Profile: Sandra Riley Tang
“I always say that if you’re strong, flexible and have stamina, and if you can survive a zombie apocalypse – then you’re fit,” fitness bug Sandra Riley Tang wittily shares with us whilst letting out a cackle.
Mention her name and Sandra is almost automatically linked to renowned local band The Sam Willows, but she has so much more to her name. At just 24, she has founded The Yoga Collective, a home-concept yoga studio (cleverly nicknamed YOCO) along Kim Yam Road in Clarke Quay.
Clad in her sleek active lifestyle wear, the 24-year-old takes time out from her busy schedule to explain to us why The Yoga Co. offers a different experience of yoga, compared to other companies.
“Yoga is our practice, community is our belief,” Tang recites the company’s vision to us with the utmost of passion.
“Our classes are small, with only about 15 people per class so that the teachers are able to interact with everyone,” she adds. “A community is something that we want to enhance and promote.”
The Yoga Co. also provides a unique course titled the “Triple-Threat Bootcamp”. It incorporates Calisthenics, a form of exercise that is generally performed without any use of equipment or apparatus (i.e. lunges and crunches). Whilst improving on your flexibility, you get to hone your strength and stamina at the same time in just under 90 minutes.
“You have to mentally prepare yourself, but it’s fun and there’s a sense of accomplishment once you complete it,” notes Sha Halim, 24, the bubbly caretaker of The Yoga Co.
Besides building a community, giving back is also something that resonates well with the company. In March 2015, they held a charity event, #OmForAGoldenHome, at YOCO and raised over $2000 for Project Homeworks. This charity organization aids in cleaning up homes of the needy elderly and improve their basic living situation.
“We are definitely thinking of having more events as such in the future!” Tang shares enthusiastically (Here’s where you follow them on Instagram for updates).
As UrbanWire discovers, there’s much more than meets the eye for this yoga expert. Besides picking up yoga a couple of years ago, Tang also rock-climbs, does cross-fit, and has even recently tried out parkour and muay thai. Talk about an adrenaline junkie!
That’s not all, she also participates actively in an action stunt group called Ronin Action Group to practice stunts, fight choreography and basic boxing.
To Tang, being active and keeping fit has always been a part of her. “I don’t consider it a healthy lifestyle, I take up these activities because I’ve always enjoyed being active since doing sports in secondary school.”
Don’t worry though – just like you and us, she enjoys her fair share of sweet and oily food. The key, she says, is to find a balance. “It’s not about totally avoiding carbs and oily stuff, it’s about knowing your body and knowing not to eat so much until it makes you nauseated,” advises Tang.
Time to stop scrolling through trending topics or lounging with a bag of chips in one hand and a remote control in the other. Here, Tang shares with us 3 tips on how you can keep fit:
1. Know your motivation
Being sure of why you want to keep fit and believing in it is very important. You need that psychological foundation before you are able to maintain the habit of exercising in the long run. For one, people find motivation in being healthy for the sake of their families, or simply because they hate feeling tired all the time.
2. Keep a routine
Find something sporty that you really enjoy doing, and incorporate it into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be the mundane jog around tracks – anything from cycling to volleyball works as well. Sandra shares that her interest in yoga has evolved into becoming a huge part of her life. Charting your fitness progress along the way helps a lot too. Have the courage to try it out for at least 21 days, and you’ll see how something like, say, climbing up the stairs, really isn’t that much of a chore.
3. Find an accountability partner
Get hold of your most irritating friend (who is preferably also well versed in nutrition) and depend on him/her for assurance and approval on your diet. “Can I eat this, can I have this?” You must heed their advice. It’s a lot easier to deflect the temptation of eating that bag of chips when someone else is there to scream down your face “NO YOU CAN’T EAT THAT!”
“It’s always about finding that balance and knowing your body,” sums up Tang. Those are some A+ words right there – coming from a pop sensation, fitness enthusiast and young entrepreneur all in one. If you adore her fit physique or business sense in the slightest, you’ll definitely want to take her advice!
To those of you who want to find out everything that makes her, her, we had a little “quickfire” question-and-answer session with the young celebrity. Find out who her celebrity crush is and whether, if it comes down to it, she would eat her own band members!
Photos courtesy of Bryan Chua, Oszkid, Sandra Riley Tang and Daniel Ho.
Follow Sandra Riley Tang:
Information on The Yoga Collective:
Address: 73 Kim Yam Rd, Level 3
Entrance at Tong Watt Rd.
Contact Details: 6334 3306
Facebook: The Yoga Co.