the same as well. But yet, we always looked forward to the next lesson.
Reason being, even with the pain and aches, our body felt good. It has been a year since we started, we are still taking private trainings with Instructor Mira and of course we have also signed up a package to join the open class. Hot yoga is my
My chest has since opened up, breathing has become more rhythmic, and
our bodies are more flexible now, though we have more to improve. Surprisingly,
when my daughter went for her last health check, after measuring her spine, the
doctor sat quietly staring at my daughter's records. In the X-ray, it was shown that her backbone was only slightly “C” shaped at her lower back. I then told the doctor I have started my daughter with yoga lessons to see if it will help improve her spine to reduce the degree of the hump. That was then that she spoke up and said yes, it must have helped as her degree of hump did decrease. Although, it is impossible for the backbone, to straighten, but on the surface, when measured using the Adams Forward Bend Test, her degree of her right thoracic hump, her thoracoumbar hump, and her right lumbar hump decreased! She thought there was some record error since it was rare that one's curveness would improve. My daughter has also suddenly shot up in her height. She used to be one of the shortest but not anymore. The yoga stretches much have helped in that.
I really thank my friend for introducing Real Yoga to me and I also thank
Real Yoga for having good and experienced Instructors like Mira where we feel
comfortable to be with. Otherwise, we would not have moved so far.
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That will be what all parents say when they want you to try something new, that would add on to your ever-increasing workload.
It all started when my mother met her friend, telling her about my medical condition that was recently discovered by the Health Promotion Board. I had scoliosis. If I did not try to stand straight and stop hunching, the condition would worsen, and I would have to go for a surgery to insert a mental rod to support my backbone. Alternatively, I would have to put on a back brace for 22 hours per day. Thinking about doing the above gave me the chills. My mother's friend suggested that I should try yoga, to see if it would help to build up my energy, help open up my chest and might even help improve my condition. I rolled my eyes, telling my mother that it would really be a miracle if I can reduce the degree of my scoliosis to 0 degrees. To me yoga was something so boring that you can literally fall asleep. She decided on my behalf that we will try a lesson together and I was dragged to Real Yoga a year ago.
The first yoga lesson was a private training with Instructor Mira. At the start, she took time to understand our exercise schedule, whether we had any background. She was very friendly, knowing that we would be unsure of doing the poses for the first time, she explained them in detail, on how to do it correctly. She was the one who changed my perspective about yoga.
That was my first lesson, and the last has yet to come.
Yoga lessons have helped me a lot. My posture has improved and miraculously, the degree of my right thoracic hump, thoracoumbar hump, and right lumbar hump using the Adams Backbone Check has since decreased. The rear view of the X-ray has also shown that only my lower back is only slightly curved and I need not worry. My height has also been increasing as the poses have encouraged my spine to stretch taller, preventing it from curving into a "C".
Looking back, if I had insisted on not coming for the first lesson, I would probably be one of the shortest in class, putting on a back brace and a "hunchback of Seletar" as what my brother used to call me. I have since introduced Real Yoga to my friends in school, as many of them have noticed my newfound flexibility. I have passed them some of Real Yoga Consultant Lydia's name cards and encouraged them to come with their parents as it is a good time for bonding.
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