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.