Laura Hernandez began teaching Yoga in Brome Lake shortly after her arrival here in 2002.

A few years on she felt she needed to also offer a softer yoga, specifically adapted for some of her clients suffering from cancer.

On her own volition, Laura decided to go to New York and take specialized courses with Tari Prinster, the founder of Yoga4Cancer. For Laura, “yoga and mindful meditation are the perfect compliments to traditional medicine, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The role of meditation and yoga is not to replace traditional treatments or medications, or to heal the cancer outright, but rather, to bring deep and peaceful relaxation and to diminish anxiety, creating optimal conditions for the body to better assimilate and spread the effects of the medicines and treatments. Yoga also has beneficial effects on the quality of sleep,” she tells us.

As these yoga sessions are mostly offered in small groups, the participants also benefit from support from their peers during their journey. It’s an antidote to the isolation often felt by people when the disease strikes.

Penny Murray from Dunham, one of Laura’s Yoga4Cancer participants, sees these courses as an oasis that allows her to get out of the house and to speak to others living the same thing as she is. “In her courses, we laugh and we sometimes cry, and it really helps,” she says.

“But mostly we don’t feel judged because we’ve lost our hair, or can’t take part in exercise. Our families do what they can but some- times there is nothing better than being with people who have already been there.”

“For their part, the medical staff at the hospital are doing an exemplary job helping us fight the disease, but we also need to express our emotions”. In the Yoga4Cancer group, there’s always someone who is going through a worse situation than the next person, and so it evens out and we say, “OK we can get through this.”

The Yoga4Cancer group is there for people with cancer who are following treatments, people who have just been diagnosed and those in remission. There are even classes where spouses and families are invited to join the participants.

Laura Hernandez cherishes a dream to teach yoga in the oncology departments of hospitals. An idea that is 100% supported by Penny Murray who can attest to the beneficial power of yoga that was, and is, to her.

www.yogaetmouvement.com or by telephone at 450-330-1514.

Laura Hernandez is a yoga expert and teacher, and a certified Yoga4Cancer instructor.

Translation: Alison Marks