Starting Yoga4Cancer Classes in ROC

Last Spring, my mother was diagnosed with Aggressive B-Cell Lymphoma, aka... CANCER.   This news shook up my world, but most importantly, it changed the course of life for my mother. As a yoga teacher and reiki healer, I knew there had to be something I could do. I started to google and research cancer and yoga specifically. Next, I turned to connections within the community to connect me with people at the Cancer Institute where my mother and several loved ones have gone for cancer treatment.  

Now, as an active member of the Survivorship Advisory Council there, I’ve been able to present my ideas to some of the top Oncology and Radiation Oncology professionals in the area.  I noticed a lack of diversity in the yoga classes offered to patients and survivors. But how could this be?! There is extensive evidence on the benefits of yoga for those in treatment and post-treatment for cancer. Currently, my goal is to bring more yoga to cancer survivors outside of the hospital setting using the Yoga4Cancer methodology. Yoga is not a one size fits all. Some patients and survivors may prefer Gentle Yoga only, and others may seek a more empowering movement based class that can be easily modified to meet needs of a variety of people at any stage of cancer treatment or survivorship. I'll spare you the medical jargon and science, but here are just a few tidbits and benefits of Yoga4Cancer:

-- detoxifies and strengthens the body
--helps to strengthen the bones after bone loss caused by treatments
--strengthens the immune system overall
--stimulates the lymphatic, cardiovascular and digestive systems thus helping manage common side effects from cancer treatments, including neuropathy, lymphedema, constipation etc.
--Increases range of motion and flexibility
--keeps the spine strong
--calms the nervous system and helps manage fear and anxiety
--yoga helps reduce pain
--enhances body image and gives a sense of empowerment and overall well-being 

When I first joined the Survivorship Advisory Council, I received shocking statistics: over 17,000 cancer patients were treated in 2017 alone.  This prompted me to sign up for Yoga4Cancer Teacher Training at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. I KNEW there was more education needed to safely and properly teach yoga to those with cancer. I had no idea HOW MUCH this training would teach me beyond my prior 400+ hours of yoga teacher trainings and over 500 teaching hours.   Bottom line, yoga teachers who teach or want to teach yoga to cancer patients and survivors absolutely MUST have additional education, expertise and knowledge of the science of cancer, yoga and beyond. 

With the confidence and proper education along with compassion and desire to improve quality of life for cancer patients and survivors in the Rochester community and Western NY, I am excited to be able to offer and teach Yoga4Cancer classes going forward. In order to provide a safe, healthy and empowering community environment for these classes, I’m in need of yoga props including:

-8 Yoga Bolsters 
-10 5mm Yoga Mats
-32 Yoga Blocks (enough for minimum 4 per student)
-24 Yoga Blankets (enough for minimum 3 per student)
-8 Yoga Straps

* the numbers above are based on the needs of 8 students attending Yoga4Cancer yoga classes

I have launched this campaign to help offset the costs to cancer patients and survivors in Western New York for participation in classes. I am looking to raise a TOTAL of $6,500 which will be covering patient cost (based on $10 per student per class), teaching time, class planning and set up, marketing, a certified yoga teaching assistant monthly, and the props listed above.  My goal is to offer one Yoga4Cancer class per week and hold a gentle/restorative class on a monthly basis.  Please donate if you're able-- every dollar counts towards making a difference and improving quality of life for our local cancer survivors!

Gratitude & Love & Light,

Robyn Paige
Owner, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master
Free Spirit Yoga & Reiki
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Robyn Paige 
Rochester, NY
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