In honour of International Women’s Day this week, we’re showcasing just some of our favourite mummies. Yoga entrepreneur Malvina Kang draws inspiration from her son.
INTERVIEW LOW LAI CHOW
Three, according to numerology, is the number of creativity, growth and expansion. So it seems rather fitting that three years after the birth of her son, Malvina Kang, the 30-year-old founder of Hom Yoga boutique studio chain, chose to launch her new child-focused Mini Glow Yoga Club in January.
“Everything that I participate in is drawn from my inner inspiration, whether it be personal experiences or my child, or my perception of life,” she divulged to Motherhood. “I’m constantly inspired to search out ways to expand and improve my life and everything around me.”
Thanks to her own journey of integrating yoga and mindful practice into her toddler’s life since he was a baby, and realising the powerful impact — from increased calmness to greater confidence — this had on him, Malvina was spurred into setting up dedicated wellness classes for other young children and their parents.
Work seems to be an intensely personal affair for Malvina; Hom Yoga was also established following a lifechanging event. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the way her business has evolved has been in keeping with Malvina’s life path.
“Being a mother is one of the most extraordinary
experiences life can bring. With this comes a total transformation,
which cannot be described,” she said. “My life continues to expand, and
become more joyous and fulfilled every day that I share with my son.”
Her new family-friendly concept at the Orchard Central studio encourages kids aged two to 12 to
exercise mindfulness with the help of ‘pranayama’ breath techniques, storytelling, meditation exercises and more, while their parents simultaneously partake in a yoga class at the same time next door.
Parents with young babies can also strengthen their post-childbirth bodies while bonding over joint yoga classes with their little ones at the same time.
Community of the Future
Running a successful yoga studio business that has stood tall after all these years seems to be about
second nature to the entrepreneur as it is about good karma. Until recently, Hom Yoga had a presence in both Singapore and Sydney (the latter is no more with Malvina’s recent relocation back to Singapore) — no small feat, considering the saturated fitness markets in both cities.
“For me, it is much more about participating in something which is expansive and great, that I can share with everybody in my immediate community,” she said.
Giving back to the community is one thing Malvina is no stranger to; her business has raised funds in
support of non-profit organisations such as the Singapore Committee for UN Women. Even then, parenthood has made her even more compelled to do good even more, to make the world a better place.
“As a mother, I definitely felt the stronger need to take action, and to become even more involved in my community,” she said. “(I) try to better my immediate surroundings at first by starting small and doing everything I can to help it grow and flourish into something bigger — not just for my son, Munro, but for the entire future generation.”
“Yoga for me is a very personal practice, both in my business and in my life and the one thing with yoga that I value, is that it represents unity and at no time do I perceive anything to be competitive,” she explained.
At work, Malvina is also thankful to be able to count on her team
to stand as one and get her back, too.
“One thing with yoga that I’ve always embraced, is the ability for me to share my experience, both personally in my family and also with my staff. As a result of this, during times when I’ve had to spend more time with my family and my son, my staff has managed to carry out everything to support my business with the same sensibility.”
Call her a true nomad who has spent a good many years of her life away from home. While Malvina spent the first 13 years of her life in Singapore, her high school education was completed in Victoria, capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia. At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, she furthered her tertiary education in International Relations and Journalism.
After a brief return to Singapore in 2007, she uprooted for Sydney in 2009. Last year, she relocated back to Singapore, a move Malvina described as “a natural progression”.
Be it differing cultural practices or parenting styles, she said she has not faced any culture shocks despite being away from home for so long. “I have learned to value all the different aspects in different cultures and embrace them as part of my life,” she said, adding that “there is a lot of beauty in us parents learning from each other.”
Likewise, she hopes for the same openness and receptiveness for her son: “I welcome my son to embrace all the different aspects of different cultures, no matter where we are living, whether it is in Singapore, the US, Australia or Europe.”
In the meantime, she is embracing the joy of being a mother, pure and simple: “My son continues to bring joy to my heart, and open my eyes to the deepest, most meaningful understanding of what it means to be a parent. He continues to amaze me each day that we share together.
“From this, I learn every day about how deep the joy I can feel in my life, and how meaningful being a mother is.”