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January 22, 2012

A week at Samahita Yoga Thailand

Filed by Om Republic @ 4:06 pm

Samahita Retreat is located on the southern tip of Koh Samui island.  The retreat offers yoga, detox and wellness programs.  Min Sim shares her experience from attending a one-week (7-14 January 2012) yoga retreat at the resort.

I have heard about Samahita Yoga Thailand for many years now, and seen¬†lots of¬†pictures of their beautiful premises.¬† But setting foot on the retreat for the first time, I was still blown away by the experience‚ÄĒthe tranquil surroundings, the sound of waves gently hitting the beach, the thoughtful architecture, and meticulous landscaping.¬† The week that followed was in many ways the perfect yoga holiday‚ÄĒMysore style practice every morning, followed by a long leisurely brunch, then a talk in the late afternoon by the guest teacher, followed by a relaxing dinner with newfound yoga friends.

The yoga program for the week was taught by guest teacher John Campbell, one of the few certified teachers of Ashtanga Yoga in the world.  Mornings start at 7:30am with basic pranayama and meditation for half an hour.  Thereafter, the room would be divided into two halves with new-to-Ashtanga folks following a led primary sequence on one side, whilst more experienced students did Mysore-style practice on the other side.  John straddled the two halves, at times leading the led class, and at other times giving guidance and adjustments to students doing self-practice.

Practice usually ends by 10am, which marks the start of the buffet-style brunch.¬† Food, be it for brunch or dinner, is a major highlight of the retreat.¬† The chef is creative and thoughtful, and never fails to surprise with wholesome and tasty vegetarian fare, featuring the best and freshest of Thai produce.¬† Brunch is also a very social affair‚ÄĒthe perfect time to exchange yoga experiences and travel tips with other guests.

Afternoons are relaxed and leisurely, with guests tanning by the beach, reading by the pool, or catching a nap in the lounge area.¬† In the late afternoon, John would conduct a talk cum Q&A on a range of topics–anything from meditation and pranayama techniques, to Buddhist philosophy, to snippets of his own yoga experiences and practice.¬† This is followed by buffet-style dinner, and more time to chat and chill with other guests.

At the end of the retreat, we were treated tp a yoga demonstration by John, where he did a selection of poses from the Ashtanga primary, intermediate and advanced sequences.

I came back from the retreat feeling recharged by the yoga, refreshed by the serene surroundings, and happy from a week of delicious, wholesome vegetarian food.  If you’re looking for a holiday combining active and healthy living,  Samahita Yoga Thailand (www.yoga-thailand.com) is definitely one place to check out.

July 22, 2011

Introducing our Maternity Yoga collection

Filed by Om Republic @ 10:13 pm
 
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new maternity yoga apparel collection, in collaboration with Spring Maternity¬†Nursing Baby. ¬†Co-labelled ‚ÄúOm Republic for Spring‚ÄĚ, the line is designed for moms-to-be who want to remain active and stylish throughout their pregnancy and beyond.
 
The launch collection comprises five best-selling styles selected from Om Republic’s core yoga apparel collection and modified by maternity wear experts at Spring Maternity Nursing Baby to accommodate a growing belly.
 
Made with organic cotton, with a touch of spandex for extra stretch where it is most needed, the garments are dedicated to moms-to-be who want the best for their pregnancies and their babies. 
Designed with active and multi-tasking moms-to-be in mind, the versatile collection is suitable for wear in prenatal yoga & pilates classes and leisure wear.  The tops feature convenient and comfortable 360 degree internal shelf bras with removable bra pads, while the bottoms feature gusset construction for added comfort and fit. 
 
The collection is available at www.omrepublic.com, and at Spring Maternity Nursing Baby’s five retail stores in Singapore.¬† Help us pass the word to moms-to-be who’re¬†looking for¬†stylish¬†activewear to their prenatal classes!¬†¬†
 

 

May 14, 2010

Interview with Ginny Gan, Singapore Dance Theatre Artiste

Filed by Om Republic @ 9:07 pm

  

Ginny Gan, Singapore Dance Theatre Artiste (photography by Ngiap Heng Tan)

At Om Republic, we are inspired by talented individuals who have chosen the road less traveled to pursue an interest or career in a movement-related field.  Living the dream with passion and courage Рthese are the individuals that inspire the brand. 

For our first story, we¬†feature Ginny Gan, Singapore Dance Theatre Artiste.¬† Ginny is also the model in Om Republic’s first photoshoot.

Born and raised in Singapore, Ginny trained at the Singapore Ballet Academy and graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance.  Since joining Singapore Dance Theatre in 2007 as a full-time member, she has performed in an extensive number of SDT productions, including many lead roles.  We find out what led her to pursue dance as a profession, and what makes her tick.  

Q: You decided to pursue a career in dance at 16, when your peers were preparing to go to junior college and eventually university.¬† Was it difficult to make that decision‚ÄĒto choose the path less trodden‚ÄĒor was it a natural calling?¬†¬†

Ginny: I decided to pursue dance because I enjoy doing it and also because I believe that I have some talent for it!  It wasn’t an easy path but I am glad I did not give this up back then and will only regret it later on when I’m too old to get into a full-time dance school.  

Q: What were some of the difficulties you encountered¬†along this “not easy path”, and how did you overcome them?¬†¬†

Trying very hard to keep up with the rest or my classmates in the class and meeting up with the same standards.¬† It¬†was very upsetting most of the time so it¬†would’ve been easier to give up and walk away. ¬†But I decided to stay on and push myself harder to my limits.¬† It¬†was very difficult but it has brought me this far in my career. ¬†¬†

Q: What is it about dance that attracted you in the first place?  Has it changed in any way when you started dancing professionally?  

Ginny: I have always liked dancing and music.¬† When I was younger, I have always wanted to be able to dance well.¬† Things definitely changed and as we grow, we learn more, understand more and we have to make our own decisions–decisions on what we really want and that will be good for ourselves and of course, our career and deciding how to go from there to make it happen.¬†¬†

Q: No two days are ever alike, but can you describe what goes on in a ‚Äútypical‚ÄĚ day as a dancer?¬†¬†

Ginny: Every morning, we would start our day with a full ballet class as a warm up.  Thereafter, we would start our rehearsals depending on the dance piece that we will be performing in the upcoming season.  

Q: You attend company classes and rehearsals 6 days a week.¬† That’s a lot of dancing.¬† What do you do for fun and relaxation? ¬†¬†

Ginny: We only have the weekends to rest and recuperate from the week’s rehearsals.  I spend time with my family and rest as much as I can.  Unless there’s a special occasion, I will be resting for the most of my weekends.   

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging thing(s) about dancing professionally?  And the most rewarding?  

Ginny: The most challenging would be to work hard on your own and to keep up with the other dancers in the company.  Because every one person is never the same, but doing our personal best at work, there will be sacrifices and hard work.  It is the most rewarding to receive positive feedback on our performances.   

Q: Dance is a beautiful and tough career at the same time.  What keeps you going?  

Ginny: Determination and joy for it and of course, staying positive and happy helps get me through.  

Q: Last but not least, what are your favorite pieces from the Om Republic collection?  

Ginny: I like a couple of the tops and bottoms with cute oriental details–the Mei Racerback, Shan Halter, Wen Racerback and Mag Crop.¬† I like the material as¬†it is¬†very comfortable.¬†¬†

Ginny will be performing at Singapore Dance Theatre’s upcoming production,¬†Masterpiece in Motion (25 & 26 June at Esplanade Theatre).¬† For details about the performance, visit SDT’s website at www.singaporedancetheatre.com

April 14, 2010

Annie, Jess and Mel

Filed by Om Republic @ 8:42 am

From L to R: With Annie; with Jessica; Melini

“How did you come up with names for the designs?”¬† That’s a question I’ve been asked¬†several times.

When the design prototypes were finalized and it was time to give a name to each style, the first names that came to my mind were the names of long-time friends of mine who are passionate about movement, and have been extremely generous in providing input, comments and suggestions all along.

Annie¬†and¬†I¬†met through dance club in secondary school, where we¬†shared the same crazy enthusiasm over Chinese dance.¬† Annie’s now ¬†into pilates.¬† She has¬†always¬†been¬†my go-to person for a candid opinion on anything from styles and colors, to business ideas.¬† Annie loves halters, so the first halter in the collection was named after her.

Jessica is another dance fanatic I met through dance club.  She still attends ballet classes today.  Always thoughtful and infinitely patient, Jessica endured countless versions of my drafts in the planning stages and provided invaluable feedback.   The cami with the cute ruched front is named after her, not least for her unwavering support.

Melini¬†and¬†I met in¬†business school.¬† We bonded over job recruiting,¬†and share similar¬†interests in¬†dance and movement.¬† Yoga,¬†pilates, dance–she does them all with finesse.¬† Feedback, suggestions,¬†thoughts–she has given me more than I can thank her for.¬†¬†When it came to naming¬†the cami with the dance-inspired scoop back, Mel naturally came to mind.

And there you have it: Annie Halter, Jess Cami, and Mel Cami.

April 6, 2010

Designing for Movement

Filed by Om Republic @ 4:20 pm

 

Om Republic is the coming together of¬†my interests in¬†yoga, dance, art, and design.¬† One of the¬†best things about¬†designing a line of apparel centered around my interest in movement is that work never really feels like work.¬† Here’s a¬†look¬†at what goes on during part of the design process.

When I receive¬†the fitting samples, one of the first things I do is to put them through a wear test.¬†¬†The¬†garments have to look good, feel good and allow a full range of motion.¬† Forward bends, twists, backbends, inversions–you name it.¬† It’s quite a lot¬†of work to put every design through these stress (and stretch) tests, but it’s also a lot of fun.¬† Of course,¬†a side benefit¬†is that¬†it helps me get better at¬†the yoga asanas.¬† But¬†the most rewarding part is, tweaking and refining a style such¬†that not only does it have¬†a¬†distinct design element, it’s comfortable to wear¬†and¬†provides freedom of movement.

April 3, 2010

Inspiration – Sights, Sounds & Silhouettes

Filed by Om Republic @ 6:19 pm

When you browse our online store, you’ll notice that about one-third of our collection¬†is distinguished by subtle Oriental styling.¬†¬†We’ve gotten a lot of flattering feedback on these¬†Eastern touches from our customers and friends (thank you all!), so I wanted to share where the inspiration comes from.

It’s Chinese classical dance–the sights, sounds and silhouettes that I grew up with.¬† And what is Chinese classical dance?¬† I don’t think I can do it enough justice by summarizing it in a sentence, but here’s a¬†photo that¬†provides a sampling.¬†¬†Titled Moon Night, this is¬†a dance that I performed in many, many years¬†ago–at age 15.¬† The set was sublimely beautiful, the music liltingly lyrical, and¬†the steps¬†expertly choreographed like a seamless wave.¬† When I started sketching the designs for the first Om Republic collection, memories from my growing up years as a dance student naturally came flooding back.¬† The result?¬† Several styles that were inspired by the¬†essence and¬†fluidity¬†Chinese classical dance.

p.s.¬†… and in¬†case you’re wondering, that’s me in the front row, leftmost, in a backbend.

March 31, 2010

Welcome!

Filed by Om Republic @ 8:49 pm

Hello. I am Min, the founder and designer at Om Republic. First of all, thank you for visiting the Om Republic blog.

Within these pages, you’ll hear about the things that inspires us, be they related to yoga, pilates, dance or beyond. We also hope this blog will provide you with insights into our company: what keeps us excited about what we do, and what makes us tick.

If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions on our postings, drop us a note in the form of blog comments.¬† We’d love to hear from you!

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