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handsnamasteWe were just discussing the merits of doctors suggesting yoga to their patients. Granted, that was in TV-land, so let’s change that dial to something we like to call real life. It’s harder than it looks, and it’s even harder when this living thing involves coping with an often debilitating disease like cancer. Not only is there incredible stress on the physical level, but energy, emotions and often pockets are drained in effect. Which is we are so deeply moved by the swelling of news around yoga assisting and improving on all of these fronts, of life.

A Reuters story is making its way through the interwaves today highlighting initiatives by some very honorable Yoga Heroes: the people of Yoga Thrive and YD pals Yoga Bear.

Yoga Thrive: Founders Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, a cancer and exercise researcher at the University of Calgary, and Susi Hately, a yoga instructor, created Yoga Thrive as a community-based program to provide “gentle, therapeutic yoga to people at all stages of cancer treatment.” The program is spreading through Canada and into the US.

Why yoga?

“They learn to reconnect with their breath and their body again,” says Culos-Reed. “There’s that unique body-mind connection. When someone’s going through cancer, everything seems out of control.”

Gale Mccombie is a breast cancer survivor:

“When I started yoga I couldn’t even get off the floor by myself. I needed help,” she said, referring to her lack of strength . “Now I can do (climb) stairs.”

“When you’re going through cancer, you’ve got all these treatments and doctors’ appointments. You’ve got to calm yourself. I try constantly to bring myself back to the moment.”

Thanks to the hard work of orgs like Yoga Thrive and non-profit Yoga Bear these classes are offered for free or minimal costs at local studios, because lord knows we can’t all rely on insurance. The most important thing to know? Anyone can help and donate some time or a free class.

And we close with our own riff on yogitea wisdom: Life is a flow of love; your participation in the yoga of action is requested.

EarlierYoga Activism: New Missions in Great Work for Good Cause, Yoga for Everybody

Study: Restorative Yoga Defeats Depression In Breast Cancer Patients

3 comments… add one
  • Yoga has been the most wonderful thing in my life. I have dealt with chronic pain, anxiety and depression for over 15 years now, but since I started practicing, I have been able to wean myself off the meds, and have been symptom free for about 4 years now.

    It’s sad that we need to have acknowledgment through studies and scientific/medical articles stating what we already know to be true, but if it reaches someone who is not as aware, then that is awesome!!!!!

  • Yoga is indeed a powerful form of therapy! Thought you might like to read further about yoga for patients of all kinds:

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