Jasmine Chong is the owner of 4 successful yoga and barre studios. With a huge following on Instagram, she is no stranger to yoga enthusiasts all over Singapore. We had a chat with this incredible woman to understand her yoga journey and how she winds down after a long day.
Tell us more about yourself.
How did you get into yoga and what led you to start Yoga Lab?
My yoga journey started more than 10 years ago when I was hitting the gym almost every day, on a mission to lose weight. I was told that yoga would help to balance out my workout and ease the soreness through stretching. I signed up for the next yoga class immediately and had never looked back since.
When I was a student, I wanted to practice more yoga but the only places available then were big box gyms offering yoga classes or studios offering long term packages with heavy price tags. I was a student then and the packages were a huge commitment to make. I became painfully aware of how many people wanted to do yoga too but it was not easy to sustain this practice without breaking your wallet. Lab Studios is built on the idea of making classes available at a reasonable price without compromising on quality or facilities.
I’ve always been a dreamer whereby I dreamed of a studio where passionate people came together to share a common space of practice. I dreamed of a safe space for people from all walks of life to be able to join and explore what was possible. I dreamed of walking, supporting and taking the journey of growth along with a community.
But I am also a person of action: I wanted to make this dream happen. I believed if I set my intention to make something happen, through prayer, dedication and hard work; I can definitely achieve what I set out to do.
That’s how Yoga Lab happened! Things fell into place so naturally. We found a space and had support from social media too. The best part was that Betty (my previous boss) from Updog Studio, had agreed to help make this dream into a reality together with me.
We started small and humble while being cautious on how money was spent and eventually managed to break even after just one month! I am so humbled by what was possible when we believed.
What does a typical day look like in your life?
I start off my day at 9am, getting ready for the day with Baby taking his first nap of the day at this time. He would usually wake up at around 10am and quality time would be spent together before we all set off for lunch as a family.
Baby usually sleeps in the car and perhaps even through lunch which gives me some time to spend quality time with the husband.
After lunch, we would head back home to work. This is when I attend my scheduled meetings (online / on site) and reply to my emails. Baby is taken care of by my helper during this period of time.
I ‘end’ work at around 5-6pm to start my baby’s bedtime routine which includes going for a walk with my dog and baby first, then tucking him to bed.
I will head out for a yoga / barre class after and then have a light dinner before heading home to pump milk while catching up on unfinished work for the day.
About 11pm, right before I end my day, I offer Baby a dreamfeed. At 3am, Baby usually wakes up again for another feed. After feeding, I will pump and do up my to-do list for the following day. It is then back to sleep for me from 4 to 9am. My husband will take care of baby from 6am to 9am before setting off to work. PHEW!
With so much going on, how do you balance Yoga Lab, family and life?
On my yoga mat, I learnt that balance is never found, it is never a permanent state. Our on mats, we need to allow our bodies to constantly recalibrate in order for it to find balance, and I believe life off the mat is not much different. Especially now with a 4 month-old, balance is particularly challenging to find but I try everyday.
What are some wellness routines you take to wind down after a long day?
I find my evening workout sessions to be really crucial. Is definitely something I look forward to doing. Even if I can’t make it to the studios, I will do a class on our on-demand platform.
Yoga is all about being present in the moment, to develop an inner awareness and self-acceptance. How has it changed your perspective on life?
Yoga has taught me to focus on the journey and not the end goal. As cliché as it might sound, it is not about touching your toes but the journey towards it.
Hip-opening poses taught me to surrender and to resist the fight. Backbend taught me integrity. Twisting taught me to love and accept myself for my imbalances and imperfections. Inversions taught me about perseverance and commitment. And ultimately, yoga has reminded me to take life one breath at a time.
As the #GirlBoss of Lab Studios, what are some ways you think people can practice self-acceptance and self-love?
I think it is very powerful to realise it is ok to let loose and to be yourself. Just like characters we read in a book. No matter how ‘odd’ the character, we are able to accept and love that character for who he or she is with no judgement. Do that for yourself.
What is an advice you would give to someone who is just starting their yoga journey?
It is not meant to be perfected; it is meant to be practiced.
What can someone expect from a class with you at Yoga Lab or Barre Lab?
Overall, you can expect to work hard. Haha!
My yoga classes are precise. I tend to focus on one theme per class so It is very clear what you are going to get out of that class. My barre classes are very high-energy and alignment focused but I always end class with a nice ‘zen’ stretch so everyone walks out feeling balanced.
You have beautiful flawless skin! Have you always had good skin? Share with us your skincare routine.
My skin got better after I stopped applying makeup which is about the same time as I got into full time teaching. It took a while to accept my no makeup look but it truly is the best thing I have done for my skin.
Overtime, the dullness improved and my skin got more radiant. My skin got better since I took really good care of my body during the confinement period with my nanny loading me up on collagen too and it definitely helped!
Right now I am using a variety of products and am constantly changing them up so my skin doesn’t get addicted to one product.
These are the steps I do to cleanse my face: A foam cleanser twice a day, followed up toner, treatment essence, anti-aging serum, light moisturiser, eye cream, and finally a finisher.
What is a quote you live by?
You are way stronger than you think you are.
Lastly, you feel the most beautiful when...
When I extend grace to others and myself.
About the writer
The beautiful half of the successful travel influencer @TodayWeExplore, Cheryl also heads the marketing at Asian Beauty X. When she isn’t trolling the internet for beauty trends, or dreaming up travel vacays, you can find Cheryl sipping ’Gram-worthy cocktails at some trendy bar.