Robert Cervantes began his yoga journey four years ago in the USA, while working in the restaurant business. Overworked and suffering from digestion problems, Robert attended a yoga class at his Chef’s suggestion, and immediately became hooked.
Along with relief from digestion ailments came new awareness and insight to himself and the world around him. In Singapore, last October, Robert completed teacher training with Andrey Lappa, founder of Universal Yoga.
Robert has continued his training at Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Yoga University, studying yoga as a healing therapy.
We are so thrilled to introduce Robert as our very first male teacher—but that’s not the only reason you should attend his classes. Robert has a passion for yoga that is patently obvious in the way he leads his classes with a balance of warmth, discipline and a sense of humour.
The Chai Wallah’s Interview:
What is your favourite type of class to teach? I like teaching in general. I feel like it’s my responsibility to bring the students to a different state of mind and above all help them relax. I do enjoy teaching up-beat classes with good tunes. Music for me is really important and a class that I teach without good music isn’t a good class.
What is your favourite pose? My favourite pose is dancer’s pose. I know it sounds lame. A guy doing a asana that looks like a ballet dancer but it’s an extremely powerful balancing pose. It strengthens the legs and balances the nervous system. I think the pose not only looks beautiful but builds strength, endurance and above all it’s fun.
What is your least favourite pose and why? I hate doing hip opening poses of any kind. I am horribly inflexible in my hips. Even sitting in easy pose is difficult for me. As a fat kid I never liked sitting on the floor, I always use to look for walls to support me. As an adult I force myself to sit on the floor, I ease into it by sitting in vadrassana or by sitting on a cushion to support my bum. Hee hee…
What keeps bringing you back to your yoga mat? I wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t practice daily. Practicing has become a daily mind and body alteration. As we go through our days we confront challenges and we need strength and a clear mind to overcome these obstacles. I feel through practice our mind and our body becomes balanced. Through practice we begin to look at things on more practical level and we can begin to enjoy the good rather than focus on the bad.
What is the strangest place you have done a yoga practice/pose? I practiced yoga on a junk boat in Haolong Bay in Vietnam. It was the middle of winter and it was freezing. The sun was coming down and we were anchored in the middle of the water amidst the undulating peaks of the bay. The boat had barely anyone on it and all of a sudden magic happened: as the sun began to set I ran up to the top floor, which was overlooking other boats and fog set in. I began to practice Surya Namaskar to give thanks to the lovely day that I had. My body became enveloped in the fog and as soon as I finished my practice the starry night appeared above me and I became mesmerised by the stars and the gentle rocking of the boat. I was in awe I was in a different place it was magic.
What always makes you laugh? Honestly? Poop jokes…sorry I know it’s vulgar but if anyone tells me a story about farting or about pooping….that makes me laugh so hard I usually tear up. The last movie I watched with an epic pooping scene was Bridesmates. A group of ladies, the bride and her bridesmaids, went for a wedding dress fitting, they all ate a huge meal before hand and got horribly sick during the dress fitting. Everyone began to feel extremely ill while they all had these uber expensive dresses on. All the girls ran to the toilet, it was a mess, there was only one toilet, everyone was pooping on each other…oops, is this too much info? You’ve got to watch the movie I guess…..it was overwhelmingly funny to me…I’m not so sure why.
What is one of your personal quirks/habits/idiosyncrasies? I have some pretty bad habits that I am always trying to break. I am a sommelier and love wine. My friends call me a nerd because I always describe wine with such detail when I drink it that it can get annoying, but I just love it. I love how wine is unlike any other drink. I love that it can posses thousands of different flavours and that it can come from so many different places. I love that it’s grown and I love that people have to really use their hands to produce it. It’s unlike any things else if its made correctly…you see here I go, talking and boring you guys about wine…
Join Robert for a fun, music-filled, challenging and yet relaxing class.