Yoga and meditation are ancient practices used across the globe to calm the mind and hone the senses. Participation in a yoga program has been shown to help cancer survivors feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Clinical trials have shown that yoga can improve mental health outcomes of stress, mood and anxiety. There are findings that show relief from fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, pain severity as well as improvements in respiratory function and heart rate with yoga. There are many different forms of yoga and this noninvasive practice can be endlessly adapted so that all may benefit, regardless of functional or physical challenges.
Meditation, the practice of training attention and awareness to clear the mind and calm the emotions, is another natural boost for wellness. Mindfulness meditation practice for cancer patients can alleviate insomnia and, like yoga, provide a more elevated mind-body connection. Different forms of meditation use various techniques to focus the mind, such as focusing on the breath or a mantra. Breathing exercises, for example, can help patients feel calm before a procedure or doctor appointment or soothe anxiety prior to a painful procedure.
Both practices provide tools to help move forward in life, and treatment, with a more relaxed, mindful and resilient attitude, as well as the ability to self-soothe and return to calmness. Selecting an appropriate style of yoga with an experienced, certified instructor is recommended, which is why we turned to Alicia ‘”ACE” Easter for this special Giving Tuesday webinar.
Alicia “ACE” Easter is a longtime friend and supporter of the Hirshberg Foundation. A Hirshberg Training Team alumni, an LA Cancer Challenge team captain, a Yoga & Meditation teacher, and a Master Reiki Healer, Alicia not only embodies but inspires others to “Never Give Up.” Alicia lost her mom to pancreatic cancer on April 20, 2002. Devastated by the loss, she knew she was searching for something. At a yoga class where the teacher asked about her broken heart, she knew she was ready to begin her healing journey and honor her mother through her practice.
Alicia, also a Master Reiki practitioner, now teaches yoga and meditation classes, locally and online, and recognizes it’s an honor to guide students on their journey through yoga, meditation, and grief with love. We’ve partnered with her on Giving Tuesday to share her gifts of empowerment and mindfulness with our pancreatic cancer community. Alicia will lead us in a Soul Liberation Heart-Flow yoga session followed by I Am Love meditation.
Soul Liberation is unconditional love of one’s self. In loving yourself, you pay homage to our ancestors, teachers, and the lineage of yoga. Yoga is a reminder to be kind, love, and forgive quickly and often. This yoga sequence was created to help liberate the mind, body and soul. Designed to balance the Anahata (heart) chakra and strengthen the spine, this is a great class for those experiencing grief, in need of a little love, or looking to find greater balance. Alicia will provide modifications for those without yoga mats and those who wish to stay seated. We will end our movement with an I AM LOVE meditation. Please have a journal, pen, and open heart ready. We hope this session will leave you with a deep, heart-expanded meditation which will energize and balance your state of being.