Healing is a transformation of view rather than a cure. It involves recognizing your intrinsic wholeness and simultaneously your connectedness to everything else. Above all it involves coming to feel at peace with yourself. – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D
Yesterday I participated in the memorial service of a much loved yoga student. I have participated in countless memorial services, as a pastor. I never imagined that I would participate in one because I was the person’s yoga instructor. It honestly sounded comical whenever I said it. I was humbled beyond words to be part of her journey these last two years, and especially the last few months. Robin practiced yoga, as she was able, right through to her last breath.
Yoga became more than a class she went to. Her practice gave shape to her life; keeping her present, grounded, forgiving, light-hearted, and always reaching out from her heart. I have a hunch that during yoga she was able to really be in her body and feel whole, strong, resilient, blessed. She could rest in her body without having to fight against it, will it to change, or try to fix anything.
Robin inspired me to start the chair-based yoga class for people with cancer. I saw what a difference this physical, mental, and spiritual practice made in her life. Thank God she had been practicing yoga years before she actually “needed” it, so that when she was desperate to feel a shift towards comfort, peace, and letting go, she already had the tools to make that shift happen, deep within her.
My guess is that most people are not thinking about starting a yoga practice when diagnosed with cancer. That is probably the last thing on their list. I hope that we can flip the list.
Yoga is a pro-active treatment that seeks healing in mind, body, and spirit. It’s a perfect companion to other more aggressive treatment plans. It’s a no-fail kind of treatment. You will only feel lighter, softer, more grounded, and open after practicing yoga, with the definite side effects of gaining a deeper understanding of what healing means.
This special class will be called “Show Up Yoga”. That means that just showing up is doing the work of yoga. Getting yourself there despite all of the physical, mental, and spiritual road-blocks you might see (whether you have cancer or not) is really the most important and challenging yoga pose of all. This class will not be a “support group”. We will support each other by Showing Up and practicing yoga together.
Starting January 7th, the class will be every Wednesday, 10:45-11:30a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign (Prospect @ Devonshire). The class will be FREE. No registration necessary.
If you are in the greater Champaign-Urbana area, I ask you to please get the word out about this class. Of course I also have plenty of other chair-based and traditional mat-based classes too. Check out the schedule on the blog and write me a note for more information. I LOVE hearing from you.
And the next Daily Bread Yoga retreat will be Saturday, January 10th. Get a babysitter and put it on your calendar!
Peace and much, much love on your head,