Get to know me…….
I am a physician, dog mom, travel enthusiast, animal lover, ocean seeker, and humanitarian….I still believe there is good in the world and hope to interact with more of you that feel the same.
I grew up with a Western philosophy mind set, focused on the next goal. I rejected anything that did not help me achieve that goal. It was not until I was already a practicing physician for many years, that I saw there was something missing in the overall wellness of not only myself but in all the people around me, including other physicians. What is your definition of wellness? If you are focused on what you look like, you are truly missing out. Wellness is not merely how you look on the outside, but also how you feel, how you think and how you interact with those around you.
My practice of yoga began a number of years ago. I had reached the top of the so- called professional ladder, yet something was missing. After spending so many years studying and working hard towards my professional goals, it still did not feel as if I was living my best life. I tended towards competitive sports like tennis, however, my body and mind was yearning for something different. I was introduced to the practice of yoga, and at first I did not enjoy it. I kept returning because I found it challenging to take the time to just focus on that present moment in class. This new found feeling of being “present” and “aware” of that precise moment of time was something I had not experienced. As a self declared multi-tasker, I always had a million projects going on, but now I began to question my focus on them. As I continued to practice yoga, I became more aware of the importance of breath. Sure, breathing is natural and essentially automated, but what if we could actually learn to control our breath, could we influence our breath and other parts of the body. Indeed with lots of practice, I found a way to increase my parasympathetic response. This feeling of the relaxation response, was so foreign, especially after many years of work and studying. My mind and body was experiencing something different than the sustained sympathetic cortisol state I had been accustomed to. Ultimately, I figured out ways to maintain my relaxation response, even during times of stress.
I spent a number of years practicing yoga, and being the curious person I am, I wanted to know more. I decided to take a 200 hour yoga teacher training. What was I thinking? I am a busy triple board certified physician working long hours and now I was going to take this on. Well this is exactly what I needed. I searched for a training that would incorporate my extensive anatomical background. I found Yoga Medicine thru a random encounter at a yoga festival and that was the beginning of the journey that has led me here. Learning yoga has reintroduced me to appreciating the human body its capabilities and needs. The immense connection of our body with our nervous system, our immune system, our musculoskeletal system and our endocrine system now took on another shape.
Since my initial Yoga Medicine training, I have continued on to pursue my 500 hour Yoga Medicine Registered Therapeutic Specialist certification, which is in progress. In addition I have completed training in Yoga for Cancer Recovery thru Be Well, along with additional Yoga Medicine training in Myofascial release, Women’s Health and Chinese Medicine, and Restorative Yoga.
During this time, although I was generally a good plant based eater, bringing my freshly squeezed green juice with me to the hospital everyday, I realized that so many people around me, including physicians, really don’t know how to take care of themselves. The hospital food did not help, and even the fact that we got free lunches from the doctors lounge, the convenience of destroying my health was not going to happen. I took many opportunities to enhance my own cooking skills and learn the nutrition that they never taught us in our training. I am a proud student of the Arizona Institute of Integrative Medicine by Dr. Andrew Weil, Institute for Functional Medicine, as well as the Functional Nutrition Program by Mind Body Green.
At this point in time, after spending so many years diagnosing cancer, I feel that there is something even more essential to share with our friends, family and patients. The yoga prescription is my attempt to share what I have learned on this journey with you and hopefully help you to improve your health along the way.