Wai Kuan, 51, is a certified Stretch Therapy™ Teacher and 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She started learning yoga in 2002 and began teaching it in 2008. Wai Kuan chanced upon Stretch Therapy in 2015 when she found a childminder for her 2 young children and was looking for a short break.
One of her students recommended a workshop at Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary (SBS) in Taiping and she enrolled without knowing very much about the teacher. It was during this workshop that she experienced how awareness practice in physical exercises can be taught to a large group in a safe and effective way. The workshop comprised over 30 participants, made up of mostly retirees; and included the abbot of SBS, the Venerable Bhante Agaacitta, and a few of the monks.
Immediately after the workshop, Wai Kuan integrated Stretch Therapy techniques into her yoga classes at her home studio, Yoga @ Kebun Teh. She continued to teach both Stretch Therapy and Manasa yoga for the next 2 years until the idea of establishing a Stretch Therapy gym in Malaysia was conceived. With the blessing of her yoga guru Manoj Kaimal (“It is all the same, all are awareness practice”, he said), she has now chosen to focus on teaching Stretch Therapy.
Prior to yoga, Wai Kuan spent over 20 years in financial services as an auditor, financial controller and investment banker, and ran a translation business. She holds a Bachelors degree in Management Science and is a UK-trained and qualified Chartered Accountant.
Besides teaching Yoga @ Kebun Teh and being a regular relief teacher at Manasa Yoga since 2011, her teaching experience includes:
- Malaysian Association of the Blind since 2014
- Malaysia Parkinson’s Disease Association from 2011 to 2012
- Yoga for Seniors 3-month course at The National Council of Senior Citizen Organisations Malaysia (NACSCOM) centre, Damansara Jaya from March to July 2016
- Talks: Teaching yoga as a career - Summer Academy May 2014 and Yoga for Ageing Gracefully - Damansara Jaya Senior Citizens Association (DJSCA), Nov 2014”
Teh Chi-Chang, 46, used to play squash, swim, run and workout in conventional gyms. Wú-style 吳家 tàijíquán 太極拳, augmented by Stretch Therapy, is now his sole form of exercise and “I’m in the best shape of my life!”. Chi-Chang has been learning taiji since 2005. He is particularly interested in exploring and understanding its martial roots via tuī shǒu 推手, push-hands and has found Stretch Therapy tremendously useful in developing his skills in and understanding of the craft.
He considers taiji more craft than art: Craft is a form of work which results in a functional output, for example, woodwork and pottery. Art is a form of work that is the expression of emotions. In this regard, his goal is to teach taijiquan more effectively so that his students can share the wellness, the physical health and mental clarity, that he has found through practising taiji as a craft.
In his earlier life, Chi-Chang spent 16 years’ in investment research and corporate finance during which he developed and managed well-regarded teams in addition to being a highly-rated analyst himself. He left the corporate world in 2008 to help in efforts to build a better Malaysia.
He holds a first-class honours degree from the University of Warwick, an MBA from the University of Cambridge and the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter. In addition, he is a CELTA-qualified teacher.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” ~ Isaac Newton
Chi-Chang and Wai Kuan would like to thank the many teachers who have guided them in their journey to seek the light of awareness, including:
- The late S.N. Goenka, a most effective teacher of meditation and the dhamma;
- Guru Manoj Kaimal of Manasa Yoga, who taught sound anatomy and classical yoga philosophy;
- Master Wong Chee Kay, for opening Chi-Chang’s eyes to the martial roots of taijiquan;
- And, of course, Kit Laughlin, for skilful teaching and commitment to development and dissemination of his knowledge.