Beginners are welcome to this group class specifically for those living with cancer, in any and all phases of diagnosis and treatment, and for their family members. The class is usually taught by Denise Johnson or Craig Kurtz, assisted by Anne Hart.
Our classes teach Yoga in the tradition of B.K.S. Iyengar. His method of Hatha Yoga is
characterized by precision of body alignment, the use of props (blocks,
straps, blankets, mats, and chairs) to help students accomplish various
Yoga poses, and an understanding of the therapeutic potential of Yoga.
The primary focus of Iyengar Yoga for beginners is on the Yoga
poses (asanas). The student can then progress to learning specific
exercises (pranayama), and other aspects of Yoga.
Although Iyengar Yoga
is often quite vigorous, for students living with cancer we primarily focus on restorative poses that work well even for people in a weakened state. Restorative poses use props for support in different positions, so that gravity facilitates realignment and stimulation of the body. Classes include stretching, moving, guided meditating and breathing, and resting over props to help alleviate symptoms of the disease and the effects of treatment drugs. The teachers are able to accommodate individual restrictions and limitations
The practice of
Yoga can provide many physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual
benefits. On a physical level, Yoga poses (asanas) can increase
flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Many physical
ailments or conditions can be relieved through Yoga practice.
Yoga can also help stabilize the emotions. Some poses are
calming and others invigorating. Yoga
asanas, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises can help
focus the attention and reduce mental "chatter." By becoming more
aware of one's own body, mind, and spirit, the Yoga practitioner
can also experience profound spiritual growth.