HF： HOKK Fabrica
Briefly introduce yourself.
A： 嗨！ 我叫Arthur，我是一位瑜伽老師。你可以在香港的Pure Yoga或在線@yogawitharthur上找到我的教學。
Hi! My name is Arthur, and I’m a yoga teacher. You can find me teaching at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong, or online @yogawitharthur.
Who are some of the people who have inspired you along your journey?
A： 我在瑜伽的旅途中遇到的每個人都以不同方式啟發著我，但我特別感謝我的老師Briohny Smyth（@yogawithbriohny）和Samrat Dasgupta（@yogasamrat），他們既培訓了我，也給予我信心，讓我成為今天的老師！如果有人正在考慮教師培訓課程，我強烈推薦他們！
Everyone that I have met along my yoga journey has inspired me in a different way, but I am particularly thankful to my teachers Briohny Smyth (@yogawithbriohny) and Samrat Dasgupta (@yogasamrat) who have both trained me and instilled the confidence in me to become the teacher I am today! If anyone is considering a teacher training program, I highly recommend them!
Three words to describe ‘you’ working out or doing sports.
In my element!
Describe your body in one word and why.
A： 有能力的。我的身體能夠實現它以前從未想過的事情！ 如果我把一切當成理所當然的話，它也有可能失去所達到的一切。
Capable. My body is capable of achieving things that it once never thought it could! It is also capable of losing everything it has achieved if I take it for granted.
When do you feel the most body confident?
When I’m not comparing myself to others.
HF： 作為瑜伽教練，你的目標是什麼？ 你在什麼時候決定要成為導師？
What is your mission as a yoga instructor? At what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?
Back when I was working full-time in the fashion industry, yoga was my way of escape from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced life I was leading. Although it was merely an after-work hobby of mine, it was also the only time of the day where I felt truly at home. I decided shortly after that I wanted to share the feeling of joy that I had from doing yoga to more people around me, and thus began my journey of teaching yoga!
Could you share with us some of your most memorable yoga teaching experiences?
A： 在我教的每堂課中，我都能找到令人難忘的東西（有些好，有些不好！）。最近COVID-19蔓延，我開始在各種虛擬平台上教授在線課程；我從來不知道對著鏡頭說話會有多麼不同！ 當我在記錄在線課程時，我也經歷過很多小錯誤，所以這絕對是一次難忘的經歷。這也說明了瑜伽多彈性，以及作為瑜伽老師，其實有很多不同的機會供我們分享練習。
There is usually something memorable I can find in every class I teach (some good, some bad!). Although recently with the rise of COVID-19 I have begun teaching online classes on various virtual platforms. I never knew how different of an experience it would be to talk to a camera compared to talking to a group of real people! I’ve had my fair share of bloopers while recording my online classes, so it will definitely be an experience to remember. Although this just goes to show how available yoga is, and how as yoga teachers there are so many different opportunities out there for us to share our practice.
Share with us some of your struggles or problems faced in the journey of pursuing yoga.
Students typically go into a yoga class to release stress and we as teachers are the ones to receive their energy. What I mean is that as a yoga teacher it’s really important to manage our energies correctly or it’ll be so easy to get overwhelmed or burnt out.
How do you foresee your practice of yoga evolving in the future?
A： 去年受傷之後，我對瑜伽的興趣越來越濃厚。 現在，我不再嘗試完成每個瑜伽姿勢，而是對每個姿勢的實際功用更感興趣——做這種姿勢對健康有什麼好處。 很多時候，我們希望能夠擺出一定的姿勢，但是當意圖不明確時，我們最終將自己置於受傷的危險中。
After an injury that I went through last year, I’ve become a lot more inquisitive about my yoga practice. Instead of trying to accomplish every yoga pose, I’m now more interested in what each pose actually does and more importantly, what are the health benefits of doing such pose. A lot of times we want to be able to achieve a certain pose, but it is when the intention is unclear that we end up putting ourselves at the risk of injury.
A life without yoga would be……
A： 不可能！ 瑜伽無處不在。瑜伽既可以作為倒立，也可以作為一種正念生活方式。
impossible! Yoga exists everywhere, both on and off the mat. Yoga can be a handstand as much as it can be a mindful way of living.
How do you hope to see yoga culture change in the years to come?
A： 我希望看到更多男性做瑜伽。 瑜伽不是一種女性化的運動，它確實應該適合所有人！近年來已經發生了變化，但是我依然希望看到男子參加瑜伽課的人數更多。
I hope to see more men doing yoga. Yoga is not a feminine exercise and it really should be for everybody! There’s already been a shift in recent years, but I hope to see an even higher presence of men in yoga classes.
Share with us one important life lesson you’ve learnt through the years of yoga practice.
A： 一切都是暫時的。正如做瑜伽姿勢的能力會來來去去一樣，包圍我們的一切也都是無常的。 通過了解無常，它使我們能夠在每種情況下都活在當下，知道事情隨時都可能結束。
Everything is temporary. Just as the ability to do a yoga pose will come and go, everything that we are surrounded by is also impermanent. By understanding impermanence, it empowers us to be present in every situation, knowing that it could end at any moment.
How has your mother inspired you in your pursuit of yoga?
A： 我小時候第一次由媽媽介紹瑜伽。媽媽從一堂瑜伽課回來，她對無法做到蓮花式感到迷惑不解。作為好奇的孩子，我嘗試了，而令所有人驚訝的是，我毫不費力地做到！ 我們依然一起做瑜伽。儘管直到20多歲我才開始認真學習瑜伽，但這份從瑜伽而來的樂趣至今絕對依然存在！
I was first introduced to yoga by my mom when I was a child. Mom came back from a yoga class bewildered by a certain pose called Lotus that she just couldn’t seem to do. Being the curious child that I was, I gave it a go, and to the surprise of everyone I was able to get into it effortlessly! As a family we continued to bond through yoga, and although It wasn’t until my 20s that I picked up yoga seriously, the joy from practicing as a child definitely remained!
HF： 瑜伽把你們拉近了嗎？ 你們一起練習嗎？
Has yoga brought you guys closer together? Do you guys practice together?
A： 絕對！ 當我第一次獲得教學證書時，我是對著媽媽來練習教學（謝謝媽媽！）。在我參加過的所有課程和活動中，她從頭到尾都大力支持，這大大提高了我作為老師的信心。幾年過去了，她現在已經成為我任教瑜伽studio的常客，我們對瑜伽的共同興趣使我們可以在一起度過許多美好的時光。
Absolutely! When I first obtained my teaching certificate, I used my mom as a guinea pig to practice my teaching (thanks mom!). She would always be very supportive in all the classes and events that I was a part of and it gave me a big boost in my confidence as a teacher. Fast forward a few years, she has now become a regular at the studio where I teach at and our mutual interest in yoga allows us to spend a lot more quality time together.
Age, gender, size…do they matter in yoga, in life? How has your mother/ son changed your thoughts on this?
Our age/gender/size might affect our yoga practice, but it shouldn’t stop us from practicing! Of course, for someone who is starting their yoga practice at the age of 50 it is unlikely that they will progress at the same pace as someone who is 15, but that’s okay. One of my teachers always says, “We’re getting older every day and physically speaking we are deteriorating as time goes by. So sometimes, to not take a step back already counts as a step forward!”
Age, gender, and size matters much less in life, and I think we are living in such an inspiring era where everybody is encouraged to find their voice.
Share with us one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from each other.
A： 我與我的媽媽之間的關係很坦誠，這是讓我非常感恩的。 我們會互相支持對方追求自己的目標和興趣，但同時，如果我們意見不合，我們也會把話說出來。能夠與媽媽成為朋友絕對是一件好事，因為我知道並不是所有母子都有這樣的關係。
I feel grateful that in the relationship I have with my mom we have an open communication. We would actively support each other to pursue our goals and interests, yet at the same time we would speak up if we disagree or have contrasting views on something. It’s definitely nice to be able to identify my mom as a friend, as I appreciate that this isn’t a dynamic shared between all mother-son duos.
HF： 你看到瑜伽中的性別失衡嗎？ 這些年來情況如何變化？
Do you see a gender imbalance in yoga? How has this changed throughout the years?
A： 在我參與的所有瑜伽培訓中，我是整個30多人小組中僅有的兩三個男人之一！ 因此，是的，我的經驗來說，瑜伽在現代世界中挺女性化的。但是，我觀察到了過去幾年的轉變：女性與男性的比例似乎從90:10上升到70:30，最近甚至達到60:40的比例。我認為許多男人已經開始意識到瑜伽的好處並不受性別的束縛。實際上，有趣的是在瑜伽西化（現在全球化）之前，瑜伽一直是印度傳統的男性主導運動。
In all the yoga trainings I have done, I was one of the only two or three men in the entire group of 30+ people! So yes, based on my experience the practice of yoga is quite feminized in the modern world. However, I have observed a shift in the past few years: the female vs. male ratio seems to have gone from 90:10 to more of a 70:30 or sometimes even a 60:40 split recently. I think a lot of men are starting to realize that the benefits of yoga aren’t bound by genders. In fact, it’s interesting to note that before yoga was westernized (and now globalized), yoga was traditionally a male dominant exercise in India
HF： 你對於亞洲文化中「剛陽之氣」有何看法？ 你覺得現今男人仍然被傳統剛陽文化束縛嗎？
What are your thoughts on toxic masculinity and the cultural ideal of “being a man” in Asia, as a generation yz? Do you feel that men are still expected to act a certain way nowadays?
When most of us in Asia have been educated in a way that promotes gender roles, I think it is understandable that traces of toxic masculinity are still ingrained in many of us.
I find that the practice of yoga has really helped me to break free from this mould, as one of the biggest lessons of yoga is to promote balance. The sanskrit word “Hatha” in Hatha yoga actually translates to Sun and Moon – which more specifically points towards the balance of one’s Masculine and Feminine energies. Through yoga I’ve been able to access the multiple layers that exist within me which ultimately helps me feel more complete!
What does feminism and masculinity mean to you in 2020?
A： 擁有自己的聲音！ 我們都有自己的表態，這遠遠超出了性別界限。堅持你所相信的，但也要對他人的言論持開放態度。
To own your voice! We all have something to stand for and this goes far beyond the boundaries of gender. Be strong enough to stand for what you believe in but be open to what others have to say as well.
What are some ways you think we could do to break down the stereotypes to encourage more men to pursue yoga?
I’ve had male friends tell me that they’ve tried attending yoga classes but felt too embarrassed by being the only male in a room full of female students. I agree that this can be quite awkward especially when you are newer to the practice. If this is really a concern, you can consider smaller scale classes and/or private classes to build more confidence first. Once you become more in your element with your yoga practice you start to pay less attention to external factors (such as the possibility of being the only man in a room full of women).
On the topic of stereotypes, some men might crave the adrenaline from faster paced exercises. It’s important to know that yoga can absolutely be very fast paced too! In any case, both the physical and mental benefits of yoga are likely to be highly complementary to all other forms of sport that they may already be doing.
If you could tell men around the world 1 or 2 things about yoga, what would it be?
You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga.
In fact, the less flexible you are, the higher the benefit yoga will give you!
HF： ‘Every body is a yoga body’, 你如何看待這句話？
‘Every body is a yoga body’, what are your thoughts on this?
A： 對的！ 瑜伽適合所有人。瑜伽練習有多種類型，有些快，有些慢，有些令人振奮，有些具治療性的——每個願意嘗試的人都會找到自己的方式。有志者，事竟成。
YES! Yoga is for everyone. There are different types of yoga practices – some fast, some slow, some invigorating, some therapeutic – everyone who is willing to give it a go will find their place. Where there is a will there is a way.
HF： 在你看來，瑜伽是什麼？ 瑜伽的目的是什麼？
What is yoga to you? What is the goal of yoga as you see it?
To put it simply, the goal of yoga for me is to find (and maintain!) the feeling of being at home in the body and mind that you live in.
HF： 你還記得第一次接觸瑜伽嗎？ 什麼時候？怎麼樣？
Do you still recall the first time you were introduced to yoga? When and how was it?
A： 我媽媽！ 我想我大約是8歲。那時我並沒有想太多，也沒有認真對待，但是能夠以自己的身體造出不同的形狀，始終是好奇和喜悅的源泉。
Through my mom! I think I was around 8 – back then I didn’t think too much of it nor did I take it seriously but being able to create different shapes with my body was always a source of curiosity and joy.
How relevant is the practice of yoga to the fast-paced, modern lifestyle, particularly in Hong Kong?
In a city where everyone is just thinking 10 steps ahead, yoga is such a great tool to ground ourselves. I’m lucky enough to teach in a studio with a breathtaking view of the Hong Kong skyline, but every now and then I would forget about this view that’s right in front of me. When we take everything for granted it loses its beauty and it’s really through slowing down that we can begin to reconnect.
What do you think are some of the common, incorrect assumptions about yoga?
Yoga is NOT contortionism. I think on social media nowadays there are way too many people posting photos of them doing seemingly impossible-to-do poses. It’s not to say that these poses are unachievable – in fact they can be a great source of inspiration – but please remember that yoga can also just be sitting still in meditation for 5 minutes.
Do you think there are any stereotypes about people who do yoga and what do you think of those stereotypes?
A： 我被問過太多次：「你會因為練習瑜伽，而總是很『禪』嗎？」答案是不！ 儘管瑜伽絕對可以教會我在作出反應之前要更加留神和停頓，但我終究還是人類，並且像其他所有人一樣容易受到情緒波動的影響！ 重要的是要認識到，尋求平靜的道路不是單程票，而是需要持續不斷的工作。
I’ve been asked too many times to remember: “so are you constantly Zen because you practice yoga?” The answer is no! Although yoga definitely teaches me to be more mindful and to pause before I react, I am at the end of the day purely human and am susceptible to emotional fluctuations just like everyone else! It’s important to recognize that the road to finding calm is not a one-way ticket but a constant work in progress.