By Tenzin Lhaden
Yangchen Lhamo, a yoga instructor, is passionate about creating and improving the well-being of all. She loves learning and exploring new things and meeting with new people. She believes that to change the world for better, it starts with you. “After all, ‘practice what you preach’ is core to being able to inspire others,” she said.
In January 2020, she travelled to Rishikesh in India, popularly known as the birthplace of yoga. There, she completed 200 hours, a month-long Yoga Teacher Training. In September 2020, she officially opened a yoga studio in Thimphu entitled ‘Yoga Yangchen’. Last year on April 1, she travelled to India again for her advance training and completed 300 hours Yoga Teacher Training.
Yangchen said, “In this fast changing world, more people are experiencing physical or mental health issues. The covid-19 pandemic has made this even worse. Science has proven that the practice of yoga and meditation substantially improves people’s health and general well-being and it is a soul reason why I opened a yoga studio.”
Yoga Yangchen offers yoga and meditation services for body, mind, and spirit. It aims to improve the well-being of all sentient beings. Yoga Yangchen offers yoga and meditation classes for individual, organizations and hospitality industries. With threefold teaching approach- targeting body, mind, and spirit, Yoga Yangchen helps people in their journey to becoming a better version of themselves whether old or young, beginner or intermediary, male or female, physically fit or not. Anyone can join the practice and improve their well-being. It is something you can do anytime and anywhere, alone or with family and friends.
Q. What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
A. There are so many benefits of yoga. It increases our flexibility through the various poses that are performed in yoga practice, designed to stretch the muscles, making the body limber. Moreover, it loosens soreness and tight muscles, and serves as a recharge after more strenuous work activity. It also reduces the chance of getting diseases if you practice it daily and elevates the pain. It can also reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts, thus, allowing you to become more balanced person.
Q. What is your yoga philosophy?
A. My philosophy of yoga is wholesome wellbeing-Our mind, body and spirits are all connected. Yoga is in essence a mindfulness practice. It teaches you how to pay attention to sensations in the body, often leading to a sense of calmness, focus and unity of mind and body. To practice moving in rhythm with the breath, it requires attention that takes you out of your mind and sometimes, it worries me.
Q. How has yoga changed your life?
A. Yoga has definitely changed my life and has made huge difference. It has made me more reflective, poised and balanced person. I know in which situation I have to react and how, that makes me a balanced person. So, it has really helped me calm. Even if someone taunts, I know that I don’t necessarily have to respond. It has helped me to become a better person with yoga practice and, gradually channel my thoughts and behaviors to become better part of me.
Q. What technic do you use for teaching?
A. I give quite intense class. And I enjoy practicing Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga as these are quite intense and demanding. Since, most of my students are within that age group, which they can handle well such classes and maximize their benefits.
Q. Do you prefer to instruct in groups or one-to-one?
A. I prefer larger group because I get to meet different groups of people, interact with them. So, generally I enjoy instructing in groups.
Q. How would you respond to a student with an injury?
A. When people contact me to join yoga class, I ask whether they have any injuries, accidents, or if they are pregnant. They need to seek advices from physiotherapist in case of physical injuries and doctor/gynecologist if they are pregnant to practice yoga. Yoga is helpful for both the cases however, under the advice or instruction from them, I avoid certain poses and focus on others which will benefit them.
Q. What has helped you improve your class since you have started teaching?
A. Connecting with different people and the ways I teach have improved. Teaching is where you learn a lot too. It is not that you are simply teaching, but you are learning a lot too.
Message: “There are so many stereotypes or misunderstandings that yoga is only for man, yoga are only for thin or flexible people, but I would like to let everyone know that yoga is for all and it helps you improve a lot. Not just physically, but it takes care of your mind and spirit as well.”