Health Education with Dr. Rima Thapar | Mindful Strength Podcast

About Dr. Rima Thapar

Dr. Rima Thapar MD is a graduate of Windsor University School of Medicine and School of Etheric Healing who delicately weaves the threads of science, health education,spirituality, and yoga. During her medical studies, she became fascinated with the art of medicine and began to explore the sciences with the lens of a spiritual mind. 

Practicing yoga and meditation from a young age, she decided to merge her spiritual teachings with her medical knowledge to bring forth a new perspective to healing the body as an integrative health practitioner. Taking her medical experience into her yoga and movement training programs with Colin Matthews of Kula Yoga Studios, Cecily Milne of Yoga Detour, Kathryn Bruni-Young of Mindful Strength, and Shante Colfield of Movement Maestro, Rima brings information, creativity, and curiosity to her yoga practice on and off the mat. 

Merging teachings from allopathic medicine, energy medicine, medical intuition, and yoga, Dr. Thapar empowers her clients and yoga students to be the CEO of their own health. Her favorite yoga pose is Ustrasana (Camel Pose) as it keeps her heart open to all possibilities in life.

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Woman in triangle pose on a yoga mat

Show Notes

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About This Episode

Kathryn and Dr. Rima Thapar engage in a multilayered conversation on holistic healthcare, patient self-advocacy in the medical system, as well as the ways in which spiritual bypassing shows up in the wellness world.

Rima shares her own personal story as a physician and a patient navigating authority in healthcare settings. Kathryn and Rima also unpack systemic racism plays out in treatment decisions and the delivery of one-size-fits-all medical care.

Dr. Rima Thapar

Power, Authority, and Self-Advocacy in Health Settings.

 

 

laura baehr standing staring out of a windwo

Podcast Transcription

Kathryn: [00:00:28]

Hey, everyone. Welcome back. Today on the podcast, for the second time, I am speaking with Dr. Rima Thapar. Rima was on the podcast last season. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to that, I recommend you go back through the archives if you’re on the podcast apps. You can also go to the website under podcast and search Rima’s name.

Rima is a medical doctor and we talked about how her practice has shifted and what it truly means to be a holistic practitioner. She works with a lot of folks who have chronic pain and helps them in a variety of ways; from medication to mindfulness, really really holistic. Rima also talks quite a bit about advocating for yourself, whether it’s in your yoga studio where you’re practicing; whether it’s when you’re with your doctor or out in life. I think you’re really going to love this episode.

[00:01:27]

If you have not had a chance yet to go check out the Mindful Strength Membership, you should go over to watch.mindfulstrength.ca You can browse through all of our classes. We’ve got classes that range from 20 minutes long all the way up to an hour. We have a number of guest instructors and every month we put out a new class with a guest instructor. The guest teachers are really different from Kyle and I. Totally different style, which we really love.

We also have live classes every week that you can join. At the end of our live classes, we always stick around for a couple of minutes and we answer questions. We are coming out with a 30-day practice progression. This is going to be included in the membership. You definitely want to get yourself into the membership.

We have sliding scale monthly membership options. Pricing starts at twenty-five Canadian dollars a month. If you want to learn more, go check out watch.mindfulstrength.ca. All right everyone, here is my conversation with Dr. Rima Thapar.

Kathryn: [00:02:37]

All right, Rima. Welcome back to the podcast.

Dr. Rima Thapar: Thank you for having me.

Kathryn: Yeah, my pleasure. I didn’t check exactly, but I think it was around a year ago that we had our initial conversations. It was a little while ago and I feel like things are different now. Maybe there’s a number of listeners who did not listen back to that initial conversation.
Do you want to take a few minutes and tell the listeners a little bit about the type of work that you do and maybe what has shifted for you since the last time we talked?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:03:07]

Sure. A lot has shifted from the perspective of how I’m offering my services, but the concept is still the same. I’m very holistic in my approach. I primarily deal with chronic pain patients. It’s myself and Dr. Gumber. How we deal with our chronic patients is that we have a four-fold approach.

Anyone who comes and sees us through brick and mortar at the clinic, or even now we’ve pivoted to online as well, is we have a mindfulness program. Each patient goes through a mindfulness session with us and every visit. Then we go through mindful movements. We encourage them and we support them to bring movements back into their daily life, working on stability mobility, and strength. Then we go towards medication management. We hope to reduce your medications by 30 percent.

If you need support, we also offer Cannabis Therapy. We’re also doing certified therapeutic grade essential oils, especially for people who don’t want to do cannabis. We do copaiba which is a really nice alternative to cannabis. The last part is neuromodulation using neurofunctional acupuncture; Suma therapy; micro point stimulation; really using cutting edge technology to support pain management in any way possible.

Kathryn: [00:04:29]

Is this different from the type of work that you were doing maybe a year ago?

Dr. Rima Thapar: A little different. I would say it’s more elevated now in the sense that we have more to offer and we are online. That’s a big big difference in offering online consults. We’ve just noticed especially for chronic pain demographic they absolutely love the online because they feel very safe in their home. In Canada, I am just outside of Toronto, especially in the wintertime we tend to have really really long winters. They just feel safer knowing that they don’t have to drive in the winter times to see us.

Kathryn: [00:05:13]

That’s so interesting. I wouldn’t have expected that because I know there is something also really special about like that in-person human to human connection. What you’re saying is so interesting and from that “Safe Space” perspective totally makes sense. I’m glad that your patients are having that experience with online work.

Dr. Rima Thapar: Our primary goal is to be able to connect our patients. Not just from our clinic but also worldwide, so that they actually have a community. The biggest issue that we find, especially emotionally, is that they don’t have good social support. That is so important in order to thrive as an individual – to have good social support because without that you literally wouldn’t thrive as human beings.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of judgment and preconceived notions about chronic pain patients. I feel that if we actually take the time and we listen to their life story, we learn so much from them versus judging them.

Kathryn: [00:06:17]

You mentioned that your approach is very holistic. I’m hearing that in your four-stage process you go through with people. What is a more holistic approach to health care? How would you describe a more holistic approach to someone who maybe hasn’t heard of it?

Dr. Rima Thapar: I would say the center of it is being involved in your care. Both the practitioner and the patient are equally involved. Instead of going to your doctor and having them say: “well this is what we’re going to do” and then not questioning it and just doing it. That’s not a two-way street. I think that’s what makes our program so successful is that people want to be involved.

To me, that says: if they want to be involved, then they care about themselves and they know that this journey is going to bring up some insecurities and some vulnerabilities within them. They’re okay to do that and share that with us because they feel safe and they feel heard. That’s a very heart-centered approach versus just as an intellectual approach.

Kathryn: [00:07:22]

That’s so awesome. Makes so much sense. How long would you be working with someone? Are you working with them for a few weeks or more long term?

Dr. Rima Thapar: More long term because a lot of the pain patients we do get, they’re very complex. Some of them do have complex regional pain syndrome and that is very difficult to manage. Sometimes we do get the one-offs where they might have that acute sciatic back pain and they need a quick intervention that could be a high-level functioning. Maybe CEO or executive and they’re just their job demands are just so much.

We say to them what we’re offering is a Band-Aid, but for you to actually take care of that we need to implement proper exercise routine or proper mobility routine. Basically what your body is saying it’s not being able to breathe in certain areas so things are getting compressed.

Kathryn: [00:08:21]

Cool. I’ve noticed from following you online that you’ve also been doing other kinds of work and talking about other topics, especially on social media. You were on a panel of this really excellent webinar that happened maybe a month ago about the movement science is racist. What is all that stuff that’s been going on in your professional life as well?

Dr. Rima Thapar: Yes, I love to move. That’s always been there since I was a young kid. We discussed this in the last podcast as well. I grew up with yoga. My dad was a big influence on me in that. When I decided to take that journey on later on in my life, I stepped away from medicine. I knew I just wasn’t able to offer enough and there was more out there.

[00:09:12]

I dedicated a year and a half to two years just to yoga. Then I went on to become a yoga teacher. As I was teaching in that industry, it was interesting to me. As much as yoga is home for me, I felt very disconnected at the same time. I couldn’t figure out why.
Since COVID happened there were lots of shifts in the way studios were offering what they were offering. Fortunately and unfortunately, I had experienced a few things from a business that was just not in alignment with how I practice or how I live my life.

I spoke up about it. Unfortunately, I was, without being told, I was let go. I was just taken off of the website from my teaching schedule and I didn’t know until a student told me: “why are you on the website anymore?” I’m like: “what are you talking about?”

[00:10:09]

That was interesting because I am born and raised in Canada. I’ve never experienced any form of privilege or racism. As I was going through this, I was exposed to so much that I’d never been exposed to before in such a short time span. It really got me thinking about a lot of things.

The biggest thing that came up for me was: I felt so disconnected being in the yoga industry. I realized I was also participating in the privilege that is there in the yoga industry. I don’t like to say white privilege. That’s the only word that’s coming to my head right now. Definitely, what I experienced at the yoga studio, the owner is not white.

[00:10:57]

That was the first question I got back was like: “Oh, but this person is not a white background”. I said, and why does that matter? Ethically the way they’re running their business is not right. All these issues were coming. That really opened up my eyes and then it got me thinking about the health and wellness industry. Every time I take a course and I’m trying to upgrade my knowledge and do better and integrate better in my practice, I do tend to be the only person of color. The person that is teaching tends to be of Caucasian background. Then that got me thinking even more.

I started looking at clinical studies. When we’re looking at clinical studies is it really a representation of the community? It’s not. It’s mostly white males that they’re doing a lot of these studies on. How do I really know if this medication is working well for the community that I’m offering it to? That’s not the demographic of the community that I deal with. Things started unraveling more and more. I just knew, and very much influenced by my mom, this isn’t right and we need to speak up about it. Unless we speak up about it, change won’t happen. Bringing discussion into the community is where change actually starts to happen.

Kathryn: [00:12:15]

Yeah, it was a really interesting webinar that you co-facilitated with the other teachers. I think the point that really stuck with me was: as we’re becoming more and more critical of research, and as I read more research papers and get more into that stuff, I’m always asking: “well, could there have been other factors that influenced this program as well?”

It didn’t really occur to me to be like: “well, who is in this research paper?”. It usually says ages or gender, but that is usually it. As you mentioned, most of the research is involving white males and I guess that’s probably for different reasons. Probably a lot of research is done at university. I don’t know. Why do you think that is? Is it because of where the research is going on?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:13:10]

That is a really good question. There could be a lot of factors to it. The first thing I always ask is: who’s funding it? It makes a big difference. Who is funding the research and what are their goals and what are their motives? It starts from there. Then it’s also where’s the research being held? What communities are being held in? If it is in the downtown area, then what’s the demographic of that area naturally?

Who you’re going to get the word out to are going to be people in the surrounding area. I think those are two big factors. There could be so many others that are behind the scenes that we don’t know about. Those are the two that stick out to me.

Kathryn: I’m wondering if you’ve had these thoughts when it comes to chronic pain research?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:13:57]

For sure. I do see a difference in the way chronic pain patients are treated depending on their background: 1. They are already judged so much; 2. You wouldn’t think of it in Canada, in particular in Ontario, because we are OHIP based government system for our health care; however, because we know chronic pain is so complicated, and it’s very multidisciplinary for the patient to have a good outcome from treatments, not all treatments are covered by OHIP. That means that it’s not accessible to everybody.

That was our biggest challenge with Dr. Gumber and myself is how do we make what we’re offering accessible for everybody, so it is an equal playing field. In the studies that I’m looking at for chronic pain, again it’s coming back to a very white demographic population. Whereas in the clinic it’s not always like that. Culture makes a big difference. The environment that you grew up in makes a big difference in how you perceive or interpret your pain because the emotional aspect of pain is a huge one.

Although we tend to look at pain and relate it to a physical aspect first, the emotional aspect is equally, if not more important, to how you experience pain in your body; knowing your family history; knowing how you grew up; what kind of traumas did you grow up with, be it minor traumas or very severe traumas, they still have an impact on your selves. Remember that. You don’t look at studies from that perspective.

Kathryn: [00:15:33]

Then I guess there’s a topic of structural racism within the healthcare and research worlds.

Dr. Rima Thapar: Yeah.

Kathryn: [00:15:42]

This is not being reported on in the studies from what I can tell.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:15:47]

Not at all. That’s why I always say: the most important thing that you can do for yourself while you’re going through any treatment, of any sort, is knowing who you are. No one is going to know you better than yourself. If you know who you are, you can make heart-centered decisions, more in alignment with who you are versus just the intellectual factual knowledge.

This is a very small part of how modern medicine works. We forget that. We’ve made modern medicine to be this is the end-all and be-all, but it’s not. It’s just a fraction. We still don’t know a lot about how the body works. The driving force of how you are going to do well in your health is ultimately you knowing yourself.

Kathryn: Do you think you can better advocate for yourself when you’re in those situations with doctors or whomever it maybe?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:16:47]

A hundred percent. I remember I went through this with my mom during her cancer journey. That’s where I had my own experience of being a patient in the system. I was not expected to be treated like this. I do this experiment. If I have to go to the hospital for anything or the doctor for anything, I don’t tell them I’m a physician. I want to see how they’re going to treat me. It’s very different.

[00:17:13]

They treat me one way when they know that I’m not a physician, and then they treat me another way when they know that I am a physician. I am like: “why is that so different? It should be the same”. I remember with my mom, I was so glad I was there throughout that journey for her because we had to teach her how to be confident and ask for what she wanted.

[00:17:36]

For example, when we first found out that she had cancer, we found out very late in the game because of the way it was conveyed to her. What she had was dismissed as “you have uterine cancer. This is the best cancer to have. Don’t worry. All we need to do is a hysterectomy and you’ll be good”. That was not true at all.

[00:17:55]

She ended up having a very bad version of adenosarcoma which progressed. Her tumor ended up in three months or four months went to 15 centimeters and blocked off her kidneys. I was like: “how come I don’t know about this?” She thought: “well, they didn’t think it was a big deal, so I didn’t think it was a big deal to tell anybody”. When she was admitted to the hospital, I knew from my experience, let’s at least try surgery. Let’s see what can happen. If it is not successful, at least we’ve tried. What do we have to lose? We have nothing to lose.

[00:18:28]

They wouldn’t do surgery because mom wasn’t confident in saying that she wanted it. They wanted to see that confidence in her. I really had to sit her down and be like: “Mom, what is it that you want?” She wanted to be around here for a longer period of time. This was around my wedding time. This was 10 days before my wedding. She was like: “I want to see you marry. That’s like that is my biggest thing right now”.

I said: “OK. You need to be very confident and tell the doctors what you want. Unless they see that, they will not do the surgery”. They did it because she finally came around and she said: “nope this is what I want, and I’m not budging. I want you guys to try. If I die on the table, I die on the table, but I want you guys to try”. It was a successful surgery. They gave her a year that she probably would not have had with us.

Kathryn: [00:19:19]

I want to take a moment in the middle of this episode to tell you about the Mindful Strength Membership. When you join the membership, you get access to weekly live and recorded classes, so there’s always something new.

Classes and workshops with guest teachers; a Q&A at the end of our live classes; and a diverse collection of styles, from resistance bands to classes with weighs, workouts, yoga classes, and restorative movement. To learn more about the Mindful Strength Membership and to join us go to mindfulstrength.ca and click membership. All right everyone back to the ship.

Kathryn: [00:20:07]

I think that your mom’s story and experience is not uncommon. I think a lot of people when they’re in their doctor’s office, or at the hospital, or wherever they are, feel that it is challenging to speak up; to advocate for themselves, and say “no, this is what I want” without any coaching or encouragement from family members or other people. Why do you think this is?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:20:36]

I think it’s how we’ve portrayed modern medicine to be, as a very patriarchal “I know better”, “doctor knows best”, “you don’t question”. They’re the ones that have studied the body the most and who knows the most. While that’s true that they have studied the body in-depth, I would still argue no one knows your body more than you do. There’s just no way. Everybody is so unique and so different.

[00:21:03]

Every bone structure is so different for everybody. How can we say these are the guidelines that apply to everyone. In the big picture, yes that works, but as an individual person, it doesn’t always work. Since we’ve raised modern medicine as one of the best ways to go about and take care of your health, it’s almost like we’ve instilled this fear in the general population. How dare you question it.

[00:21:34]

That’s stuck around because of the way it’s it’s been brought up. Now we have it more of: ask questions. I encourage my patients to ask me questions, but I also know that I’m not going to know every answer and it’s OK. I don’t need to know every answer. The patients shouldn’t expect the doctors to know everything either. We can only learn so much. We can only do so much. That’s where working as a team and working in collaboration is always going to be the best way when the patient is at the center. Then the team of health practitioners is around the patient supporting the patient’s needs. That to me is successful medicine.

Kathryn: [00:22:14]

Yeah. People are feeling the hierarchy and kind of nervous or maybe they think “oh what do I know?”.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:22:23]

Right. For example, I’ve shared the story a few times but not too often. When I was studying for my board exams and I applied for residency. People don’t realize the journey of medicine. They think you get into med-school, you get residency and you’re all good to go.

[00:22:42]

That’s not how it is. There are lots of hiccups along the way, but one that we never talk about it. That’s another issue. I didn’t get residency right away. I was devastated because I was like: “I only know this. This is my love. I can live in a hospital and I’m the happiest person”. To know that oh my god without residency I can’t practice “what do I do with my life?”. Medicine was my first marriage. I literally sacrificed everything for it.

[00:23:11]

When I didn’t get a residency, I was so devastated. I didn’t cope with it well. I did go into major depression. I was too afraid to seek help because I thought: if I seek help is not going to go in my residency application? Are they going to judge me on that? Are they not gonna give me a seat to get training if I go do this? It finally got to a point where I was like: “no, you know what, I really need help because I’ve never been like this before”.

[00:23:38]

I didn’t leave my bed for three to four weeks. My parents are very concerned. When I finally went to go get help, it was after three visits after seeing the psychiatrist, and it was hilarious, she diagnosed me as bipolar. I sat there thinking “I so don’t agree with you”. I did not speak up. She saw that because my day was structured that I’d get up in the morning, I would run, I would do cross-fit, I would do yoga, and then by the time, it was like [12:00] or [1:00] I’d get ready to study. I’d study till like midnight.

[00:24:11]

That’s how it was for me. I needed to move. That was my biggest thing because that was my outlet. I grew up with that. It always made me feel good and it kept me focused. She didn’t see it like that. Even though she diagnosed me as that, and I didn’t agree, I didn’t speak up. I ended up going on medications; very heavy medications of valproic acid and escitalopram for six months. I wasn’t married. I wasn’t in a relationship, but I knew it’s like I want those things. I want children. If I continue these medications, I can’t even get pregnant on these medications.

[00:24:46]

I ended up getting worse and then I finally said: “why am I doing this? I’ve never been on medications my whole life and all of a sudden I’m on these very high severe medications? This is not me”. I abruptly quit. I didn’t go back. I didn’t have any more like sessions with the psychiatrist because it was all medication management. We didn’t talk about feelings. We didn’t talk about what was really stressing me out or how this was like a big failure, or what I thought was a failure at that time. I look back and that was 2014.

[00:25:18]

I have been medication-free since. I had not been on a single pill. I think if I went through that and I was unable to speak up and I had all that medical education, how many people who don’t have that knowledge are feeling that not speaking up and are on these medications that they shouldn’t even be on?

Kathryn: [00:25:37]

It’s a very powerful story. With all of your training and all of your knowledge, you found it difficult to speak up. You can imagine how intimidated someone without any training or knowledge might feel; the hierarchy and all that stuff that they might feel going to see certain medical providers.

[00:26:03]

It’s pretty intense. It doesn’t feel like a level playing field where you can tell that person some of the things they really need to know in order to offer you sound medical care.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:26:17]

Right. That’s why I say the most important relationship you can have, aside from yourself, is the one with any practitioner that you have in the health industry. Take your time. Pick a physician that has the same values as you, who understands what your needs are.

[00:26:34]

I always say, even for family doctors: when you go for a job and you get interviewed, you get interviewed how many times before you can get a job. Then you’re placed on probation for three months. Then you pass that you’re a full-time employee, you get benefits and all that. We don’t do that with physicians. Why? They’re taking care of your body? Why don’t we interview our physicians?

Kathryn: [00:26:56]

Yeah. OK. Amazing. We had planned to talk about many different things in this episode today. One of the things that we had planned to talk about, I think this goes back to your first story you told us about your experience winding up not on the schedule of the studio that you were teaching for.

[00:27:20]

We planned on talking about spiritual bypassing and businesses. Maybe in particular yoga or wellness-related businesses where there seems to be a lot of this spiritual bypassing and sometimes not treating their teachers really well. I’m wondering if you could start by telling us what spiritual bypassing means for you.

Dr. Rima Thapar: Spiritual bypassing means to me that you’re using the concepts of oneness and from this heart-centered “we all love and we’re kind, and we’re compassionate”, but you are not addressing at the forefront the needs of that other individual. If you are a business owner, sometimes you have to have hard conversations. Not everyone’s going to like it. That’s part of being a business owner.

If there are things like for example COVID and you have to make financial cuts here and there, spiritual bypassing would be: “well, I’m not even going to have this discussion with this person”. I’m just going to ignore it. I’m going to just passively tell them: “yes, we’re waiting to see. I’m giving these teachers an opportunity first because their full-time job is teaching yoga. Maybe the other teachers that’s not their full-time job, so it’s not as important to you.

[00:28:48]

Ethically that’s not right. If someone is a contractor and an employer for a business, no person has the right to say: “well, this person needs the job more than the other person”. You’re not in their shoes. You don’t know what their financial status is or what their financial needs are.

[00:29:08]

You’ll bypass the actual conversation that has to happen. Everything will be good and love the light and “trust the process” “have your faith”. No, that’s not OK.

Kathryn: [00:29:22]

Right.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:29:22]

That’s not the conversation that needs to be had.

Kathryn: [00:29:26]

I don’t even want to call them spiritual things. I feel like these are like fake spiritual. Not real spiritual, but yeah this kind of like new-age, good energy, “love and light” all and using those feelings, I guess, to bypass what needs to be done.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:29:53]

Yeah. I see this quite often as spiritual bypassing: “have faith everything will turn out”. That is not an active conversation about what the conversation has to be in that moment. That is saying: “I don’t want to deal with that issue, so I’m going to say this and then we’re gonna move on to the next subject”.

Kathryn: [00:30:15]

How do you think maybe yoga and wellness business owners could start to do better?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:30:24]

I would say, especially for small businesses in the wellness industry, I feel like we as teachers need to speak up as well. There’s a lot that gets away with. I always think: if this had happened and then big corporate industry H.R. would be all over it. They would be like: “you need to give at least two-weeks notice and if you’re going to let an employee go”. Even with an independent contractor, there’s got to be legitimate reasons why.

[00:30:56]

We tend to just not follow those rules. From what I see, a lot of small businesses don’t have an actual H.R. team. They’re not aware of all the policies. A lot of yoga teachers aren’t aware of all the policies in the human resources realm of what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. Two things have to happen. I think, one, business owners need to step up in their ethical practices of businesses.

[00:31:27]

I was going to say treat everyone fairly. I also know each individual business owner has their own goals, motivations, and agendas for their business whatever they are. As an employee, educating yourself and informing yourself of these policies is very important. Unless you do that, you’re not going to be able to advocate for yourself. Yoga teachers, for example: if you’re teaching at a yoga studio and you haven’t signed a contract, that studio owner can literally do whatever they want because you haven’t defined any boundaries of what’s OK and what’s not OK.

Kathryn: [00:32:02]

I think that right now a lot of independent contractors/teachers are really like feeling this right now. When the pandemic began a lot of studios moved online which is cool, but from what I can tell most studios are not operating their full schedule with like eight classes a day. A lot of things got canceled and so that probably happened in a lot of different ways. Maybe some were appropriate and inappropriate.

[00:32:30]

I’ve definitely heard a couple of stories of inappropriate from fellow teachers. I think that for the first time independent teachers are starting to teach their own classes online. They’ve realized that they don’t need space right now because no one’s going into spaces anyways. They could do this on their own with some basic administrative work.

[00:32:52]

I think this is giving power to a lot of teachers right now. I feel like people are starting to realize: “OK. Maybe if I spent a little more time on this other side of business and admin, I could actually teach more for myself and be more independent and not be so reliant on studios”. Then they do not have to deal with all of this crap that happens frequently at yoga studios, because the people who own them oftentimes don’t know how to run a business”.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:33:23]

Yeah. I think yoga teachers often forget that because most of them operate as independent contractors, you really are self-employed. You have to get comfortable doing things outside of your comfort zone. They don’t want to take that ownership of “I am an entrepreneur”, but really you are. That means you have to know how to do some basic admin stuff and basic financial stuff, which we don’t talk about in any teacher training program that I know of.

Kathryn: [00:33:58]

Yeah. Hundred percent. This comes back to advocating for yourself, learning a couple of new things, and then being able to say more and do more of the stuff that you want to do.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:34:12]

Exactly. And that’s OK. I always say: being an entrepreneur, you are not going to know everything. You’re going to need that network of people to help you and guide you. It’s both a give and take process. It’s a giving and receiving cycle that’s going in a circle.

[00:34:33]

Be kind and compassionate to yourself. I feel like the pandemic really made people shift into a state of “I’m so uncomfortable but I don’t have a choice. I have to learn this, which is great”. I also see they are hard on themselves. You’re not going to get it in a week. This is probably going to take a month or maybe not. We’ll see. You’re going to keep learning and you’re going to do better every time.

[00:34:56]

Guess what? When you do better, you’re going to ask better questions because now you’re going to have more information. When you feel that you have better questions to ask and you’re getting better answers, you start to get more confident. When you get more confident, you’re going to start to speak up and say: “No, this is not OK”.

That’s huge because when you do that for yourself, you are being a leader in your community by doing that. Then you’re showing other people it’s okay to speak up. The more that you do speak up about what is OK and what is not OK is how we’re actually going to change society and change human consciousness and elevate it.

Kathryn: [00:35:33]

Yes so true. Rima this has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming back on the podcast.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:35:41]

You’re welcome. I love talking to you.

Kathryn: [00:35:43]

If people want to follow you online or check out what you’re up to, where should they go to do all that?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:35:49]

The best place for me right now is Instagram; it’s @the_healing_cup. I’m also on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you put in my name Rima Thapar, you’ll be able to find me. You can e-mail me at dr.rimathapar@thehealingcup.ca. Instagram’s the best way. Ask me questions. I love it when people ask me questions.

Kathryn: [00:36:13]

Are you working with people online or doing more webinars? Or is most of your work still at the clinic?

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:36:22]

Right now it’s going to be shifting more online. I would say I’m about 60 percent online, 40 percent in person. I am pregnant. I am due in November. I know things are going to shift radically for me once the baby comes. I am really preparing myself for the online space.

Kathryn: [00:36:43]

Amazing. Well, congratulations.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:36:45]

Thank you.

Kathryn: [00:36:46]

Fabulous. All right. Well, we will have all your links in our show notes and we’re transcribing the podcast. Yes is a new thing for us. People can go ahead and read through. I’ll get any links from you that you want us to add. Thank you so much.

Dr. Rima Thapar: [00:37:04]

You’re welcome. Thank you so much for having me back on.

Kathryn: [00:37:09]

That’s our show. Thank you everyone so much for listening. If you are listening on Apple Podcasts and you are loving the Mindful Strength Podcast, please consider leaving us a review. All of the reviews really, really help. If you want to learn more about my work, my membership, my teachers’ course, or my new free course called Mindful Strength Foundations, you can head over to mindfulstrengh.ca.