Taking your yoga practice to the next level with Casey Chiang.
"I have received so much from yoga, it’s time not only to share it with students but to train yogis to share my passion combined with their love of yoga and touch as many lives as we can, together." The words of Casey Chiang, yoga teacher, studio-owner and Manduka Ambassador left us inspired as she speaks about her love of yoga. We got in touch with Casey to hear all about her teaching style and what you can expect on her upcoming teacher training.
Casey fell in love with yoga one faithful Saturday morning, when she walked into her teacher, Desley White's class. Desley had taught a vinyasa flow class with asanas that intrigued and challenged Casey. “I have no real background associated with dance or gymnastics when I was young” says Casey explaining how yoga was a new and exciting practice for her body.
After discovering yoga, as well as the numerous benefits physically and spiritually, on the suggestion of her instructor at the time, she decided to become a teacher. Not only is Casey an Advocate of the High Court and member of the Johannesburg Bar, but she is also a qualified ISHTA international yoga instructor, and continued her studies to become a RYT 500 hour teacher through the Integral School of Hatha and Tantric Arts.
“I have tried a few different styles yoga and have trained with both international and local instructors.” Casey says, going on to explain how each and every single one of them have influenced her life and her yoga practice . “I feel very blessed and honoured to have had the incredible experiences as I learnt so much on this Journey called Yoga.”
After completing her teacher training, Casey started teaching at Virgin Actives and still teaches there to share yoga with at many people as she can. She strives to change the common misconception of what the general public views and think what yoga is all about.
“My mission for teaching is to facilitate and create an environment where people can enter at any level and progress on their own personal journey of growth and improvement.” One of the primary techniques that Casey focuses on is to simplify complex poses in a safe and fun environment with the culture where everyone moves and progress at their own pace yet, constantly finding creative ways to keep the students inspired.
Casey is the co-owner of Zen Hot Yoga World, which was founded with Deminique Viljoen in July 2016. This studio is dedicated to helping students find a style of yoga that suits their personal needs .
“I am a strong practitioner and I constantly strive to be the best I can be by pushing my boundaries safely.” Casey says, explaining that her self practice composes of meditation, breathing and asana. Casey's yoga practice has been a constant journey of learning. As you grow, you start to understand your body better. "I learn about my weaknesses and find the courage to lean into them to be able to improve. What you put in, is what you get out."
Casey describes her teaching style as strong, where she focuses on breaking down complex and difficult poses in to small chewable bites to help her students achieve their goal.
"I challenge and inspire my students to be the best they can be in a safe environment."
Through her practice, Casey found that she was going through way too many mats. After much research, she began trying different brands hoping to find one that would work for her and her practice. Not only was she in looking for a brand that will last, but also something that spoke to her on what they stand for.
Casey ordered a Manduka Black Mat Pro and found the mat was perfect for her. She soon contacted Manduka to share her experience and was invited to join their ambassador program.
In her years of practicing yoga, Casey realized that a lot of teachers struggled to break down asana’s step by step and teach the posture, even though they are all very capable to do the asana themselves. “Showing an asana and calling the name, I found, insufficient” says Casey explaining that teachers need to assist the students to get into the asana. Casey sees her role as a teacher to act as the bridge to connect the ability of the student to the end asana. By explaining what the body needs to do as well and the reason behind each movement, Casey aims to assist the students to build the bridge until they reach their goal.
“I have a lot of students having their firsts in my class and that level of happiness in their achievements is what brings happiness to my teaching.“
“I have been wanting to share yoga to as many as I can and felt that it was time to start teaching teachers so they can continue to share this passion for yoga.” Casey is excited to be hosting her first Teacher Training this year.
This teacher training is designed to improve the asana practice of the trainers as well as teaching them the basic philosophy, tradition, anatomy of yoga, Kriya, meditation, pranayama, adjustment, alignment, sequencing, teaching and business.
“I hope the students will understand yoga on a deeper level than just practicing yoga and really connect with their body and inner self and be able to share their love and mine with more yogis. “
This teacher training is open to all with yoga experience who want to take their practice further and interested in teaching yoga. Those who attend this training can expect to Improve their own practice, deepen understanding of yoga covering all aspects of yoga, understand yoga and human body.