Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a qualified medical doctor. I studied medicine because I was fascinated by the human body and how it worked. I’m also a yoga instructor because I’ve always enjoyed and loved moving and challenging my body. I’m in awe of the human mind and spirit and its abilities.
When and how did you get into yoga?
My very first experience of yoga was when my mother took me with her to one of her yoga classes. I was six years old at the time and had no idea why I was being asked to breathe, touch my toes and stand on my head, but I loved it. Going to yoga was always very special to me because I was having fun and “dancing around” (I used to think it’s a type of dance) with my mom and also because I just felt so content, happy and peaceful afterwards. I didn’t know why I felt this way, but I did and it made me want to go back for more. During school, sports such as hockey and atheltics dominated a lot of my time and kept me busy, but at medical school I started doing yoga again to ease my stress and nerves, and I have been practicing it regularly every since.
How do you juggle being a professional doctor and a yoga instructor?
This has been a huge challenge for me! At the moment, I’m taking some time off from clinical medicine and have a slightly more relaxed schedule with my new work, which is still focused on health but doesn’t involve being on call. Thankfully, because this is a normal 9-5 job and doesn’t require me to work on weekends. I have a lot more time to teach yoga! I guess because this job feels a lot more relaxed than medicine does, I feel like I have so much more free time to practise and teach even though it means that I’m very busy!
I am still finding my way when it comes to balancing yoga and work. I think this is a problem for many yoga teachers and yoga students alike and its just best if you approach is as an adventure, with an easy going attitude.
Please give us five benefits of yoga
Wow. Only five? The main benefit for me is definitely stress relief. This is closely followed by increased flexibility, muscle conditioning, increasing muscular strength and last but definitely not least holistic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
What advice would you give someone who’s interested in yoga but can’t seem to find the right class to join?
If you enjoy group classes, try to find studios or gym that have classes specifically targetted at beginners. Most studios and gyms have this and it’s a great way to start. Beginner workshops or courses are also a great way to establish a new routine while stil being able to ask lots of questions about yoga and start things off at a small pace. Yin or restorative classes are also great because they offer a slow and relaxed style of yoga, which is great for beginners and the perfect way to release stress and flexibility.
If you would like more personalised attention, try reaching out to some of the yoga studios in your area and find out if any of their teachers offer private lessons. I really enjoy teaching privately because it means you can really tailor the yoga practice according to your student and their individual needs. If one on one classes are a bit intimidating, many teachers (me included) also offer small group classes or couple classes, where you can have a session with your partner, best friend or a group of your friends. These are also a great way to get personalised attention while being able to have fun, grow and bond with your partner/friends at the same time.
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