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Alyssa Mak is a Pilates Instructor, Yoga Instructor and a Blogger.
We admire her braveness and lifestyle so we want to share her story with you. 

Can you tell us how everything started and developed?

At the time when I first started off as a Pilates instructor I was really into fitness because I was obsessed with having to look a certain way. Being affected by the ideal look that the fitness industry promoted, I found myself constantly focussing on how defined my abs were and how lean I looked – which was really evident in my style of teaching”.

One day she stepped into a yoga class during her fitness routine, and her whole perspective on health and wellness changed.

“I found myself becoming so much more self-aware of what my body needed, more than how it looked”.

Not long after that she decided to get trained to become a yoga instructor specialised in trauma-sensitive yoga.

“I have seen how the fitness industry has had a negative effect on people who struggled to keep up to the image that is portrayed in the media, but also acknowledge how important it is to look after our bodies in a holistic way. So I started using my blog, social media and live classes as my platform to share a message that empowers women to embrace who they are and to look after their heart, soul, mind and body”.

In your blog you mention that beauty ideals are far from what reality is. Why do you think is it like this?

“There is such a fine line between showing others what is possible and empowering others to look after their bodies and portraying a look that seems too far-fetched which ends up discouraging others to pursue a healthy lifestyle. In an attempt to market products and programs, companies present a specific ‘look’ that sells. A look that women idolise. A look that makes women feel in lack. That’s what sells, because the moment you make someone feel like they are in lack, they will do whatever it takes to fill that gap”.

To use the Secret Sisterhood values, how do you empower and uplift women to radiate their inner beauty and feel more confident?

I would say that we must be kind to ourselves and kind to others. The biggest problem is that we compare and compete. We can appreciate other people’s differences without the need to compete with them. We can all look and be different but inspire each other to improve and become a better version of ourselves. The moment we feel that there is an ideal look to beauty, we start to shame ourselves and/or others”.

She tells us that in her yoga classes she always encourages others to be more introspective. To be more self-aware. To notice what their body needs and to acknowledge areas that need more nurturing.

“We need to stop looking at others to change ourselves, because that becomes a competition, but start learning to look inwards to see what must change to become a more whole version of who you already are”.

Are you passionate about women’s empowerment and gender equality? Why is this important to you?

“Yes, I am, especially when it comes to abuse and trauma. As someone who has been sexually abused by a pedophile, raped in my teens and have been in abusive relationships, I have always struggled to stand up for myself and what ‘rights’ I had. I was told when I was a teenager that what happened to me was justified, which shamed me and made me afraid to speak up. I have witnessed and supported women who have been too afraid to speak up against the abuse they have had and so I want to empower women to stand up for their rights, and to see that they are valued, loved, beautiful and that they are heard”.

Which people inspire you and why? Any woman in particular?

“I am really inspired by people like Christine Caine – founder of A21 and Izabel Olsen – Founder of Salt and Light Coalition. These two women are passionate about supporting survivors of human trafficking and they inspire me to be a voice for the voiceless”.

If you could tell anything to all the women out there, what would this be?

“You are loved, you are beautiful, you are valued, and you are heard. Together we can be the change to make this world a better place, but it starts with us as a community to rise up courageously”.