An invitation to pause:Per x inooknit

Doing Yoga is like dancing on water

The postures speak for the mind, so quiet and calm.

Sometimes it feels like a rock in the mountains, unique and still in this ever-changing world.

There are many coexisting in life just like water and rocks. 

Only by accepting deeply and not wandering outside can we find our true selves.

Q:Tell us about yourself.

I am Per, Chen-Mei. I’m a typical Capricorn, the type who’s pretty serious and anxious, a little shy, and am a workaholic! It takes a while for people to get to know me, I’m a little sensitive so I like deep conversations. 

I like yoga, singing bowls, drawing, and playing electric guitar. Human Design is intriguing to me, as well. 

Time flies, it has been three years since I moved to Taiwan. I feel like this is my home now, I don’t have to check the map going to some places anymore, and I’m very familiar with the metro. I love this familiarity.

Q:What’s the difference between Hong Kong and Taiwan regarding their lifestyles?

I used to be a 9-5er in Hong Kong working for an international agency on project/event planning. After gaining enough experience, I became a freelancer. Living in Hong Kong comes with huge pressure. I've spent 8 years of my life working overtime in a very fast-paced environment after graduating from college. 

In contrast, the lifestyle in Taiwan is slower and more laidback. I feel like a different person after I moved here and almost forgot who that exhausted worker is. I slowly discovered another side of me, the one who picked up drawing and the guitar again. I am content throughout the journey.

Q:What’s creating like for you?

I never felt like an artist or a creator, I wasn’t conscious of this before. Sometimes I would draw or write content. I have also recorded podcasts and during this time, some strangers had reached out to me and interacted with me, I even got a few collaboration invites. I realized that I’ve been creating and am super excited about this version of myself.

Q:What have you realized since you learned to do yoga?

Back when I was always drained with work, I unintentionally noticed a very zen yoga/meditation studio with a sign written “an invitation to pause” just next to the company building I was working for; and that “pause” was exactly what I needed at the moment. 

I utilized my lunch break and the time prior to clock in at work to practice yoga and eventually got my yoga certificate. I genuinely appreciate all my yoga mentors. What I have realized is that I learned to embrace and accept myself, and after learning about yoga anatomy, I noticed that everyone’s bones are structured differently and that affects our posture. 

There’s no perfection in a yoga posture, we should learn to accept who we are. Every person's “warrior” looks a little different, too; but that doesn’t have to be a problem to being our own warrior.

Q:In regards to comfort, what would you put together as an outfit?

I like my style simple, usually in between the colors black, white, grey, nude, and beige. I love wearing a cotton crop-top with silky wide pants, and the shoes should always be comfortable for me so that I feel unrestrained. I also love water-resistant coats because it rains a lot in Taipei, hahaha! It’s important to waterproof myself!

Q:How would you define a modern female’s comfort and confidence?

Take control of your intuition. We are asked to do a lot of things and to compromise, sometimes we forget what we truly want. If you’re stuck in making difficult decisions, here’s a way that you can try: have a trusted friend do a quick Q&A with you, and you have to answer the questions in 3 seconds. The point is not to be controlled by your brain and to follow your intuitions. As long as you do that, you’ll notice that you’ll be more content in life. Once you’re conscious and clear about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, confidence follows.

Q:Everyone is unique and we all have emotions. How to not be affected by your own judgments?

It isn’t easy to do especially with the emergence of social media. It is easy for everyone to fall into this loop of comparing with others, and trust me, you’ll always feel less than the others. It’s necessary to recognize how this phenomenon is silently yet violently affecting you. Take a look at yourself, what others like or what’s popular at the moment aren’t necessarily what you appreciate. 

In the “Yoga Sutras”, there is a principle called “Ahimsa” meaning do no harm. Many of us neglect the power of words and would be harsh on ourselves, not allowing us to make mistakes and scolding ourselves in the cage that we built in our hearts. 

This is definitely a practice that takes patience and time, I’m still working on this myself. I have to remind myself often. 

Don’t say those words to yourself if you wouldn’t say them to your loved ones or your friends, don’t even think about saying bad things about yourself in your mind. 

Maybe this can be the practice of self-acceptance.

Photographer/ Toby Hsu @presstheshutter99

Texts/ Lin Chin @chih_____lin

Model/ @perchan