MY BAG

Mindful globetrotter: TV presenter, travel host Denise Keller now certified yoga instructor

Television presenter and travel host Denise Keller.
Television presenter and travel host Denise Keller.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Television presenter and travel host Denise Keller makes time for yoga to keep herself from being overwhelmed by work

From meeting musicians in the ancient Chinese city of Xi'an to riding horses in landlocked Kazakhstan, Denise Keller travels the world for her job as a TV presenter and travel host.

But what some might not know is that the 33-year-old also country- hops as a certified yoga instructor.

Certified by Pure Yoga in Singapore by master Arun Rana, Keller conducts private classes when she is back here. She has also travelled to hotel spas and resorts in the region, such as Cove55 in Kuching and The Sanchaya in Bintan, to conduct yoga workshops and retreats.

She is exploring different countries along the historical Silk Road for a documentary with The Discovery Channel, and plans to return to Singapore next month to conduct a yoga session for Giving Week (www.givingweek.giving.sg).


Denise Keller travels the world for her job as a TV presenter and travel host. She also country-hops as a certified yoga instructor. -- ST PHOTOS: ONG WEE JIN

Organised by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, the week-long movement dedicated to giving back will take place from Dec 1 to 7.

ON HER BAG

This Celine Phantom was a gift from my husband, and he got it for me as he thought it would be a good adventure yoga bag because it has both cargo tones and flirty feminine colours. Plus he knows I like big bags because I can just throw everything in. I love it because I do not have to think twice about where my things are. It is an organised mess.

  • Things in her bag

  • ESSENTIAL OILS FROM YOUNG LIVING

    I teach aroma yoga with these oils. I also use them for everything. They are my natural medicine. They help me balance my senses and are wonderful for stress on the road. I use the eucalyptus when I feel a cold coming on and frankincense helps calm my mind. I have stopped drinking coffee so the peppermint is my replacement in the morning and helps wake me up.


    RAY-BAN FOLDING WAYFARER SUNGLASSES

    I have to have these, especially while travelling. I like the size because I hate bulky sunglasses, so these are brilliant. I have two pairs in case I lose one.


    BABY GLOW SHEER LIQUID FOUNDATION BY GUERLAIN

    I do not like wearing make-up in general for my travels. I have to be really quick and am on the go most of the time, so I like this because it gives me wonderful coverage and has a great SPF and is really convenient.


    SCARF

    I have to cover up sometimes when I go to certain countries and I have to be culturally sensitive. So I always have a scarf with me. I bought this when I was in Morocco recently. I just love the colours that they use there.


    MONITOR HEADPHONES BY MARSHALL

    I cannot live without these. Best sound ever. I am a big fan of Marshall because of my MTV VJ past. I used to see their speakers at concerts and those are just phenomenal, so when they diversified into headphones, I got them straight away. I use these all the time and they help me shut the world out.


    THE SILK ROAD - CHINA AND THE KARAKORUM HIGHWAY: A TRAVEL GUIDE BY JONATHAN TUCKER

    My favourite book this year. I think everyone should read it, especially if they are interested in the Silk Road. I have read it twice already, but I still read it over and over to look for passages while I am filming.


    DIOR ADDICT FLUID STICK, 689 VERTIGO

    These lipsticks come in such a great variety of colours and I have the whole spectrum. I'm obsessed.


    MALA BEADS

    I always have these when I do my Pranayama, which is a breathing technique in yoga. I hold them and use them to count my breaths.

Keller will be raising funds as well as awareness for the Autism Association through her yoga session.

The svelte Eurasian model loves yoga because it is "an individual journey with yourself through the body-mind connection".

"With yoga, not only do I get to have an 'inner' conversation with my body, but I also feel the physical benefits immediately after being on the mat for a couple of hours."

The former MTV VJ, who has been on various magazine covers such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and FHM, is married to Robert Gaxiola, 46, who works in advertising.

She completed Passage To China earlier this year, the third instalment in a travel series that has also covered Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, with American lifestyle channel TLC. Filming for the Silk Road documentary, Expedition X: The Silk Road Rising, is expected to wrap up in January.

When she is on the road, she tries to spend at least five to 10 minutes daily on the mat, a routine she says keeps her from being overwhelmed and helps her to reset.

She says: "This job is very research focused and there is a lot to absorb. Some times, you just want to empty your brain and relax after the long hours, and yoga helps me do that."


• Denise Keller's charity yoga session costs $40 a person on Dec 5 from 10am to 1pm at The Cube @ Asia Square. Spaces are limited. To reserve a spot, e-mail wellness@denisekeller.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2015, with the headline 'MyBag Mindful globetrotter'. Print Edition | Subscribe