Do Yoga St. John Offers Hope to Cancer Patients

Little House of HopDo Yoga St. John recently participated with the St. John Brewers/Tap Room and the Little Pink House of Hope in a one day event at Ditleff Point house.  Several breast cancer patients, in various stages of cancer, were hosted by Little Pink House of Hope for a week retreat on St. John.  The Little Pink House of Hope creates hopeful experiences through fostering loving relationships in a non-judgmental environment.

So what does that mean in the words of Little Pink House of Hope:

Hopeful Experiences-  to help foster family bonds through relaxed play and time away.  We believe that individuals will have a chance to grow in their well being, relationships, nutrition, and spirit to help them in their cancer journey.  We believe that at all stages of the cancer journey, it is not enough to survive, but rather to focus on thriving and celebrating life.  We believe in having fun!!

Loving Relationships- to foster loving relationships by our words, actions, service, and connections.  We believe that not only will families grow in love during our retreat weeks, but families will continue their Little Pink experience long after the retreats end.

Non-Judgmental Environment- to create an environment of acceptance among staff, volunstars, and participants.  We believe that families come in all shapes and sizes.  We do not discriminate based on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, geographic location, or religion.  Breast cancer affects everyone, and it is our mission to serve everyone who is on the journey.  Cancer is the great equalizer- there is no room for judgment, only love and compassion.

You can see why Do Yoga St. John was eager to participate.  Monika Aranha and Nancy Stromp spent the morning with the group. They shared in teaching the group a gentle yoga class and Monika ended the class with Yoga Nidra.

Both teachers were extremely inspired from the experience.

YogaCancerRetreat1Yoga is a very powerful source of healing. Well established doctors and treatment centers recommend yoga for cancer patients. Here is what Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has on their website about Yoga for cancer patients.

Yoga improves quality of life in both newly diagnosed and long-term cancer survivors by reducing stress and fatigue, and improving sleep and mood.

Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that has been practiced for thousands of years. It involves regulated breathing, moving through various postures, and meditation to achieve physical and emotional health benefits. Yoga was shown to reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, seizures, diabetes, migraine headaches, depression, and anxiety. It is also practiced for weight maintenance. Cancer survivors including those recently diagnosed report better sleep, less stress, and improved quality of life with the practice of yoga. It is now offered in many cancer hospitals around the country.

Cancer patients interested in beginning yoga should first ask their physicians, because certain cancer treatments can cause physical limitations. It is also important that proper techniques are learned from certified instructors who have experience working with cancer patients.

For more information about The Little Pink House of Hope, visit there website here.

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Growth is Ageless

Aerial Yoga 1Growth – to arise as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance or source.

Purely from a standpoint of curiosity, I enrolled for an aerial yoga class. In the true spirit of yoga, I entered the room without expectation, and I exited the room with a new passion. But isn’t that the way we usually experience real growth – as a child, with genuine openness.

The room was flooded with bright natural light. Imagine buds of colorful flowers floating in a spring garden in the clouds. The buds were gentle, sensitive, flowing, unfolding pedals…soft to touch and to the eye.

At first, I sat inside the bud, bringing back countless memories of parks and playgrounds and my love for swings (also of my dad, his tender touch, pushing me to laughter in the air) – tearful emotions arose.

I absorbed deeper into the bud in Buddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), the fabric melting around my entire being, floating without effort. I am surrounded by the color, comfort and confident in the strength of the silk, enclosed, not seeking the outside world. With simple movements, gentle swinging, changing into Dandasana (Staff Pose), folded in a series of buttery, warm folds.

With growth, comes new perspectives and new freedom. I move into Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), seeing the world, bottom up, in total peace and ease. The bud, like wings, is wrapped around me. I am suspended in both space and time, jealous of the life of a bat. This brings an awakening for the spine and bones – a lightness throughout the entire body.Aerial Yoga 2

Finally, Savasana, I am a cocoon, ready for the metamorphosis, caterpillar to butterfly. Relaxing in a cloud of color, without movement, barely breathing, I am transformed through openness, experience, growth.

Seeing myself in the mirror, the afterglow, smiling from a new place, like I was 7 years old again, yet joyous to be 57 years old, and still able to capture that brilliant light.

Thank you, Neila Starr of Launch Awareness Yoga Centre, Kennesaw, Georgia; you are a true teacher. Thank you, Jason, my husband, who is figuring out the structure and placement for my new aerial yoga equipment in our home. He is always making my dreams come true. St. John, soon come, I am looking at Aerial Yoga Teacher Training in Portland in September and will share this amazing passion with our island.

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Gentlemen’s Yoga

YMH-older-man-with-matt

Gentlemen’s Yoga at the Ag.

Gentlemen’s Yoga began at the request of several Coral Bay men who wanted an approachable introduction to yoga designed for men’s needs. The class has steadily grown as the word spread that men attending the class are experiencing freedom from back pain, stress reduction and increased energy, flexibility and balance. If you are a man, and want to feel great, join Nancy at the Ag. Center on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM to experience the benefits for yourself.

Men of all ages are typically in greater need of specific kinds of flexibility training and a yoga practice to bring relief to areas including lower backs, shoulders, hamstrings and hips. This 75 minutes class of gentle Yoga and breathing techniques is designed for men of any age beginning or returning to Yoga and for those wanting a slower, gentler paced class.

Goals for the class include reducing discomfort and preventing injury. We will be focusing on stretching, building core strength and opening tight areas. The poses (or asanas) for stretching will focus on backs and legs. Building core will consists of abdominal poses, balancing and a touch of mat Pilates. Generally, opening tight areas for men brings into play asanas for shoulders, hips and other joints.

Overall strengthening will be a result of the entire yoga practice. We will use the human body weight as our tool to create a reasonably challenging class. In time, students will find increased energy, strengthen muscles and a new integrity to their core and back.

Come join Gentlemen’s Yoga for a mindfulness practice focusing on bringing everyday bodies of all sizes and shapes into simple poses to produce a healthier and more peaceful life.

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