Yoga: Finding Strength Beyond Breast Cancer: How Rehabilitative Yoga Can Help

Check out the article in BayStateParent at my web link provided here The author interviews three of my survivor-clients who've come to Exclusive Yoga classes for some time. The "featured" client, Jacy Watson, is on the magazine cover. In the article, there is great coverage about the virtual void in the medical world when it comes to providing comprehensive rehab programs for breast cancer survivors....and also some heartfelt quotes from the ladies about how my unique style of yoga has helped them. Quotes from me are in there as well, lending a universal voice for all recovery yoga teachers who step in after the medical community has dropped survivors off. A follow-up article will appear in the October, 2010 issue. Camille Kittrell

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Comment by Camille Kittrell, M.S. ERYT on August 27, 2010 at 12:30pm
Thanks for the sincere comments. Many, many yoga teachers, personal trainers, group exercise instructors, etc. do not know what they don't know. Every year, I meet breast cancer survivors who've gotten lymphedema from repetitive, weight-bearing movement in one sort of class or another. One woman's implant dislodged after an overly eager instructor "adjusted" her in Triangle pose. Her plastic surgeon is now adamantly against yoga as he "cannot trust what the teacher will unknowingly do." Studios and gyms often open their classes to survivors, but the movement sequences and exercises are the same for survivors as for the power-yoga devotees or body builders. It's a real dilemma, as survivors sooner-than-later need to regain strength beyond what a gentle hospital or restorative-type yoga class provides. Yet, classes that offer a more intermediate level of yoga or exercise format, and are safely designed for the medley of post-surgery and treatment side effects, are oh-so few and oh-so-far between. Camille Kittrell
Comment by Susan Basmajian, B.A., RYT on August 26, 2010 at 5:43pm
Camille, I loved the article as it expressed all that I have felt after going through bilateral mastectomies with TRAM Flap reconstruction. I was not offered physical therapy and should have been. Doctors need to be educated about this. Fortunately for me, my 20 years of yoga helped me through the healing process. To Susan Holbrook, I agree with your statement concerning the yoga studios and breast cancer. Safety is the most important issue. Often finding a yoga class through a hospital setting or cancer center setting is the best idea. Camille, I wish you lived on the west coast...S
Comment by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner,MA,E-RYT500 on August 25, 2010 at 9:10am
Thank you for bringing your love and passion to YB! What a rich pool of wonderful people are here, and you have a lovely voice! Strong and True! Blessings, Jean
Comment by Susan Holbrook on August 25, 2010 at 7:00am
This is a wonderful article which states exactly how I was feeling after my surgeries. And, now also working with ladies in the recovery mode they all say the same thing too. I guess it is the old adage "if you want something done right----", we women are excellent at this. My take on the whole issue is that the doctors are doing the best that they can, we would not even be in "recovery mode" if not for their work. Doctors are not gods and the good ones don't think they are, they can not do it "all". So for the "after" we need to, and are taking responsibility for this part. We are good at this and we can keep it growing so that it is easy for women to find these healing venues. What I am concerned about at this point is that there are Yoga studios that I have encountered in Denver that are seeming to be taking advantage of this "Breast Cancer" issue. I attended a few classes that were labeled "Survivor"-- "Pink" that were terribly under researched and completely inappropriate for recovering ladies. How does a women who is in very delicate condition with no resources or little education in this area know that where she has chosen to explore Yoga as a healing tool is a well researched program that will be healing, strengthening and safe?
Thank you Camille for sharing this article, it is really good.
Comment by Susan Basmajian, B.A., RYT on August 23, 2010 at 7:44pm
I enjoyed our conversation today. As we discussed, there is a great void in the medical community with respect to rehabilitation programs for breast cancer survivors. For many breast cancer patients, yoga is an integral component of the healing process. As teachers and survivors we need to spread the word to bring awareness to the medical community.
Comment by Camille Kittrell, M.S. ERYT on August 23, 2010 at 3:12pm
The file is large, as it has color photos and the magazine is oversized. That's why I advise just opening it from my web site, but here's another link
Comment by Yoga Bear on August 23, 2010 at 1:51pm
hmmm my browser is requiring me to download the PDF. anyhow, would be great to re-post here if possible!
Comment by Camille Kittrell, M.S. ERYT on August 23, 2010 at 1:14pm
You don't have to download it, just click on the BayStateParent magazine cover, and it should open. It's in a pdf file. Is this okay?
Comment by Yoga Bear on August 23, 2010 at 1:11pm
Camille, could you repost the story here so people don't have to download the file?

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