Introduction to Yoga Philosophy: Feature Article in PWC

A couple of months ago I was kindly asked by Jack of Practical Wing Chun to write an article for their 5th Anniversary magazine. I have been teaching weekly group classes for their students for a few months, and realised that I often did not have the opportunity to cover a lot of yoga philosophy within the classes. We focus on flexibility, strength, and all the physical benefits of the yoga practice to complement the students’ Wing Chun practice, but the mental and spiritual benefits of both Wing Chun and yoga are actually commonly aligned. Therefore, I decided to write on an ‘Introduction to Yoga Philosophy’ – this article encompasses the main themes and concepts that I cover in my usual regular classes, and are the philosophies that I personally most strongly believe in.

Click on the link below to read the full article!

Introduction to Yoga Philosophy: PWC Feature Article

Thank you, again, to Jack and the whole PWC team for giving me the opportunity to share!


Refreshing smoothie bowls are one of my favourite breakfast/brunch foods. Super easy to make and one of the best ways to incorporate your daily serves of greens! This Green Monster is one of my go-to recipes. How beautiful are the different emerald shades?!

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What you’ll need (makes 1 serve):

  • 1 cup kale leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 2 heaped teaspoons wheatgrass powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 250mL calcium-fortified soy milk (or alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons muesli
  • Fresh fruits (I used starfruit)
  • Blender


  1. Mix the kale, frozen berries, wheatgrass powder, spirulina powder and soy milk in the blender and blend until smooth (should be a relatively thick, frozen consistency).
  2. Pour blended smoothie into bowl, top with muesli and fresh fruits.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

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  • Substitute the soy milk for regular low fat milk, other fortified milks or apple juice.
  • Get creative and top up with your favourite seasonal fruits!


  • Makes up 2 serves vegetables, 2 serves fruit, 1 serve dairy and 1 serve grains
  • Packed full of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, folate, potassium, fibre, calcium, vitamins A, C and K


A juicy hip-opener that can become quite intense, goddess pose is great for opening the hips, groin and knees, and strengthening the thighs, buttocks, calves and ankles.


  • Utkata Konasana


  • Beginning in a wide legged stance (like wide legged forward fold), turn the feet, toes pointing outwards
  • Inhale, draw the spine long, both side waists pulling long, draw the belly button in towards the spine
  • Exhale, sinking hips down, sitting down into pose
  • External rotation of the thighs
  • Keep heels beneath knees, drawing the knees back in line with the hips
  • Avoid rolling in or out on the feet – make sure both soles of the feet are flat on the mat and weight evenly distributed
  • Slightly tuck the tailbone under, engage the core, avoid dumping weight into lower back
  • Chest open, shoulders relaxed, shoulder blades drawing down the back
  • Arms: different options for arm placement – e.g. hands in prayer, maybe extend the arms up and open out like in tree pose (be creative!)


  • Opens hips, groins, knees
  • Strengthens core muscles, thighs, buttocks, knees, calves and ankles


Flu season has just passed, but many of us are still suffering from the last symptoms. This chunky vegetable soup with a tomato base will help to replenish the fluids and many much needed vitamins and minerals in the body.

Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6):

  • 2 x large carrots
  • 2 x stalks celery
  • 2 x medium capsicums
  • 3 x florets cauliflower
  • ½ x cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 x cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x large can whole peeled tomatoes, no added salt
  • 1 x can five-bean mix, no added salt
  • 1 x litre water
  • 1 x teaspoon canola oil


  1. In a large pot, heat the canola oil and add chopped garlic.
  2. Once heated, add the carrot, celery, capsicum and cauliflower and stir fry until almost cooked through.
  3. Add the can of peeled tomatoes, including juice, then add 1 – 2 litres water (depending on preferred consistency and dilution).
  4. Bring to the boil, before adding frozen corn kernels and five-bean mix.
  5. Once boiled, serve and enjoy.


  • Using the peeled tomatoes as a soup base is a healthier alternative to stock soup bases. If you prefer a more intense flavour, be sure to choose reduced-salt or low salt stock options.
  • Add any seasonal vegetables! This is a great dish for clearing out the fridge or using leftovers.

Nutrient Break Down:

  • 1 x serve (approx. 1 x large bowl of soup) makes up 3 to 4 serves of vegetables
  • Full of fibre, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C and K



  • Prasarita Padottonasana


  • Standing with legs wide, toes pointing forward, hands on hips
  • Inhale spine long, draw belly button back towards spine
  • Exhale, fold forward, chest leading forward
  • Palms down on mat, directly underneath shoulders, elbows drawing in at 90 degrees
  • Side waists long, spine long, neck and head relaxed
  • Thighs engaged, micro-bend the knees, outside edges of feet grounding down
  • Shoulders relaxed down away from the ears, chest open
  • Sit bones spread and pushing up towards the sky
  • Every exhale, gently push the mat away with the palms, drawing the chest back towards the shins, drawing the crown of the head down towards the mat
  • Option 1: If fingers can’t reach mat, lightly hold onto a block, keeping the shoulders down and spine long, chest open. It’s more important to keep a long spine here than have the fingertips reaching the mat but back rounded out.
  • Option 2: To increase the hamstring stretch, bring hands to outside edges of calves or ankles, drawing crown of the head down with every exhale. Keep shoulders relaxed, shoulder blades drawing down the back.
  • Option 3: (Not pictured) For an extra shoulder stretch, interlace the fingers at the base of the spine and allow the arms to drop overhead


  • Opens and stretches arms, shoulders, back body, hips, groin, hamstrings, calves and ankles
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, thighs, calves and ankles
  • A slight inversion, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to circulate to brain

DSC03103Option: If fingers can’t reach mat, lightly hold onto a block, keeping the shoulders down and spine long, chest open.
It’s more important to keep a long spine here than have the fingertips reaching the mat but back rounded out.


Option: Bring palms of hands down, directly underneath the shoulders. Keep elbows drawing in at a 90 degree angle. Push the mat away with the palms, draw the chest back towards the shins, and draw the crown of the head down towards the mat.


Option: To increase the hamstring stretch, bring hands to outside edges of calves or ankles, drawing crown of the head down with every exhale. Keep shoulders relaxed, shoulder blades drawing down the back.





  • Utthita Parsvakonasana


  • Begin in Warrior II
  • Rest the right forearm on top of the right thigh, palm facing up – avoid dumping weight into forearm (should just be lightly touching)
  • Extend left arm up towards sky or up and over the head, fingertips reaching forward – long line from fingertips to back foot
  • Draw the left shoulder back, chest open, shoulders open
  • Ground down through all four corners of the right foot for balance and strength, ground outside edge of left foot down
  • Extend through back leg without locking out the knee – external rotation of the back thigh
  • Shoulders down away from the ears
  • Side waists long, ore engaged, strong, protecting lower back
  • Gaze down if neck is stiff, or maybe shift gaze up towards top arm
  • Repeat on opposite side
  • Option: Place a block directly underneath the shoulder, rest the fingers/hand lightly on the block (avoid dumping weight into bottom hand). Press down into front foot for strength. Reach top fingers up towards the sky, gaze following the hand.
  • Option: Bring fingertips to mat on inside edge of foot. Sink hips down lower to reach and open up the groin. Again, avoid dumping weight into bottom fingers or hand. Keep reaching up with top fingertips. Keep drawing shoulders back, rotating.
  • Option: Finding a full bind – bring the right shoulder as far beneath the knee as possible, thread right arm through and wrap the right thigh. Left arm reaches back, wrapping around the waist. Fingertips meet behind the back, interlace the fingers. Keep drawing top shoulder back, chest open, and sinking down into lunge.


Option: Place a block underneath the shoulder, fingertips just resting lightly.


Option to bring the fingers lightly to the mat. Keep sinking down into lunge.


Option to come into a full bind, interlacing fingers behind the back. Keep deep lunge and opening top shoulder.



  • Strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles
  • Strengthens the core muscles and shoulders
  • Opens the shoulders, chest, waist, front body, hips, groin and inside thighs






  • Utthita Trikonasana


  • Beginning in Warrior II, straighten the front leg, keeping a micro-bend in the knee to avoid hyper-extending
  • Ground down through the big toe and all four corners of the front foot to help balance
  • Imagine someone pulling the front arm forward and out, sliding the whole upper body forwards from the hips
  • Hinging from the hips and keeping the upper body upright and side-on, tip forwards, bringing the bottom hand to rest gently on the shin OR back of the hand resting against the inner calf
  • Bring the top arm up, reaching towards the sky OR keep the top arm on the hip
  • Draw the belly button back towards the spine, keep rotating from the navel centre, stacking the hips
  • Draw shoulder blades down the back, top shoulder back, opening up the chest and shoulders
  • Avoid dumping weight into bottom waist – lengthen and pull up through the bottom waist, engaging the core
  • Gaze up towards the top arm, shoulders relaxed
  • Options for tight hamstrings: Place a block near the inside calf of front leg, directly underneath the shoulder. Rest fingertips lightly on the block – avoid leaning too much weight on block.
  • Options for stiff or tight neck: Keep gaze down towards bottom foot or straight towards the side. Keep shoulders relaxed, neck neutral.
  • Options for tight shoulders: Keep top arm on top hip.


  • Stretches and opens neck, arms, shoulders, chest, waist, upper body, hips, groin and hamstrings
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, core, thighs and calves
  • Challenges balance

DSC02854Option to use a block underneath the shoulder if the hamstrings are tight, and keep gaze down to avoid straining the neck.



The final Warrior pose in this series is Warrior III. Still remembering the strength and softness in our previous Warriors, but this time bringing it together with a balancing position.


  • Virabhadrasana III


  • Starting in Warrior I or a crescent lunge, keep bending through the front knee and transfer weight to the front leg
  • Begin floating the back leg up and leaning the chest forward
  • Flex the back foot, keep pushing heel towards the back wall
  • Crown pulling forward, spine long – straight line from crown of the head to the back heel
  • Shoulders blades drawing down the back, chest open
  • Engage through core, pull up through side waist, belly button drawing back towards spine
  • Hips square to the mat, back toes pointing down
  • Bottom foot grounding down into mat and pulling up through thighs for a solid foundation
  • Options: Hands and arms have many options in this pose – either on the hips, in prayer in front of the heart, straight out in front, or out long beside the body. Experiment and see which option feels most natural or helps your balance!


  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, core, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Stretches and opens arms, shoulders, chest, front body, hips, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Practicing both physical and mental balance – keeping the breath and mind steady even as the body experiences physical discomfort


Option to keep hands on hips for balance.


DSC02851Option to lengthen arms out long in front – keep shoulders down, chest open, fingertips drawing forward.



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What you’ll need (serves 2 – 3):

  • 4 x eggs
  • 1/4 x cup skim milk
  • 1 x cup spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 x slices shaved ham, roughly sliced
  • 1 x slice cheese, roughly chopped
  • 1 x muffin tray


  1. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, before stirring in the milk.
  2. Once smooth, fold in spinach, ham and cheese into egg mixture.
  3. Lightly grease the muffin tray or line with baking paper. Pour egg mixture into tray.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, or until egg is cooked and fluffy.
  5. Cool, serve and enjoy.

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  • As always, substitute the ham and spinach for your favourite ingredients!
  • Where possible, choose low fat or reduced fat dairy options.

Nutrient Break Down:

  • 3 x mini frittatas makes up 1 and 1/4 serve of meat/poultry/fish, 3/4 serve of dairy and 1/2 serve of vegetables
  • Full of protein, fibre, calcium and vitamins A, D, E and C

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Next up in our Warrior series is Warrior II – one of my personal favourites. Starting to open up the chest, shoulders and hips. Still practicing that balance between ease and effort, strong and soft.



  • Virabhadrasana II


  • Front foot pointing straight ahead, bend into front knee, keeping heel directly beneath the knee
  • Back foot at 90 degrees, heel to arch alignment of both feet
  • Lengthen back leg, grounding outside edge of foot into mat, external rotation of the thigh
  • Hips square to the side of the room, slight tuck in pelvis and tailbone
  • Ribs tucked in, engage and pull through waist and core, drawing belly button back towards the spine
  • Crown of the head drawing up, keeping spine long
  • Keep body in centre – try not to lean forward or back
  • Chest and shoulders open, shoulder blades drawing down the back
  • Fingertips pulling out long in opposite directions
  • Ground both feet down into the mat for a strong foundation
  • Avoid locking out the back knee
  • Keep opening out through the front knee
  • Option 1: If hips, groins or thighs are tight, slightly lengthen the front leg (so there’s less of a bend) and/or shorten the stance of the legs.
  • Option 2: For a deeper stretch, widen the stance and bend deeper into front knee.


  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, core, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Stretches and opens arms, shoulders, chest, front body, hips, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Practicing balance – keeping the breath and mind steady even as the body experiences physical discomfort