I’m so fascinated by the parallels I see all the time between the things I learn on my yoga mat and the things I learn through my cancer journey. There are so many things on this list, but a few that are prominent for me include patience, balance, equanimity, acceptance, and surrender. Both my yoga practice and my cancer experience have taught me deep lessons in these areas, which I think have really made me a happier, more joyful, more easy-going human. I think they’ve greatly helped me to “not sweat the small stuff”, to be more content in the present- whatever it holds, to be more compassionate with myself and others, and to find real joy in the simple pleasures of daily life instead of always striving for some more exciting or more perfect moment, or straining to try to control my environment and bend it to fit into my vision for how things should be. How interesting that two things as different as yoga and cancer could transmit similar types of wisdom and insight!
So this quote really struck me. Of course I totally agree that, as Ganga White says “Yoga is the art of transforming struggle into grace, challenge into growth, and fear into love”, and I love the beauty of this description. But then it occurred to me that this quote might just as easily read “Navigating a cancer journey is the art of transforming struggle into grace, challenge into growth, and fear into love”.
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Above is a link to a new video I recorded today of a short chair assisted practice. This is great if you are just getting started, or if you aren’t feeling super energetic, but want to get a little movement in. We spend part of the practice in a chair, and a few minutes standing but using the chair for support. We also use a strap to help with a few of the shoulder stretches.
Remember, yoga doesn’t have to be super complicated or vigorous. Much of the benefit of this practice comes from just being mindful of our body and our breath. It is a moving meditation! As we move and breathe, our bodies and our breath are amazing tools to help us practice being present, getting out of our heads, observing whatever is happening, and letting go of our tendency to judge the situation (aka ourselves) or wish it were different than it is. This helps us connect to our bodies with love and kindness, letting go of that anger and resentment that many of us feel toward our bodies after cancer diagnosis or treatment. Who wants to hold on to that tension and inner turmoil anyway? Let’s let it go and commit to our healing. I hope this practice helps you take another small step in that direction.