“Like many breast cancer survivor, not only we face against a new found life threatening condition, we endure severe treatments; and as if is not enough, we worry about post treatment side effects such as fatigue, neuropathy and lymphedema, to name a few.
I had it all 3 conditions; and it got worst, after an accidental burn on my underarm (near removed lymph nodes), so I developed cordings, scar tissue tightness, then lymphedema.
I spent about 3-4 months on physical therapy and i was prescribed to lightly wear sleeve & glove. It was helpful to learn massaging cordings, lymph system and affected arm, but it was a slow progress.
Having a full time job, even 2 years after treatment, I was still feeling tired to exercise, but i knew i had to start. That’s when I learned about Yoga for Cancer Survivors. I decided to give it a try: it wasn’t harsh like gym, so I instantly loved it!
Around my third class, I had another set back. A rash on my affected arm turned into infection. Nevertheless, my affected arm and hand was in the worst condition i ever seen: needle like tingling, bothersome sensation and very swollen.
I continued with the classes wearing sleeve & glove; barely around the second month (Spring into Summer) I started noticing my arm, hand and fingers feeling more comfortable as days passes. Knowing that lymphedema is a chronic condition, that may come and go, I didn’t jump happy (yet).
Now 5 month since I started, I am practicing Y4C twice a week. I can say with confidence that I am lymphedema free at this moment! Sometime i have a distant tingling but no longer I have swelling, heaviness, nor I feel the need to wear the sleeve & glove.
Yoga for Cancer classes helped me not only to recover from lymphedema but also a persistent and painful peripheral neuropathy (on my lower back). I know I am still in healing progress, but I feel healthy and very grateful, specially to Tari and her team.
From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU. I highly recommend Y4C…. for many healthy years! XoXo ‘
– Helena L.
The survivor yoga class has been an emotional and physical bridge to my recovery. I started my yoga with the group before my chemo. This kind of support cannot be found in a ” regular” yoga class.
(y4c) classes have helped me in many ways. They are a safe place to share with others surviving cancer and they guide my new body and mind in the journey that is recovery. I don’t have to worry about bringing up what I’ve gone through because I am surrounded my people who understand. Even in silence they understand.
– Lisa Barnes
The classes are amazing in how “customized” they are. I have tried Yoga before and was discouraged because I could not do many poses due to lack of flexibility and other surgeries. No other class I have ever taken has been so accommodating to my special needs and limitations. In other classes the instructors just do their own practice and you are left to “fend or yourself.” I plan my week as to keep Tuesdays free for yoga.
Some of my friends are yoga instructors, so I called everybody asking if they know about any place that would be good for me. There were no phone calls back. Being resourceful, I kept looking and found the classes at OM Yoga Center (previous studio for the y4c classes). I feel very secure and safe in the class. I totally trust Tari. She cares and watches all of us. She knows our names. We are kind of wounded animals needing extra care.
– Eva Ritchie
When I attended my first yoga class several months ago, I was greeted and welcomed by Tari in the most loving and caring fashion. She was so down to earth, that I had not realized at the time, she was the instructor. Tari exhibits her sensitivity when she takes personal interest in each student to ensure that they are capable of performing each asana. As a woman recovering from cancer, who was sedentary all my life, I can attest that since joining this yoga class my physical health has improved. I no longer suffer from lower back pain or joint pain and have since developed a tremendous increase of energy. I am truly grateful for this yoga program and for appointing someone as special as Tari Prinster as an instructor.
– Gloria B
When I entered the room that day, I remember asking Tari if the other women present also had cancer. She smiled at me: “Most of these women are survivors, some are fighting like you. They are all incredible warriors”, she answered. I said to myself, ‘What? All these healthy looking and happy women were or had been cancer patients!? Unbelievable.’ Immediately, I started talking to some without knowing they were to become the most valuable companions on my recovery journey. Welcoming, warm and positive! I was impressed by their command of ‘cancer jargon’, not knowing that in a few weeks later I would master it too.
– Virginia F
I know what it takes to teach a class. It is not easy to connect women who have only this one thing- cancer- in common. I am repeatedly amazed at how you encourage women who have never exercised to take part and feel successful moving despite pain and stress and fears. Because of our class I am now biking and kayaking and hiking and having more energy than I’ve had in 2 years. Thank you so much.
My body feels wonderful. The problem that I thought I had with raise my arms for a period of time was not there during the retreat and it has not appeared since the retreat. I am so-so glad that I received your encouraging e-mail with an open mind and decided to come. I plan to attend the next retreat also. Yes, I have been practicing the techniques at home and work and they are still working for me!
Following our wonderful Yoga Retreat, I am very enthusiastic about continuing yoga and have been continuing a routine at home Yoga surprised me – after three days of practicing yoga my body feels amazingly better, I am getting up and down with less pain, more flexible and my breathing is better – thanks Tari.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.”!
In general, limitations, life-long side effects and vulnerabilities imposed by surgeries and cancer treatments are a kept secret. When the treatments are finished, you get to go home, alone, to sort out the mess. During my own recovery, I observed that yoga helped me in ways I did not anticipate. It continues to be my personal powerful tool of survival, or, as I now call my thrival.
– Marla Thomas