Contributor: Sandra Fang, Yin Yang Japan Ambassador
I’m Chinese Canadian from Vancouver, Canada. It’s been more than seven years since I first landed in Japan fresh and naive after my university graduation.
As a yoga teacher looking back at my youth, I have so much gratitude for being able to do what I love right now.
For those who don’t know much about Vancouver, it’s a multicultural city with more than half of its population being non-caucasian. Within its minority groups, the Chinese Canadians take up one third of its whole population. I was raised in a multicultural society and multilingual family. I juggle between English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese everyday. My classmates had different skin colours and were from all parts of the world.
You might think that I must have been a very proud multilingual kid, but the reality was that I often struggled with my own identity. A part of me trying to fit into the mainstream society, while another part of me striving to maintain my Chinese heritage.
Like other immigrant families, who moved across the globe to settle in a new nation for a better life, my family had high expectations of me. I was supposed to study hard, enter a top-notched university, major in either business or medicine, get a top salary career, buy my own house, finally settle down, and take vacations to the romantic Caribbean islands or the historical Europe at least twice a year. That’s my family’s definition of success and happiness.
Deep inside my heart, I resist to live my life to others’ expectations. I believed that life is more than pursuing materials and comfort.
I felt the urge to leave home and to see the world with my own eyes. After 3rd year of my university, at the age of 21, I took an eight-month-break from school to travel around the world alone. I wanted to get out of my own comfort zone, to see how other people live their lives, and to find my true values.
My life had never been the same after the trip. I became more courageous to choose my own way of living, even though it means to disappoint the people I truly love.
It was also after this trip, that I started my yoga practice.
After my university graduation, I got an extremely lucky opportunity to come to Japan on the JET programme as an assistant language teacher to teach English at a high school in Osaka. I enjoyed my job a lot, but I had a calling that one day I would like to teach yoga full time.
Now I’m here, grateful for every single decision I’ve made along the way for myself by listening to my own heart, rather than letting the noise of others’ opinions drown out my own inner voice.
I’m very honoured to be chosen as one of the ambassadors for Yin Yang this year. I’ve been using their clothes for a few years now, loving their beautiful natural dyed colours and how their organic cotton made yoga wears come in contact with my skin. Moreover, I love their concept. I wish that I can always have the courage to follow my own heart and passion, and to find my true path.
“To choose what to wear is to choose a way of living,
for women who have the strength to choose their own lifestyle,
This is Yin Yang yoga wears.” — Yin Yang
Original article from Yin Yang Japan