Today we meet Victor Chau, a Vinyasa Yoga teacher from Hong Kong who will be teaching at the Barcelona Yoga Conference this year. Victor is also a Pilates teacher and often runs retreats and workshops in China and India. Let’s hear from him what he brings to the BYC this year!
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and the Yoga you offer?
I am a Vinyasa Yoga teacher originally from Hong Kong who now spends lots of time going upside down, teaching workshops in Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. The style of Yoga I teach is challenging, sweaty and yet accessible to a lot of people as long as they are willing to try, work hard and want to reach their greatest potential.
What is the biggest lesson/change that having a consistent Yoga practice has brought into your life?
There is no short cut, tricks or magic in the practice of yoga. It is through daily dedication, full surrender to the Yoga practice, trust, being fully present when the real benefits of Yoga will start to present themselves to me or to anyone who practices yoga. However, the benefits do not always come, and if you get attached to the benefits or results, you will get upset. So one should practice without any expectation for or attachments to any results. Similarly to how we live our lives, work hard, be present and don’t expect any results.
Tell us about your time in Sivananda Kutir in the Himalayas and what that experience has meant to you
My first Yoga pilgrimage started in 2010 in the Himalayan region of India at Sivananda Kutir, where i studied under the students of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. It was an out-of-this-world experience where we could wake up to the sound of the Ganges, bathed in the holy water and practiced and learned about the philosophy and physical aspect of Yoga. Needless to say, it changed how I saw Yoga – from a physical practice to a more spiritual and self-retrospective practice. I am so grateful that I had this unique opportunity to study yoga, versus where most city dwellers would study in a city.
What would you say to someone who wants to begin a Yoga practice but feels intimidated by all the Yoga photos splashed across social media these days, with people doing some rather “extreme” poses becoming the norm?
Those pictures are pretty, but most of them unrealistic and unrelated to Yoga. The asana (poses) part of Yoga is only the tip of an iceberg of Yoga and serves as a tool to increase the awareness towards our own body, our mind and nature. If you want to start practicing Yoga, don’t use those pictures as a guide on how to practice, but rather, use them as an inspiration of what could be achieved with dedicated and consistent practice. The best way to learn and practice yoga is still by going to a Yoga class of a great teacher, with a pure and open heart.
Can you tell us what our readers can expect from your Yoga class at the Barcelona Yoga Conference this year?
Sweat, hard work, fun, laughter and upside down. You will feel open, you might shed a few tears. But it’s all worth it.
Can you share a little bit about the teachers who have most influenced your teaching?
Lila Conway – she is the teacher of my first Yoga teacher training, who taught me to let go of anything that doesn’t serve me anymore. She is always humble and ready to serve.
Claire Norgate – Claire is my great friend and mentor who taught me so much about anatomy and the attitude of “never stop learning.” I see her once a year in Sydney where she resides, and she’s always studying!
Dice and Briohny – such an embodiment of grace, Yoga and a successful Yoga business model. They are my friends and teachers who have taught me to do the work, be humble and stay business smart.
What in your view are the 3 most essential qualities of a Yoga teacher?
1. Work hard
3. Always willing to share their knowledge with their students.
Thank you for that insightful conversation, Victor Chau. For more Yoga inspiration from this wonderful teacher, find him on Instagram @victorchauyoga and of course at the Barcelona Yoga Conference 2018. Full schedule here. See you on the mat!