Fit And Fab

He travels around the world to teach yoga

Mr Rocky Heron's fitness routine is about training himself physically and mentally.
Mr Rocky Heron's fitness routine is about training himself physically and mentally.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

When yoga instructor is tired and can't move his body, he visualises himself stretching

Q How did you start doing yoga?

A I was a teenager then and wanted to get fit. I was looking for something with the more creative styles of movement.

I was never much of an athlete. A friend suggested that I join a yoga class. I was very hesitant to do so at first because I had attended a yoga class with my mum when I was about 15 and I fell asleep.

I thought yoga was just about flexibility but, during class, there was so much strength required for the movements. By the time I finished, I felt like I had been wrung out.

After that, I'd attend class every couple of weeks and I soon realised it was something I really wanted to dedicate myself to. So I signed up for training as a teacher.

Q What is your secret to looking good?

A If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret anymore. Anyway, it's to care as much about how you feel on the inside as you do on the outside. Ultimately, if you radiate that on the inside, it will inspire you to take better care of yourself. Because outer beauty is pretty empty without inner beauty - but don't tell anyone, it's a secret.

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A I have always been fab. But fit - sure, I'm very tall and I went through a significant growth spurt when I was in high school. However, I was never much for physical activities.

I was very thin and lanky and kind of awkward. And it wasn't until I found yoga, and other forms of fitness, that my body started to transform.

Q What is your diet like?

A I drink a lot of smoothies and shakes and eat a lot of protein and greens. I have eggs in the morning and try to eat lean proteins throughout the day - chicken and fish, as well as rice, vegetables and nuts.

I try to eat as organic and clean as possible, so that I can treat myself to the occasional doughnut.

  • Bio Box


    Age: 30

    Height: 1.98m

    Weight: 99kg

    Mr Heron's first brush with yoga at the age of 15 when he attended a yoga class with his mother was literally a yawn - he fell asleep and started snoring.

    But the second time round, he realised it was a calling. The teenager was looking to get fit through something which incorporated the creative styles of movement and yoga fitted the bill.

    "I remember it was so confrontational and challenging. I had to really pay attention to the instructions," said the yoga teacher from California.

    He trained to be a life coach or hypnotherapist, but those jobs never felt quite right, he said.

    So 11 years ago, the aspiring actor began learning to teach yoga in Los Angeles.

    "I like yoga because people do it for different reasons - getting in shape, healing from an injury or enriching their spiritual lives," said Mr Heron, whose parents are a musician and a nurse.

    Mr Heron, who is engaged to a fellow yoga instructor, travels around the world teaching yoga and conducting training for teachers. He was in Singapore last month for a workshop at The Yoga School.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A It's important to me, but not to the point of obsession. Once, when I was in Jakarta, even though I was jet-lagged and had been teaching all day, I insisted on doing my workout routine. And I got shingles.

So, sometimes, the best thing to do is to rest when you need to.

My fitness routine is just as much about training myself mentally, as it is about training physically. So if I can't move my body, oftentimes I can still meditate or visualise myself moving or stretching.

Q What are the important things in your life?

A My partner, who is a personal trainer and yoga instructor, and also performs as a contortionist and acrobat. Also important to me are learning and education, movement, friends, family and plenty of adventures.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A Duh, don't you? If you don't think you're sexy, you can't expect anyone else to think you're sexy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline 'A matter of mind as well as body'. Print Edition | Subscribe