School of Mind-Body Medicine Student, Rowan Silverberg, Teaches Yoga to Medical Students at Case Western Reserve University Medical School
Rowan Silverberg is a master's student in the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine. In October 2013 she had an opportunity to introduce medical students at Case Western Reserve University Medical School to Yoga. She was invited by Dr. Sue Wish-Baratz, an anatomy professor at the Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, to address two groups of 80 second year medical students during "Musculoskeletal Week," on the use of Yoga to create structural alignment, as well as physical and psychological resilience.
The objective was to present Yoga for the medical students so they could begin to understand the potential of Yoga for their own self-care, and also as care for their patients. Rowan brought along six assistants to assist the large classes in enjoying an optimal Yoga experience, which included practices that cultivated sensitivity to and regulation of breath, movement, and awareness. Rowan created and presented the following definition of Yoga as a mind-body practice.
"Yoga is a system of self-care, based on self-awareness and self-regulation. Yoga trains and enhances
optimal attention, arousal, affect (emotion), and physical alignment.
Yoga is designed to minimize the negative physical, emotional, and mental effects of stress
and to promote positive resilience and well-being."
Yoga is a valuable mind-body intervention, because it can be utilized to rehabilitate and provide relief from symptoms for chronically ill individuals with a variety of medical and emotional disorders, ranging from fibromyalgia to arthritis to post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also be used as a tool to help the already healthy person to attain the highest levels of wellness, peak achievement, and spiritual awareness. Yoga is relatively inexpensive to deliver to groups of individuals, since one instructor can teach a group of 12 or more at once. Yoga also provides an avenue for long term life style change, as Yoga offers a lifetime series of learning opportunities for sustained involvement in mind, body, and spirit-based transformation.
Rowan Silverberg found her experience teaching and facilitating the medical students' learning highly rewarding. She has already been invited to return and address next year's second year students.