Fitness rarely comes in as first place for most people that we’ve met, but for Angeline Ong, fitness is life. If you’ve been following her closely on social media, it is no surprise that many are amazed by her beautiful physique and flexibility. This certified Yoga teacher is here to share with us on her journey of becoming who she is today. Read on to learn more about Angeline Ong!
1. Hi Angeline! Please tell us more about yourself to our readers.
Hello! I am in short a fitness enthusiast and I have always been fascinated by the human anatomy. I am a certified and registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, personal fitness trainer and a qualified therapeutic massage therapist for sport injuries. In the last few years, I also identify with being a cycling enthusiast. I have been in the fitness industry for 20 years now and still love every bit of it.
2. Most of us know that you’re a yoga guru and fitness enthusiast. Can you let us know how did you get yourself started with your fitness journey?
I first got acquainted with the fitness industry when I worked as a fitness instructor at the Sweat Club at Micasa Hotel when I was 19. My passion was fueled by my curiosity and the urge to learn more about the human anatomy and physiology which resulted in me furthering my studies at TAFE International Western Australia. I have also always loved working out and pushing myself physically as I just love the feeling I get after a good workout.
3. What inspired you to get into yoga and fitness?
My fascination with the human anatomy and physiology is what inspires me to get into yoga and fitness. Even after all these years, I continue to be in awe of what the human body can do and the limits we can push the body to. More importantly, with yoga, it is inspiring because it is a practice that one seems to be able to get better at with time and even age.
4. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced when you first started this?
When I first started out in the fitness industry 20 years ago, the industry is nothing like what it is today. People were less health and body conscious. Being a fitness enthusiast in those early years usually earned me comments that I was crazy or that I am choosing a career path that is not financially rewarding or sustainable in the long run. It is amazing to see how times have changed over the years and what potential this industry has. After all, I have not been out of a job in the last 20 years.
The other challenges I faced was, of course, starting from zero, with no knowledge about fitness since I was never a physically active person in school. All I had then was passion and a love for what I do. I had to push myself to learn and exercise every day to acquire the knowledge and skills I have today. I had to incorporate new trends, new models, new approaches.
5. What do you enjoy most- yoga or cycling?
I would like to think that I enjoy both yoga and cycling equally and for different reasons. Yoga because it helps me realign my posture and helps me improve my flexibility which are of great benefits to my everyday life. Cycling because it gives me the adrenaline rush. Yoga and cycling together gives me the balance I seek in my daily workout routine.
6. Aside from yoga, cycling and fitness, what else do you enjoy doing?
I am a food lover and a photography enthusiast. I love checking out new places to eat and taking photographs of food and people alike. I also do enjoy travelling and I am now travelling more for work purposes. I also have a keen interest in interior designing. I enjoy helping my friends out and giving them ideas on interior design. I did my own interior design for my current apartment and even painted my own walls!
7. What’s a typical day for you during your off days when you’re not doing yoga, cycling or fitness?
On my day off, whenever possible, I will choose any activity that is most relaxing like going for a massage. I believe that massages are one of the most important recovery aspects for every person who works out 5-6 days a week. But I’ll also make time to social events or photoshoots on such days .
8. Are there advices which you’d like to share especially among those who are not active in sports, but are dabbling into it slowly?
I think whenever you’re just starting out, it’s easy to want to quit when things get tough. As a general rule, anything that you keep doing consistently for 3 weeks, will eventually become a habit. I always encourage my friends and clients to make small changes, take baby steps and avoid making huge, drastic changes to their diet or exercise routine. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
9. If you weren’t doing yoga and fitness professionally, what other careers you’d be doing instead?
10. Are there any misconceptions that people have towards yoga which you’d like to address?
Yes. I think it is a general misconception that yoga is all about headstands and handstands. This is an over-simplification in understanding the practice of yoga. There are far more important elements and benefits in the practice of yoga than merely being able to get into a headstand or handstand position. A lot of people also focus too much on the end result of being able to get into a pose without properly understanding the right techniques, which are far more important than being able to get into a pose. This misconception to me is dangerous and may result in serious injuries. In my practice, I focus a lot on technique and getting the basics right. Once you have your basics right, everything else will fall into place.
11. Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
Hopefully in the next 2 years I will be able to reach out to more people internationally and to create awareness in fitness and yoga, particularly here in Malaysia.
12. What is something that you would tell your past self?
I would actually tell my past self that the decisions I made then have helped me become the person I am today. So, I have no regrets in life. Whatever difficult experiences I went through then were necessary to get to where I am today so I would tell my past self to keep persevering even when the going gets tough.
13. Life mottos which you live by?
Believe in whatever you do, believe in yourself that you can accomplish the things you set out to do.