Instagram Yoga Star Janice Liou : How Yoga Transformed Her Life
We’re so excited for you to meet our friend and model Janice Liou who is an international and online yoga teacher. Janice has had an incredible yoga journey and now shares her experiences with her over 250k Instagram followers.
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
The first time I ever stepped on a yoga mat was in 2007 at PURE Yoga Taipei. I initially walked in for superficial reasons thinking it could help me look a certain way. The beautiful irony is that after falling in love with yoga, I cared less and less about how I looked and more about how to love myself and simply feel good.
When did you start teaching yoga and what do you love about it?
I started teaching in May 2015. When I first signed up for YTT I had no intention of teaching, I simply wanted to learn more. It wasn’t until I graduated and was giving a lesson to friends that I fell in love with teaching and sharing the practice. My favorite part about teaching is how I can give back and serve others. Being able to play some small part in helping someone else see that they are stronger and more flexible (and I’m not talking just physically, but mentally and emotionally too) is an honor and privilege.
What has been the biggest challenge in your yoga journey?
The biggest challenge is always on the horizon! There’s always something new to grow from. The most challenging part to date would be shedding layers of insecurity and finding a comfort and love for myself. At the start of practicing yoga, it was about being able to do poses - and in doing so I realized I had all this strength and possibility within me. More recently, it’s moved towards sharing ME - not just the physical, but a deeper internal me - to share the mental and emotional journey. It’s vulnerable and scary to share yourself - your true self, but by doing so you practice a little more self love and self respect every single day. The result? I’ve never felt as comfortable and confident in who I am as I do today. It’s a good place to be.
How do you stay strong yet flexible in your practice? We’ve seen all those incredibly bendy poses you do!
Awareness and discipline! Be aware of your tendencies and what you habitually drift towards. If you love passive stretching, do it, but also incorporate a few days of strength work. Same goes for the reverse. What you least like is likely what you most need. Growth is never comfortable, but it’s what you must go through to get to a higher level comfortable.
We know you love to travel and have been sharing more of your adventures on social media. What are your top three places you’ve visited?
I do love to travel! Top 3 would be: Greece, Iceland, and believe it or not NJ. I love the culture of European countries, and Greece is just stunning - it has unparalleled views. Iceland is a memory that I’ll never forget - apart from being one of the most amazing places I’ve gone to with ice crystal beaches, I got engaged to my best friend there! After traveling so much, I see NJ with a completely new lens - it’s my favorite place, it’s my home, its where I go to vacation. It’s scenic in its low key neighborhoods, gardens and forests, shore house beaches, and some of the people I love most are here. The saying is true - there is no place like home.
What’s a typical day like in the life of Janice Liou?
Every day is different, it’s the main reason I love what I do so much. But what is pretty consistent in my day is: socialization and connecting with others, the practice of mindfulness (and this can be off the mat), getting on my mat to connect and to feel, filming my online classes or creating content, emailing (oh the emails…), spending time with my fiancé, and some sort of self care (this could be a hot bath, time to drink tea and watch the sunset, getting on my mat with no expectation, etc!)
You were a customer of ours long before you became one of our favorite models; what can you tell yogis when they want to know if our pieces are suitable for all types of yoga practice (trust us, they are!)
It feels like I'm practicing naked! Hahaha but seriously, the fabric is so lightweight and moves seamlessly with me, it eliminates any wardrobe concern - that and they’re so fashionable, it translates from my mat to happy hour with friends.
Be sure to follow Janice on Instagram @janiceliou for more amazing tips and insights about yoga and more. You can also visit www.janiceliou.com and be sure to try her online classes at www.youtube.com/c/janiceliou, www.vimeo.com/ondemand/janiceliou, and www.patreon.com/janiceliou.