Yoga Was The One Thing That Helped Her Lose Weight And Keep It Off

Shermaine Tan’s efforts to slim down were unsuccessful, until she started practising yoga.

Photo: Frencheschar Lim/SPH Magazines

Yoga is a good form of exercise. Its body benefits include increasing flexibility, building strength, and preventing IBS and other digestive problems. It is also said to calm the mind and boost immunity.

Some say that this age-old practice can even help you shed excess kilos as it improves how the brain controls your reaction to stress, and that, in turn, can lead to healthier food choices and weight loss.

Shermaine Tan, 25, a HR executive, can attest to this particular benefit of yoga.

Once an overweight teenager with low self-confidence (she was in the Trim And Fit club in school), she struggled to lose weight through various forms of exercise till she found yoga in 2010. Eight years ago, she tipped the scales at 57kg. She’s now 50kg.

This is her story:

When did you start doing yoga?

Shermaine: “I was first introduced to it by my mum, who signed us up for a hatha class. We continued going for classes together and I enjoyed them, but I really fell in love with it after being exposed to other styles, like ashtanga. Ashtanga yoga epitomises discipline and I liked that I could track my progress through consistent practice.”

How has your practice changed over the years?

Shermaine: “At the start, I only did hatha yoga and I made a commitment to do it every day, even if it was just 10 sun salutations. In the past, just 10 sun salutations was tiring for me. Right now, I combine yoga with other exercises, like weight training and high-intensity interval training. I also meditate daily, usually twice a day.”

What do you love about it?

Shermaine: “Doing yoga makes me feel strong. It allows me to transcend the boundaries that my mind has made up when breakthroughs are achieved through consistent practice. It just really brings out the true essence of #practiceandalliscoming. In fact, I love it so much that I took my practice further and got certified as a teacher in 2014. I currently teach part-time at Antioxidant Wellness Centre, Yoga Instiinct, and Skyline Aqua at Safra Tampines.”

How did doing yoga help you lose weight?

Shermaine: “It has helped regulate my appetite. I don’t feel hungry immediately after doing yoga and the practice has also cultivated my appetite for more nutritious food. Also, certain poses like twisting poses help to detox and cleanse the body. My muscle tone and stamina have also increased.”

Are there other ways in which yoga has changed your life?

Shermaine: “It has definitely taught me humility. In effect, it has helped me learn how to shift my perspectives and be more open to understanding situations from other people’s points of view.”

What’s your biggest yoga accomplishment to date?

Shermaine: “Inspiring my students to lead healthier lifestyles.”

What do you look for in yoga gear?

Shermaine: “I like tops that are fitted and slightly cropped, and I’m a fan of high-waisted full-length tights. Gear that is very stretchy is preferred as it’s easier to remove, especially after a sweaty yoga class.”

Shop The Look

Check out the Adidas gear that Shermaine is wearing.

Photos: Adidas

From left:

The Adidas Warp Knit Crop Top ($90) fits snugly around the waist as it’s made of stretchy blended fabric that is breathable. Moving from one yoga pose to the next will feel effortless.

The Adidas Warp Knit Tights ($120) hug you in all the right places. The breathable and stretchy fabric will keep you cool as you sweat it out.

Both products are available at

In collaboration with Adidas.

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