Hi! I’m Dr. Leona Downey, a retired medical oncologist, who specialized in the treatment of breast cancer for more than 10 years, before retiring and moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in 2015. Just one year after retiring, I myself was diagnosed with a stage 3a HER2 positive breast cancer, requiring aggressive chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. During my treatment, and into recovery, I realized how much yoga helped me in body, mind, and spirit. I knew then, that I needed to share this yoga practice with others undergoing breast cancer treatment. Shortly after completing my treatment, I became a registered yoga teacher (RYT200), and began teaching yoga, including some special workshops and retreats for breast cancer survivors. I am now committed to sharing the gift of yoga with others affected by breast cancer so that they may see the benefits in their own recovery.
I developed this site to offer yoga teaching, including educational videos on how yoga can help in breast cancer recovery, as well as tutorials and yoga asana videos to help guide you in your practice. In no way do I intend to claim that yoga will cure your breast cancer. I encourage you to pursue traditional therapies as recommended by your medical team. But what I do know yoga can do is minimize, and potentially even eliminate, many of the symptoms and side effects caused by breast cancer and cancer treatment, and help us navigate our experiences with more ease and less suffering.
In addition, I want to be clear that, while I am a retired medical oncologist, I am NOT offering medical advice on this site. I am offering education and yoga practice. Please consult your medical team with any medical concerns. That being said, if you have specific questions about how your medical situation might affect your yoga practice, please feel free to send those questions to me, and I will see if I can help. If I believe you need specific help from your medical team, I will advise you accordingly. We definitely want to keep you safe as you begin this yoga journey.
Our shop offers videos for sale individually, but my recommendation is to consider the Yoga with Leona membership, which gives you full access to ALL of our yoga videos (please note MBCR is a live course and not included in the yoga video membership). This way you can view all of the yoga videos, as often as you like, including new ones that I will be posting over time.
Most of our yoga asana videos will use yoga blocks to help support you in the practice. You can pick these up on Amazon or at most sporting goods stores, and often even Walmart. Until you get your hands on yoga blocks, you can improvise with household items like rolls of paper towels, stacks of books, or even a chair at the front of your mat.
Please check back regularly as we will be adding more content on an ongoing basis!
We are also now offering Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) in collaboration with our friend Ginny Stasinski, a health and wellness coach and founder of Live Brilliant. Send me an email if you want to learn more about this amazing program teaching cancer patients and survivors how simple mindfulness practices can help us feel better and thrive!
Future videos will include many more asana practices of varying levels. Please send me a request if there is anything you would like more of. We will have some very gentle practices, many practices that are designed for all levels with options depending on your situation, and finally a few vigorous vinyasa practices for those who are interested. Stay tuned!!