I attended the Second Annual Copper Mountain Pose Medicine & Yoga Symposium in Colorado, a conference for physicians and healthcare workers to come together and learn how yoga can be incorporated into their practice.
Dr. Satkirin Khalsa, a board certified physician in Albuquerque, New Mexico has created this out of a need to treat wellness and not dis-ease. As a child, studying in India, Satkirin met Mother Teresa. Because of that fateful day, she decided right then and there, that her career would be helping people.
Our healthcare system has many flaws. Prescriptions are handed out freely. The “quick fix” mentality is prevalent. The obesity rate is staggering and diseases that were virtually unheard of a generation ago, are in the forefront. Satkirin is well aware of this, and has started a campaign to rectify the problem.
Her message is simple. Why not incorporate an age old system that uses mind/body awareness, deep breathing and correct alignment to help ease some ailments. Teach the physicians and the public how to make healthy diet choices. Demonstrate deep diaphragmatic breath and spell out the minimum daily exercise requirements.
So armed with this knowledge, Satkirin approached the American Academy of Family Physicians to create a course that doctors and the medical wellness community could gain continuing educational credits. And this is what the Copper Mountain Pose Symposium was all about. Up to 25 CMEs could be credited to the doctors.
The attendees were treated to a variety of lectures on all different subjects including cancer, aging and treating the patient not the disease. There were also a mix of the best and brightest yoga teachers in the country. Gwen Lawrence, yoga teacher to the New York Giants and other notable professional team led the class in an anatomy based flow class. David Romanelli offered classes that combined yoga, lavendar and chocolates. A memorable experience. Siegfried Bleher led an Iyengar class and Keisha Wixom offered a beautiful morning practice. There were also daily meditations that put everyone in the zone.
This is program in its infancy and there is a lot of work to be done. It has to start at the medical level. Once a doctor can fully embrace the benefits of incorporating yoga into their practice, the magic begins.
So I propose this. Next time you go for your annual checkup, for three to five minutes do some deep breathing with your physician. What happens is your blood pressure returns to normal. The doctor can now get an accurate reading. No more “white coat” syndrome. And the doctor can focus and be more present for your exam. That’s just one small thing that can be done. And I can say that I personally tried this at my physical earlier this month. Result: normal blood pressure. Usually I have to have it taken twice. (Thanks Satkirin, for the tip.)