Finally — yoga!

I’ve tried prenatal yoga.  I’ve tried postnatal yoga.  I’ve tried yoga for tots and yoga for stress relief.  But today I finally found a yoga class that I like.

And wouldn’t you know, it’s yoga for people with cancer.  Taught by a registered nurse turned yoga instructor (I don’t even know the proper name for her — but I bet you do), this was a peaceful hour in a dark room with other people who didn’t gasp when my headscarf fell off.

We stretched.  We sat.  We learned how to stand properly.

We breathed into our back ribs and out our anxieties, and we touched our heels to the floor and grounded ourselves.

And when I winced, or when I stopped doing poses that required the use of my right arm, the yoga instructor calmly issued instructions for modifying the poses, “if you can’t use your right arm.”  She even walked over to me in the back row and placed a strap helpfully behind my right leg and into my left hand at one point — and it was a point where no one else would notice, as their eyes were closed and heads turned.

I think I love her.

The only thing I didn’t like was the emphasis on acceptance.  Acceptance of what is.  Acceptance of all parts of our bodies.  Acceptance of the parts that are sick, and welcoming them in.

I will never accept the part of me that is cancer.  It is not me.  It is an intruder, and I will fight it with my entire being.  I will force it out of my right side through sheer will.

And it will regret the day that it invaded my body.

42 Responses to Finally — yoga!

  1. E :) says:

    You’re right – never accept the cancer. It is just a temporary invader that deserves no acceptance. You are so going to beat it.

  2. So glad you found a class that works for you. And you’re absolutely right – you are NOT cancer and caner is NOT you.

  3. Stimey says:

    This is so fantastic. It sounds really lovely.

    And right on, make that cancer rue the day!

  4. thetardyteacher says:

    I remember now that I had a teacher in college who had some sort of brain cancer and part of what he personally did was visualize his cancer as the ships in the old school 80s game Space Invaders and while he was having his chemo he would picture the drugs as the tasers (?) blasting away the invaders (?).

    Seems you might be able to accept your body as the beautiful weapon that will blast that cancer out it’s duff.

  5. And it will regret the day that it invaded my body.

    Indeed it will.

  6. Ally says:

    This sounds like a wonderful class. Maybe she’d be willing to help you visualize the cancer leaving your body instead? I wonder if anyone has ever talked with her about it.

  7. Amy says:

    Absolutely. With your will that cancer is SO outta there!

  8. Just be sure to queef at least once in your yoga class. It’s not really yoga without the queef.

  9. mayberry says:

    Love Ally’s idea. And I love yoga–it’s the only exercise I really enjoy. Glad you found a class you like too.

  10. Atta girl!! So proud of you…

    xo CGF

  11. Aliki says:

    I’m glad you’re doing yoga! Good for body and soul. And yes, it will regret the day, this horrible intruder.

  12. canape says:

    I love yoga. I love that you found some yoga you love. I love that you can take what you need from yoga and throw back the frufru acceptance crap.

    Although, one frufru thing my yoga teacher says that I really like is that sometimes the bliss comes after you are done with the practice. I think that well applies here.

  13. Mom101 says:

    I think I love that you can remain feisty in the face of yoga. And cancer. But mostly yoga.

  14. Damselfly says:

    You show that cancer who’s boss! 😉

  15. BetteJo says:

    Sounds like a wonderful class you can continue on with and support the others there – when you beat this cancer! Accept it, like hell!
    Keep fighting lady! You already know you have TONS of people behind you!

  16. clifford says:

    Kablam! Now THAT is my friend.

  17. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    Just give that ole’ cancer a Chaka-drop!

  18. christine says:

    i am so glad that this class is good for your body and soul. drive out that cancer, woman, DRIVE it out.

  19. Linda Lawrence says:

    Keep fighting! Glad you found the yoga class!

  20. NoRegrets says:

    Cancer is your enemy but your body is your friend. You are obviously taking care of it, and that is a good thing.

  21. Angela says:

    I’m glad you found a yoga class you enjoy. I’ve only taken a yoga class once in my life, and I felt soooo good afterwards! I’ve never made the time to do it again, but I really should.

  22. ~JJ! says:


    And I agree…You shouldn’t accept the illness, you should kick it’s ass…

    But you can accept that fact that you will kick it’s ass….and then do some yoga.

  23. maggie says:

    I think it probably already regrets that day.

  24. amanda says:

    Ya, acceptance is overrated.

  25. twithhoney says:

    She sounds like a very caring, perceptive instructor. On top of that you’re getting exercise. That’s great!

    And a shame on me… I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks.

  26. Tracy says:

    Good for you!!! Kick that cancer’s BUTT!!!

  27. Jenn says:

    Your strength is amazing and inspiring.

    And I’ve no doubt that cancer will be regretting what it’s done, very soon.

  28. That was a beautiful post on your ability to live with contradiction, to dialectically balance acceptance and change in your life, and not just fall to one side of the dialectic into complete acceptance, just enough to enjoy the class and the rest of your life and body, while still holding fiercely onto the fight for CHANGE regarding the cancer invaders that will find no rest inside you.

  29. ggirl says:

    I’m amazed you have the energy. Yoga was the one physical exercise I was able to do during most of my treatment, though. Around the last three months of chemo, even that fell by the wayside.

  30. Jen E says:

    Sounds like a wonderful class!!! Keep that positive energy flowing! Hugs!!!

  31. What a wonderful post…

  32. Jenster says:

    That sounds fabulous. I wish I would have had a cancer yoga class when I was going through chemo. I wanted to do yoga, but didn’t think I’d be able to – especially because of the mastectomy.

    I agree. Don’t accept the cancer. Fight it with everything you have – which looks like an awful lot!

  33. Kristin says:

    I think I love your yoga instructor.

  34. Linda Sue says:

    Acceptance is overrated – I can accept differences in people,barbecue recipes and variations in what the clothing industry calls navy blue (although that one takes some effort) I cannot accept wayward cells that decide to attack human life. You are right and the yoga instructor sounds like a blessing. Yep – even in Texas we hear about that balancing of opposites stuff!

  35. Leigh says:

    That’s right!!! Acceptance is for sissies!!! (Well at least, when you’re talking about stuff like cancer and infidelity.)It’s so incredible to hear your strength coming through even online. Girl, you scared my computer – it locked up!

  36. Leigh: I’ll bet Whymommy scared off some computer viruses you had thinking she was referring to them.

  37. Qtpies7 says:

    I haven’t tried yoga. I’m glad you found one that you like, exercise is so important.

  38. HOO-RAH! You tell that invader who the REAL boss is! Congrats on finding a great yoga class!

  39. ohamanda says:

    Absolutley! Do not welcome it accept it or claim it! Always praying!

  40. You don’t know me but I came via Tori…and all I wanted to say was, “Kick it’s ass, honey!!!!” (that would be the cancer I’m talking about there…)

    And then I also wanted to mention that I once bought a yoga video…does that count for anything? I never actually watched it or participated but I did buy it…

  41. NoMommy says:

    When I was little, and my mom was ill with cancer, she did yoga and I would practice with her. I have been doing yoga for most of my life now, and it is something that helps me feel close to her.

    Acceptance, uh uhn honey, that ain’t in our vocabulary! Keep kickin’ but!!!

  42. […] 149,134 hits Inside the darkened room Tuesday October 16th 2007, 2:42 pm Filed under: breast cancer, health, hope I always cry during yoga. […]

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