Eventually, the practice of yoga led Marie to the practice of medicine as a neurologist and epileptologist, She attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and did her neurology residency at the University of Utah where she also completed a fellowship in neuro-physiology with a focus on epilepsy.
“I was interested in neurology because it is such a complementary science to the art of yoga,” Marie says. “Neurologists are naturally drawn to yoga because of the positive benefits it brings to brain health. Brain-imaging studies demonstrate that meditation can actually change brain activity—and over the long term, even brain structure—enabling people to better manage stress and to handle negative emotions like fear, anger, depression and anxiety in more positive ways.”
Marie’s experience as a neurologist has continued to kindle her interest in yoga as a component discipline of integrative medicine—not only for patients, but for healthcare providers as well. As a member of St. Mary’s wellness committee, she hopes to offer an eight-week yoga course to employees and patients. Earlier this year, she received her yoga teacher training certificate through the Baptiste Institute following 200 hours of study over a four-week period.
“I wanted to teach the benefits of yoga to physicians and create a program to reduce physician burn-out,” Marie explains. “After receiving my teacher training certificate, I attended the annual conference of the American Academy of Neurology and led the morning yoga class in the Live Well Lead Well experiential area. I participated in the AAN’s leadership program to implement an integrative health section in their curriculum. My ultimate hope is to teach a course on the neurology of yoga and write a book on yoga and brain health.”