We speak to Dawn Sim, Studio Director and Co-Founder of Trium Fitness, about her fitness entrepreneurial journey while juggling parental responsibilities.
During my first-ever aerial yoga class at Trium Fitness, I found myself hesitantly stepping into the airy studio, where colourful aerial hammocks swayed gently, as if to beckon. Beyond the studio’s huge glass windows, warm hues of the evening sun helped to calm some nerves.
Parallels exist between Dawn, co-founder and studio director of Trium Fitness, and the studio. Her gracefulness and elegance fill the room as she skips in – footsteps light, movements nimble, and a radiant smile that eases much of the tension in the studio.
Throughout the class, her contagious disposition never waned. Dawn’s instructions are precise and easy to follow, and her cheery voice is encouraging but not forceful.
With children and fitness as her priorities in life, the aerial yogi believes in healthy living from a young age, similar to how she was a national swimmer at the age of seven.
It’s not hard to see why everyone adores her passion. The mother of four (surprise!) set up Singapore’s largest aerial yoga studio to foster a community of like-minded individuals.
“Shuttling between so many different places to teach got tiring especially after I had my fourth baby, so when the opportunity came about to set up one location where my students could all come to me, I took it,” Dawn says, before we begin our conversation.
“Even after having children, it is still possible for you to achieve your goals and dreams. You’ll just need to be creative, resourceful and be passionate about what you are fighting for.”
Doyenne: What drew you to yoga?
Dawn: I have always been a hyperactive individual, and with yoga, I was able to find peace and tranquility in life. I was introduced to yoga by my coach when I was competing in the swimming nationals since I was seven, and following the injuries I sustained whilst training.
Practising yoga helps improve the quality of life in mind and body. I believe that I will practice yoga as long as my limbs can function.
D: What is your reason behind wanting to inspire others through fitness?
Dawn: Yoga has helped me in so many ways. I have since made it an important part of my life and I would love for others to receive the same benefits from yoga.
Being a parent, I spend a lot of quality time with my children while juggling my work as a trainer and now as a business owner. I’ve always made it a point to stay fit and healthy for my children.
Seeing how keeping fit has helped me be a better mom, I hope to share this with other parents and caregivers as well.
D: Are there any misconceptions people often have about aerial yoga?
Dawn: Aerial yoga is for everyone no matter what your fitness level or age. The height of the hammock can be adjusted to make it accessible for children and even the elderly. At home, I practice aerial yoga with my children aged one to 11. At the studio, our oldest student is 62 years old!
On top of that, hanging freely helps ease the tension on the spinal cord and hip joint and lengthens it, which helps to strengthen your back. The hammock also helps to give more freedom in movement to move your body into new positions, so you get a deeper and more fulfilling stretch.
D: What challenges have you faced thus far?
Dawn: As with all new businesses, there is always the challenge of being able to grow a business fast enough. Juggling between the responsibilities of being a parent to four young children, managing Trium Fitness, and staying disciplined to a fitness schedule is no easy feat.
It has been quite a challenge these couple of years, as my husband is away on a work attachment for two years. I’m pretty much looking after my children single-handedly at the moment.
D: Many yoga studios have popped up in Singapore in the last few years – how does Trium Fitness stay on top of the game?
Dawn: Our teachers are one of the best in their field, and they also share the same views of having passion in what they do, and fostering a like-minded community. Trium Fitness offers a wide array of classes, which aren’t commonly found at other yoga studios, such as Wheel Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Forrest Yoga.
D: Any advice for fellow mum-trepreneurs?
Dawn: Even after having children, it is still possible for you to achieve your goals and dreams. You’ll just need to be creative, resourceful and be passionate about what you are fighting for. And most importantly, you’ll never know unless you try!
D: If your 21-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?
Dawn: Goal crusher! You did it! And I can’t believe you actually popped out those four kids you’ve always wanted.