Breath and Movement through all phases of Cancer and Recovery
About Oncology Yoga
Heart and Soul Oncology Yoga is taught by Susan O’Toole, a certified Yoga 4 Cancer (Y4C) instructor. The Y4C certification program dives into the study of cancer, exploring the effects of cancer on the body and the immune system, the side effects of treatments and procedures, emotional impacts, cancer-related trauma, and the science-based benefits of yoga and the Y4C methodology for cancer patients and survivors.
Soften the journey while building resilience, strength and energy
With a deeper knowledge and understanding of the holistic impacts of cancer, Heart and Soul Oncology yoga classes are thoughtfully designed to support the physical and emotional needs of patients and survivors and are offered as an integrative therapy to your current medical treatment. Classes are enriched with breath and mindful movement to reduce stress and anxiety and set off a relaxation response in the body. And while classes have gentle and restorative elements they are also an active and empowering practice, where in each person is encouraged to work within their energy and ability level. Classes are intentionally designed to increase energy, build back lost muscle and bone strength, move lymphatic fluid through the body and boost the immune system all while meeting the American Cancer Society’s recommendation for recovery and prevention of cancer reoccurrence.
- Small classes (4 max)
- Taught in-person & outdoors (in winter class is held in a large heated event tent)
- No experience is needed, can be modified for all types and stages of cancer
- Sliding Pay Scale (See below)
All Classes look to provide the following benefits:
- Reduce cancer-related fatigue and improve sleep
- Reduce anxiety and stress and improve emotional well-being
- Stimulate the Lymphatic System and boost the Immune System
- Build back muscle strength and bone density
- Improve flexibility, balance and range of motion
- Boost cardiovascular function
Two Classes to choose from:
Classes offer an opportunity to practice yoga in a relaxed, supportive environment, and build community with others who have been touched by cancer.
Pick the class that best fits your needs and we will modify or amplify as needed.
Classes are Wrist-friendly, DO NOT include Downward Dog or any deep forward folds.
Oncology Yoga (OncY) – Level 1 Breathe & Flow
This class is enriched with breath and movement and is designed to provide all the benefits mentioned above. With the use of blocks, props, and modifications this class typically begins seated on the floor, moves to an active standing flow before returning to the floor for a restorative and relaxing wind-down. No previous experience is needed. All are welcome
Oncology Yoga (OncY) – Level 2 Chair Rise and Shine
This class is thoughtfully designed to offer all the same benefits of the Breathe and Flow class, but incorporating the comfort and stability of a chair, with the option to move to standing poses, before flowing back to the chair for a relaxing and restorative conclusion. No previous experience is needed. All are welcome.
Pre-registration is required – No Drops Ins
Bring your yoga mat and water.
Please arrive early, 15 minutes for your first class, to meet me and check in about any changes you are experiencing or specific needs that you may have.
Sliding Scale Payment
The suggested amount for each class is $15, but please pay what you can. Some pay less and some pay more, all are welcome. Any contribution over $15 will go directly to sustaining our Yoga 4 Cancer classes by helping to subsidize other patients and survivors in need.
Example of Pay What You Can
Managing the landscape of cancer from diagnosis, through treatment, and into recovery, can be a challenging and often overwhelming experience. My goal in working with you is to help you develop a practice built on a foundation of breath, movement and mindfulness that meets your individual needs, helps reduce and manage your day-to-day anxiety and stress, builds strength and flexibility and much more. Working together means building a plan that works best for you and that meets you wherever you are on the cancer continuum. Reach out to see how we might work together.
“When I was diagnosed with a very serious cancer with a very poor prognosis in August 2022, Susan reached out and offered to provide private, adaptive yoga sessions for me. I can’t begin to express how transformational these sessions have been over these 9 months. Each session, she has such an astute sense of what I need on my best and most challenging days of chemotherapy, with balance, nausea, brain fog and a varied assortment of side effects. Every time I come to this familiar place on the mat with her, I feel I am immediately put back together again.”
“To say that Susan changed the trajectory of my mom’s experience and attitude in facing an aggressive and unpredictable cancer would be an understatement. One of my greatest fears about my mom’s diagnosis was the quality of life and suffering she would experience throughout treatment, and Susan changed that from the first time she began working with her. From the body scans and breathwork, to the balance and strength work, Susan finds an incredible balance between challenging my mom and making her feel vital, while also modifying to meet her where her body is at, which can change day to day, sometimes requiring more significant modification. As a physical therapist, I am in awe of Susan’s ability to use well-established principles of physical medicine in her yoga practice to affect symptoms such as neuropathy and nausea. Susan’s creativity to use props to allow for poses I would have never thought possible, and made my mom feel powerful, have been transformative, allowing her to progress in her sense of capability even though disease would have it otherwise left to its own devices. Susan is one of the most vital pieces of my mom’s care team, and I can’t imagine where we would be without her magic.”