Join me to hear how Deniah discovered Lu Jong yoga and how yoga has become part of her commitment to her health and wellbeing.
Deniah has adopted an approach to continually learning and exploring ways to improve her health and the health of her clients.
We talk about the five elements of Lu Jong and how practising can bring us closer to nature and improve our physical and emotional wellbeing.
Deniah also shares how she combines Eastern and Western approaches to holistic health as a yoga teacher, medical acupuncturist and clinician.
Episode 16 of the Authentic Tea podcast features Deniah:
I am grateful to be sharing this space today with Deniah. Deniah is passionate about combining Eastern and Western medical knowledge and practices to achieve good health, happiness and wellbeing. Deniah is the founder of Lu Jong Living and teaches other teachers this ancient Buddhist practice. Deniah is currently offering virtual workshops and classes to share with her community and adding aspects of living yoga to her clinical practice. Welcome Deniah.
Thank you, Rachel. Really lovely to be chatting to you today.
Thank you so much for being here. It's wonderful to connect with you. Many of our listeners may not really heard much about Lu Jong yoga. So maybe you could describe a little bit about what the critical elements of Lu Jong are and how you came to discover that this was something that you wanted to follow.
Yes, Lu Jong, not many. I had not heard of it when I first found out about the five elements practice of Lu Jong. So Lu Jong is a Tibetan word or two Tibetan words, and it literally translates as body transformation. So it comes from Tibetan Buddhism and the tantra Yana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and bon, which is the shamanic practice that was prevalent in Tibet, before Buddhism came to Tibet. I, I came across Lu Jong a friend introduced me to Lu Jong. So she knew that I wanted to become a yoga teacher and I was looking for a yoga to train in. And she went to a class in Barcelona. So she's Buddhist. she's actually, she's a GP as well. And, she, she's Buddhist. And so that's what drew her to the class. And so she went, and when she came back to London after her Christmas break, and she said, I found the perfect yoga for you to teach. And she showed me a few of the movements. and I said, yes, you know, I like this. And then she gave me some information and I went off to find a teacher training course. So yeah, that's how I came to find it.
And had you been practicing yoga before that?
Yes. So I was practicing Bikram yoga and Ashtanga yoga. In fact, the first time I practiced yoga or I was ever introduced to yoga was when I was six years old. And this was when I was in South Africa. I used to go to Hindi school, you know, after normal school. And a lady came in for a six month period. She taught us yoga and I did very little yoga throughout my teen years. And then also my early twenties, I did very little yoga. And then when I came to the UK, I started to, you know, if I was working in a particular place, I would look yoga classes and it was quite sporadic, but since 2000, and I would say 2005, 2006, I've been doing more regular yoga practice.
And how has your yoga teacher training changed the way that you view yoga, particularly because you've followed the Lu Jong approach. How has that sort of changed your own approach to your physical and emotional wellbeing?
I think it just, just increased my commitment, you know, to my own practice. And also because, you know, I want, because I want other people to, to practice then I know that I have to, I have to practice what I preach. So, you know so I, I make a concerted effort. In fact, I do some practice every day and the five elements movements it makes it really easy to do that, you know, so I'm so much more committed at it, you know, it has, I wake up every morning cause I, I started to teach a 7:00 AM class. And so, you know, I need to show up for my students, you know? And so it has, I think it has given me more discipline and, you know, just sharing. I'm sharing so much more with people because I know it is a benefit to them as well as to me.
That's beautiful. That's really nice. Isn't it to get to the point where you can share your own experience and your own love of something that you have taken into your daily life. And now you are starting to offer yoga teacher training as well. So when did you start to feel like it was something you wanted to train other teachers?
So I think it was, well, I was, I was invited to, to become a teacher trainer because they weren't. They aren't any, at that time, there were no other Lu Jong teachers in the UK. Lu Jong, there were lots of teachers in in Europe and that's because so Tulku Lopsang, he is the Tibetan Buddhist master who actually put the practice together. So, and he based it on teachings that he had received throughout his monastic education. And when he met people in India and, you know, in the early two thousands, and he realized that what he had learned could be a benefit to people. So he then put to the Lu Jong practice together, adapted it for the West so that it was not too difficult, but still a benefit to people. And he created the teaching system and then he moved to Europe. So he was he's based in Vienna. And so you'll find that there are lots of Lu Jong teachers in, in Germany, in Spain and Portugal. So in around Europe, there are lots of teachers, but when I started, there was just one other teacher in Edinburgh. And so, you know, I had to think like, okay, where do I go to train you know? And and I actually, so I found a teacher in from the US and she did her teacher training in Mexico.
And so I just thought like, Oh my, you know, and it was this very beautiful place in Mexico. And I thought, well, you know, I don't know anything about this yoga, but I think I'm just going to go. And, you know, I didn't do like loads of research. I thought I liked what I saw and I just, I'm just going to go. And it was just going to be like at worst, a great holiday. And yeah, but it was a really great experience, you know? So being there and learning everything about Lu Jong, and I thought, yes, you know, I want to pass this on to people. And when I was given permission to teach and that's just, you know, how it works is you ask for permission to teach and, you know, then, then I was given permission to teach and to train teachers. And because I thought I wanted to make it available more available to people in the UK. And so being a teacher, a trainer training teachers allows me to do that.