For Balance The Grind’s latest addition to our interview series, we have our very good friend Vina Sirisatien; a practitioner of Muay Thai among many other types of activity.
We speak to Vina about Muay Thai, how practicing yoga has helped her in her daily life, training motivation, work-life balance and more!
1) What sort of training are you doing at the moment?
On and off: Muay Thai training with a combination of yoga and outdoor activities (canoeing, kayaking and bush running).
2) What was it about Muay Thai that attracted you?
Besides it being a very important practice in my culture heritage, I love the straight to the point style Muay Thai offers and how much power each punch or kick will deliver based on the techniques I’ve learnt.
Even though I don’t see Muay Thai as a very fancy art form, it seems to be the most practical and efficient.
3) In addition to Muay Thai, you also do a lot of yoga. How do you think it has helped you on a daily basis and your other training?
Yoga has not only helped me with Muay Thai from a flexibility point of view, but in all aspects of my life.
The breathing exercises and meditation has helped me keep focus with my work life and manage stress levels when it feels there’s not enough time to complete tasks during the day. The main lesson I have learnt from yoga is to be graceful through change.
4) How do you deal with getting stuck in a training rut?
Most of the time I try to just push myself to get to the place of training because for me, making the first step is the hardest thing to do. As long as I show up that’s one more step closer than I was yesterday.
Watching UFC fights and other athletes in their best and worst moments also helps to get over the rut also helps me see that the route to success isn’t always a direct ascend.
5) Who do you look at to inspire and motivate you?
Quotes from Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee I have learnt from a young age still help me with challenges I encounter to this day.
“I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count” – Muhammad Ali
That quote I use to help me go above and beyond the mediocre and continue my self-improvement.
“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them” – Bruce Lee
I have found that this quote has helped me to find the strength to not be complacent and invite change.
6) You recently came back from a trip to Thailand where you had an opportunity to observe how Muay Thai fighters train. Was there anything interesting that stood out to you?
I trained at Jaroenthong Muay Thai Gym in Surat Thani. The pace of the training in Thailand greatly contrasted to the training in Australia.
I noticed train sessions were twice as long, however breaks in between were about 10 minutes long as opposed to the 1-2 minute breaks in my local gym.
They also had a trainer per student to focus and we would rotate to different trainers with high explosive training. It felt highly focused on endurance and power.
7) That’s awesome, what were the fights like?
Like training in Thailand, the fights were more controlled and slower paced i.e. technical and strategic. I was amazing to see children fight from the age of 8 with a lot of energy and aggression through to mature aged experienced fighters with more control and strategic – in one sitting.
I saw Muay Thai in this situation as more of a thinking sport, the slower the pace for a fighter to think before acting the more skill I thought he had.
8) How do you make sure you balance out everything in your life – from work to family to training?
I make sure there is a day available for everything including time to myself and make a routine out of it. It would be difficult to balance my life if I had to constantly plan out things everyday, which would increase my stress levels.
Yoga would either be Monday or Thursday, Muay Thai on Tuesdays, family on Wednesdays, friends on Friday or Saturday and outdoor activities on Sunday. Night time would be time for myself to unwind and reflect and plan.
9) What’s your favourite thing to do when winding down from a long day?
Music has always played an important factor in my life where it serves as a meditation tool anytime, anywhere. Most nights I would play guitar as it helps with my focus and memory.
10) If money and time weren’t an issue, how would you spend 3 months of your life?
I would travel to places like Peru and do extensive treks, then move across to globe with any mean of transport on land and sea and learn about different cultures and languages.