Katherine Lee is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, founder of SUKHA Yoga & Wellness
Katherine Lee is the founder of Hong Kong’s SUKHA Yoga & Wellness. After 2 years of practice, she got her first Hatha Yoga Instructor Certificate by ATFP and started teaching in 2003. She teaches at different yoga centers, clubhouses, corporates, and privates. Katherine Lee is a passionate yoga teacher that believes one should never stop learning. She obtained the Aerial Yoga Teacher Certificate and Sport Science and Fitness Foundation by AASFP in 2015 and E-RYT® 200 with Master Samrat Dasgupta in 2016. In 2017, Katherine started her own studio and won the champion of “VIth International Yoga Championship 2017” (IYC2017). Katherine Lee, during her lessons, helping to reach and establishing an energy balance and flow in the chakras and energetic field of the body.
How and when did you start to get interested in yoga? What attractedyou the most?
I started my yoga practice in 2001 (Age 14). I have a gymnastics background when I was young, which came with many injuries during the practice. This pitfall made me realize I need a milder practice to compensate and condition my body, that’s why I started doing yoga. The thing yoga attracts me the most is the tranquility and calmness it brings to me. Unlike other sports that require intense competitions or even comparison, yoga practice provides me space and time to just relax.
How long have you been practicing yoga? Can you tell us about your yoga philosophy?
I have practiced yoga for 19 years. My yoga philosophy is ‘live at the moment’. Yoga practice helps me settle my mind in the modern world, people nowadays are occupied with different jobs and duties, very often they forget the most important essence of life, which to seize the present moment.
Katherine is keen on bringing transformation to her students through the yoga practice by providing them with the personalized attention they need to fulfill their wellness goals.
Why did you choose to be a yoga teacher? What’s your mission as a yoga instructor?
As a yoga instructor, I adhere to the goal of improving others’ mind and body health. The body discipline and mind training in my teaching help shape better wellness of my students’ physical and mental health. This is also my mission bringing a positive change to their inner and outer physique.
What type of yoga do you teach? What are the main benefits of this particular form of yoga?
I teach a wide variety of yoga practices, including Hatha, vinyasa, pranayama practice, stretching, sound therapy, meditation, and aerial yoga.
Through the practice, it helps stimulate the muscles and tendons, which physically improves aliments and maintains a sustainable good lifestyle. In the mental aspect, a consistent practice enriches the mental wellness of a person, granting them a more stable lifestyle.
How has yoga enriched your life? What has it done for you? Which yoga aspects are most important for you?
Yoga has basically colored every page of my life. The benefits to me are far beyond mere physical improvements. Meditation, in my opinion, is the most significant part of my yoga practice. The practice of asanas (yoga poses) is a preparation for a more steadfast meditation, it provides a solid foundation for me to further develop a steady mindset for a more in-depth meditation.
Katherine Lee was influenced by her mother, who was also a yoga teacher.
How important is meditation in yoga practice?
Meditation is the center of my yoga practice. Yoga focuses on the union of mind, body, and soul, therefore sole asana training is not enough for a thorough and in-depth yoga meditation. Combined with meditation practice, my yoga practice enables me to reach a higher state of wellness. It also serves as an approach for me to relax my mind amid my busy daily schedule.
What are some common, incorrect assumptions about yoga?
Many people assume yoga practitioners are all born to be flexible that stretching is the most important part of yoga practice. In fact, most of the yogis I know were not born flexible. It is a public misconception that people need to be flexible to do yoga. Yoga helps condition their body and improve their strength, balance, and flexibility. It is a process that cannot be accomplished in a short period of time, yoga is welcome to people of all levels and sport backgrounds.
Do you believe there are age limits to practice yoga or start attending a course?
No, yoga is suitable for people of all ages as it offers modifications to learners of different levels. In yoga, we believe mind over body, in which our capability is only limited by our mindset. Yoga is a spiritual practice that suits all ages and genders, it does not just involve difficult asanas or dynamic flow but also meditation and yin yoga.
Her yoga therapy lessons help to find an inner life balance and a healthy body, starting from a relaxed mind.
With her SUKHA Yoga & Wellness team comprised of qualified teachers, she introduces to everyone a yoga journey through different kinds: Fitness Yoga, Spiritually-Oriented Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Aerial, Pranayama, Prenatal, etc.
What role can play yoga to cope and overcome daily life issues during COVID 19 time? Can it keep people healthy during the pandemic?
This year has been a turbulent and stressful year for most of us, I believe a regular practice of yoga or meditation helps with maintaining our mental health as well as boosting our energy. While most of the activity has been put idle, we can still maintain a positive mindset and a healthy physique with the help of yoga. It also provides a platform and a strong community to connect us together during the isolation period.
Any advice for people who think they don’t have time for yoga? How can they fit it into daily life and make it a habit?
Many people may think that a yoga class lasts at least an hour and it does not fit into their tight schedule, but we can still cooperate yoga practice into our daily life. A short 30 minutes of guided yoga practice before work or before bed can be an excellent way to start a regular yoga practice. Try to cut down the time we spend on watching TV shows or playing computer games, roll out the mat, and just feel your body on the mat. Priority is the key to everything, there will also be a way to start practicing yoga if you want to.
Photo courtesy of Katherine Lee
CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Ciao! My name is Dominique. I’m Italian and I’m proud to be a mix. My father was an Italian chemical engineer and high school teacher, with Greek and Polish heritage. My mother is Haitian, she was high school language teacher, with Dominican, Spanish, French, Portuguese, African and Native American heritage. Being a mix makes me appreciate to want to understand different cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in Italy, lived few years in Haiti, travel around main European capitals, lived seven years in China, six in Spain and UK. Traveling makes me feel that we can learn something from every situation in every part of the world.