Sometimes to lighten moods and heighten spirits, getting away from the clutter and cluster of a fast paced life and getting closer to the clouds is a must. May Yuen identified this shared need, harnessed her skills and her hope to encourage social connection, and created Brisbane Rooftop Yoga – the ultimate relaxation elevation.

May was born in Hong Kong and came to Australia in 2012 to pursue Media and Communication at Queensland University of Technology. “As an immigrant in Australia with my parents and family far away from me, I understand the importance of community and neighbourhood,” she said. “Back in Hong Kong, we all live in high rise buildings and most of the time we don’t talk to each other which generates isolation and individualism in society.”

After graduating, May spent four years working as a marketing specialist for a property investment company. The nine-to-five office life however, revealed itself as mundane and didn’t quite fall in line with May’s idea of an ideal lifestyle. “Although I was earning decent money, there was no meaning in it, so I quit my job and attended a six month Yoga Teacher training course at the BioMedical Institute of Yoga,” May said.

Driven by her need for mental and physical peace, as well as a few years of experience practicing yoga in her own time to distress, May delved deep into the underlying practices and techniques during her studies. “I attended the course to know more about the yoga world and I learnt meditation technique, breathing technique, different yoga schools of thought and the history and philosophy,” she said. “After completing my studies, I started teaching in several studios.”

During May’s previous experience in an office, she noticed the numerous high-rise residential buildings in Brisbane and started making plans. “The idea comes from my home town in Hong Kong where, back in the 50s and 60s, Kung Fu masters practiced with their students on the rooftops and the aim of it was to build a community, improve lifestyles and get healthy together,” May said. “By starting Brisbane Rooftop Yoga, I hope to start a platform to encourage conversations in the building, encourage residents to talk to each other and create a community.”

May’s next classes are held at the Limes Hotel on Wednesdays and Sundays at 10:30am.

Readers also enjoyed this story about an app called Life Sorted.