This year,, I've committed to do things that excite and scare me. No frighten me, just give me a chance to move past some personal fears.


I taught an introductory class of yoga instructors on how to instruct cancer survivors! It was exhilarating!
Once I started,a flow of information came forth, and it was a full three hour of teaching and experience.


Just wanted you all to know that it turned out great!
Especially giving the participants a 'fake' letter which informed them that they had cancer. It was a way to shock people into the emotions that we survivors have to learn how to manage .  (Yes, of course I put that the report was false)...


Oh!! I'm so happy to start this new journey in yoga...only yoga!!!  and sharing here at Yoga Bear where I received a lot of support, especially from Tari Prinster...wonderful teacher!



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I am so happy that your class was a success.  I love the "fake letters".  As a survivor, I can still remember the phone call from the doctor, where I was, crouching on the floor in disbelief!  

On a positive note, I am connected with a physical therapist in Pacific Grove.  She is allowing me to give free workshops to breast cancer survivors.  I also have my own restorative class once a week. 

Blessings to you in 2011,

Susan Basmajian

Thanks so much Susan!

Tell us more about the classes you are having for breast cancer survivors. What population of survivors are you gearing your classes to- early survivors?  And, what do you do in the restorative class? Do you ever get up off the floor?  Do you use a ton of props?



Dear Jean,

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.  In my restorative class for survivors and others I start standing with centering, alignment, and breath work.  Then I take them through a "standing restorative flow" combining breath and movement....making it a meditative flow.  Then we move to the floor and work the restorative asanas with lots of props.  I will be teach this class until the middle of April and I am weaving the Eight Limbs of Yoga into each class.



Hi Susan,

How wonderful! How are you weaving the 8 Limbs into class?  Please expand!


Hi Jean,

At the beginning of the session I provide a simple handout explaining the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  I believe they are the essence of a yoga practice.  Many classes focus only on Pranayama and Asana.  So, last night during Savasana, I gave the class earplugs and eye pillows and we practiced Pratyahara.  It was interesting because the one student I thought would go inward and into silence was "making notes in her head".  Most of the others went into a deeper place.  Sometimes I will take a Yama or Niyama and make that the theme of the class.  In asana work, I encourage students to take a more meditative approach.  In this way our yoga practice becomes entwined with the Eight Limbs.



That's very exciting, Jean! Congratulations to you. I am looking at doing some training so that I may work with cancer patients--and be accepted by the medical community. I know about Tari's training--but hope to find an alternative closer to home. What do you know about other trainings? do you have any other trainings that I could look into?

Hi Nancy,

There are many options, especially in California.  Jnani Chapman in San Fransicso, Ingrid Yang in San Diego. And, I will be doing a four hour, introductory training on Aug. 6th 12 to 4pm at Red Lotus Society in  San Diego.  I hope to expand my training to 45 hours, however, NO Yoga Alliance Standard is yet in place for Cancer Survivor Certificates, so, research the teacher!

Let me know what you find!



Thank you for your response. I've decided to take Laura Kupperman's Yoga for Survivors intensive training in Boulder in July. Here is the link to her website:Laurakupperman.com

After speaking with her, Im very excited about what she offers. Im particularly excited that she has internship followup as part of her certification.

Ill let the group know how it goes.

By the way, I'd love to also join the discussion with YA about standards with you.





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