Yoga has been an active part of Sandy’s life for the past 13 years. In years past, as a stay at home mom, she initially found yoga on PBS with “Lilias, Yoga and You” programs. Currently, she is a certified, registered yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She received specialized yoga instruction from Exclusive Yoga in “Yoga for Breast Cancer Recovery and Beyond ” in Boston. During her 35 years of nursing practice, she primarily worked in women’s health and community education. In addition, her mother was a breast cancer patient, who Sandy cared for during the last months of her life. For Sandy, teaching these specialized breast cancer yoga classes are in dedication to her memory.
These adapted breast cancer yoga classes bring recovery to these women through slow, head-to-toe movements that work through breathing, postures and relaxation techniques. The breathing is “the heart” of the practice that works “within” to enhance “wellness” on many levels: circulatory, neurological and emotional. A slower breath leads them from “flight or fight” (stress) to “rest & digest” (relaxation). The breathing plus movement works directly on the lymphatic system to boost immunity and reduce swelling. After class, the sharing of their experiences with each other has added the element of group support. Sandy states she has learned so much about treatment options and alternative therapies from her wonderful clients.
Observing the benefits of this slow, gentle yoga with these clients has been so inspiring for her as a teacher. These special women learn to find themselves again and redefine who they are as the body gains movement and strength once again. They are brave, courageous and dedicated to their practice of yoga. Sandy states it is a privilege and an honor to work with such women. Seeing their progress toward recovery is a priceless reward for her as a teacher.