Garry Ong

Yin Yoga teacher.

So here I was at the Alberta Registries renewing my driver’s license on Christmas Eve in 2012.  When I received my license, I was in shock.  Surely I didn’t look like this.  At this point I was perhaps the heaviest I’ve ever been … 245 lbs.  To be honest I have always struggled with my weight.  I tried a myriad of things like dieting and running but they always lead me to the same point … feeling pretty defeated and finding my solace in food.  I’ve always had an interested in yoga but I was always either too scared or too self conscious to ever give it a try, but this time I was desperate.  I remember as a Christmas present to myself, I gave myself permission to take a step and look up yoga studios in Calgary.  One caught my attention probably because I was looking for somewhere I could start, like the next day, literally.  So on Boxing day, I dragged my sorry arse to the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre and took a 6:30am 90 min hot yoga class and it was there I traded my addiction with food with an addiction for life.

Over the months I began to see a total transformation, but not one that was superficial.  I began to witness a renovation program taking place not only in my body, but in my mind, my heart, and my soul.  I was a pastor in the Christian faith for over 8 years and I preached and talked a lot about spirituality but I was challenged in my faith that it also had to be holistic as well.  It had to be more than just the mind and the soul, it also had to incorporate the body, a vital missing link.  Another important part of my journey was the lesson to take risks and so through the help of the yoga instructors at BTYC especially Jen Muller, not only was I able to begin shedding pounds, but I was beginning to do, what seemed at the time as life threatening poses (I kid) like headstands and handstands.  In addition, I began to see my blood pressure drop, my issues with gout subside, and my overall health drastically improving.

Eventually I found myself at the Moksha Yoga Calgary Studio by recommendation of BTYC, first at the south and then to the north because of where I lived and this is my home now.  Again I was challenged to take a risk and I remember succinctly, being on Robert Buckland’s massage table, him telling me to try teaching yoga.  I just laughed it off and he just came back with, “You never know, one day you might see your name on the teaching schedule.”  So in February of 2015 through the encouragement and support of my awesome wife Jenny, Brandi Wilson and all of my awesome family at Moksha Yoga Calgary North, I signed up for Bernie Clark’s 50 hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training in Vancouver, BC.  And now I’m a Yin Yoga teacher.  So I hope to find you on your mat one day.  You never know, it might lead to somewhere very yinteresting or who knows… a life that’s yintastic.