Health from the Inside Out with World Champion Yogi ChauKei- EP037

 In Podcast

Many believe that yoga is simply a stretching exercise, and a lot of endurance athletes assert that they are not flexible enough to take it on. But if you ask ChauKei Ngai, yoga is so much more than that. The practice requires a balance of both flexibility and strength in order to hold the poses into stillness—and that is where the magic happens. Most importantly, yoga incorporates a component of mental strength that helps endurance athletes improve their focus and better their health, from the inside out.




ChauKei was born ‘without breath.’ A mechanical ventilator and extra oxygen was necessary to keep her alive for the first 30 days of her life, and she continued to deal with breathing issues until the age of 25. Extreme chest pains and breathlessness triggered frequent trips to the emergency room for supplemental oxygen until ChauKei discovered yoga, and the attacks of breathlessness went away.

ChauKei is now a modern yogini, teaching yoga worldwide for more than a decade. In 2013, she won the prestigious International Yoga Sports Federation Championship, and she is the first mother to become World Yoga Champion. Today she shares her yoga journey, explaining how notoriety affected her teaching practice. She offers her take on what yoga has to offer beyond just exercise and why yogis seem to have an agelessness about them. ChauKei discusses the physical and mental challenge of Bikram Yoga teacher training and the balance of flexibility, strength and endurance yoga requires. Listen in to understand how yoga has improved the health of ChauKei’s clients and hear her best advice for endurance athletes!

Topics Covered

[1:16] ChauKei’s introduction to yoga

  • Introduced by friend
  • Went back for new challenge (physical and mental)
  • ‘Found breath again’

 [2:41] ChauKei’s current focus

  • Back to basics
  • Yoga as therapy tool, support students with limitations
  • Mental discipline
[4:21] How becoming well-known affected ChauKei’s teaching practice

  • Competition enhanced psychological component
  • Empowering to share mental part with students
[7:27] ChauKei’s take on yoga as more than just exercise

  • Can be just sport
  • Holding posture to find stillness is ‘where magic happens’
  • Spinal connection to nervous system sets yoga apart
[9:41] ChauKei’s experience with Bikram Yoga teacher training

  • 9-week program in LA in 2006
  • 90-minute class, 105°F (40°C)
  • 26-pose sequence + two breathing exercises
  • Physically challenging, yet accessible
  • Training like military, mental challenge
[15:48] ChauKei’s assessment of the health of yogis

  • Glow, agelessness
  • Facilitated by health of organs, spine
  • Sense of faith, tend to be more relaxed
  • Less aggressive in terms of making things happen
[18:47] How yoga has improved the health of ChauKei’s clients

  • Work ‘from inside out’
  • Tap into healing power of body
  • Take responsibility for choices, change lifestyle
  • Acceptance allows for healing
[20:29] The balance of flexibility and strength yoga requires

  • Must have both to hold pose into stillness
  • Endurance important as well
[22:07] ChauKei’s advice for endurance athletes

  • Incorporate yoga to work entire body
  • Yoga can prolong athletic life (support injuries)
  • Yoga practice teaches focus

Learn More About ChauKei

ChauKei’s Website

ChauKei on Facebook

ChauKei on Instagram

ChauKei on Twitter




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