#ChangeDestiny: On Choosing Your True Destiny | Clozette
For our #ChangeDestiny series this month, we're profiling women who have freed themselves from societal norms and expectations and have chosen to take a step towards their true destiny. For Part One of the series, we caught up with Yoga Lab founder Jasmine Chong whose personal story is rooted in her choice to choose destiny and lead a life guided by her passion for Yoga.

It's similar to the journey of Beatboxer Aibo who describes destiny as "...not as something that's already written. But something you choose in each moment." As the first Japanese Female to compete in a National Beatbox Battle, Aibo has constantly been redefining what it means to live life beyond expectations. Watch her journey below in this video from SK-II:



For Jasmine Chong, her desire to change her destiny was mostly driven by the exhaustion from keeping up with the pressure to succeed in her career. Extremely driven and caught in a rat race as she pursued a full-time career in the banking industry, Jasmine possessed all the qualities you would imagine of a successful, career driven woman. The problem: she was focused in an entirely different direction in her life, making her almost question whether everything was truly worth it.

The turning point came when Jasmine went for her yoga teacher's training course that rekindled Jasmine's passion for life. That moment marked the point in her life when she decided that she would eventually leave the banking industry behind and focus on what would make her feel truly fulfilled.



So if you're looking to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to live a life guided by your passion, then read on to be inspired by Jasmine's journey on how she moved beyond the rat race and chose to be happy in the pursuit of her dreams.


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You left your full time job as a banker to pursue and share your love for yoga. Can you share more about that journey with us?


I was caught in the rat race. It seemed like the normal thing to do, dreading work and accepting it as part of life. I knew I did not belong...I was unstoppable and ambitious! I made my goal known to my bosses and I was clear I was going to work towards that goal. Unfortunately, that also meant making sacrifices.

Sometimes I would stop and ask myself if it was all worth it. I guess I never could come to terms with the slow death of my spirit and I was trying so hard to fill that void...soon enough, I lost myself. I stopped laughing and I started crying. I stopped loving and I started scheming. I stopped trusting and I started doubting. I stopped dreaming and I started accepting the emptiness I was feeling.

I left my job in September 2014 to pursue what made me happy. It has been an incredible (almost) 2 years since I left and I now have Yoga Lab! I knew I made the right decision.
You’re a big believer in the idea that yoga is an endless road of self-acceptance and self-discovery. What’s the story behind that?

Initially when I first started yoga, all I wanted to do was to be able to get into the full front splits. I was not flexible at all and was even kicked out of dance school so you can imagine how difficult it was for me. But I was very determined; I wanted it so much that I would have my friends sit on me while I practice my forward folds. It was very painful but I chose to ignore those sensations and pushed my body through it. Eventually, I tore my hamstrings. That was a huge lesson for me to accept myself for what I am capable of doing at the very present moment and that there is no room for competition.

Being mindful comes with practice. On the mat we practice being mindful of our breath and being mindful of what our bodies are telling us. This is translated off the mat as being mindful of what you say, and your thoughts.

Right now, being a studio owner is my yoga. And I am thankful for the practice I have which taught me how to be patient and to let go of control. To slow down and to response instead of react. Because I understand myself better, I can be more honest about what I can do and what I cannot do at this point. And I accept that what I cannot do now is temporary, as long as I have faith and I trust the process, it will all come.



What has been the most inspiring part about starting Yoga Lab for you? 

The most inspiring part about starting Yoga Lab is being able to continually surprise myself at what I am capable of. I never imagined I would be able to do this alone. Now I handle everything from making the biggest business decision to cleaning the toilets. It requires me to continually step out and be comfortable outside of my comfort zone.

Magic happens outside our comfort zones. I have grown so much as a person ever since Yoga Lab. To be honest, people from my younger days do not believe the things I am capable of handling on my own now. I am inspired to become a better person as each day passes and see my full potential.


What keeps you motivated to keep the Yoga studio going every day?

I am motivated to keep Yoga Lab going so I can bring yoga to as many people as possible. Yoga Lab will be affordable and convenient. Yoga Lab will be right there for you when you need yoga. I have personally benefitted tremendously from yoga and I truly believe everyone deserve yoga. People will no longer be deprived of yoga because it is ‘too expensive’.




How would you define Destiny? Do you think it’s something we choose or is written in the stars for us? Would you consider the life you’re leading now part of your destiny? 

I am Christian and I believe that God knows everything that’ll happen in my life. He has given me a destiny — something to do in this life, something only I can do.

But because God allows choices, people can miss God’s destiny for us. For example, if someone decides to drink and drive and end their life in an accident then that is not God’s destiny but a result of foolish choice. So yes I believe we can choose our destiny by keeping close to what God has planned for us. Our destiny is our choice.

I believe God took me out of the banking world and planted me in yoga for a reason. For every step of my way has been a very blessed journey. There has been hiccups but nothing I could not overcome. I believe my life right now is part of my destiny and God is using my life to bring Him glory. Yoga Lab is also where I now run Grace Flow (Holy Yoga) classes!

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Sometimes, all we need is a helping hand to catapult our careers. Which is what AirAsia's Runway Ready Designer Search competition is all about -- in its 2nd year, they continue with their efforts to develop and empower young and talented designers across the region and create a platform to help them with their careers in the fashion industry. 


And after the announcements of the representatives from the Philippines and Singapore last April and May, now three aspiring Malaysian designers are closer than ever to their dreams as they have been chosen to compete and represent their home country in the Grand Finale of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2016.


The 3 designers were revealed after undergoing two rounds of judging during the Kuala Lumpur auditions, further deliberations, and the opportunity to meet and learn from Andrew Tan, founder of KL Fashion Week Ready To Wear 2016, and Alia Bastamam, renowned fashion designer.



Ryan Alexander Tan Shaur-An from ESMOD Kuala Lumpur, Ng Yi Xuan from SML Fashion Academy, and Loh Teik Lim from ESMOD Kuala Lumpur complete the list of the Top 15 in this region-wide competition and will battle it out this August in Kuala Lumpur with 12 other contestants from Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Plus, they will also stand a chance to walk away from the Grand Finale as AirAsia’s Most Promising Young Designer 2016 and prizes worth RM350,000 -- which include a confirmed show segment to showcase his or her full collection at KLFW RTW 2017.

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For more details about the AirAsia Runway Search, visit www.klfashionweek.com

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Just as May was all about celebrating women and mothers everywhere, this June is all about the men in our lives – our dads, brothers, boyfriends, and best friends. And there is no better way to show our knights in shining armour how much they mean to us than with gifts that will make them feel extra special.

But if you’re having trouble thinking of gifts to give the man who means the most to you, don’t worry! This month, Rustan’s has partnered with HSBC to dedicate an entire month to the “Urban Man” with special promos and exclusive collections that are perfect for gifting and will cater to each individual's style. 

So if you want to make your dads, brothers, and boy friends feel like the men of the hour, here are our gift picks that will delight them all!


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Babette Wasserman Navy Enamel Knot Cufflinks



When it comes to giving men gifts, you can never go wrong with cufflinks. And these excellently crafted navy ones will complete all his formal and business looks for an elegant and dashing finish!

Montblanc 4810



A timepiece which will go with any outfit he sports for a polished look all day, everyday? Yes, please! 


S'well Water bottle in Teakwood



Is your man an explorer? Then these S’Well water bottles will be his ultimate adventure partner as it will ensure that his drinks are always cold or hot to quench his thirst! 


Kikkerland Bartending Glass

This glass smartly combines form and creativity and will ensure that your man never makes a mistake when making a drink.


Sisley Gentle Facial Buffing Cream



Is your man a skincare buff? Then this exfoliator is the perfect gift for him – its delicate microparticles gently removes impurities and dead skin cells for a polished and refined complexion!


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