Interested in a natural, gentle and effective way to feel better during and after cancer treatment?  Yoga Therapy at the Marsden Centre is for you!

Join Lee Majewski, a highly trained Yoga Therapist who has offered cancer specific yoga therapy and retreats to individuals for many years, for these two 8 week courses at the Marsden Centre.   Think you know what yoga is? Listen to the video for information on how Yoga is more than just a fitness program for flexibility and relaxation and how it can positively impact your treatment and recovery!

There are two yoga therapy programs going on at the centre.  The first, is for patients undergoing active cancer treatment and is called:

Rejuvenate – Yoga Therapy For Cancer Patients

The Second, is for patients who have finished their active cancer treatment and is called:

Beyond Cancer – Yoga Therapy

Improve Energy and Sense of Wellbeing

Empower yourself by learning tools to support your healing journey

Feel confident your Yoga practice will be safe and tailored to your specific needs by and expert in the field

Rejuvenate - Yoga Therapy For Cancer Patients

$120
  • In person class
  • Taught by a recognized expert in the field
  • Tailored to your specific needs and limitations
  • Able to support your healing journey and improve your feeling of wellbeing and vitality
  • For anyone regardless of their yoga experience
Register Now

Beyond Cancer - Yoga Therapy

$120
  • In person course
  • Taught by a recognized expert in the field
  • More challenging Asana (posture) practice
  • Practical demonstration and hands on practice
  • Able to support recovery from your cancer treatments
  • For anyone regardless of their yoga experience
Register Now

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between yoga class and yoga therapy class?

Yoga class, as commonly understood, consists of stretching postures and such classes are widely available. They can be varying in the level of difficulty, and following different lineages of yoga schools (Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Vinyasa yoga etc.) Generally though it means working with your body and putting it into different stretching postures.

 

Yoga therapy is relatively young emerging field. For the last 10 year International Association of Yoga Therapist worked on creating professional standards to accredit the schools and certify yoga therapists, to provide yoga therapy as a complementary field to traditional healthcare. There is a growing body of research, which shows that some practices influence our body on DNA levels modifying telomeres, which are connected to aging and cancer. I invite you to look at Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn presentation “The science of cells that never get old” on Ted.com. In this presentation she mentions of the yoga practice research, which with daily practice of 12 min for 8 weeks resulted in 44% increase in telomerase.

 

Yoga therapy looks at the full spectrum of yogic practices and research body available – and chooses the most effective ones to assist client in regaining the health. It may use partly asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), chanting and/or meditation. The choice of practices depends on a profile of the pathology. In case of cancer patients we choose practices which help clients to alleviate potential negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and promote the healing of the whole being.

What is the difference in teaching asanas (postures) to cancer patients as opposed to normal general yoga classes?

Usually, while teaching asana class (yoga postures), yoga teachers tend to put an emphasis on the body alignment – and rightly so to avoid any injuries. However asana class for cancer patients moves emphasis form body alignment to patient’s awareness of his/her body and its limitations. Therefore we focus on three major elements, which are reflected by the instructions:

  1. Sensing the body limit in asana and backing off while holding it,
  2. Slow and deep breathing to help the body relax into the posture rather then force the body into the posture,
  3. Last but not least the focus is on self-awareness, awareness of the body, specific muscles and ligaments, emotions and thought.

When these three elements are included in instructions, the asana class becomes more of “being in asana” then “doing asana”. Often, if conducted skillfully, such asana class feels like the meditation in slow movement. This is purposeful in that it helps to provide safe body engagement and it allows to release the tension, the cancer patients usually feel. It also builds self-awareness in clients, who typically are disconnected from their body.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it gives the power back to clients to do what they feel comfortable with and not necessarily what the teacher instructs them to do.

 

Cancer patients also often have limitation of the movement caused by operation. We are very sensitive to recognize this immediately and work closely to help the client slowly increase the movement in safe way. These limitations are very apparent. More difficult case is with hidden vulnerabilities caused by chemotherapy and/or radiation and manifesting in local brittle bones. This has to be discussed at the beginning of any class with each client and precautions taken to avoid possible risk of fracture or other injuries. This is why we have a case record, which we will ask you to fill in at the time of signing up for classes.

 

What is pranayama?

Pranayama comprises of the breathing techniques where the inhale and exhale are managed in a very specific way. Pranayama is very powerful in its healing effects and aims, among other things, at controlling our autonomous nervous system (ANS).  The pranayama practices are easy to perform and can be done by everyone under proper guidance.

What is yoga Nidra ?

“Nidra” in Sanskrit means sleep. It is an old yogic relaxation practice, which in last few decades was adopted by Dr.R.Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist, author, researcher and yogic scholar, to present day needs (see https://www.irest.us/projects/irest)

 

Yoga Nidra is integrative, in that it heals the various unresolved issues, traumas, and wounds that are present in the body and mind. It is restorative in that it aids its practitioners in recognizing their underlying peace of mind that is always present amidst all changing circumstances of life. Extensive research has shown also that effectively it supports the healing process across a broad range of populations.

What is meditation class?

In general terms the meditation is the process of inner exploration or inner journey. Since most of our participants do not have established meditation practices or even never meditated before, at the beginning we teach guided yogic meditation.  One sits in comfortable position with closed eyes and is guided by the facilitator’s voice. The instructions are easy to follow and there always is an individual attention and guidance when needed.

Do I need to know yoga or be yoga practitioner to be accepted to the program?

No, you do not need to know anything about yoga or to be yoga practitioner. The practices you will be doing are introduced slowly and always matching your level of skills and ability. The main goal of yoga practices (asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting and yoga Nidra) is to facilitate the healing of your body, your emotions and your mind. Since cancer does not discriminate in our classes we have those who have never done yoga sitting next to experienced yoga teachers. All those who apply themselves to the program benefit from it equally.

Meet The Speaker

Lee Majewski, MA, DYEd, C-IAYT is a founding director and president of Yoga For Health Institute (www.yogaforhealth.institute ) a non-for-profit organization located in Toronto Canada and the visiting senior Yoga Therapist at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in India.  Her own journey through cancer bought home the value of ancient Yogic methods and techniques to facilitate self-empowerment and healing in her life. Daily yogic practices have helped her immensely to cope with the negative side effects of her allopathic cancer treatment.

Lee is recognized internationally as an expert yoga therapist in cancer care and psychosomatic chronic diseases.  She is passionate about sharing the healing value of Yoga and continues to advocate for Yoga Therapy’s place in healthcare and in the medical community worldwide.