Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Yoga on the Steps would like to introduce Amy Fleischer, a spirited DC yogi! Amy will be attending Yoga on the Steps DC for the very first time this year so be sure to check back after the event on June 13th for a detailed account of her experience!
Health is something that most people take for granted. When you’re healthy, you rarely stop to think about your body and all the miraculous things it does every single day, without you even telling it what to do. It moves, breathes, detoxifies, regenerates, heals, grows, thinks, circulates…all on its own. But what happens when you get sick and your body doesn’t “work” like it’s supposed to?
Illness, especially an illness like cancer, often serves as a “wake up” call for us to take better care of ourselves. A chance to slow down, check in, and maybe even change our lifestyles, habits and priorities. As someone who has dealt with chronic health issues, yoga has helped me tremendously. And I hope it can help you too.
Yoga gives us permission to slow down and feel what’s really going on inside our bodies. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or being treated for breast cancer, yoga practice allows you to move more deeply into your body and connect with your innermost self. Take a basic pose like Tadasana (Mountain Pose) for example. When you’re standing in Tadasana, you are grounded, stable, and strong. No matter what is going on in your life or around you, when you’re in Mountain Pose you are rooted, active, and alive. Nothing can shake you. As you press your feet into the Earth, the muscles of your body engage and energy begins to move up your body, through your spine to the crown of your head.
That’s the power of yoga. It’s a way to access our “energetic” bodies through the physical body. Even when the physical body is sick, tired, or run down, we can still benefit from yoga. Maybe we incorporate pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, or yoga philosophy into our yoga practice. Yoga philosophy teaches us that obstacles and challenges are really opportunities for growth and transformation.
Is there something you’ve learned about yourself as a woman diagnosed with breast cancer that you didn’t realize before? Are you more compassionate or patient with yourself? Have you incorporated yoga or meditation into a new health care regimen? Are you finding more equanimity in your life, even when things aren’t going your way? Has your illness allowed you the chance to help others?
Remember, it’s important to give yourself permission to rest, slow down, and breathe. Whether its yoga, a walk in the park, or a good meal with a friend, use this time to connect with your inner guru and divine spirit.
Amy Fleischer, RYT 200, is a yoga practitioner living in the DC-Metro area. She studies and practices Iyengar yoga at Unity Woods Yoga Center (www.unitywoods.com) and enjoys anything yoga-related. Her passions are nature, kirtan, cooking and eating good food, and exploring new places. You can read her blog at www.hillblues.org/dcyogini or contact her at Arfleis@gmail.com.