Interview: Charmaine Pang
An Interview with Charmaine Pang
Tell me about your yoga background.
I first started practicing yoga earnestly about a decade ago, and in 2016 I took the Iam Yoga Teacher Training program to connect more deeply to my practice. I never thought I would teach, but I’m enjoying my new relationship with yoga and how I can connect to others through this creative and healing modality.
What are you working on right now in your practice and/or in your life?
On one side: pushing myself. On the other side: letting it go.
Who is your biggest role model?
It’s a huge, four-way family tie. First: my mom, and my maternal grandmother. Amazing, strong, badass women. I also recently lost my father; he played a big role in shaping who I am today. And I can’t leave out my brother, who has challenged and supported me—he’s one of my best friends.
What is the most important thing that you want students to learn in your classes?
One: if you can breathe, you can meditate. It doesn’t have to be complicated. (See you in class!)
Two: compassion. Cultivate it for yourself. Love yourself. Show up for yourself. Be kind to yourself. In this crazy world, cultivating self-love and compassion towards ourselves (and, by extension, to each other) is a radical act that we need more of. You’ll be surprised at how far this can take you.
Three: There’s a part of each of us that is neither the face we present to the world nor our own limited perception of ‘who’ or ‘what’ we are. I invite each student to search for and tune into that for themselves; I hope they get to meet this aspect of self, tune into it, make friends with it, and use it as a source of healing from within.
What is your spirit animal?
Who would you cast as yourself in the movie version of your life?
Let’s be honest: there isn’t enough representation in our limited entertainment industry and culture for me to answer this in the way that I’d like. I’ll be very clear: I am a woman of colour who, even fifty years ago, could not occupy the status, space, or privilege that I enjoy today. I hope we, as a society, can help to empower underrepresented and marginalized people in our communities as visible role models so that we can change the culture. I think this starts by being our own heroes (the ones I wish I had as a little girl). It’s happening, we’re here, and we need more people to step up. We can do it!