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Meet Dr Chang – Yogamatters Weblog


Chang is a GP, way of life medication doctor and yoga trainer. Her journeys in each medication and yoga inform the opposite, believing we nurture well being via devoted consideration to our many layers – bodily, psychological, emotional, social and non secular. We caught up with Dr Chang to study extra about her Yoga and Wellbeing journey and why Yoga in Healthcare is so essential to her.

What time does your day begin?  

I get up round 6 am and often get going round 8 am. The early quiet hours of the morning are the sweetest.  If I begin the morning with a yoga apply I at all times really feel higher through the day. 

​Inform us a bit about you and your background?

I’ve been practising yoga often for about 12 years.  I discovered an Iyengar yoga trainer at my native health club and he or she was the one who bought me began on my journey.  I did my foundational trainer coaching in 2017 at Triyoga London, led by essentially the most unbelievable academics, Anna Ashby and Tony Watson.  I did the coaching to interact with yoga extra deeply and I didn’t know if I might essentially educate afterwards, however I did and right here we’re. 

I additionally work as an NHS GP in London.  So I’d describe myself as a part-time yoga trainer and part-time GP.  Yoga has stored me properly and optimistic while working as a physician; over time I’ve seen how each fields are very complementary to one another.    

What’s a typical day like for you?

​It relies upon.  GP days are full-on, all day.  I simply get my head down and preserve going till the day is over.  It’s a come-in-early and get-home-late sort of day to get via the workload.   I educate yoga round my GP days, however attempt to not educate too many courses to get the outdated work/life steadiness proper.   

Whether or not it’s instructing or doctoring, the encompassing preparation, self-reflection {and professional} growth requires a variety of effort and time.  So to do each I’m typically responsible of creating life all about work or yoga.  I’m higher than I was – I used to pack an excessive amount of into at some point considering I may and may do all of it, however I’ve bought higher at saying no and spending extra time doing little or no.  

Inform us about your yoga/wellbeing journey?

As a baby, I used to be sedentary, obese and hated sports activities.  I used to be a fussy eater and had horrible again ache as an adolescent.  My college and junior physician years had been full of unhealthy meals, an excessive amount of alcohol and loopy working hours.  Any train I did was extra out of a self-inflicted obligation to drop a few pounds and punish myself than for pleasure.   

Discovering yoga helped me construct a optimistic relationship with train and motion for the primary time.  Progressively, I began to care much less about how I appeared and extra about taking care of my physique and maintaining it sturdy and wholesome.  I credit score common apply because the driving pressure behind higher selections to realize steadiness in so many areas of my life: what I eat, how a lot I sleep, with whom and what I spend my time doing – I very naturally started revisiting all my priorities.  Once you start that shift you realise you possibly can’t return, so it continues!  

Yoga has additionally influenced how I apply Medication and my profession selections – I at all times thought that GP coaching taught me how one can apply holistically, however I believe years of working towards yoga has actually performed extra to vary my strategy to my sufferers.  Via my very own experiences I’m keen about way of life medication and advocating this in on a regular basis healthcare.   

I hate to run with a cliché, however in numerous methods yoga actually has – modified my life. 

The place could be your dream place to put down your mat?

Wherever close to a physique of water.  If I may transport myself there proper now, it might be at my mother or father’s home in Suncheon (a southern city in South Korea) going through an enormous window overlooking a lake with the solar beaming via the glass.  It’s heat inside however I can scent the backyard outdoors.  

Who or what evokes you each day and do you might have a mantra or quote do you reside by 

I like people who find themselves disciplined, courageous and couldn’t care much less what others consider them, most likely as a result of I battle with this stuff myself.  However for me, there’s no single individual; I imply it genuinely once I say day-after-day somebody totally different can encourage me.  Whether or not it’s a stranger or an outdated buddy, everybody has their distinctive items – kindness, persistence, humour or a broad smile and that evokes me to domesticate these qualities too.   

The quote which I attempt to stay by and have pinned on my wall is: ‘Within the state of affection, every little thing you do can be good’, Paramahansa Yogananda  

What’s your most memorable yoga second?

It’s not essentially a optimistic second however the one which springs to thoughts is once I bought right into a headstand in a specific class.  I wasn’t sturdy sufficient to do a protracted maintain however did it anyway – my proper shoulder gave method very immediately and I had terrible neck ache for about 2 years.  It seeded an aversion for headstands for ages and I nonetheless battle with holding lengthy inversions.  It taught me a great lesson although – to be current and work the place I’m for that second.  This doesn’t imply I shrink back from difficult issues, however it taught me to maintain my ego in verify. 

What’s most essential to you by way of your yoga providing?

That individuals really feel warmly welcomed; I hope that college students can really feel (even on-line) that my arms are huge open.  However I additionally love to supply a problem in a roundabout way.  What I’ve appreciated a lot from my very own academics is that they’ve helped me to shift one thing in myself, whether or not a sure muscular or energetic motion within the physique or to convey consciousness to my habits, ideas and tendencies.  I don’t need my instructing to be so automated that somebody can swap off, undergo the motions or just get a piece out.  I’d love folks to securely discover the boundary of their consolation zone as a result of working at that edge may give rise to new studying and perception.  

What’s the better part about being a yoga trainer?

Seeing the softness in somebody’s eyes and shoulders once they come up from Savasana provides on the spot gratification. Past that second, seeing somebody embrace yoga and apply often is so rewarding.  I additionally love the sensation of being a part of an important motion of people that love yoga, see its worth within the fashionable world and wish to share that – our good yoga neighborhood.   

What’s the worst half about being a yoga trainer?

Advertising your self. You already know that what you’re sharing has worth and it’s best to count on to be paid for the service you present, however attempting to ‘promote’ it to others feels awkward and simply the bit I benefit from the least.  I’m fortunate to not depend on instructing yoga alone to make a dwelling however I don’t like the truth that many academics receives a commission so little and discover it tough to outlive while working very onerous certainly.  

What podcasts or books would you advocate? 

So many, however 3 books that come to thoughts at the moment are: 

The Physique Retains The Rating by Bessel Van Der Kolk is great and essential – I really feel this e book is price studying for anybody with a mind and a physique, i.e. everyone!  

That is Going to Damage by Adam Kay has been tailored for TV lately, and jogged my memory that I loved the e book. It’s like a bizarre love letter to the NHS – equal elements comedy and tragedy – however I may relate to all of it a lot.  It provides an unedited sense of the overworked, undervalued setting medical doctors should endure within the NHS and is related now greater than ever.   

Spark Pleasure by Marie Kondo.  Little bit of an odd one, however I believe the subject does pertains to wellbeing as a result of it encourages a reevaluation of your materials possessions.   

A number of yoga books I’ve loved: Yoga FAQ by Richard Rosen, The Nice Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope, Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton. Well being/Wellbeing books: Really feel Nice, Lose Weight by Dr Rangan Chatterjee (p.s. this isn’t a food plan e book, which is why I prefer it), Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. 

I’d additionally like to advocate a Youtube channel: Afternoonteawithdocs by Dr Linda Mizun and Dr Erica Lin, two colleagues who do an important job selling Way of life Medication approaches to well being. 

What change would you prefer to see within the healthcare system/yoga trade?

A lot better emphasis on public well being and prevention.  If we all know prevention is healthier than treatment why do we discover it so onerous to take a position individually and as a society in prevention, as a lot as we do on the sharp finish of well being? We spend large sources in treating preventable ailments – diabetes, heart problems, weight problems, even some cancers.   

What folks typically don’t realise is that it isn’t their fault once they eat poorly, don’t train, smoke and spend an excessive amount of time at desks.  Our methods, environments, inequalities and tradition all impression the selections we make for our well being.  It’s simpler to prescribe a tablet and blame people for maintaining unhealthy existence than to deal with the broader image (the broader or social determinants of well being).  Making the wholesome method the straightforward method for everyone have to be the trail to significant change, and requires enlightened management.  

What’s additionally essential is that we have to give folks the chance to be empowered in their very own well being journey.  The great thing about yoga is that it cultivates a self-awareness that nudges us in direction of a stance of self-care (in addition to look after others) that’s profound and transformative in a sustainable method.  So the combination of yoga into mainstream healthcare in some method could be one other large one for my future hopes for the well being trade.  

Share your yoga providing, courses, workshops, books, and so on

I’ve 2 on-line courses presently open to all:   

Open Hatha Yoga, Saturday mornings with Yogamatters and  Restorative Yoga, Wednesday evenings.  I discover it so fascinating that persons are proof against resting and slowing down – so many people really feel as if we have to be doing one thing on a regular basis. Restorative yoga is sort of the antithesis to this – studying how simply to be.   

I’m additionally excited to supply the wonderful Yoga4Health 10 week program with YIHA (Yoga in Healthcare Alliance) for NHS sufferers – coming quickly.  

What could be your recommendation to somebody simply embarking on their well-being journey

Begin with one small factor.  The highway to good well being begins with one step.  In case you are caught, begin with one thing that feels manageable that you just’re assured you might simply stick to- perhaps sleeping quarter-hour earlier, strolling as an alternative of driving on a brief journey, reciting a mantra to be form to your self every morning.  One small change organically results in one other – a ripple turns into a wave that may set you in the suitable route.    

Discover extra info and call Dr Chang right here.

For over 20 years, Yogamatters has been faithfully supporting yoga academics, yoga studio homeowners and yoga practitioners all over the world. We’re right here to share tales and to assist your yoga journey whether or not meaning taking the time that will help you select your excellent yoga mat, bolster or sensible props or providing you the comfiest clothes fundamentals and necessities that will help you move and develop.


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