“In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology.  In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.” ~ Oliver Sacks

 Yoga for Cancer SurvivorsYoga Thrive, began a pivotal turning point in my life and my teaching.  As a brand new teacher I was asked me to become a part of the Yoga Thrive program.  I didn’t think I was ready, but took the challenge anyway and it has, quite simply, changed my life.  I am now a very strong, seasoned teacher, though always still learning, most of my growth is thanks to my amazing students from whom I continually learn from.

In 2007, I trained to become one of only a handful of teachers in Calgary trained to teach the Yoga Thrive program.  The program was the result of the brilliant research work of Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, and was started with a simple, yet effective seven week protocol.   After awhile, I saw the need to add more time so I created a subsequent 7 week protocol.  Knowing we see increased behavior change with 12 week programs we merged the two seven week programs into one 12 week program that still exists today.  The benefits were physical, energetic, spiritual and emotional.  What I witnessed, was my students moving themselves from a place of surviving to a place of thriving.  It was incredible.  Their courage, will and strength moved and inspired me.

I am blessed to teach out of Wellspring Calgary, the amazing cancer care facility with locations in both Calgary North and South.   Please see my “Current Schedule” page for a list of the current classes running.

If you or someone you know if trying to find their way through what can be a devastating diagnosis, please help them find this resource.  Many who go through a cancer journey need to find a new normal, and this can be a daunting task.  The Yoga Thrive program helps bring people together who are on a similar path, they share courses of action, success stories and sometimes just camaraderie.  Most of all, our yoga classes are a place for our survivors to take back some control over their bodies and that in itself, is a very powerful healing tool.

You will be guided safely through the following and learn the techniques to incorporate this into your daily life and home practice:

  • relaxation techniques – decrease stress and help insomnia
  • breathwork – diffuse anxiety and use to help in the healing process
  • yoga poses – improve or restore strength, flexibility and balance
  • core/pelvic floor – another important aspect of recovery is good pelvic floor health and these gentle exercises help you properly use your core

Who can participate?

Any adult cancer survivors (on or off treatment), and support persons of someone with a cancer diagnosis. Please note exercise (including therapeutic yoga) is not suitable for everyone. If you have contraindicated health concerns, we advise you to consult your medical team prior to beginning a new program. If you are currently in active treatment (i.e., chemotherapy or radiation), we strongly recommend you talk with your Oncologist or Health Care Team to be sure they see no reason why you should not participate in a therapeutic yoga program at this time.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Yoga Thrive program, please contact Dr. Culos-Reed’s Health & Wellness Lab directly: phone. (403) 210-8482 or email  wellnesslab@kin.ucalgary.ca

The University of Calgary has produced the DVD shown above, for continued home use and for those in rural areas. 

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