For me, cancer came first. Upon diagnosis, I was given a 25% chance of surviving 5 years. During those 5 years I’ve had chemotherapy twice, been bald twice and had my share of ER visits. During a month long hospital stay, once I could finally walk after surgery, the farthest I could make it was to the end of my bed.
My introduction to yoga was a beginner’s class. But it was too physically demanding for me. Then, about one year later, I saw an ad for Yoga and Cancer. I immediately fell in love with the class. It focused on mobility, stretching and strengthening. But, I learned so much more. After much self-imposed resistance, I learned to: accept my new physical limitations; honor my breath and body; and calm my frantic mind. Slowly, I‘m learning to put it all together. Overall, I’m in a much better place within myself.
I owe all this, in large part, to my instructor. Her methods allow each student to fully express their potential while respecting any physical limitations. She helps maximize wellness at a time when wellness is so very much needed. Personally, her constant support of where I am along my journey, as well as her gentle nudges to grow, have allowed me a nurturing environment in which my yoga practice can mature.
My yoga journey, to include the acceptance and lasting friendships of fellow students, has filled my heart. I’m not sure if I would have found yoga without experiencing cancer, but I know that yoga has deepened and enriched my relationship to self as well as to the cancer experience.