For those of you who might not know Chae, I thought it might be nice to share what makes her teaching resonate with so many - and to get to know her a little bit.
Chae, you train on average 16 clients each week, age ranging from 21 years old to 72 years young. I know you love your job -even with a jam-packed schedule - so what’s your secret for keeping things fresh and fun for your clients - as well as for you?
I am deeply invested in addressing any issues my clients may have with their body & spirit! I look at each person individually and focus on areas which need strengthening, flexibility, better functional movement, toning & rehabilitation. I try to mix up the workout with lots of variety - not just in the poses & movement but also with challenges and think of ways to make it fun & funny too. Laughter and being engaged is everything. I like to gauge how the client feels before we start and try to teach/train accordingly.
When teaching at retreats, this often hits at a deeper level - meaning, people are fully engaged and out of their normal busy schedules and can connect more deeply to their practice over the course of a few days - what’s your favorite thing to see come out of a retreat?
I love seeing how people really open up, shed inhibitions, and get comfortable in a safe, judgement-free environment that I always encourage at our retreats.
Red or white wine? (Haha, I already know the answer!)
Well usually white but if I’m around Amy I’ll happily drink red because she only has the good stuff. ;)
Trapped on a deserted island for a month, you could order only 1 meal (I know, that makes no sense) -but what would that meal be?
Napoli pizza with buffalo mozzarella and fresh arugula on top.
I think we could be on that same deserted island together!! So is there someone in particular who helped shape your teaching style over the years and how would you describe your style?
My guru Eileen Hall has had the most impact on me however, and sadly, I haven’t seen her in many years. She is a legend in the Ashtanga style of yoga. She always made me feel like I was the only person in the room. She was so present and it never felt competitive at her school. I truly believe at the end of the day, my goal is to just be present and there for my students. My style is a mix of vinyasa style yoga & Pilates. I also add in elements of Barre and Gyrotonic. But it really depends on the client, what they want and what I think they need. My group classes I’ve taught over the years are usually to fun music!
What’s some of your best advice for those relatively new to yoga and might have a tendency to compare their practice/experience to others?
That it’s normal to compare! Don’t give up and understand it’s called a ‘practice’ for a reason. Just like with the piano, for instance... if you practice regularly - you will notice the difference.
When you’re not in your workout gear, what’s your typical daily uniform?
I love wearing shorts!
Tell me two joyful things each about your beautiful daughters - and your furry one too!
Sabine loves to be in the kitchen! We have fond memories of her & I cooking together and she also loves yoga & exercise in general (kind of obsessed with it!). Anouk is a real music maven; she has an eclectic collection of stuff which she often shares with me. She is still my baby daughter and I love as a mom feeling that sometimes when I’m with her. Mabel is my angel baby and she sleeps with me every night. Literally my sidekick and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s something about yourself that might surprise others to know?
Okay, so we’ll have to get back to that one sometime… I feel like it might be your karaoke skills that I witnessed many nights back in Tokyo! ;)