She-Hustles is a lifestyle series celebrating the diversity, passion and grit of the many inspiring women entrepreneurs that we've met on our journey with SOJAO. It is a collective arsenal of inspiration that fills our lives with positivity and soul.
We’re honoured to launch our first episode of She-Hustles with Malvina Kang, the founder of Hom Yoga. We came to know Malvina when she reached out to us about our sheets, and we were blown away by her resume. She’s a young mother of two, a #girlboss of three Singapore yoga studios, and a recent author as well. She warmly welcomed us into her home that she shares with her partner Blair, sons Munro and Navy (4-years old and 4-months old), and generously shared her story on how she manages to do it all.
“Yoga has been an intimate part of my life from a very early age. I experienced yoga at 12 years old, when I attended a private yoga class and laid in savasana for 60 minutes. I felt a certain letting go, and a release of tension that I had been holding in my body (probably since birth or a past life!).”
“My yoga practice became my spiritual practice, and it is still something I go to on a second to second basis in my daily life - whether it is through managing the yoga studios, mothering my sons, or taking some time alone for myself.”
“I first opened Hom Yoga in 2009. Back then, there were only a couple yoga studios in town, and yoga was still seen to be a “woo-woo” thing. Only those crazy hippies practiced yoga and no-one else!”
“My first studio space in the heart of Boat Quay was an ex-karaoke joint in a charming shophouse. When I walked in, there were Chinese words on the broken glass windows, empty beer bottles which littered the floors, and strobe lights in the top ceiling corners. But I felt this energy wash over me, and I knew this was the space. I saw it clearly in my mind, and felt it intuitively within my belly.”
“Although I had no money then, I somehow managed to convince my father to loan me the money I needed to start the business. I still remember the first business plan I wrote, which I had to google ‘how to write a business plan’ to work out how to do it. I haven’t written a business plan since then, but everything I have learned about the business, I have learned through my many failures, and also my many successes. I’m still learning everyday as this journey of learning never ends, which to me - is the most exciting part of having this business.”
“I always say there were only two reasons why I opened Hom Yoga. Firstly, I love yoga. I believe in yoga and all of its benefits. Secondly, I really believe that the practice of yoga can make a positive difference in the world - by bringing a certain level of consciousness to the way we see, do, feel and act.”
“I start my day around 7am watching my boys stir in their sleep. I try not to reach for my phone until I’ve said good morning to them with kisses all around. We usually lie in bed and chat about a few things, have a few little giggles and a bit of a tumble around. Then I’ll usually reach for my phone to check for messages or emails that came through the night or morning. Then, once I’m out of bed, the day starts! I grab my morning smoothie which my partner would have prepared, waiting cool in the fridge for me, and I will sit on the balcony with the boys to grab some morning Vitamin D rays. On days where Munro, my 4 year old, has to go to school - I’ll walk down to the school bus with him. Once he’s off to school, my partner and I will usually practice together whilst Navy, our 4 month old baby, has his morning nap.”
“I try to get my yoga practice in every morning, whether it is a 30 minute session or a 2-hour session - it’s the one thing which I feel offers me the inspiration to have a productive and inspired work day.”
“Then I’m off to meetings with my team, or contractors (if I’m working on a new studio), or I’ll write as I’m also currently working on a mindfulness book series for kids. In the evenings, I’ll always be around for my boys' bed time - so dinner and a talk about what we all did that day. At the moment, we’ve been asking each other,
“What are the three best things that happened to you today?" So we all have to tune in to the feeling of gratitude which is such an amazing feeling to bring awareness and attention to. Then, it’s a bath, story book, cuddles. Once the boys are in bed, I’ll usually get back online to check on any final messages. I like to have a cup of tea with my partner before bed. If we have had a busy day, this is when we can take the time to catch up with each other and check in on ourselves - how do we feel, what came up for us that day. We usually try to be in bed by 10, but lately, it has been more like 11.”
“Of course there are moments where I felt burnt out. Although I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I feel it is good to sometimes challenge yourself, so you learn to understand how to self-regulate and bring yourself back to balance or equilibrium again.”
“My midwife, Red Miller, suggested that I get Bach’s remedy - a homeopathic flower remedy. I love it! Besides that, my daily yoga practice is important to keep myself balanced and centred. Sleep always heals. A magnesium flakes or epsom salt bath is one of my biggest go to’s. My biggest treat is time by myself - reading an amazing book whilst sitting in the sun on my balcony - no phones, no emails, no social media - just quietness.”
“I sleep anywhere between 6-8 hours a day. I do better with 8 hours sleep, but even more so, I do better when I have had quality, restful sleep. If I go to bed wired off the day and have been staring at a screen right before bed, my sleep would usually be more fitful. If I go to bed relaxed and calm, I would fall into more restful sleep and will be more inspired and present the following day. Currently, I’m waking up every 2-3 hours to breastfeed my baby, but I’m also loving the peaceful night times with him where everything is quiet and it is just me and him connected and enjoying the company of each other. I co-sleep with my baby (he sleeps in the middle of the bed), so I just roll over and bring him to me for his feed.”
Also, I have invested heavily into my whole family’s sleep, to ensure that we sleep with the most natural materials that keeps my family healthy and well. We have organic latex mattresses covered with the most beautiful organic wool topper. All our pillows are either organic latex or organic wool pillows. They breathe well, and keeps us away from allergens and dust mites etc. We only use organic bedsheets (SOJAO for us). It sounds like a cliche, but we spend a lot of time sleeping and healing and growing. Our skin is one of the largest, breathing organs in our bodies, which absorbs everything it is in contact with. The level of toxicity in non-organic cotton sheets is so high in the production chain - I couldn’t imagine exposing my boys to that. Now, our sleep is the best it has ever been!
“I feel sustainability has been quite a catchphrase in our modern times. But how I see it is living life the way we should - we have simply forgotten how to.”
“With the level of wastage, toxins, chemicals in our ecosystem, we are heading down a disastrous minefield. Our planet suffers the consequence, and so will our future children. Anything that we can bring back to the pure essence of the natural world, not only brings us back to living a simpler life, but also brings us back into our most natural state of consciousness and awareness. This is something that is so close to home for me - the intention of bringing up my boys in a world that stays true to the natural world”
“When I set the intention to live this finite life fully and with love, the universe aligned itself and like little foot pebbles in a flowing river that I had to cross from one side to the other, I simply had to follow the pebbles one at a time until it led me to where I currently am.”
“Sometimes, I look back and can’t quite believe 10 years has passed as I still feel like a baby - some days I am totally unsure as to what I want to be when I “grow up”. However, what I do know is that I have also grown up in this business - in the sense that I have become more empowered as a woman, a mother, a yoga teacher, and a partner in my relationship.”