Rebekah is a medical physician, Nike yoga trainer, wellness entrepreneur and a board member of the Yoga for Healthcare Alliance. She is the founding father of Pana, a platform and neighborhood that intersects wellbeing and tradition centring the African diaspora. After going through her personal challenges with psychological well being, she discovered the worth of slowing down and fascinating with mind-body practices. Via yoga courses, retreats and occasions, she creates inclusive areas for individuals to nourish their wellbeing and reconnect with themselves and people round them.
Inform us about your yoga journey
Via my teenagers and early twenties, I went by means of many cycles of burnout and poor psychological well being. I’ve all the time labored onerous, and I bought to a degree after 4 years of medical faculty the place I wanted a break.
I ended up on an island off the coast of Panama volunteering in a seashore hostel and residing with yoga academics for 2 months. I began practising yoga daily and diving deeper into elements resembling chakras and the eight limbs. Slowly however certainly, yoga grew to become an integral a part of my routine and wellbeing, and I made a decision to take the leap to do my trainer coaching. I’ve been instructing for about 5 years now and have all the time beloved it.
What sort of yoga trainer would you say you’re?
I like to know and be taught the standard elements of yoga whereas bringing in a inventive component to current them in my very own manner. I like welcoming new individuals into yoga and creating an area the place they’ll really feel calm. That doesn’t all the time imply being nonetheless and quiet, however figuring out that you would be able to simply breathe and be your self, chortle, and take a look at new issues.
Has your personal apply modified because of your trainer coaching?
Once I began practising yoga, it was very vinyasa-focused. I feel that’s just like many individuals in London as there’s a sense of all the time being wanting time and needing to slot in train the place you may. The trainer coaching was the place I found a love for slower types of yoga resembling yin and restorative. After a few weeks of standard yin apply, I found a brand new set level of calm in my physique and thoughts which I forgot existed. It confirmed me the transformational energy of incorporating these slower types into my apply.
Have you ever enhanced your instructing with any particular coaching or programs?
After contemplating doing a 300-hour coaching for a very long time, I made a decision to go within the course of doing shorter trainings and workshops which might be centered on my explicit areas of curiosity. This has included a course with The Good Life Yoga Faculty exploring the ability of music in yoga, the right way to greatest utilise it to reinforce a yoga apply and produce a mixture for optimum breath management. I’ve additionally enhanced ability units resembling bodily changes with brief coaching periods at Mission E1. Throughout the 12 months, I’ve been to workshops that dive deeper into pranayama and yin yoga to deepen my understanding of those areas.
Additional coaching is necessary to proceed to develop as a trainer, nonetheless, it could actually typically be costly. One of many key methods to develop your studying as a trainer is to commonly attend yoga courses as a scholar. There’s a lot you may be taught from different academics throughout a category, and having sturdy common apply as a trainer is one thing I all the time suggest.
What has been your largest problem as a yoga trainer?
I certified as a trainer shortly earlier than the pandemic began. This meant over the previous 4 years, an enormous portion of that was throughout COVID the place we weren’t capable of be bodily near individuals or typically depart the home in any respect. One among my largest challenges was re-adjusting to instructing in studios and holding an area in particular person, after being conditioned to instructing on-line for therefore lengthy.
It’s fantastic to be that one that will get to introduce yoga to somebody. How do you go about getting new individuals to attempt it?
Via my very own instructing and platform, I assumed, ‘How can I attain communities who might really feel yoga just isn’t for them?’. I grew up listening to reggae so it felt very pure to include this in my apply – it’s one thing that helps me really feel calm. I created an occasion known as Dub Backyard Yoga & Picnic the place we do yoga to reggae and have wholesome Caribbean meals after class. I train it within the park which makes it extra accessible and inexpensive, in addition to permitting us to get pleasure from nature. We have now attendees of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and talents – for many individuals it’s their first-ever yoga class. Many really feel snug coming as they resonate with the meals and music, and yoga is a further side they’ll attempt. It’s relaxed and enjoyable, which I feel is so necessary for serving to individuals come again once more.
What does a day within the lifetime of Rebekah appear like?
I get pleasure from having range throughout my week so a lot of my days look fairly completely different. On a hospital day, I’m at work for an 8 am handover from the night time crew, then see numerous sufferers throughout the day presenting with completely different circumstances. On different days I is perhaps doing a shoot or having conferences. A few of my favorite days are spent doing laptop computer work in a restaurant, ingesting tea and having fun with a lunchtime yoga class.
What’s your favorite quote or life motto?
“Really feel the worry and do it anyway”
What’s arising for you and Pana?
I’m actually enthusiastic about a couple of issues on the horizon. We’re heading to The Gambia in April 2024 for a retreat – exploring Africa and the Caribbean by means of retreats has turn out to be a beautiful providing for the neighborhood. We even have a web-based studio opening in Autumn 2023 so you may apply from house.
Discover Dr Rebekah
Private – @rebekahzeenajade
Web site – https://wearepana.com/
Instagram – @weare.pana