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Interview with Normala Manap

Oasis is proud to have one of the most experienced and valuable teaching faculties in Singapore! Our team consists of sincere yoga teachers who dedicate their time and energy to help our students cultivate and establish their yoga practice.

Today, we turn our spotlight onto Mala, one of our pioneer teachers who has been teaching in Oasis for more than 10 years!

Mala, can you share with us how you came to practise yoga?
Mala teaching a yoga class

When I was 10 years old, I was involved in a road accident which resulted in a knee injury. The knee erupted in pain again when I was 28 years old, walking became difficult and I was put on steroids just so that I could function normally. After 3 weeks of practicing Iyengar Yoga, I could use the knee again without medication and I have never looked back since! That was in 1989. Since then, the practice has also seen me through other physical injuries.

I think more importantly, the yoga practice has seen me through life's demands and upheavals. On an everyday level, Yoga helps me both in terms of the energy level and also the centeredness to manage my many responsibilities and pursuits.

Why did you decide to teach yoga?Mala teaching adho mukha vrksasana

When I decided to teach yoga, I didn’t really know how it would help with my practice. My main motivation was to share what I know about this wonderful body of work with others as it was still early days of yoga development in Singapore. At that time, not a whole lot was available yoga wise – of any kind. Over the years I found that the teaching and my practice are integral to each other. The practice sharpening the teaching, and the teaching challenging the practice.

So then why did you choose to teach in Oasis?

Oasis supports my yoga values in the way it is run and managed as a yoga school. Oasis also has a lot of respect for the teachers and their willingness to work and support their students is also an important consideration . It is important for the school/studio and the teachers to be similar in their beliefs in relating to the student body.

What inspires your yoga practice?
Happy Mala!

I always have at the back of my mind the teachings on the fundamental importance of practice – i.e. doing the asanas over and over and over and over again. I am often reminded of teachings like these by Rumi:

There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life.
There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine.
O traveler, if you are in search of that
Don't look outside, look inside yourself and seek that.

Mala is a tree hugger!
Lastly, any thing else you’ll like to express?

Just this as I think it guides our practice as yogis:

Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've
torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the
fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're
perfectly free.

Mala teaches the Intermediate class on Tuesdays at 7pm to 9pm and a Back and Spinal Health class on Saturdays 11:30am to 1pm. She also runs pranayama classes every last Tuesday and Saturday of the month during her class timeslots. These sessions are open to anyone who is keen to work with pranayama. Tuesdays are open to general level or intermediate students and Saturdays are open to beginner students. Mala also teaches a Teens yoga class on Sundays, 3 to 4pm at her home.

Contact Mala at +65 91144778 (mobile) or call +65 64422881 (Oasis Yoga)