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HomeYogaMeet Dr Rebekah Jade - Yogamatters Weblog

Meet Dr Rebekah Jade – Yogamatters Weblog


Rebekah is a medical physician, yoga instructor, wellness entrepreneur and a board member of the Yoga for Healthcare Alliance. She is the founding father of Pana, a platform that intersects wellbeing and tradition sharing yoga, music and meals from the African diaspora and past. After going through her personal challenges with psychological well being, she learnt the worth of slowing down and interesting with mind-body practices. By means of courses, supper golf equipment and workshops, she creates inclusive areas for folks to nourish their wellbeing and reconnect with themselves and people round them.   

Inform us about your yoga journey 

Since my teenage years, I had gone by means of loads of cycles of burnout and psychological well being difficulties.  I’ve at all times labored onerous and put loads of strain on myself (like many individuals do), and I received to a degree after 3 years of medical faculty the place I wanted a break. I used to be utterly exhausted, so I managed to rearrange to take a yr out of med faculty.  I had plenty of scientific analysis to do off the again of a mission and determined to go and do that within the Caribbean.  

I ended up on an island off the coast of Panama volunteering in a seaside hostel and residing with yoga lecturers for 2 months. I began working towards yoga each day – I assumed, ‘that is wonderful, I really feel nice!’.  By residing with these lecturers, I used to be listening to about parts of yoga for the primary time equivalent to chakras and the eight limbs. Earlier than then, I’d thought yoga was simply poses and stretches however I began to be uncovered to the historical past, the philosophy, breathwork, and totally different types of yoga. By the top of two months, it turned an integral a part of my each day routine and I realised that that is one thing that retains me properly, I wanted to ensure this stayed in my routine going ahead.   

How did you make the choice to change into a instructor?  

I had loads of time for self-reflection in Panama.  I knew that the minute I received again to London this factor would fly out of my routine and different issues would really feel extra pressing and essential. So I felt I wanted to work on this house.  I used to be going again to medical faculty in September, after which I wouldn’t have a lot time and so, I thought of instructor coaching.  I assumed possibly I used to be doing instructor coaching a bit early however I do know everybody’s journey is totally different – I used to be lucky to have the time and funds then I knew I wouldn’t within the subsequent few months.  I discovered one which began in three days, booked it and went!  I ended up in Spain at a yoga faculty; I assumed, even when I don’t find yourself instructing ultimately what an effective way to deepen my expertise and understanding. I used to be there for a month, got here again and began instructing within the park. Family and friends got here to my courses and I used to be instructing with reggae music within the background.  Two years later I’m instructing in studios, have completed medical faculty and am plodding alongside.  

What sort of yoga instructor would you say you might be?  

I might say I wish to be inventive; I like to know and study traditions and current them in my very own manner. I like bringing new folks into yoga and serving to them to discover new issues, and love creating an area the place they really feel calm and relaxed. It doesn’t essentially imply being nonetheless and quiet, however realizing which you could simply breathe and be your self, chuckle, be a bit foolish and check out new issues.  

Inform us concerning the thought behind your platform – Pana  

My mum is Jamaican and my dad is English. We moved to Devon once I was 8 years previous, I spent ten years rising up within the countryside. Rising up as a bi-racial little one brings its personal id questions. Transferring again to London was about exploring my black heritage.  

Pana brings collectively my pursuits – it’s all about celebrating black tradition, exploring wholesome Caribbean meals, and serving to folks from numerous communities discover yoga, medication and the instruments to maintain properly! I need all of it to come back collectively and hope others need to come and be a part of me, however you must carve your personal path to do this and take into consideration creating areas that don’t essentially exist at the moment. 

You’ve additionally not too long ago began working as a junior physician.  At this early stage, how do you see your profession panning out?   

I’m not somebody who will get fastened on the long run or develops 10-year plans saying I’m going to finish up right here… that’s evident from me reserving issues a number of days earlier than I go away! I believe from the time I took a yr out I used to be having emotions of being excited about way of life medication. I’ve at all times loved train and been excited about vitamin, and a part of my disconnect with medication was that there was not any actual give attention to that. Life-style medication didn’t exist so far as I used to be conscious.  I didn’t hear anybody within the medical house speaking about yoga or mindfulness or breathwork 5 – 10 years in the past. In the previous few years, I really feel it’s change into extra mainstream.  Which specialty? I’m fairly positive I’ll be group targeted – very possible normal follow.  An surroundings the place I can speak to folks extra about way of life, their each day well being and psychological well being is essential to me.  Presumably sooner or later making a bodily house that integrates medication, yoga, tradition and meals.  

How are you navigating all of the stuff you need to do while additionally working as a busy junior physician? 

I work half time.  Most individuals don’t know you are able to do part-time as a junior physician – it’s not promoted and you must apply – I particularly sought it out as I knew it was proper for me.  It has been extra potential for medical doctors to go half time now.  Why not enable this if it signifies that employees are happier, more healthy and never burning out and having to depart medication utterly (which some folks don’t need to do however don’t essentially have a alternative)?  I discover amongst my cohort and folks I’ve spoken to, it’s very a lot being on a set path that you must preserve bulldozing by means of.  When you don’t have the time to consider another choice, you then simply preserve going.  The most typical factor I get advised from everyone seems to be – ‘simply get by means of this bit, energy by means of, then you possibly can chill out’. However once I get by means of this bit, there’ll at all times be one thing else to do.  What if I can simply benefit from the journey? Everybody has totally different visions and objectives for his or her life; my precedence is ensuring I don’t have a breakdown alongside the best way, can navigate my schedule and do different issues I take pleasure in. 

Is there extra within the medical faculty curriculum lately about wellness and way of life? 

It’s creeping in. I can see an enormous distinction from once I began in 2014 to 2021. I used to be first uncovered to mindfulness by means of medical faculty – it was an non-compulsory module and there was nothing within the core curriculum, however if you happen to had been searching for it you can discover it.  Coming to the top of medical faculty I’ve seen issues like Nutritank – medical college students selling the significance of vitamin and bringing it to their friends.  I discovered by means of working with the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance that in Boston a bunch of medical college students had been working towards yoga for eight weeks whereas additionally wanting by means of yoga analysis papers – we had been hoping to deliver one thing just like King’s Faculty London however then the pandemic hit. One thing like that may be a manner for people who find themselves within the early levels of their medical profession to know yoga and for it to change into a traditional a part of healthcare going ahead. We’re getting there slowly.  

Do you see any difficulties with bridging that hole between yoga and healthcare?  

I’ve at all times discovered the 2 to be actually complimentary, however it comes with a sure mindset – to be open-minded to say, ‘my final objective is to be properly and wholesome and let me open my eyes to all of the avenues to get there’.  If you’re tunnel-visioned and say that is what I do know to be proper and I do know that science is the one factor I ought to belief, after which somebody comes ahead with historic philosophy, it could be straightforward to say that’s nonsense. My avenue for beginning a dialog can be, ‘what have you ever heard about yoga, have you ever ever tried it, what’s your impression?’.  Solely from there are you able to gauge what folks’s concepts and preconceptions are, earlier than you can begin recommending or speaking about this textual content or that – which may make folks shut down.   

I don’t essentially see conflicts; I see issues coming from totally different angles and you may take all of that info collectively to assist obtain a objective for you or your affected person’s well being. 

How do you go about recommending yoga to sufferers?  

I are likely to ask, ‘have you ever heard of it and what do you suppose?’ first.  There’s an enormous spectrum however I like to recommend relying on what they’re coming in with. The great thing about yoga is that there’s something for everybody whether or not it’s stress reduction/leisure, your mobility wants enhancing, you’re getting again ache or your lung perform isn’t good.  I open that dialogue with them and level them within the course of ‘have a look at this place, attempt exploring this’. So they’re listening to somebody discuss it in a constructive manner however not being too slender.  

I additionally say each instructor will educate in a different way and if you happen to don’t suppose it’s for you that’s OK – attempt one thing totally different. Yoga doesn’t even essentially contain motion. There’s breathwork. Slightly than say ‘it’s best to do yoga’, it’s about opening the dialog of what yoga can appear to be and the way it could be useful for you. 

It’s great to be that one who will get to introduce yoga to somebody. How do you go about getting new folks to attempt it?  

When instructing in a studio, my expertise has been that always there could be just one particular person of color within the class, which is tough to disregard if you find yourself additionally an individual of color.  By means of my very own instructing and enterprise, I assumed, ‘how can I attain communities the place they really feel prefer it’s not for them?’. I grew up listening to reggae so it felt very pure to include this in my follow – it’s one thing that makes me really feel calm. I run an exquisite occasion known as Dub Backyard Yoga & Picnic the place we do yoga to reggae and now we have well being Caribbean meals afterwards. I educate it within the park which makes it extra accessible and inexpensive, in addition to permitting us to take pleasure in nature. I’ve attendees of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicity and talent – for many individuals it’s their first-ever yoga class. They really feel comfy coming as they resonate with the meals and music, and the yoga is one thing they suppose ’OK, let me attempt that too’. It’s relaxed, enjoyable and there’s no seriousness about it. 

What does a day within the lifetime of Rebekah appear to be?  

I take pleasure in having range throughout my week so a lot of my days look fairly totally different. On a hospital day, I’m in work at 8am for handover in A&E then seeing quite a few sufferers throughout the day coming in with totally different circumstances. Hospital days are at all times busy however attention-grabbing. Within the evenings I’m engaged on the enterprise or working towards self-care. A few of my favorite routine days are spent at my yoga studio (Levelsix) doing laptop computer work, ingesting tea and having fun with a lunchtime yoga class.  

Has your personal follow modified on account of your instructor coaching?  

After I began it was all very vinyasa targeted which is identical for many individuals. In London, everybody’s doing HIT courses, dynamic vinyasa and has an angle of ‘I simply must train!’.  The instructor coaching was the place I found all of the totally different types of yoga (yin, ashtanga, restorative).  It took me about two weeks earlier than I actually began to really feel my physique and thoughts chill out – I began crying in a restorative class as I forgot how relaxed I may very well be. I reached a brand new set level of calm in my physique and it was fairly overwhelming. However I knew then – that is the place I do know I can attain and need to be. From that time I understood the worth of slower practices like yin and restorative and the way important that was for me.  I began instructing restorative yoga which is such an attractive expertise – creating an area for folks the place they’ll chill out too.    

If there was one thing that you’d advocate for wellbeing past practising yoga, what would it not be?  

Sleep – good high quality sleep makes such a distinction, and unhealthy high quality sleep impacts the whole lot. I attempt to do a meditation each night time earlier than mattress and that’s actually helped.   

What are your favorite piece of apparatus/prop to make use of throughout your follow and why?  

My favorite prop is certainly a bolster! I like doing restorative poses supported by a bolster together with underneath the knees in savasana. Even in vinyasa courses I generally have one helpful in case fancy a supported little one’s pose. I discover a bolster actually elevates the relief and calm I can really feel in a category.  

What’s arising for you and Pana? 

I’m actually enthusiastic about a number of issues on the horizon. I’ve began working with some nice organisations to share yoga, forest bating and wellbeing workshops for younger creatives and folks of color in London which has been actually rewarding. I’m additionally planning my first overseas retreat! We’re heading to The Gambia in 2023 for a fusion of yoga and tradition to rejuvenate and uncover extra about Africa.  

Discover Dr Rebekah  

Web site – https://wearepana.com/ 

Instagram – @weare.pana 

Private – @zeena.ldn 

For over 20 years, Yogamatters has been faithfully supporting yoga lecturers, yoga studio house owners and yoga practitioners around the globe. 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 movement and develop.


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