Sharon called me yesterday with very sad news. Sharon and her husband Michael are the owners of Ashtanga Singapore, the first Yoga studio in Singapore to offer Ashtanga classes. Unfortunately the shala was not financially viable any more. The lease was up for renewal, and Sharon and Michael understandably decided not to renew it.
Many years ago, Sharon and Michael came to my classes as beginning Yoga students, and they particularly enjoyed the Vinyasa classes. Their love of vigorous Yoga eventually led them to Ashtanga Yoga. As there were no Ashtanga classes available in Singapore at this time, they started by setting up workshops with travelling teachers.
An impressive number of very experienced Ashtanga teachers visited their studio to conduct guest classes and workshops : Manju Jois – Rolf Naujokat – Eileen Hall – Tim Miller – Louisa Sear – Karyn Grenfell – David and Simi Roche – Paul Frecthling – Dominic Corigliano – Gabriella Pascioli – Kirsten Berg – Mark Yeo – Matthew Sweeney – Mark Robberds – Rochelle Wagstaff – James Figueira. Most of these teachers have either been authorised or certified as Ashtanga Yoga teachers by Sri K.Pattabhi Jois.
Being very busy, I did not attend all of them, but I very much enjoyed Ralph Naujokat and Kirsten Berg’s workshops, and the wonderful private classes they were so kind to give me. Both are great and experienced teachers, and their love for the practice and great humility deeply touched me.
I also deeply enjoyed David Roche’s workshops and classes, and I am very grateful David spared me some time for private instruction. David has enormous understanding of movement in all its forms, and his great gift is the artful way in which he transports this understanding into his Yoga classes.
Some time back, I met Michael and Sharon again, and we agreed I would conduct a Vinyasa class at their centre on Thursday evenings. Though the classes were small, it has been a great experience. I love this small shala in the heart of Chinatown, and I will dearly miss teaching there.
Michael and Sharon have been great to work with. They started the shala out of love for the practice, and this greatly reflected in their relationship with the students and teachers of the shala. With the closure of Ashtanga Singapore, Singapore has lost one of its most authentic Yoga studio’s. I will miss the shala, and I definitely am not alone in this !