In this episode of Discover with Dr. Dan | Proactive Health, Dr. Dan meets with Tiffany Cruikshank from Yoga Medicine. Tiffany is a yoga professional on a mission to combine the best in Eastern and Western medicine into one holistic path to optimal health. Listen to the full podcast below to learn more.
Healing Through a Personalized Approach
Having a rich background in medicine and yoga, Tiffany noticed a pattern in her patients who practiced yoga versus those who didn’t when healing from health ailments - those who practiced healed much faster. From there, Tiffany started Yoga Medicine in hopes of helping people overcome a slew of bodily and mental health concerns, as well as to help clients set lifelong practices for health. A major factor to all of these elements is finding the right movement or combination of movements that works best for your body.
To get the most out of yoga, Tiffany finds that a personalized approach is the best way for people to really implement yoga ideals into each aspect of their life. One of these main ideals everyone should practice is mindfulness. The whole idea of mindfulness is to detach yourself from possible outcomes and to explore the current situation with an open mind full of curiosity. This principle can make an impact in several aspects of life, it's not just applicable in yoga
Frequency Over Duration is Key
To actively practice mindfulness is to actively practice patience - both come from doing yoga. Many people struggle to stay on schedule with yoga because it’s hard to have a 90 minute class every day, five days a week. Tiffany suggests starting small and building your way up from there:
If I'm working with a patient or a student and I have them doing an hour a day...it's a lot less likely they're going to stick with it than if I build them up slowly and start with 10 minutes a day for a week or two, and really start to build up that muscle of the routine of it too.
Starting small with daily five to ten minute practices, and not overwhelming yourself with the details in the beginning can really build up the frequency that's needed to see positive physical and mental results from yoga.
Yoga is for Everyone
At its core, yoga’s about reconnecting with yourself - something that we need now more than ever. In our busy lives it’s so difficult to find time to tune out of the world and tune into our mind and body. If you’re just starting out with yoga, be patient with yourself and start practicing mindfulness in small activities daily. Take a quick moment to notice your breath. How does it feel? Are your breaths short, long, staggered, heavy, or soft? Then go on to practice what feels right for you.
If you’re looking to start taking yoga classes, it’s okay to shop around just as you would with a therapist. Find a teacher, studio environment, and yoga type that fits best with you and your lifestyle. Jenn suggests, “If you're looking for some therapeutics, I do recommend finding a yoga teacher with some deeper training in therapeutics, versus if you're looking for chanting or philosophy.”
The body is one of the greatest mysteries and there is still so much more to learn.