Architect Supriya Haobam tells Gallopper about her journey from being an architect to leaving everything and becoming a Yoga teacher. It is an inspiring story of the turning point which has shaped her as a person and her career:
“I graduated from Sir JJ College of Architecture in 1997. My last job as an Architect was working as an Assistant Project Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle-Project and Development Services, Mumbai. I was the peak of my career and I felt I reached a point I knew where I wanted to be. But within a year I conceived my daughter and I was working at construction sites till 32 weeks of pregnancy. Due to a heath problem I had to go for an emergency c-section. My daughter was born 40 days early and she was in the NICU for 35 days. I was on maternity leave for 6 months but I was unable to get back to work. That was 2006 and in 2009 we relocated to Singapore.Singapore is a beautiful place. My husband started his new job and I started job hunting but it wasn’t an easy task. Singapore being a small country, job scope for foreigners is quite limited. In the meanwhile to kill my boredom I started practicing yoga in 2010.
“My practice started with accompanying my friend for a trial yoga class. I did a Basic Hatha Yoga and I liked it but it didn’t really change my life. Later I signed up for 3 months and after the first month I got hooked and the rest as they say is history. Before I knew it, I’d booked myself into a wonderful teacher training course – Registered Yoga Teacher (200-hours Certification) International Institute of Yogic Science and Tatva Yoga.
“I’ve been practicing for about 5 years. In the beginning it was more of a physical workout. I started questioning my relationship with yoga and wondering if I had room for a little soul searching.Now I find myself in unusual territory, suddenly feeling a little enlightened. Something has clicked for me and I’ve begun to realize that yoga is a way of living. Looking back, my click went unnoticed. I was in the midst of a job hunting, new place and jobless after ten years of being an independent working woman, with a child in the middle and a house to look after. Yoga helped me to be more focused and determined than ever to keep our lives calm and peaceful. It’s helped me not to look back with regret or judgment, but instead with a grateful heart and happy memories.
“This life-changing situation has made me realize this is how I want to live my life every day. Not in the past, not judging or being critical, just accepting and moving forward with my eyes wide open and trusting in what lies ahead. A word to encompass all of this is mindfulness.Yoga is very much about being present, on and off the mat. By leading a more mindful life, the aim is to change the way we think about our experiences; being more aware of each moment, more accepting and less judgmental.
“I teach Yoga now and in my class you can expect a practice that will challenge you mentally and physically. I encourage my students to recognize the freedom of being present and to realize that the physical practice plays a small part in the yogic way of living.”