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Tiffany Cruikshank

What Happens to Your Body When You Get Acupuncture Every Week

Don’t put a pin in it.

By Rebecca Deczynski for Domino.

The thought of getting 20 tiny needles stuck in your back admittedly might not sound very relaxing. But acupuncture is a beneficial treatment for everything from stress to chronic pain. And lately, it’s become a lot more accessible.

Just look at WTHN, the nearly year-old acupuncture studio in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood, which offers a monthly membership to reframe how people think of the traditional Chinese wellness practice. According to Dr. Shari Auth, a cofounder of the studio, acupuncture is great for both averting and treating pain. “We want to see patients once a month, ideally once a week. The reality is somewhere in between,” she says. “If you’re coming in because you have chronic migraines or something like that, I would say to come in every week, and once you’re no longer having frequent migraines, then you can figure out what the rhythm is for you, whether that’s twice a month or once every three weeks.”

If you’re not addressing any specific malady, though, a more occasional treatment could fit the bill. “I always suggest that patients who no longer need regular acupuncture come and see us four times a year for preventative care,” says Dr. Jill Blakeway, founder of the Yinova Center in New York City.

Basically, teeny-tiny needles stimulate the fascia (the connective tissue in the skin), which, in turn, results in a lot of benefits—and the science behind acupuncture is strong. According to Auth, it increases circulation, which is how it relaxes tight muscles. It also stimulates collagen production, which can decrease the appearance of wrinkles. Not to mention, the procedure can help with both depression and anxiety. A single session of acupuncture will leave you feeling pretty rejuvenated, but the longer you invest in treatment, the better you can expect to feel.

After One Day

If you’ve been feeling burned out or anxious, a good acupuncture session can make a difference. Because it decreases cortisol levels (which causes stress) and increases serotonin and dopamine (which make you feel happy), it’s a great antidote for a bad mood. “At the end of the treatment, most people feel energized, as well as calm and relaxed,” says Tiffany Cruikshank, acupuncturist and founder of Yoga Medicine.

Seriously—be prepared to really let go of all those bad vibes: “The most common testimonial that we hear is that people had the best nap of their life on an acupuncture table,” says Auth. When it’s time for bed, too, you’ll likely find dozing off easier than usual.

If you decide to get acupuncture to target an injury or a specific pain, it won’t be totally healed after just one session, but you will experience some relief, Auth adds.

After One Month

Once you’ve had a few treatments—either once a week for a month or two to three times—you’ll start to feel more lasting changes. Your immune system will get a nice boost (so you’ll fall victim to colds less often), says Blakeway, plus you’ll feel less stressed and your muscles will relax more, which means you can also expect to sleep better.

Because acupuncture is an anti-inflammatory, it can also soothe digestion issues: “gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, all of that kind of stuff,” says Auth. Oh, and it can ease the pain that comes along with menstruation and menopause.

After Three to Six Months

If you’ve been focused on treating an injury or another medical condition, lasting improvements can typically be felt after a few months—after which you might decide to scale back on frequency. By now “with chronic pain, there should be a huge shift in the level, intensity, and kind of pain a client is dealing with,” says Mona Dan, founder of Vie Healing.

It all depends on which part of the body you’ve been targeting. “If you’re getting facial acupuncture, it’s basically nature’s Botox,” says Auth. Because it increases collagen and elastin production, you could see an anti-aging effect within a few months.

When you make acupuncture a preventative treatment in your wellness routine, you’re targeting both mind and body. As Auth notes, it can address long-standing issues like headaches, migraines, PCOS, and carpal tunnel, not to mention stress and anxiety. This more holistic approach to health might just be worth the prick.

Mental Health And Wellness Module Overview

By Nat & Sandy Yoga Podcast.

Recently, Nat (from Nat & Sandy Yoga) took a short trip to Portland for a training on mental health and wellness with Yoga Medicine. In this episode, Sandy interviews Nat on her experience and the main takeaways from her week in training. We discuss the importance of epigenetics in mental health, depression and anxiety, the enteric nervous system (your gut) and its connection to mental health, and so much more. This topic is hugely important for yoga teachers to be well-versed and sensitive towards, so if you’re currently a yoga teacher or looking to launch your teaching career, please do have a listen! We discuss tools and techniques to use within group yoga classes that may help someone with depression or anxiety feel a bit more comfortable.

Listen to the full podcast here. Enjoy!

10 Top Yoga Gurus to Help You With Your Yoga Practice

By Dawna Stone for Project Bold Life.

More than 36 million people regularly practice yoga in the United States. It is estimated that one in three Americans have tried it at some point. Clearly, Eastern traditions of health and wellness have expanded into Western cultures. And along with this incredible growth, a number of yoga masters have emerged—yoga gurus who are not just enhancing individuals lives but entire communities as well.

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of people practicing yoga grew by more than 50 percent. More than 6,000 yoga studios now exist in the U.S., and there are countless options for online yoga practice and education. But how do you know which yoga guru is right for you? In an effort to help you decide, here are 10 of the top yoga gurus active today.

Elena Brower

Based in New York City, this yoga guru is a well-known author and speaker. In addition to offering online yoga practices on Glo.com, Brower’s first book Art of Attention has been translated into six languages and her second book, Practice You: A Journal is now a bestseller. From her Practice You Podcast to writings, to her global doTERRA team, Brower brings realistic reverence to every day. Her most recent project is a spoken word piece on the Flow State album by Above & Beyond.

Kino MacGregor

Founder of the Miami Life Center, Kino MacGregor has millions of followers on social media. As an international yoga guru, she promotes truth, non-violence, and love through daily deep spiritual practices. Primarily focused on Ashtanga Yoga, this yoga master has published four books and six DVDs. And she is frequently sought after as an inspirational speaker throughout the world.

Patrick Beach

Combining strength, flexibility and play, this yoga guru teaches a vigorous form of Vinyasa flow. His practices can be found online, and he trains through his Awakening Yoga Academy in Washington state. In addition to providing classes and workshops in Seattle, international events are also routinely held. In fact, many yoga teachers seek this yoga master to advance their skills.

Seane Corn

Founder of Off the Mat, Into the World, Corn is a truly inspirational yoga master. Through yoga, self-awareness, and community activism, yoga practitioners are encouraged to be a positive change. And this yoga guru practices what she preaches. She is involved in dozens of grassroots humanitarian efforts in addition to writing books, promoting online classes, and releasing DVD publications.

Baron Baptiste

Growing up with parents who were yoga masters was not as mainstream as it might be today. But for Baptiste, it became a way of life that he wanted to share. Today, his Baptiste Power Yoga combines physical, inquiry, and meditation practices to evoke balance and counterbalance. And as a yoga guru, he instills in others the importance of serving others instead of one’s self.

Jason Crandell

As a yoga guru, Crandell believes in challenging practices while seeking heightened awareness. His approach to Vinyasa Yoga involves power, precision, and mindfulness to promote continuous growth. In addition to international yoga master speaking engagements, Crandell offers teacher training and is an active author. He has also released yoga DVDs with Yoga Journal to expand access to his teaching.

Noah Mazé

Along with his wife, Tracy, this yoga master developed the “Mazé Method,” which advocates a precise, clean approach to yoga. In addition to an L.A.-based yoga instruction school, yoga classes can also be found at MazeONYoga.com. From curricular development to teacher training, to corporate consulting, Mazé is well-known as a top yoga guru.

Tiffany Cruikshank

Perhaps one of the most innovative yoga gurus, Cruikshank founded Yoga Medicine. Her practices uniquely combine Eastern wellness philosophies with Western medicine with attention to anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and yoga. With a masters’ education in plant biology, sports medicine, and Oriental medicine, this yoga master has pursued a different approach to health.

Kia Miller

As an international model and filmmaker, Miller found it important to be centered and to de-stress. Today, she has used those experiences to combine Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga in her Radiant Body Yogainstruction. In the process, she has become well-appreciated as a top yoga guru throughout the world. Her yoga master approach is one that focuses on interconnectivity, breath, and alignment to promote holistic wellness.

Kathryn Budig

Though born in Kansas, Budig received her yoga training in L.A. from Yogaworks. Since then, she has gone on to serve as yoga health editor for Women’s Health journal. And she is recognized internationally as a yoga master in teacher training and inspirational messaging. Likewise, she continues to spread her messages of being true to one’s self through her Aim True yoga DVDs.


At one time, yoga practices were slow to take off in the U.S. But today, millions practice yoga, with its popularity continuing to expand. The increased interest has in part been due to a shift in health and wellness perspectives, with reactive medicine giving way to preventative care. But at the same time, yoga masters have also highlighted the importance of holistic health. And this has served to advance the practice of yoga in the process.

Yoga is a wonderful way to promote complete health and well-being, as many have already realized. And for those who have not, the list of yoga gurus cited here can help enlighten you about its many benefits. Take the time and find the yoga practice best for you. Incorporating yoga practice into your life will not only make your life richer but also bolder.

Three Recovery Poses to Revitalize Your Tissues

By 24Life.

Passive recovery is just as important to a health, wellness and fitness routine as resistance training, good nutrition and sleep.

Tiffany Cruikshank, creator of Yoga Medicine, shares her three favorite poses that are often forgotten but can be used to help revitalize the tissues.

Outer Hips and Thighs

  • Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
  • Place your right ankle on top of your left knee.
  • Keep your hips on the ground and let your legs fall to your left as far as they can go. For a less intense stretch, use a block or prop under your thigh.
  • Hold for a few minutes and relax, then repeat on the opposite side.

Front of the Hips

  • Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
  • Place a yoga block (medium height) or rolled-up towel under your sacrum.
  • Draw your left knee in toward your chest and keep your abdominals tight. Take your right leg out straight and lower it down until you feel resistance.
  • Hold here, then lower and lift your right leg in the end range of motion. As your muscles start to release, go lower, if you can.
  • Do 20 to 30 reps, or to fatigue, then let your right leg lower to the floor. Hold here and relax.
  • Switch sides.

Spine

  • Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your back on the floor as you twist through your spine to bring your knees to your left side. Your knees are in line with your hips, feet stacked. You can place a yoga block between your knees.
  • Use your hand to press down on your top leg. Resist that pressure with your leg. Hold here for five seconds, then relax into the twist.
  • Repeat this one or two times, then relax in the pose for a minute or so.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Rise and Thrive With Tiffany Cruikshank, the Founder of Yoga Medicine

Health expert, Tiffany Cruikshank, shares her energizing morning routine and exactly what she does to sleep soundly at night.
By Lindsey Benoit O’Connell for Thrive Global.

Tiffany Cruikshank is not your average Yogi. She began practicing yoga in her early teens, and quickly realized that there were huge health benefits to the practice.  She went off to study pre-med, and received a Bachelor’s degree in medicinal plant biology, and a Master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine with a specialty in sports medicine and orthopedics. Her effective teaching methods combine the knowledge of the body (anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology) with the Eastern tradition of yoga. 20 years later, the internationally acclaimed founder of Yoga Medicine has treated more than 25,000 patients from around the world using yoga, acupuncture, nutrition, meditation, and holistic health. She was the acupuncturist and yoga teacher at the Nike World Headquarters, graced the cover of over a dozen magazines, and is the best selling author of two books: Meditate Your Weight and Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life.

Since she practices what she preaches, we wanted to learn how she prioritizes her day. In an exclusive interview with Thrive, she shares her morning and evening routine with tips and tools to help anyone start and end their day with productivity and mindfulness.

THRIVE GLOBAL: WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP? 

TIFFANY CRUIKSHANK: Sleep is very important to me, so when I’m working from home, I usually let myself wake naturally. It’s usually around 7 a.m. When I’m working on the road, I wake up early (around 5 a.m.) and work until 9 p.m. When I’m working from home, I try to arrange my days around my most efficient hours and refuel by getting plenty of sleep, so I can also be more productive.

TG: HOW DO YOU WAKE UP? 

TC: I wake up naturally, but by an alarm when I’m on the road.

TG: WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP?

TC: I like to drink some matcha and check my emails; it helps me wake up and get excited for my day. Then I’ll meditate to help clear my head and prepare to do more lengthy tasks. After that, I usually take a few minutes to tidy my house; it helps me prepare to work efficiently. Then I’ll sit down and do the longer tasks of the day: writing content, drafting plans, interviews, schedule planning, meetings, etc. Sometime in the mid-morning before lunch I’ll do my yoga practice or some sort of movement.

TG: BREAKFAST? 

TC: Green smoothie with whatever veggies I have that sound good, ground flax seed, and I5 energize protein powder by Xymogen. It’s kind of like my multivitamin, protein/fuel, gut health, detox, and energy all in one.

TG: WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO BEAUTY ROUTINE? 

TC: I love Goop skincare products; they’re pricey but worth every penny, especially the luminous melting cleanser. My dry skin soaks it up like no product I’ve ever tried before.

TG: DO YOU DO A WORKOUT IN THE MORNING? 

TC: Usually yoga, sometimes pilates, or the gym. I like to play around in the gym and experiment with moving and challenging my body in different ways. I believe physical health is more about variability than repetition, so I like to do different things. When I’m short on time, I’ll do a quick HIIT routine or hop on a Glo.com class.

TG: ANYTHING SPECIAL YOU DO THAT IS PART OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE? 

TC: I usually incorporate some myofascial release in my yoga practice or workouts to keep my tissues healthy and mobile. Most people think of strength as just muscle, but tissue strength and injury prevention are also dependent on collagen and hyaluronic acid production, which can be influenced by many things — one of which is myofascial release. As I get older, I can sense the importance of this more.

TG:  HOW DO YOU SET YOURSELF UP TO THRIVE FOR THE DAY? 

TC: It’s all mindset for me. After specializing in orthopedics and seeing patients for over 16 years and teaching yoga for over 24 years, the more I do this, the more I really see and believe in the power of the mind. When I see a new patient, I can usually tell pretty quickly how fast they will respond to treatments. The placebo effect has a negative connotation in the medical world, but the reality is that it represents our mental resilience and just how powerful this central processing system of the mind is. For instance, as we continue to learn more about pain, we see how powerful something as simple as pain education can be on the experience of pain itself. So for me preparing for my day mentally, having a plan, being able to visualize what I want to create, and creating a positive mental landscape are all very important to me, and are why I start my day with a meditation to prepare me for what’s ahead.

TG: WHAT SETS YOU BACK THAT YOU AVOID? 

TC: Meditating and tidying used to feel like they took too much time, but I quickly realized that they constituted an investment in my efficiency through the day, and I actually got more work done that way. However, when I work from home, it’s easy to get distracted by the unending list of things I have to do around the house, so I have to create a space to work in to tune that out.

TG: HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE YOUR DAY? HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST? 

TC: I like to get quick emails out of the way first because it helps me feel like I get some work done right away. Then I carve out time for tasks that require more creativity or time to complete. I usually end my day by cleaning out my email inbox again to prepare for the next day. At the end of the day, I like to take some time to plan out my upcoming day to be sure I’m on track with deadlines and long-term projects.

TG: WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY? HOW DOES IT IMPACT YOUR DAY? DO YOU TAKE TECH BREAKS? 

TC: I like to start by cleaning out emails, but I have to be careful not to let it take over my day. As the brain behind the business, I have many projects that also require me to write content or plan creative direction for the business, and that necessitates time without the internet so I can stay focused. I’ll carve out time to write and create most days, and on Fridays, I carve out time to sort through research to stay up to date. My tech breaks are also spent on my yoga mat. As a teacher, my best inspiration happens in my personal practice, as I feel and find nuances in alignment or other details in my body.

TG: WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNWIND BEFORE BED? 

TC: A couple hours before bed, I start to slow down, power down, and turn the lights down to help slowly lower my cortisol. I’m very protective of this sleep ritual, no matter where I am in the world. Sleep is such a critical part of my health and wellness; it’s irreplaceable.

TG: WALK US THROUGH YOUR EVENING ROUTINE.

TC: I usually unplug before dinner, then take some time to eat and nourish myself. After dinner, I like to look at my day ahead, and do anything I need to prepare to be efficient the next day before it gets too late. Sometimes that’s carving out my day to be productive, and setting aside time for things that require more creativity and brainpower, like writing new content for our trainings or new projects. Then I get ready for bed, turn off lights and devices, and watch some TV with my husband before we fall asleep.

TG: IS TECH A BIG PART OF YOUR EVENING? 

TC: I usually power down by dinner, though if my husband is out of town, sometimes I’ll work later. However, I know I’m sacrificing the next morning if I do that, since it will take me longer to go to bed and turn my brain off. When I’m writing books or manuals or creative things, I just make the best use of whenever I’m inspired.

TG: HOW DO YOU SET YOURSELF UP FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S REST? 

TC: Powering down before bed. I’m a firm believer in dimming the lights slowly before bed; it’s crucial for me to get my cortisol down and prepare for sleep. I think it’s really important. I like watching TV at night. I know it’s bad for your sleep, but it helps me turn my mind off. I love my job, so if left to my own volition, I’ll keep thinking and planning and preparing.

TG: WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT? HOW DO YOU COMBAT THAT? 

TC: I’m usually a really good sleeper, I think partly because I enjoy sleep. I look forward to the time where I don’t have to make decisions or do anything at all. It feels luxurious and indulgent to get time to relax at night and be away from it all. I think that mindset helps a lot as well. If I really need to sleep and I’m having trouble falling asleep, like with jet lag, I’ll take tryptophan and do some breathing practices to slow down my mind. My favorite practice that I’ll do in bed is to inhale for four counts and exhale for five counts, then exhale six, seven, and eight, and repeat four counts in and eight counts out until I feel myself drifting off. It feels like a countdown to sleep as my nervous system unwinds and my brain lands in bed in the process.

***

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Rebalance & Strengthen with These Three Yoga Moves from Tiffany Cruikshank


Many people view a yoga practice as a stretching session. And while yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles, it also can be used to mobilize and invigorate the fascia and tissues before or after a workout.

Below, Tiffany Cruikshank, creator of Yoga Medicine, is sharing a three-move yoga flow that will strengthen and mobilize the muscles and the fascia before a workout if you’re stiff or tight, or as a cool-down after an intense workout to clear out the tissues.

Short on time? Flow through this sequence three or four times for a quick movement session and get on with your day!

Low Lunge to Standing Leg

  • On a non-slip surface, plant one foot in front of you, knee bent to come into a high crescent lunge. Back leg is straight, stand on the ball of your back foot, heel lifted.
  • Steady the lumbar spine by bracing your abdominals.
  • Inhale your arms up overhead, as you exhale, hinge your torso forward halfway.
  • Inhale and press through your front foot to come up, sweeping your arms overhead. Exhale and hinge forward again, bringing your arms down behind you.
  • Continue on the inhale and exhale. After 10 reps, repeat on the opposite side.
  • If you want more, as you hinge forward, straighten your front leg until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Bend your front knee as you come up on the inhale.

Extended Side Angle to Revolved Lunge

  • In your crescent-lunge position, bring your hands close to the ground.
  • Push down through your front foot to turn on your glutes, and pull your belly back to come off your thigh.
  • Bring your left hand by your front right ankle and your right hand up to the ceiling.
  • Rotate through your torso to open up toward your back leg, spinning your back leg down and rotating on an axis to bring your left hand up to the sky and your right hand down by your front knee.
  • Lift your back heel up as you rotate back to start. Repeat, opening and closing with your breath.
  • Perform five to 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Split Taps

  • From your side-angle position, plant your hands on the ground in front of your left foot and bring your right leg up off the floor behind you.
  • Don’t worry about how high your back leg goes. On your inhale, lift up onto the ball of your standing foot.
  • As you exhale, bend your standing knee as you bend your back leg and bring your kneecap to your front leg.
  • Inhale to lift, exhale to bend and tap. To target the sciatic nerve more, as you lift up, turn your head forward, and as you tap forward, tuck your neck.
  • Perform five to 10 rounds on one side before repeating on the opposite side.

Women in Wellness with Tiffany Cruikshank

By Christina D. Warner for Authority Magazine.

Tiffany Cruikshank is an internationally renowned yoga instructor, who has spent the past 20 years crafting a methodology for teaching and practicing yoga, wherein the practice is melded with Eastern and Western notions of medicine. Cruikshank’s teaching is held up by her work as a holistic health practitioner, acupuncturist, and sports medicine expert. Based in Seattle, Cruikshank teaches regularly for YogaGlo, and travels extensively around the world. She is also the author of Meditate Your Weight. Her approach has helped thousands of yogis around the world see their practice in a new light as a result of Cruikshank’s innovative thinking and dedication to the practice.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TIFFANY. WHAT IS YOUR “BACKSTORY”?

I founded Yoga Medicine® to create a resource of yoga teachers trained more deeply in anatomy, physiology and pathology to serve the medical communities. As a healthcare provider myself, I saw the noticeable impact these practices had on my patient outcomes as well as the desire for healthcare providers to be able to safely refer patients to yoga as a supplement to both their diagnosis as well as their ongoing health and wellness.

Western medicine is mind-blowing when it comes life-saving measure, however we fall short when it comes to ongoing wellness and prevention. And why should one healthcare provider be responsible for all of that? With all of the information we now know in any medical specialty, it’s impossible to know everything. We must learn to work together better as healthcare providers and with the support of non-healthcare providers like yoga teachers, that’s where we become an efficient and effective system.

The tricky part is that there’s such a broad range of experience in the yoga world, you can attend a short training and call yourself a teacher. We have over 1500 hours of training compared to the typical 200hr training most teachers receive. Our transparent platform allows anyone to search through our database of thousands of teachers by postal code. You can find teachers near you and see exactly what trainings they’ve completed and know that they have a breadth of training in both western anatomical information and research as well as the traditional practices of yoga that have been around for so many decades. We fuse the best of both worlds and provide a resource of teachers trained to a higher caliber, raising the bar for yoga teachers.

CAN YOU SHARE YOUR TOP THREE “LIFESTYLE TWEAKS” THAT YOU BELIEVE WILL HELP SUPPORT PEOPLE’S JOURNEY TOWARDS BETTER WELLBEING?

1. Myofascial release (MFR) is my go-to for self-care for so many things. It’s accessible, easy to use and easy to take on the go if you travel a lot like me. I’ve used it with my patients for over 15 years and have found it to be a really essential tool so I also train our yoga teachers to use it as well. It’s so easy to learn and such a great tool to have to keep the tissues healthy and resilient.

2. I love YogaGlo as a resource for quick and accessible yoga classes for health and wellness. They have a wealth of incredible teachers from around the world and I love that you can find exactly what you need with their thousands of classes to filter through by length or level or topic, etc.

3. My daily meditation is the most important, though. It helps me maintain my mental health in a busy world (of course, along with the basic essentials as well, like eating good quality whole foods and getting plenty of sleep.) What I love about yoga and meditation is that they often spark a deeper awareness of what is most helpful when it comes to food and how I can get a more restful sleep. The tricky part about doing research on yoga is that it often instigates other lifestyle changes as we become more mindful, a wonderful side effect. I love it when people choose to make changes because they feel better, rather than the “no pain, no gain” mentality that often gets left behind with the resolutions at some point.

CAN YOU SHARE THE MOST INTERESTING STORY THAT HAPPENED TO YOU SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER?

Well I struggled a lot in my teens and at the age of 14, my parents sent me away on a wilderness program that changed everything for me. I met an herbalist there that taught me how to use the environment around me as medicine, it sparked a passion inside of me to heal and help others as well as my love and intrigue for holistic wellness. Soon after I found yoga, and as an athlete growing up, the physicality of it drew me in — but there was always something else that kept me coming back for more. Eager to study more, I graduated early and went off to college at 16. I did my premed degree and then went on to study Chinese Medicine, all the while teaching yoga. As I started seeing patients, I quickly saw the need for yoga in the wellness realm and created Yoga Medicine® to help bridge the gap between yoga and the medical world. We’re also just starting to offer classes and courses to medical professionals as well, to support the ongoing health and wellness of our healthcare providers and to address topics like burnout and mental health.

CAN YOU SHARE A STORY ABOUT THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU MADE WHEN YOU WERE FIRST STARTING? CAN YOU TELL US WHAT LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM THAT?

I don’t know about mistakes, because that implies you’ve done something wrong — If I did anything differently it would not have turned out as it did. I think mistakes are part of the process so long as you use them to continue to grow and respond. I believe the only mistake we can make is not learning from our mistakes and struggles or from not being adaptable along the way. I know for myself and my business, one of the secrets to my success has been constantly listening and adapting the business to meet the needs of the communities.

One thing I struggled with early on was delegating, it’s a hard line to draw when you have a business built on the founder’s vision. I felt really strongly that we needed to maintain the quality and integrity of what we do as we continued to grow. I didn’t want to sacrifice that for fast growth. I’ve had offers to fund our growth, but I didn’t believe it was the right path for us and I really believe that slow, high quality growth was important for us. However, I learned early on the importance of delegating so that we could grow and maintain a high degree of quality. I was lucky enough to have my medical practice to support what I was creating with Yoga Medicine® so that I could continue to pour my heart and income into moving my vision forward. I’ve also learned the importance of investing in a great team and supporting a positive culture.

WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH AND WELLNESS, HOW IS THE WORK YOU ARE DOING HELPING TO MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT IN THE WORLD?

We’re helping to fill the gaps in our medical system with effective and efficient options or supplements to our healthcare. There are so many issues that western medicine doesn’t have great solutions for. Take the opioid epidemic for instance, where yoga and meditation can be a useful adjunct. Pain pills are rarely the solution and often create a much larger problem, whereas a yoga or meditation practice can be an important supplemental practice to support mental and physical health and outcomes. We’re learning so much about pain right now and realizing that chronic pain isn’t often a mechanical issue as much as a communication issue in the signaling in the brain. Mindfulness practices can be an effective way to work with reprogramming the response in the brain.

We also have a nonprofit (Yoga Medicine® Seva Foundation) that is partially funded by the profits of Yoga Medicine®. Our nonprofit supports a shelter for women rescued from trafficking in Delhi, India, providing them with resources and vocational empowerment while also giving back to a community that has given us the practice of yoga so many years ago. We leverage the Yoga Medicine® community and voice to speak up and create a change in a much needed demographic.

NONE OF US ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITHOUT SOME HELP ALONG THE WAY. IS THERE A PARTICULAR PERSON WHO YOU ARE GRATEFUL TOWARDS WHO HELPED GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE? CAN YOU SHARE A STORY ABOUT THAT?

I owe a lot to my husband, Forrest. He’s been such a huge support, encouraging me along the way. He works in startups, so he’s also been a big support for my business and has helped me a lot over the years when I have big decisions to make or important positions to fill. It’s so important to have someone in your life to bounce ideas off who you trust and respect, I feel really lucky to have his experience at my fingertips. I also feel really grateful to be surrounded by so many incredible teachers in our community, without our dedicated, intelligent, hardworking teachers the vision would be empty. I feel so lucky to have so many gifted teachers in our community.

IF YOU COULD START A MOVEMENT THAT WOULD BRING THE MOST AMOUNT OF WELLNESS TO THE MOST AMOUNT OF PEOPLE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

Yoga in healthcare! Make it accessible and adaptable to the individual. It’s great because there’s really no equipment needed, just a well-trained teacher.

WHAT IS YOUR “3 THINGS I WISH SOMEONE TOLD ME BEFORE I STARTED” AND WHY?

It’s always a work in process so learn the value of no, keep putting on foot in front of the other and never lose sight of your vision and purpose!

DO YOU HAVE A “GIRL-CRUSH” IN THIS INDUSTRY? IF YOU COULD TAKE ONE PERSON TO BRUNCH, WHO WOULD IT BE? (LET ANOTHER “WOMAN IN WELLNESS” KNOW THAT YOU RESPECT HER AS A TEACHER AND GUIDE!

I really respect Gwyneth Paltrow and the spotlight she has put on holistic health with Goop. I used to work with Frank Lipman and he introduced me to Goop in its inception many years ago and I’ve really enjoyed watching it grow. I think they do a great job of covering a broad diversity of holistic health topics and keeping the quality of content high as well as speaking to the layman without watering it down. I’m also obsessed with her Goop skincare line.

SUSTAINABILITY, VEGANISM, MENTAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES ARE BIG TOPICS AT THE MOMENT. WHICH ONE OF THESE CAUSES IS DEAREST TO YOU, AND WHY?

Such great topics, but I’d have to say mental health. I really believe it’s the key to health and wellness. We’re learning more and more about the power of the mind through research and it’s pretty mind blowing. My specialty has always been orthopedics and sports medicine but after 15+ years of seeing thousands of patients, the more I work in this field the clearer it is to me just how important our mental health is. Which is why I’m so happy meditation has become such a huge trend!

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY OUR READERS CAN FOLLOW YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

@Yoga_Medicine (IG & Twitter) @TiffanyCruikshank on IG for my personal page, Yoga Medicine® by Tiffany Cruikshank on FB

Bent Over Wellness Podcast Interview

Isidora Romantini interviews Tiffany Cruikshank for her Bent Over Wellness Podcast.

This episode discusses Tiffany’s work with both the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation and her Yoga Teacher Training Programs, along with her views on what she feels is important to include in trainings, how she has incorporated the practice of Chinese Medicine into yoga, and how she practices her own self care.

Click here to listen to the Bent Over Wellness Podcast with Tiffany.

Enslaved But Not Broken

By Alis Atagan for Swaay.

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