With over 1500 hours of training under belt, Ariel Tang is forever a curious student. She is a E-RYT500 with Yoga Alliance, and a Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, and has been teaching yoga since 2009. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher, teaching people how to apply Reiki energy in their everyday lives. After years of teaching vinyasa, her focus in recent years has been on teaching Yin Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga and reminding people of their spiritual nature. Feeling deeply thankful for her advanced yin yoga training under prominent Yin Yoga teacher Paul Grilley, intensive training with Jivamukti Yoga's co-founder Sharon Ganon, and various trainings with Tiffany Cruikshank, Anatomy Trains in Motion, and CranioSacral Therapy, Ariel is now blending all that she has learnt across different disciplines into her own trainings. Her teaching is a delicate balance of effort and grace; functionality and spirituality.
At 2017's Evolution Asia Yoga Conference, she felt honored to assist Jivamukti Yoga's co-founders Sharon Ganon and David Life in their classes. From 2015 to 2017, she was a lululemon ambassador and she also represented Easyoga Hong Kong to perform at the Evolution Asia Yoga Conference in 2015. She has also been featured in various magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Hong Kong Tatler, U Magazine and MOVE. You will also see her teaching at yoga festivals or conferences.
What do I do best?
I do best at just being myself and being unapologetically happy. I make sure I do my very best in everything I have decided to do and I always choose happiness.
What makes me the best version of myself?
We are perfect the way we are. At any moment, we cannot do any better or worse than what we do at that moment. I feel grateful for all the challenges, setbacks, lessons, support, love, inspirations that I have received along the way. A few characters do stand out –
Low tolerance of inauthenticity: Since I was a kid, I was sort of a black sheep within my traditional Chinese family living in Hong Kong. I remembered growing up, we were never encouraged to say what we wanted, felt, or thought. And there were a lot of lies within my family. Not the scandalous, bad-intentioned lying, but those that trade in our authenticity so that we were not perceived as we truly were. I couldn’t tolerate that. I felt like my soul was dying living that way. This intolerance certainly has propelled me to take a different approach to life from that of my family and the society I live in.
The “Just do it” attitude: I have always been quite used to doing my own things no matter what others around me said. In Asia culture, we are expected to follow the opinions of the elders and the collective. Usually they give these unsolicited advices out of their “care” and their own experience. I have learnt to respect and appreciate their care, but I also know that what applied to them do not usually apply to me. I don’t need anyone’s permission, except my own, to do anything. I know I can handle anything.
The “Life is a celebration” attitude: Yes, we are here to create. And yes, we are here to learn. But who says we can’t have fun while getting all these done? It’s a miracle we are alive! Just the fact that we are breathing, functioning and are given the opportunity to create are worthy of celebrations.
What are my aspirations?
Personal & Business (my business is also part of my personal):
• Publish my first book in 2019
• Inspire people through my life and work – writing, workshops, seminars, retreats, yoga classes, teacher trainings, creative projects, the way I live my life
• Create a wonderful life together with my husband and kids
• Give and create fearlessly and receive graciously
• Exercise creativity everyday
• Cherish every moment in life
• Watch the play of Northern Lights
• A road-trip across America in an Airstream
My Biggest Success?
This is a tough one. Radhanath Swami says, “Success is the sincerity of effort”. For me, instead of defining success according to the external, objective standards, I define success as how true I’m to myself at any given moment. Can I just do my best in whatever I’m inspired to and then simply accept that’s enough and perfect no matter what the external standards might be? So my biggest success so far is - the ability to rise to whatever occasion the best way I can, no matter how insecure or uncertain I feel.
My Most Challenging Moment?
A couple here:
Leaving the yoga studio that I co-founded and choosing to give up all my investment and saving. Because of the divergent visions and priorities in life between my business partner and I, the right thing for me to do back then was to depart. It was a tough decision because that meant I had to voluntarily give up everything that I had put in to building the business. In terms of finance, that costed me all my savings and I had to start all over again. It was no doubt a test of faith. I chose to do the right thing and simply departed without arguing over money for I believed God would always take great care of me if I choose to see only love and act in love. It was like the light has finally been switched on in my life once I had decided to set myself free and just do the right thing regardless of situations. A well-learnt lesson on non-attachment and trust.
Overcoming self-doubts and insecurities. Choosing authenticity is a daily practice. For example, when I was invited by Oliver to share my story with the Native Society community, I was definitely thrilled. But when I looked at all those teachers, writers, speakers, business leaders that have been featured, I was like, “Oh my God. Who am I to be among these truly inspiring people? Like, they are truly inspiring!” And I had the same feeling of “Who am I to…?” when I was invited to represent Hong Kong to attend the lululemon Global Ambassadors Summit in Whistler, Canada, a couple of years ago. Very often, owning our strengths and potential is just as challenging as owning our weaknesses and pitfalls. These are my daily challenges and practices.
“Be Love.” – This was Jesus’s advice for me during one of my meditation sessions. I tattooed it in my left forearm, so I can always remind myself to “be love” in my presence, thoughts, words, and actions. When I face a challenge or when I’m not at peace – I ask “What would Jesus do?”.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
“There is no order of difficulties in miracles."
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My parents – Even though we don’t usually agree on anything, they have been supporting me in their own ways, such as just letting me do whatever I like without stopping me. And my mum is like my biggest fans and comes to my yin yoga classes every week with her friends.
Jesus – Amen. The embodiment of unconditional love. My spirit guide.
My best friend Cassy – who is like a blend of modern-day Mother Teresa and Yoda of the Star Wars. Embodiment of love and wisdom.
Elizabeth Gilbert and Dr. Brené Brown – I see them as my spiritual teachers and their inspiring and authentic works warm my heart and ignite my spirit.
Steven Spielberg – one of the greatest and most talented storytellers of all time. I love stories. Especially those that expand our imagination and uplift humanity. His is a living example of turning dream into reality while having heaps of fun doing it.
Audrey Hepburn – Angel in human form. Embodiment of wisdom, beauty and grace.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I have many on the list and even more places I would love to visit. London and Paris are where I feel strong connections with probably because of my past lives. San Francisco, Hawaii, Okinawa and Sayulita (Mexico) also each has a special place in my heart. And one of my traveling goals is a road-trip across America on an AirStream. Will be visiting Portland soon and I have a feeling that I will really love it!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I’m grateful for everything in my life! And here are some of my fav lately…
My MacBook Pro which co-creates with me every day. The lululemon backpack that I carry around almost every day. My book seat (not book stand, book seat - like a self-standing cushion and holder for book while you read. Best gift for a nerd!). The movie La La Land. (Can’t you see I’m a hopeless romantic?). My harmoniums which I chant and connect with all the time. The apartment that I’m living in. The Goddess Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue.
My Current Passions?
Indulge in my inner child! I feel deeply inspired by Dr. Brené Brown’s works which remind me, who can be a bit of a workaholic, to spend enough time to take care of my inner child. Growing up I was always dancing, singing, acting, writing stories, being playful and creative. I enjoyed performing arts and day-dreaming. But as I became more “grown-up”, I sort of stopped doing them. Excuses being – play is non-productive and meaningless, wasn’t good enough to be a professional anyway, or need to do “real” work etc. So now, I literally restructure my work commitment, so to make sure I have the time and space (mental and physical) to dance, sing, and write any time I want! I sometimes post these goofy moments on social media for a good laugh.
Live with my whole heart. Rather than comparing and caring what others think, I focus more on my own feelings and needs. Choose authenticity rather than the conditioned need to please.
Live harmoniously with the Universe, nature, and other beings. More plant-based diet, spend more time in nature, and minimize consumption in general. Seriously, we don’t need much to be happy.
Surrender all the important aspects of my life to God. :D