News & Events

Cancer patients find peace with yoga

January 15, 2016

Yoga helps people attain inner peace by allowing participants to gain control of their mind, body and soul. For cancer patients the practice can be particularly liberating, offering relief from the physical pain and mental stress of their diagnosis.

“Yoga and Cancer: Reclaiming Your Life”—which is hosted by The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Backus Hospital—offers yoga for cancer patients with instruction that focuses on: Gentle progressions of movement to stretch and strengthen; releasing stress and tension; improving clarity, awareness and focus; and using breathing practices to improve overall energy. The course is being offered in two, six-week sessions with one that began on Jan. 6 and another to begin on March 23. Classes are held every Wednesday from 4:30-5:30 PM at the Hartford HealthCare System Support Office at 11 Stott Avenue in conference rooms A and B and are presented by yoga therapist Carol Klammer of All Hearts Center for Yoga and Wellness.

“There are dozens of benefits of yoga for cancer survivors, but the most important benefit is feeling comfortable to practice up to their individual capacities and limitations. I am thrilled beyond words to be able to offer this class,” Klammer says.

Janet Wozny is one of the participants.  She is a ten-year cancer survivor and has bursitis in both hips.  Yoga was recommended to her because of the stretching exercises.

“I absolutely love it.  It’s totally relaxing and soothing,” says Wozny who is trying yoga for the first time. “Carol is such a soft-spoken and patient instructor, and I feel so relaxed by the end of the session.”

Amy Dunion, RN of the Backus Center for Healthcare Integration helped to coordinate the yoga series. She says yoga can help ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, problems with mobility and movement, and help patients regain a sense of feeling whole again.

“Many people have said they felt relaxed for the first time or present in their life in a new way. It’s a chance to reclaim life; to recover and discover a feeling of vitality and peace that may have been lost. One woman in a yoga class said she had forgotten that she was beautiful, and a man added that he didn’t know what it felt like to let go of stress and truly relax before yoga. Yoga is good medicine,” Dunion says.

The program is free for cancer patients but registration is required. Space is limited. Call 855-HHC-HERE to register for the March session.