Yoga as a Tool for Health, Life

Dr. Cindy Haines Health Guide
  • Historically speaking, I've never really thought of myself as a "yoga" kind of girl. As a true Type-A, I've been more inclined to either not exercise (too focused on other goals) or to go all-out in some kind of intense cardiovascular workout with a competitive edge to it. Seem like two ends of extreme behavior? Yeah, I noticed that too.


    I came to yoga when I was experiencing difficulty getting pregnant again after the birth of my daughter and a subsequent miscarriage. I was doing "everything right" - eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Oh, and having sex with my husband. Yet, nothing was working. I couldn't get pregnant again. Even trips to, and strategies with, the infertility doctor didn’t help.

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    As nature and traditional medicine were "failing me" in my quest, I started researching what else I could do to help improve my chances. The mind-body connection was not as widespread or accepted in mainstream medicine or society back then, and the perception of yoga was still very much 'woo-woo.' But the evidence was quietly making itself known, building momentum: there was some kind of medicine (some kind of magic, really) about the practice of yoga.


    I began doing yoga at my regular gym and noticed a few things that surprised me: I noticed I felt much calmer, which I sort of expected. But I also felt much more connected to my daily life experiences, and to those around me. I also noticed that my usually ravenous appetite seemed to be more reasonable; I tended toward healthier choices in my dietary consumption; and I noticed that my mid-section was becoming noticeably trimmer - something that never seemed to occur despite the number of high-intensity cardio or core classes I took.


    And, I got pregnant again to give birth to my son who turned seven this summer.


    There were other factors involved here, as well, including a diagnosis and treatment of PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. But I am certain that yoga was a factor in my overall success.


    With two young kids and both parents with busy careers, schedules and life got in the way of yoga practice. I began to reconnect with it again a couple of years ago when my too busy, overscheduled life felt out of control.


    I felt out of control.


    And as a Type-A control freak, feeling like I desperately needed to "get it back."


    In seeking control over my chaos, I found so much more than I ever expected. My practice of yoga has given me the freedom to release control. Control I realize I never had to begin with, nor could ever have. And that's a beautiful thing.


    There is an intelligence to nature that, if I am able to relax and "go with the flow," if I stop fighting so hard to push my own agenda, things seem to work out so much better. Perfectly? No. But with so much less resistance. Naturally.


    For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms. More medical care doesn’t mean better health. Dr. Haines and Metcalf reveal some of the most egregious problems with a medical system gone awry, opening readers’ eyes to how to better navigate the changes underway. Using solid research, insiders’ insights, and patient anecdotes, they offer cost-effective and potentially life-saving ways to get more out of health care while using less of it.



Published On: August 08, 2013