After practicing yoga for more than 10 years, Victor Chau decided to take a break from his job as a fashion PR in Beijing and go to India for a 200-hour yoga teacher training course. After six months, he quit his job and decided to pursue yoga full-time.
“The key difference between yoga and other workouts is that we always have a yin and a yang aspect,” said Chau about what he loves most about the discipline. “This combination and a healthy diet is probably the reason why I haven’t needed to go to the doctor in the last three years.”
We paid him a visit at Epic Yoga to talk about how he became a yoga trainer and how he’s been able to remain so dedicated:
I became a trainer… after moving to Beijing with my previous work in fashion PR in 2008, where I increasingly became much more dedicated in my practice.
My fitness philosophy… is all about consistency. With yoga it’s all about a super consistent and dedicated practice. Apart from teaching over 15 yoga classes, I still maintain six days per week of my own vinyasa yoga practice.
My style of yoga… requires a lot of intense cardio flow of different poses (lots of Sun Salutations, arm balances, handstands and inversions), followed by a deep opening of the body (such as back bends) and a deep meditative relaxation (pigeon poses, hip openers, corpse pose and seated meditation).
The key to staying motivated… is to make yoga or whatever workout you choose, part of your routine. When it has become something you would do every day without fail, then you’ll continue to do it — it’s just like eating or drinking water. The hardest part is of course, starting to do it. I recommend going to a class with a friend or partner so you have someone to encourage you.
When I practise yoga… I tend not to eat beforehand because with all the core engagement and twists, it’s easy to feel sick. However, when I do feel hungry then I’ll have a fruit and vegetable juice to supercharge my system. After yoga, I’d normally have a coffee, and mixed nuts and dried fruits – almonds, peanuts, cashews and raisins are my favorite. My friends call me a bird for a reason.
My diet regimen… as a yoga practitioner, is as vegetarian as possible. I would say I’m 95 percent veggie and the rest of the times I’ll allow myself some seafood when dining out or some meat during Christmas and Chinese New Year.
My favourite move… is the handstand for toning the body, helping the mind stay focused and strengthening the core for weight loss.
I like to wear… Lululemon Athletica when I workout because the designers keep the practical side of yoga in mind when creating their pieces. There’ll be a loop at the bottom of your tank, for example, to tie your drawstrings to so when you do a headstand, your face won’t be covered by your top.
My workout playlist… includes Chandelier (instrumental version) by Sia, Weightless by Marconi Unicorn, Shanti (Peace Out) by MC Yogi, Make You Feel My Love by Adele and Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.
Most effective five-minute workout: Most yoga poses help regulate body weight but some are more effective than others. High plank to low plank are super powerful and if you can hold a high plank for three to five minutes in a row per day, the results can be pretty impressive.
Photography by: Today Tomorrow Photography