I used to think body flexibility is something cool. I first read about yoga from The Star in the last quarter of 2007, and I visited one of the yoga center featured in the article. I have forgotten the yoga center name, but I remembered it was located in Bangsar. After getting the first taste of yoga, I looked for a yoga center located nearer to the place I stayed, which previously was in SS2.
I dropped by at Manasa Yoga after work one day, and was “entertained” by a senior student, who described to me the packages. So, I started my first class on Feb 1, 2008. When I first joined, I took the once a week basic class package, which cost me about RM 60 for 4 classes (if I don’t remember wrongly) at that time. As a new student, I was sent to the middle of the class so that I can follow the steps of the regular students. My first teacher was Annie. She was real patient in explaining to me the steps and poses. I vividly remember how she asked me to “open up my heart” when doing the poses (because it resulted to real chest pain the next day). I actually felt quite enlighten in my first class.
On my subsequent second class, it was when I got “hooked” to doing yoga. My second teacher was Sook Yee, who also explained patiently to me as a new student. She cares a lot for her student, in the sense that she will always advice her students not to “overdo” the poses, as it would hurt our bodies. At one point, when she accidentally touched my cold feet (which is normal to my body), she thought I wanted to faint. And, I had to comfort her that I was fine.
It was after I completed the 4th class (or 8th class); I started to take on the unlimited classes, which previously was priced at RM 100 per month.
Also, at that time, since my ex-boyfriend (now husband) was busy at work and has a lot of overtime to do, I had nothing meaningful to do (and wanted to find something more meaningful to do), wanted to do something that also does not cost much (as we were still saving for bigger life goals), needed some motivation and it wasn’t that “exciting” to stay long night hours at a renting place, I thought daily yoga would be the best thing to do. During some days, I even went for 3 hours continuous classes. It was also through the hours of practice that I came to understand more about my own body, finding focus and cultivate a positive way of thinking (open up my mind). I gained a lot of body flexibility during those days when I do daily practice. It also helped me build my self-confidence, as I managed to do poses that I used to think it was impossible. The daily practices went almost for two years. [So, my period of review is between 2008 to 2010]
I have went through most (if not all) of the Manasa Yoga’s teachers’ classes – Penny, Mei Leng, Julie, Lily, Jean, Senli, Rouxin, Kwan, Sandhya and Manoj. Each teacher, though follows a “schedule” or steps of teaching (if I am not mistaken), has their own personal styles and this makes each of them unique. For instance, Lily teaches in a very enthusiastic way on a Saturday morning while Jean teaches in a very subtle way – carefully thinking, observing and adjusting her students’ pose.
The fees charged are at affordable level (which you may want to check with them, as it was revised since I last left the basic level since last year, 2010 after we moved into our new place, which is located slightly further away from the center). It is value for money especially for unlimited package – and if you are a regular who goes there almost everyday. Currently, I am still with Manasa Yoga and moved on to intermediate level two (not that I am that good, but because I have less time for yoga now – and why not a “higher” level?). Honestly speaking, I still think daily (basic) practice is better than once a week intermediate level 2 practice, given that I feel I lost some body flexibility.
I have not been to any other yoga center after I started there, and thus I may not be able to make a good comparison. But, I do think Manasa Yoga is a good place to start yoga practice because the teachers provide an authentic yoga experience for students, give personal touch/ coaching (even after yoga hours – i.e. after class) and bring (non-offensive) humour into class. Sometimes during classes, the teachers could “preach” or provide insightful tips about body & life. One can find morale values out of the stories given (if you truly listen to it). However, it may not be the kind of lifestyle fitness centre that yuppies may be looking for (for instance, those who aim for luxurious shower and Jacuzzi).