I’m devoting some of my blog posts to bringing mindful awareness to cancer. How we think about cancer is a lot more important than most of us probably realize, and it’s time we started talking about it. Here’s why.
I have found that most people don’t really want to talk about cancer at all unless [or until] they have to. But at the same time, when people are diagnosed with cancer, they often wonder how it happened, why it happened to them, if it was just a genetic predisposition, or if they could have done more to prevent it. Given the option between burying our heads in the sand or being proactive, we stand to gain a lot more by being educated, intentional, and mindful in our fight. So let’s talk.
I’ll go ahead and remind you that I am not a doctor or a nurse. I don’t pretend to be. I cannot tell you anything diagnostic, and I won’t be recommending anything like courses of treatment. But I hope that as we become more comfortable talking about cancer, it will take away some of the taboo that frightens us from seeking important health care screenings that could save our life. I also hope it helps us tell others about cancer support that they may not know exists, like my oncology yoga classes.
I’m not sure I can do those crazy yoga poses. Class is on Tuesday? I don’t know how I’ll feel that day. I’m just not up for seeing people.
If you have cancer, or have had cancer, you may wonder if a yoga class is a good fit for you. Some oncologists recommend yoga as a complimentary practice in patients’ wellness plans. After all, yoga has been shown to be beneficial to some individuals who are receiving cancer care and others who are in remission from cancer. But all yoga classes are not the same. Look for classes that use words like adaptive, restorative, and gentle. Whether they meet online or in person, they are usually slower paced and focus more on the experience than what the poses (or asanas) look like.
You may also find yoga classes specifically for cancer. In a yoga class for those affected by cancer, you can expect to find a non-judgmental environment that includes breathing, gentle stretching, or greater relaxation. You are free to participate as much or as little as you prefer, including joining others in the physical asanas or in spirit. There is freedom to simply sit and learn to be with your body. In a yoga for oncology class, accommodations are easily made for ports, pumps, central lines, and other considerations.
You can also feel open about asking instructors if they are Registered Yoga Teachers or if they have experience or training in teaching yoga with those affected by cancer. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to receive Yoga for Cancer Teacher Training at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am honored and encouraged to bring yoga to the oncology community, including those facing cancer, their caregivers, and oncology healthcare providers.
I am here for you. Reach out or complete the form below to get started.