One of the most famous celebrity trainers, Fajar Putra, aka @penyogastar, has a unique perspective on yoga. Starting his yoga journey 12 years ago, Fajar tells us how he decided to begin the training that would lead him to become the yoga star that he is now. Let’s find out below.
What is your daily ritual for health?
The first thing I’ve done every time I’ve woken up for five years is to drink lemon water with turmeric and ginger. That's one drink that really boosts my energy for the whole day. Also, it’s really good for the immune system.
What is your yoga philosophy?
Yoga is not always about what we do on the mat. Many people think that yoga is just that: poses and exercise. But I think it’s more about how we implement yoga into our daily lives. It’s about how we practice patience every day; how we bring happiness to other people; and how we can help others. So it’s another level of yoga. Many people ask me how to do a headstand, but if people have been doing it for years, their mindset will be more about how yoga can make people’s personalities better.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced as a teacher?
Every student comes with a different problem. I met with one who had a spinal injury and couldn’t move at all. Then there is a student who has scoliosis, and there are students with different body alignments. So as a teacher I have to understand how to treat them—and the challenges are different every day. We have a big responsibility because we are responsible for someone’s body—not only to make them slim, but also how to make them healthier and stronger.
How do you build relationships with your students?
My sessions are not just students and teachers: we also tell stories about life. So we do yoga because we want to meet, not only because we want to have a perfect body shape.
How important is meditation to your yoga practice?
After my ginger and turmeric drink, I have to meditate for 10 minutes and I do it every day. But actually during my yoga practice, we meditate for 60 minutes. For that hour, we unplug ourselves from the world—from mobile phones, from colleagues. That is quality time for us: yoga is about giving yourself more time. If you do yoga for 60 minutes, the effect is far greater than that.
Even if you’re a mother who has children and feels all your time is for them, try to do yoga for 30 minutes, and once you’re done, you’ll feel fresher and happier, and your children will be happier, too. Meditation can be walking meditation or even eating meditation, so the meditation doesn't have to be on a mountain and doesn’t have to be in the yoga studio—sitting in a car can also be meditation.
Tell me more about your yoga teacher training!
It was in Jakarta 12 years ago, and it was a mixed yoga class with Slamet Riyanto and Dira Dewi. Then I took acro yoga in Bali with my teacher at Yoga Beyond, and then I took acro yoga dance training in London with my teacher. After that I also trained in Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I have travelled around Asia to learn acro yoga and bring it to Jakarta.
Acro yoga is not only beautiful in photos, because when you do it, you can feel trust with each other as well as a burning feeling. In one movement, you feel that your body is working—that's what makes me get the adrenaline rush and it’s exciting. And what’s more important to acro yoga is that if you’re not having fun, then you’re not doing it right.
In my class anywhere, I always say that I don't ask my students to act cool; I don’t ask them to be perfect. We are here to be happy together, so we want to shout, laugh, and get out of there happy.