Kris Ng, Co-founder of BodyTree Group and its sister companies, Pilates Teacher and Educator and mother; We chat with Kris to find out how this super-mum juggles her different roles and her quick advice to other working mums.
Tell us more about yourself
I co-founded BodyTree Group and its sister companies but first and foremost, I am a Pilates teacher. I am also a mother to a precocious three-year-old, Jade.
What made you decide to become a Pilates teacher?
I’ve been practising Pilates for a couple of years in Sydney before I moved back to Singapore in early 2000. At that time, there was only one fully-equipped Pilates studio. I barely started working and couldn’t afford Pilates private training, the only way to get started at that studio then. When I read about its teacher training program, I was convinced it was the answer for me to practice as much as I wanted as part of the program requirements. Alas, I was rejected because I was not the typical student teacher profile i.e. dancer, fitness instructor, physical therapist etc, plus I was “too young”.
As luck would have it, Pilates Elder Ron Fletcher was invited to teach a workshop the following year which I attended, and the rest is history.
What was it like going from full time teacher, co-founder of BodyTree Group and adding being a mother to that role?
Becoming a first time mother while coping with the impending death of my Dad was intensely stressful. Teaching took a backseat to family time. I’ve resumed my teaching capacity for a while now but since that pivotal time in my life, it has become more important for me to process and evaluate regularly how I can serve my clients and students best while keeping my own fire burning strong. This reflection is part of what made me decide to step away from my role as the Managing Director of BodyTree Academy to refocus my lens on my personal and professional growth.
You also specialise in Women’s Wellness, why Women’s Wellness?
This was ignited when I became a mother, more so a mother to a Girl, though there has always been something in me all along. When I was about 7 or 8, my grandmother announced that any of her grandkids (boys and girls) would receive an “ang pow” for scoring the highest grades in class. I did that year and her favourite grandson (my cousin) did not. When I told A-Ma I topped my class, she merely muttered an acknowledgement but “forgot” my ang pow. I felt indignant, told my Dad and got my “ang pow”.
I believe women (and girls) should be empowered to stand up, speak up and advocate for ourselves, and for each other. My work as a Pilates teacher allows me to help women become aware of our bodies; aware that we have choices about how to use and move our bodies to support our current or ideal lifestyles and activities. Through my work and my approach, I also hope we start to question “standard practices” and remind ourselves that our bodies are residences – no more, no less – for our minds, emotions and experiences, the things that truly make us so multifaceted, rich and interesting.
So yes, I feel tremendous satisfaction working with women.
Sister to sister; what advice do you have for other ladies who juggle career and family?
Take time to figure out what your priority is at this stage of your life given your resources and rope in help from your support system to make it happen. And ditch perfection!
Why the BodyTree Academy and its program?
The BTA program was written after the founders taught for an internationally renowned teacher training program for 6 years. We witnessed good students struggling to teach real-life clients upon graduation. Seeing that across various graduates confirmed what we knew had to be in our program; how to structure and deliver it.
Our intention with the BTA teacher training program is to bridge that gap and shorten the time new teachers take to be able to make a real difference to the clients who came to them. That’s how the Prehab Trainer was created and is included in the Pilates Matwork teacher certification and the Comprehensive teacher training program since 2013.
BTA Director of Education Daniel Chan is constantly reviewing the courses to improve the way students understand the work so that they can apply it on their own clients quickly. This resulted in a brand new way we’ve chosen to bring the Matwork teacher certification course to you this year, starting with the online prerequisite Prehab Trainer – Axial Skeleton, designed specially for Matwork teacher trainees to INTEGRATE your understanding of biomechanics with the exercises.
Educator, BodyTree Academy®
Kris is the Co-Founder of the BodyTree Group, a Pilates teacher and an Educator for 16 years. Since 2007, she has mentored students in Singapore and South-East Asia to become Pilates teachers with many going on to having successful teaching careers and their own studio practices. In 2014, she spearheaded the launch of the BodyTree Academy® Pilates teacher training programs as the then-Director.
After 24 years of personal practice including other movement modalities and approaches, Kris continues to apply the concepts of Pilates as a reference to approach physical movement. She believes Breathwork and Core Training is the MUST-HAVE foundation for active living and the basis of any movement disciplines or mobility fitness training.
Kris is particularly passionate about working with WOMEN and educating movement professionals working with Women on prenatal & postnatal exercise; applications on Diastasis Recti, Incontinence and other Pelvic Floor conditions. As an Educator and Mentor, she is known to be firm and clear while recognising each student teacher’s journey to be unique.
Co-Founder and Teacher, Pilates BodyTree®
Co-Founder and Teacher, BodyTree Women’s Wellness
Co-Founder and Educator, BodyTree Academy®
Pilates Method Alliance PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher (now known as NCPT)
Fletcher Pilates® Professional Teacher
Fletcher Pilates® Faculty (2012-2014)
Fletcher Pilates® Adjunct Faculty (2008-2011)
Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist™ (The Center for Women’s Fitness)
Yamuna® Body Rolling Certified Practitioner
Barefoot Training Specialist® (EBFA)
BARE® Workout Instructor (EBFA)
Run Injury Free Specialist (EBFA)
Presenter at Polestar Pilates Retreat, KL, Malaysia (2012)
Presenter at Asian Fitness Convention, Pattaya, Thailand (2012)
Presenter at International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, Singapore (2012)
Also studiedDynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) Exercise I
Diastasis Recti Recovery (The Center for Women’s Fitness)
Pelvic Floor Health & Dysfunction (The Center for Women’s Fitness)
Pelvic Floor and Core Foundations (Burrell Education)
The Tummy Team certification (Core Foundations; Core Preparations for Cesarean Birth; Prenatal Core Training and Floor of Your Core)
Certified Basic Sports Massage (ISA) – in progress