Having the tools to empower
My friend Jenny* hates yoga. As a Former Div 1 college athlete, this 30 year old mom finds yoga to be too slow, boring and “granola”. However, Jenny also hates Cancer and the side affects of chemo- namely constipation.
So here’s why I love y4c: it’s practical and accessible. When I recently saw Jenny at brunch, instead of saying, “hey you should come to a yoga class to find community and solutions”- all the things I know she would bristle at – I was able, in the middle of the restaurant, to show and empower her with tools she could use whether or not she ever stepped foot in a y4c class or yoga studio.
As Jenny sat in her chair I was able to show her some gentle twists. Using the chair back as leverage, I guided her into utilizing her abdomen versus her shoulders to create the twist compression on the ascending and descending colon. Then, I demonstrated a lymphatic massage of the digestive organs, making clockwise circles across my stomach using the pressure of my flattened hand. Lastly, I took a napkin, rolled it up lengthwise like a cigar and placed it across my lower abdomen and hugged my knees in one at a time so she could see how to use a blanket at home to create the same effect. Variations of these postures are shown on pages 268-269 of Yoga for Cancer.
Yoga meets you where you are. Literally.
By Lindsey Pearson, RYT, y4c and The Retreat Project Board member