To most including myself, well-being seems too utopian an ideal. A luxury only afforded by those with excess time, resources and frankly, energy; achieving a state of wellness was a far-fetched idea to me. In my mind, I understood well-being as holistic health, but in the sense of enmeshing competently marketed it-girl ways of life into my own. To get into the wellness shtick, I believed one had to shop at Erewhon, work out only at bespoke fitness studios, and channel everyday zen. Yet, in hearing from Naomi Yeo, a Singaporean host-presenter, actress and yoga instructor, I now get to understand a different perspective. Fitness seems to be her second nature, as the 29-year-old’s social media is constantly updated with her adventures in staying active. Her (f)it-girl aura is made even more salient by her appointment as Lululemon ambassador, which has culminated in her recent debut in the brand’s global campaign alongside South Korean model Irene Kim, and Japanese Paralympian Mei Ichinose.
But in taking a longer look at the content she pushes out, it’s also clear that Yeo’s wellness persona transcends a facade built on the foundations of a love for overpriced organics and the occasional workout. GRAZIA Singapore hears from Yeo, who talks about her journey into achieving well-being, what holistic health means to her, and being spotlit on an international scale in her Lululemon campaign.
What does well-being mean to you?
There are many elements that make up well-being, especially if we’re thinking about the state of one’s happiness or comfort level. To me, well-being means finding equilibrium between your thoughts and actions. This also means that I’ve come to accept the experiences that come with this journey – the good, the bad, the ugly.
This reminded me of a panel talk I did with Lululemon for International Women’s Day with a few talented ladies, and we expanded on physical, mental and social well-being. To me, this trifecta plays a very important role in the way we balance our outlook and attitude in life. With the Lululemon family, I’ve been fortunate to come together with ambassadors from around the world, and participate in a 10k run. We worked up a sweat together, had conversations about who we are and how we can support each other, and just purely enjoyed each other’s company. It was beautiful, experiencing something so simple yet profound and it was such a great example of what well-being means to me.
Can you map out your well-being journey over the years? How did you get started?
I’d liken this journey to a scatter chart! I think you’ll find there are many starts and stops in this journey, along with some high highs and very low lows. I realise now that the common variable for this change is discipline.
The most pivotal starting point for me was when I overcame my first negative thought with positive action. I was wrestling with my self-worth that day and was bouncing between giving up going for my first yoga class, and actually going for it and giving it a try. Something shifted that day. I wanted to keep improving, and I was curious about what that would look like.
It’s been about 6 years since this first try, and the journey continues to have its ups and downs, but I continue to learn a lot about myself.
How do you feel about being the first APAC ambassador featured in a global campaign?
It didn’t hit me until I started receiving messages from friends or people that have been following me online. They were so kind to take photos of campaigns in stores and online. I was really focused on trying to do well for the shoot and not let anyone down. Now that they’ve been well received and they’re out for the world to see, I think I can heave a sigh of relief!
It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined, and I’m very grateful to the Lululemon family for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work alongside them. To have been a part of something like this—I’ll never forget it.
How was your experience collaborating with Irene Kim and Mei Ichinose?
I was nervous at first, wondering what they were like, but all that worry melted away as soon as we got to set. Irene and Mei were so down-to-earth and really professional! I wished we had more time to get to know each other better. They’re both so highly respected in their craft I think I spent most of my time just trying to see what I could learn from them!
What empowers you to take your well-being journey to the next level?
The idea that there’s so much more to life I’ve yet to explore and experience—it motivates me to look for areas where I can continue to grow, learn and feel. It’s not so much looking at taking my well-being journey to the next level, but rather meeting myself where I’m at, at every stage in life, and then working on improving my state of mind. I’ve learnt to understand and accept that my well-being will look different all the time. This balance remains [as] one of my biggest driving forces in looking out for my well-being.
What is your favourite item from the Align collection?
It’s tough to pick one item because I have a few I wear to death! Hahaha!
If I was heading out to do a yoga practice, a no-brainer would be the Align Pants (Asia Fit) 24” and the Flow Y Nulu Bra. They’ve been consistent in providing me with support and they’re so comfortable it’s second nature to go about your day after class and not worry about anything falling out! Fun fact: I bought my first pair of Align pants 5-6 years ago when I was just starting my yoga journey, and I still have them to this day. You can’t beat that sort of loyalty!
I’m getting goosebumps—it’s really come full circle, especially after being a part of the Lululemon Align campaign and sharing my love for [these] pant[s]!
To shop Naomi’s favourites, the Align collection is available online and in Lululemon stores islandwide.