Yoga teacher, mother, wife, and philanthropist… Margaret Chung has many different roles to play. Despite having too much work and too little time, Margaret always looks well-rested, with a smile on her face and an irresistible passion to match. What are her health and beauty secrets?
Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health
Having been a yoga instructor for more than a decade, Margaret manages not only to keep her figure in top-notch shape, but also her optimistic attitude to life. “Your health must include both your physical and mental wellbeing. When you bleed, you know immediately to take care of the wound. But when you are hurt emotionally, because you cannot see nor touch the wounds, you take no notice. In fact, emotions can wreak serious damage!”
Everyone has moments of complete exhaustion and despair, and Margaret always deals with them head on. “Once I had to juggle sudden work and family problems at the same time. I confronted the issues one at a time, but when there is simply too much, I always prioritise family, and I ask for help when needed. Asking for help does not make you weak.”
Release Your Emotions
Margaret does not hide her feelings. When she is down, she cries and vents her feelings by talking them out with her husband and friends. “People might not be able to help, but once you talk about your problems, you feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest. Bottling up all your emotions is how you get sick!”
Taking setbacks in stride is the only way forward
Margaret has never been afraid of setbacks. Instead, she sees them as something to be accepted and learn from. “Working hard does not guarantee success. That is the reality of life. When I come across difficulties, I start with self-reflection, rather than pointing the finger at someone else. If you make a mistake, do not blame yourself too much. Learn from the experience, and do not make the same mistake twice. If this path is blocked, try another one. There is always a way.”
Of course, yoga is also essential to Margaret’s mental wellbeing. “When you are so sad you feel like you cannot breathe, a couple of controlled breaths and stretches can truly help you relax.”
Margaret’s Tutorial to Charge Your Mind
Recharge your mind and soul with these simple stretches whether you’re at home or at the office. All it takes is several minutes!
1. Breath and Relax
When you find yourself agitated, sit on the floor in a cross-legged position. Keep your back straight, and rest your arms on your knees. Close your eyes, inhale, and exhale for three to four times. This helps to keep you focused and relieve stress.
2. Cobra Pose to Stretch Your Lower Back
Lie on your stomach, and lift your chest. Place elbows right underneath your shoulders, and look straight ahead. Inhale, and exhale. For a deeper stretch, place hands underneath shoulders, elbows close to the body, and lift your chest even higher. Remember to relax your shoulders, open your collarbones, and breathe.
3. Child’s Pose Variation to Stretch Your Hips and Lower Back
Start on all fours, lift your hips, and rest your head onto a cushion. Find a position that feels good. You can also do this on the bed.
1. Lift Your Head for a Neck and Shoulder Stretch
Sit on a chair, and press your hands on the side for support. Lift your head, and look up. Relax your shoulders. Look forward, and slowly move your head back to its original position. This is great for people who spend a lot of time using the computer, as it is great for relieving neck and shoulder tension.
2. Side Twists for a Side-Body Stretch
Sit on a chair, and cross your left leg over your right. Rest your right hand on your left knee, and left arm on the back of the chair. Twist to the left, and look over your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Keep your hips close to the back of the chair.
3. Warming Exercise for Tired Eyes
Rub your palms together, close your hands, and place palms on eyes. Inhale, and exhale for several times. Feel your eyes relax. Try this if your eyes are strained from focusing on the computer screen for too long!
Download Emma by AXA app, and enjoy audio mindfulness sessions by Hong Kong’s renowned yoga teacher Ms. Margaret Chung via “Mind Charger”.