New Year Spring Clean: A Detoxifying Yin Yang Practice with Leigh Khoo and Catherine Tan, Jan 31

Orchard Central
Sunday, 31 January, 2021
3pm - 5pm

As nature prepares to welcome spring, this is an ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation, so as to cultivate overall health and well-being. Join Leigh Khoo and guest teacher Catherine Tan in this special yin yang practice, which combines the wisdom of yoga and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The session combines a more dynamic yang-style practice focused on stoking apana vayu and samana vayu, with a yin yoga practice that nourishes our liver and gallbladder meridians. Apana vayu and samana vayu are two of the five expressions of energy that animate our being. Apana vayu supports our processes of elimination — physically, but also on emotional, mental and energetic levels; while samana vayu supports our ability to digest everything we ingest through our five senses. We will explore these two vayus predominantly through forward folds and twists.

In Chinese five element theory, the liver and gallbladder systems correspond to spring’s wood element, and they are closely related to functions of circulation, detoxification, emotional health and digestion. These two meridians are particularly sensitive to emotional changes, and stagnation may lead to a feeling of being stuck. Anger is the key emotion for the liver system, while the gallbladder governs decision-making, planning and assertiveness. We will explore the meridians for these systems through yin yoga postures that target the side body and hips.




Leigh found yoga 13 years ago in a tiny studio in Chinatown. As much as she enjoyed the dance-like flow of postures, it was the meditation practice after the asana sessions that really drew her in. Her first teacher Sunil Dahiya used to ask: “Where are you in your body? Meditate on that.” That set the tone for Leigh’s yoga journey since, and she believes that skilfully sequenced and meditative practices are key to connecting us to our deeper, higher wisdom.

Leigh has been teaching since 2013, and over the years, learned to understand and, more importantly, respect anatomical differences. Because of that, she believes in creating safe spaces that empower practitioners to step into their intuitive wisdom and practise according to their inner alignment — asanas that look right on the outside may not necessarily feel so within. She continues to be influenced by her teacher Emily Kuser, as well as the teachings of Ayurveda and Tantra. She is currently deepening her studies in Tantric hatha yoga with Octavio Salvado, and vinyasa krama with Nitya Mohan, whose father A.G. Mohan is a long-time student of revered Ayurvedic healer and yoga master Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

Leigh's classes are embodied, intuitive and poetic, and a reflection of her life on and off the mat. She sees life to be the greatest teacher, with every moment serving as an opportunity to connect to our highest self and to live with intention, compassion and integrity.


Catherine embarked on the journey of teaching Yoga in 2009 after her first training in Hot and Hatha Yoga. She has since gone on to study other styles including Yin, Vinyasa, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, with Yin Yoga being her key teaching passion for the past 8 years.

Her belief in lifelong learning and keen interest in the study of Chinese medicine, anatomy, fascia, qigong healing and yoga philosophy have motivated her to pursue such knowledge rigorously through self-study and further education. That has led her to graduate top in class from a 2-year program at the Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently.

Convinced of the benefits that Yoga and Chinese medicine for daily living, she would love to share this joy with more people and hopefully create a positive change for her students, no matter how small.