A Second Calling Turns Out To Be Fitting For Audrey Ling Seah

“Yoga gave me what I needed—a sense of mental and physical balance.”

BY Wayne Cheong | Jul 20, 2017 | Feature

Photograph by Chng Dju Lian; Styling by Lim Siu Fang

 “When I first started doing yoga, a teacher came up to me—and I remember this clearly, because he was everything that I didn’t want to be when I became a yoga teacher—and said, ‘If you don’t even try and help yourself, who’s gonna help you?’ [He didn’t know me.] I might be dehydrated, or I was new to it and not used to the forms, or I simply couldn’t move anymore...

“I never returned to his class.” 

Audrey Ling Seah (@audreyxling) is now a yoga teacher, though it didn’t start out that way. She used to work in fashion, and dabbled in yoga during her university days, when she practised a simpler form of it as a conditioning workout when she was studying contemporary dance and ballet. It took the death of a loved one to lead her to where she finds herself today. Wanting to get away from it all, she travelled to New York during Christmas and re-evaluated her life’s direction. Seah wondered if she should remain in fashion, even though her passion lay with yoga. “I wanted to give back,” she says, recounting the times in her life when she was helped by her yoga teachers. So, four months later, she took leave from her company to attend a teacher’s training course in flow yoga and later quit her job in fashion to become a yoga instructor. Whenever Seah practises yoga, it’s like she’s in a bubble of calm. “Yoga gave me what I needed—a sense of mental and physical balance,” she says. “After an hour alone, I arrive at a state where I’m focused on the present. It sounds cliché, but to take care of other people, you have to take care of yourself first.”

It kind of echoes what that yoga teacher said to you, no?

Seah thinks about it and smiles. “Yeah,” she says, “in some way, it’s ironic but my methods have more compassion.”

This article was first published in the print edition of Esquire Singapore, June/July 2017.