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Embracing Healing and Resilience: A Breast Cancer Survivor's Journey through Yoga


Final Chemotherapy Appointment, February 19, 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when we come together to raise awareness about this prevalent disease, celebrate survivors, and honor those we've lost. As a breast cancer survivor, I'm here to share my personal journey of physical and mental healing through the transformative practice of yoga. I have lived through the emotional toll that cancer takes on the body and mind. It's a journey of resilience, hope, and empowerment. Yogic practices have helped in my healing.


The Diagnosis


In June of 2015, my world turned upside down when I received the dreaded diagnosis: breast cancer. It was a life-altering moment that brought shock, fear, and uncertainty. The whirlwind of medical appointments, treatments, and surgeries left me feeling emotionally and physically drained. While the physical aspect of cancer is challenging, the emotional trauma and uncertainty can be equally overwhelming.


Yoga as a Lifeline


After the chaos of treatment, multiple surgeries, and mental health challenges, I discovered yoga. I was initially drawn to it as a way to regain physical strength, but I soon realized it offered much more than just physical benefits. It became a lifeline for me, providing a safe space to navigate the complexities of healing from breast cancer.


1. Physical Healing


Yoga offered a gentle and gradual path to physical healing. The slow, deliberate movements helped me regain the strength and flexibility that I had lost during treatment. The practice allowed me to reconnect with my body and discover its resilience. Trauma-informed yogic practices respected the physical limitations imposed by surgery and treatment, gradually and sensitively rebuilding my strength.


2. Emotional Healing


Beyond physical recovery, yoga played a pivotal role in my emotional healing. The mindfulness and self-compassion it instilled were essential in managing the emotional scars of breast cancer. It taught me to embrace my body, even when it felt foreign and scarred, and to accept the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.


What is Trauma-Informed Yoga?


Trauma-informed yoga, a sensitive and compassionate approach to yoga, recognizes that survivors of breast cancer, or any other form of trauma, have experienced trauma within their physical, emotional, and psychological bodies. This style of yoga emphasizes safety, consent, and choice in every aspect of the practice.


- Safety: Trauma-informed yoga prioritizes creating a safe environment where survivors can feel comfortable and secure. This is especially important for those dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of breast cancer.


- Consent: Encouraging survivors to make choices that feel right for them is essential. Informed consent empowers survivors to take control of their healing journey and decide which yoga practices work best for their individual needs.


- Choice: Trauma-informed yoga acknowledges that every survivor's journey is unique. It offers a variety of practices, from gentle restorative poses to more dynamic flows, allowing individuals to choose what feels most beneficial for their healing process.


Empowerment and Resilience


My journey through yoga has not only brought healing but also a profound sense of empowerment. I have learned that I am more than my diagnosis, and my body is capable of incredible resilience. By approaching my practice with a trauma-informed perspective, I've been able to honor my own healing process, giving me a newfound sense of strength and hope. As a trauma-informed practitioner, I also share these practices with my clients and students to help facilitate their healing journeys as well.



As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's important to remember that healing from breast cancer goes beyond the physical. Trauma-informed yoga is a powerful tool for breast cancer survivors, offering both physical and emotional healing. It provides a safe space for survivors to regain strength, reconnect with their bodies, and find solace in their journey. By embracing a trauma-informed approach, we can empower survivors to reclaim their lives, fostering resilience, hope, and a renewed sense of self. This October, let us not only raise awareness but also celebrate the incredible strength and resilience of breast cancer survivors like myself, who have found healing and transformation through yoga.


For the remainder of the month of October, I am offering free 30-minute Moksha Flow classes to breast cancer patients and survivors. If you would like to book an appointment, please reach out to me directly through the link below.


Om Shanti,

Brooke

Seeking Moksha

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