Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prescribing yoga (to myself)

As I come to the end of medical school and prepare for a life as a doctor, I have decided to dedicate an additional year to research. This is my time to ask questions and learn how to answer them. I will be designing and running a research study related to preventive health and lifestyle change.

Throughout this process, I will attempt to merge my two worlds of medicine and yoga. My goal for this blog is to keep track of my notes as I study both the science behind prevention and the daily practice of yoga.

Some things I've been thinking about:

Why I want to be a doctor:
To gain skills to help and heal people and communities. To know and understand the human body. To gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to influence policy change. To help shift the health system away from the disease-centric model and towards a model based around prevention and health optimization. To create a career that is an integral part of my life and driven by what I feel passionate about.

Why I practice yoga:
It has become a daily habit and part of my morning routine. It connects me to a wonderful community. It's an intense and challenging physical practice. It prepares me for my day ahead, helping develop focus, discipline, efficiency, confidence, and creativity in all other aspects of my life. It takes me to the edge of where I think my body can go, then further. My mind is quiet, I notice my breath, I get out of my head. I am aware of how my mental and physical body are affected by what I eat, how I sleep, my stress level... it's a daily check-in with my body and mind.  It challenges and humbles me.

When time and sleep are sacrificed during medical school, it is easy to lose sight of our passions, priorities, and goals. In an attempt to reconnect with what initially drove me to medical school, this year I will be prescribing yoga to myself, while also researching lifestyle change and preventive health.

Welcome! Please leave your thoughts and comments!


  1. christina, I just read backward through your whole blog. I am truly inspired by your goals for yourself, the blog, your medical education and ultimately, your desire to serve the greater community. Kudos for aspiring to ask questions that go beyond what was taught to you by your professors and also what might be expected of you upon graduation regarding your career path. Yes, allow your yoga to infuse every part of your life. Your passion will form the foundation for a wonderful career and your patients will lead richer lives as a result of your curiosity. The world needs more yogi doctors like you! :)
    rob shulman

  2. A truly laudable goal indeed! What a wonderful thing to do. I'm proud of you for exploring ways to find that elusive balance between mind/body, movement/stillness, and motivation/peace in your life as a doctor. I also look to yoga to find these things, and I'm excited to get to follow you as you do it formally! I'm looking forward to reading more of these... go yogi doctors!
    Kerri Entin