Last week I heard about two lovely souls, Keren and Jacqui from Brisbane Yoga Space, who in 2011 launched Anahata Healing an initiative that supports those affected by cancer through yoga. So far Anahata Healing has helped over 200 people across Australia. Initially Anahata Healing was only in South East Queensland, however other yogis have joined up in other states of Australia.
The idea is simple, Keren tells me “there is a beautiful community of yogis in Australia who want to give something back and help others by sharing knowledge and love of yoga.” Over 25 yoga teachers and studios have signed up to collectively offer yoga classes either free or at a reduced rate to those affected by cancer.
Anahata Healing is funded by a weekly women’s class, run by Keren each Sunday evening in Brisbane’s inner city suburb of Rosalie. All funds raised from this class are donated towards the running costs of Anahata Healing. In addition to the studio time, Keren also sends instructional DVD’s for yoga on cancer and meditation CD’s for people who live in remote areas who don’t have access to a yoga studio or teacher or for those people who aren’t quite able to take on a physical practice just yet.
Keren’s sister Lisa was the inspiration behind Anahata Healing. Almost 15 years ago, Lisa was diagnosed with acute myloid leukeamia and had a bone marrow transplant, chemo and radiotherapy. Lisa spent several months recovering in isolotation. The illness came back 3 years later (Keren and Lisa were living in the UK at the time) and Keren quit her job in London and move to Bristol to be closer to Lisa while she went through the treatment and isolation process. There was a yoga studio next to the hospital that Keren describes as her “mental saviour”! Keren would visit this studio 2 – 3 times a day and then visit her sister and teach her what she had learnt (mostly breath work and meditation as she was too sick for much physical activity).
Research has shown what amazing benefits yoga can have for those people affected by cancer. And by affected they mean those who have been diagnosed, those undergoing treatment, those coming out the other side of treatment and of course family members and carers. Yoga can help combat the stress mentally and it can also help in gently building physical strength and an overall sense of wellbeing.
Join Keren each Sunday evening at Brisbane Yoga Space 18 Nash Street, Rosalie, Paddington from 5.30-6.30pm for a women’s only class (donation only) and open to all levels. The money raised from this class goes towards supporting the work of Anahata Healing. Please visit www.anahatahealing.com.au for more information.