Healing through yoga: a personal story
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
It is now 5 years that an 'unexpected visitor" was discovered in my body. When I heard the diagnosis breast cancer I was weirdly in disbelieve despite me knowing for a while that something wasn't quite right. After I sat in my car and was thinking is all about living now and stop putting everything off. Of course the first thing was to put off a couple of things like my long planned journey to South Africa over Christmas. I spent Christmas that year in surgery and began the treatments. I was so blessed with having had Yoga in my life for a long time and so it became my go to place whenever I felt the creeping anxieties coming up, what if....
The full story is that Yoga actually had led me to discover my cancer early. Whenever I was doing PRANAYAMA (breath work) I felt something in this particular point in my body, like an obstacle, however, there was nothing there when I tried to feel and the classical testing methods didn't show any concerns. Luckily, whilst the specialist explained that to me and reassured me she asked in a side comment "why did you went to your GP in first place?". I explained about my Yoga practice and how I had this sensations in that area whenever I work with breath and how I had become more short of breath on my hiking tours too. Second time lucky for me, that the specialist was an open person. Although looking at me a bit puzzled she simply said "okay I make a biopsy right there". On my next appointment when getting the results she would say that the tumor they found would only be felt by me in about 5 - 7 years time due to the position and of course by then have a different grade.
I had to change my physical practice of Yoga significantly as my body had different needs and I had no physical strength for month's and after treatment was completed the side effects of fatigue and lymphedema set a new standard of how to manage day to day work and life demands. Really hard for me as I was always a rather energetic person appearing to have an endless supply of it and now after work I had to retire to bed and some times I had to nap in my lunch break. Yoga helped me to keep my sense of equanimity during this time as well as being able to hold the worries and anxieties of those around me. Cancer is a huge challenge and an incredible encounter with uncertainty. It can make you feel really helpless and often more so those who are around you when you going through this.
Since then my body has recovered well but the worries are always lingering and therefore Yoga is still in my life. Even more, I since teach Yoga regularly as I love to share it's benefits. I offer also specialist sessions for those affected by cancer as I have experienced myself how supportive Yoga is and also know how lonely this journey can be. So an important part of this courses is the dialogue and sharing amongst each other.