06 Mar Tryphena Chia On Following Her Yoga Journey From New York to Hong Kong
Known as one of the best yoga Hong Kong instructors, Tryphena Chia tells her story of growing her 10-year practice across continents and disciplines
As Flex Yoga Hong Kong welcomes Tryphena Chia into the Flex Family, we thought we’d get to know her a little better in a Q&A peeling away at the layers of this ‘strict teacher’ who is at heart a truly wise and beautiful soul!
I’ve been doing yoga in Hong Kong for a little over seven years. I chose this city because when I was in NYC, I felt that HK was the NY of Asia, so I told myself I had to go and I did! [laughs] I don’t think I will live here forever, though… I still miss living in NYC!
I started my yoga journey practicing Bikram yoga almost every single day in New York City. I love Bikram because it is simple, but does the work. I know what to expect in that class… there are no surprises and I always leave feeling great. However, I have not done that practice in so long. I get nervous whenever I take the class again because it is a challenging practice. I do not do Bikram yoga Hong Kong or any hot yoga Hong Kong these days, though. It is too humid in this city and I don’t crave the extra heat.
After seven years, I still struggle with the pace of the city. I tell my friends in the US that I feel like I live in a washing machine constantly being tumbled around. Hence, I leave the city every few months just to get a breather!
As a teacher, I love Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga because the poses are not fancy, yet the entire flow can be challenging and still accessible. Everyone always leaves feeling empowered and inspired and tend to come back. Personally, I love the practice because for me, it feels complete. It is my personal practice about 90% of the time.
What I love most about the practice and Baron is that it teaches us to take yoga off the mat. I fell in love with it when I met Baron for the first time at training over 10 years ago. In that training, he helped open my eyes to how I had been living my life so unauthentically… how I was choosing to live small because it was easier to hide than to stand for who I am and what my passions are. It was one of the hardest weeks of my life, but I loved it! I left that training feeling alive and powerful and knew I had to share it because it works.
Over the years, I have definitely slowed down and stopped chasing poses… thank God! I am more in tune to what my body needs than what my mind wants to do. So some days, I have a slower and more restorative practice. I have also spent more time in my spiritual practice doing more chanting and meditation, which was not my focus during the early years.
I want to teach more barre and yoga and make them accessible to people. We are all motivated and inspired differently, there are many ways to find our own center. I guess my biggest milestone is to tell people that yoga really is more than just the poses. When we are eighty, it really does not matter what we can do with our bodies, but how we live our lives & treat others.
I love barre! I did my barre training with Barre Body in Australia. I love how it is different from yoga fitness Hong Kong, which builds the big muscles while barre builds the tiny little muscles. They definitely complement each other. I love going to different Xtend Barre Hong Kong classes and even doing online barre classes at home sometimes.
My biggest learning is the practice of patience. Everyone in Hong Kong is always so busy, so wired up by the energy in the city that a lot of times they don’t even realize that they are wound so tightly. They rush from one thing to the next and by the time they come to yoga Hong Kong Central, it takes them a while before they can even calm down. And that means a lot of the time, people do not listen. So I have to be very patient, but I am also a strict teacher. I feel the responsibility to call people out when they check out, because a big part of the practice is to be present!
My intention is always to make people feel good after the practice and to keep them motivated to come back. Contrary to teaching easy yoga Hong Kong, I can be a strict teacher because I see yoga as a discipline… but in that discipline, there is lightness. I am nice and patient, but if someone constantly does not listen, they will know that I am watching them! [laughs]
I teach Power Sculpt and Hatha with Flex Hong Kong right now. The yoga teacher Hong Kong in me thinks that yoga with weights is wrong. But when I see it from the barre teacher’s perspective, I really enjoy teaching Power Sculpt! It is fun and helps people build strength. It can be a gateway for people to explore other styles and Yoga workshops Hong Kong in the future. So I am all for it! Plus it’s like a marriage between yoga and barre… the two things I love doing.
My geeky self loves that in a Hatha class, I am able to weave in yoga philosophy and the more spiritual teachings into the class. That gives me the opportunity to educate people on the deeper teachings of yoga.
I have done aerial yoga Hong Kong only a handful of times… they are fun, but Anti Gravity Yoga Hong Kong or flying yoga Hong Kong is not something I will do as a daily practice.
In my spare time, I either go to barre classes or I find some kind of fitness classes to go to. I love being at home and if I find a good book, I can spend hours reading and be happy as a clam.
Sometimes I like to play with my musical instruments at home. I play the flute, guitar and harmonium… I am definitely not a professional musician, but I enjoy messing around with those instruments every now and then!
Tryphena Chia teaches Hatha and Power Sculpt Yoga at Flex Studio Hong Kong. Read more about her and check her schedule here.