Yoga Movement’s Alicia Pan on wellness and self-care in 2021

Alicia Pan Yoga Movement

The Female Gaze spotlights female bosses empowering their respective industries. This week, we talk to Alicia Pan from Yoga Movement about how to choose self-care in 2021

2020, regardless of where you stand, was a year of superlatives: the worst, the most tiring, the strangest, the loneliest and the most unexpected. Big fish or small fish, it was one heck of a year.

The pandemic has also undeniably brought about a greater focus on self-care. The Harris Poll in the US found that 80 per cent of adults will be more mindful or practicing self-care after the pandemic.

And if the pandemic didn’t do that for you, then maybe you should reconsider. Perhaps in 2021, we should focus on a new superlative: the kindest. Not only the kindest to others (read: put on your mask), but also the kindest to ourselves.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. But that’s why brands – such as Yoga Movement – are taking the lead to help others make the change. And you’ll see it in its latest flagship in Orchard . It’s a beautiful space with natural light and beautiful art, which is rather unlike its other outlets that has more of an industrial feel. Oh, and there’s excellent coffee, too.

Co-founder Alicia Pan says, “Yoga Movement has always been more than just a space for people to come, practice, and leave when they’re done. We’ve always curated spaces that allow people to hang out at, whether it’s by themselves or with friends.”

By providing an avenue for people to linger, Pan hopes that this encourages its community to make a habit out of setting aside time – dwell time if you will – to pause and reflect. A state of being, if you will.

Alicia Pan Yoga Movement
“When you start to get into a routine of really taking care of your well-being, there’s no going back to how you were before, simply because you notice the benefits.”

What drew you to Yoga?

My yoga journey started while I was looking for something to balance out my entertainment career in Taiwan. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t love at first sight. I was an adrenaline junkie and the experience didn’t do it for me. But after giving it more chances, I started noticing the positive shifts in my physical and mental health. It also enabled me to make use of that time to find some quiet time within myself, so that I could recharge and re-energise.

Tells us more about the studio, and how you envisioned the space.

We’ve always been passionate about supporting local brands and artists. 2020 has been an extremely rough patch for many small local businesses and we want to hold true to what we advocate. For our Orchard outpost, we had custom-designed wallpapers from local brand Layer Play, and partnered with Common Man Coffee Roasters for our coffees.

Yoga Movement is taking a lifestyle shift toward greater wellness and self-care. Why did you see the need for that?

In recent years, the conversations surrounding mental health have become louder and more frequent. It’s honestly great to see that more people are learning to take care of themselves not just physically, but mentally as well. The wellness landscape has shifted thanks to this welcomed change, and we see more people showing interest in eating better and getting into different types of workouts.

How would you sell the idea of ‘self-care’? The word is thrown around a lot, but it’s more than just taking a day off and heading for a massage.

After everything we have gone through in 2020, it is a good time to recuperate and pamper ourselves as we step into the new year. Since we are spending time at home more than ever before, why not use it to do things that heal us from all the hustling?

Very often, what’s keeping us from becoming that version of us is that we set unrealistic aims. Instead of stifling yourself, it’s better to take smaller but firm steps, set achievable goals and celebrate small wins. You’ll find yourself enjoying the process rather than finding it a chore.

When you start to get into a routine of really taking care of your well-being, there’s no going back to how you were before, simply because you notice the benefits. And when those around you witness the change, they’ll start getting into it too.

It would be a dream come true if society reaches a point where wellness is no longer a niche lifestyle, but a norm.

Yoga Movement