One of my favourite songs of all time – I am Woman, by Helen Reddy (ok, now you can guess my age!).
“If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman”
Let me introduce you to Yuko Maury Arai, a member of BodyTree GST, a woman with many talents.
Read Yuko’s story. She plays many roles and she is amongst women who inspire others not to be same, but be better. She reminds me of Mrs Incredible of the movie the Incredibles.
“Be stronger than your excuses”
1. What does a day look like in your life?
I get up around 5:30am to help my youngest daughter ready for school. (The older one attends afternoon session.) After that, it varies daily.
Once a week, I play piano at a hospice as a volunteer.
I attend “life-long” Yoga teacher training. I teach Yoga to beginners, and also special needs and their mothers. I’m a taxi-mama for kids’ activities and their school. I come to BodyTree GST as many times as possible.
I go to Yoga classes. I go to gym. I do house chores and see friends…(what an active lifestyle)
2. You have 2 daughters, how old are they? And where were they born?
The older one is 12, and was born in Bangkok (made in China though)
The second one is 7, and was born in Hong Kong.
3. Where were you originally?
100% Japanese (btw, Yuko’s husband is French…an interesting family of multi cultures)
4. Which other countries have you lived in? Apart from Singapore.
Japan, USA, France, Thailand, China, Hong Kong (definitely not boring…)
5. Do you have a favorite city that you like to live in? And why?
Bangkok (but not with the kids). I have good memories living there. Still have some good friends there. Good food, kind people, low cost of living. (A favourite destination with Singaporeans too…I think I might retire in Chiang Mai i.e. if I can get my husband to agree)
6. What are the top 3 things you like living in Singapore?
Efficiency (logistics, infrastructure, administrative formalities, etc.)
Clean and green environment.
(Me too. I like the convenience, and not being in massive traffic congestions!)
7. Which city/country is your favourite holiday destination? And why?
Japan. To be able to enjoy good food, Onsen (hot spring), nature, cutting edge stuff.
(I am starting to drool…whatever she is saying is resonating with me)
8. What is your exercise routine before GST?
Yoga for a long time. When we moved to Singapore in 2012, I did squash, swimming, golf and gym (weights) quite regularly (but not now).
9. Why GST? And what do you like about it?
Why : I always wanted to try gymnastics.
What I like : It is fun! I like that we complain to coaches during class when exercises given are too hard.lol!!!
Injury free. There’s so much variety of exercises. Always challenging (there are always the next steps after achieving something.)
Covers both strength and flexibility(mobility).
Coaches are experienced. It’s a small community.
Here’s a video of Yuko during GST practice.
10. What are your goals with fitness training?
Short term goals (hopefully): To be able to do some “cool” stuff, like muscle up, press handstand, a little flips, flag maybe, etc.
Long term goals : To be mobile, flexible, strong, injure-free and healthy until the end of my life. (priorities are right)
11. How do you relax?
Listen to jazz. Play piano. (playing jazz was my former job)
12. Can you tell us more about your former job? (I’m so intrigued, a jazz piano player learning adult gymnastics)
I started piano when I was three and half years old. My mother is a piano teacher and to make her daughter (classical) pianist was her dream, which I didn’t pursue. Sorry mom!
I started to listen and studied jazz after graduating high school although my major at university was not music.
My first little gig was in Paris with a trumpet and a bass. I worked in Bangkok, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in solo, duo, trio, quartet etc. as well as in a big band and with a singer. The venues were hotels, cafes, bars, clubs, restaurants.
I stopped working as a musician when we moved to Singapore. Why? Mmmmmm. 1) Difficult working hours. Some gigs start after 10pm at night. 2) Less opprotunities here. 3) Lack of drive/desire… maybe. (We’ll have to get Yuko to play for us, she can do it anytime!)
13. What are your favourite food(s)?
Oh, so many to list … some Japanese, some French, some Thai, some Vietnamese, some Lebanese, some Italian. Any vegetable. Grapefruit. Black coffee. Carrot cake (black sauce). Sour sop juice… can’t stop.
14. Anything else you wish to add?
I bought a pull up bar recently. We (my husband and kids) are all trying being monkeys in the year of monkey! (2016 is year of monkey)
If you wish to join a multi cultural BodyTree GST community, contact us.
Written by LayYong