Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our blog has moved!

If you've been wondering where our blog disappeared to, it's now embedded into our website at www.yogabear.org. We have a great team of volunteer bloggers working five days a week to bring you the latest and greatest on yoga, health, nutrition, and cancer.

To receive our weekly digest of blog posts and conversations, simply create a (free) profile on www.yogabear.org. This will also give you access to free podcasts, videos, and a forum to connect with other survivors, yogis, and health professionals.

And check out our upcoming events:
1. KARMA: a benefit party for Yoga Bear in NYC
2. Yoga 101 in San Francisco

See you soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Help Yoga Bear Win $3K!

Zemanta will donate $3,000 to the charitable causes that is most blogged about. Help Yoga Bear win by writing about us on your blog and including the tagline at the bottom. View full rules here. Thank you!!

Yoga has played a huge part in my life-- giving me the strength to constantly recenter and find peace in whatever happens. But the role yoga has played in my life hit its pinnacle when I figured out how to use my admiration for the practice in service to others.

I have always been a cancer advocate. Shouldn't we all be concerned about fighting this disease that affects one in three of us? But I'm not just concerned with finding a cure or preventing cancer (although these are very important things). We should also be concerned about the 11 million survivors who have gone through months or years of treatments, and are now out of the hospital and looking to obtain a high quality of life. Looking to get back to their jobs, their families, and to a meaningful, happy existence. The cancer world defines this as 'survivorship'.

Cancer-oriented non-profits and research disproportionately support programs that focus on people in active treatment for cancer. And many of the services that are provided to people while undergoing treatment, are taken away once the treatment is over. I saw this as an opportunity, and founded Yoga Bear in 2006.

Yoga Bear brings free yoga classes to post-treatment cancer survivors. Our work is driven by a staff of 30 volunteers, and a nearly non-existent budget. And the model is simple. It costs little for yoga studios to offer a space in their regularly instructed classes, but the aggregate impact of hundreds of yoga studios offering a few spaces is HUGE. So we work with studios across the US-- from California to Texas to Florida to NYC-- to make this possible. Each studio donates at a level that is comfortable and meaningful to them. Some studios donate 1 or 2 six-month passes, while other studios donate 20. We call this the Share a Mat Campaign.

Being disease-free does not mean being free of the disease. Many of our participants, even 5 years out of treatment, are still dealing with the symptoms of treatment, both psychological and physical. Many of them are finding that a yoga practices allows them reduce suffering and find peace, community, and strength.

The term yoga itself is a Sanskrit word meaning union. And that is exactly what Yoga Bear aims to do-- bring together a community in the mission of providing more health and wellness opportunities to cancer survivors.

This blog post is part of Zemanta's "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

rBGH, Cancer, and School Milk

Our friends at Breast Cancer Action are doing great work to help eliminate the causes of cancer in our environment. We support their current campaign is to get rBGH out of School Milk.

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Our kids deserve the healthiest food possible, and parents deserve to have a say in what their kids eat. Milk is a staple for many of our nation’s youngsters, and it’s crucial that the milk served in schools be safe, healthy and free of artificial hormones.

The artificial growth hormone rBGH, used to increase milk production, is unhealthy for cows and may be linked with some types of cancer in humans. RBGH is already banned in some countries, and US consumers are increasingly opting for milk produced without it. Now, companies may be looking to school lunch programs as an outlet for milk consumers don’t want.

We can’t let pharmaceutical companies and corporate agribusiness dictate what’s best for our kids. That’s why Food & Water Watch’s School Milk Campaign is working to give all schools the option to choose milk that is free of rBGH.

Take action and sign the petition to ask Congress to allow schools to purchase artificial hormone-free milk and organic milk.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chill out, Cheerios



The FDA has a message for Cheerios: You're a cereal, not a wonder drug. The agency says General Mills must tone down its health claims or risk having its product yanked off shelves, the New York Daily News reports. The cereal box makes all sorts of claims about lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, and the FDA says only agency-approved drugs can boast of such things.

“Your claim does not convey that all these factors together help to reduce the risk of heart disease and does not enable the public to understand the significance of the claim,” an FDA letter said, referring to other components of a healthy diet. “The science is not in question,” a General Mills spokesman said. "The FDA is interested in how the Cheerios cholesterol-lowering information is presented on the Cheerios package and Web site.” The company has 15 days to explain how it will change its marketing.

Via New York Daily News

Yoga makes me a better scientist


Nicoleigh began her yoga studies by accident in 1999. This was shortly after going through an identity crisis, because an injury ended her ballet career, and she was transitioning into scientific research; a seemingly 180 degree turn. Through yoga, she developed a deeper understanding of herself, the world, and a belief that yoga brings a peaceful and truthful existence to any individual. Nicoleigh brings warmth, compassion, and humor to her classes, as well as a sincere desire to help others through appropriate asana. She has been trained in both Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga styles, and has been most influenced by studies with Michael Hamilton. She holds two master's degrees, one in statistics and the other in neuropharmacology, and a PhD in physiology. Above all, her daily practice inspires her the most, and serves as a daily reminder of compassion for others.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cancer Survivor Teacher Training Coming to a City Near You!

OM Yoga for Women Cancer Survivors Teacher Training

Join us for an Open House! Wednesday May 20th at 5:30 pm, get all your questions answered Located at Union Square 826 Broadway at 12th street 6th floor
May 18 Yoga Journal Conference, New York, NY
May 29 - 31My Sacred Yoga in Metuchen, NJ
June 8 - 12 OM Yoga Center, New York City Mon - Thu 9 - 5pm, Fri 9 - 1pm
July 15 - 19 Evolution Yoga Studio Cleveland, OH
**Coming SoonBoulder, CO, Charleston, SC, and San Fransisco, CA

For information on any of these contact:info@OMyoga.com or call 212 254 YOGA with any questions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Workshop for Breast Cancer Patients/Survivors in SF

Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors
w/ Bobby Clennell
Saturday, June 13
12:30 - 2:00pm | Studio I
FREE - Please register in advance by calling us at 415.753.0909

This class focuses on the physical, psychological and emotional needs of breast cancer patients and survivors including those undergoing chemotherapy, post mastectomy and post lumpectomy patients, and those with lymphedema.

Breast cancer surgery usually results in decreased mobility and numbness in the arm, shoulder and chest and can be accompanied by an overall loss of balance, energy and strength. This need not be permanent. We will practice in a way that aids the healing process and promotes a state of ease, freedom and peace in the body and mind.

Open to pa
tients & survivors only. Beginners' welcome.

Yoga Bear's New Advisor, Tara Stiles!

As our organization transitions from a local non-profit to a national force, we knew it would be essential to find our fourth Advisory Board Member on the East Coast (our first three advisors reside in the San Francisco Bay Area).

So we are excited to announce that Tara Stiles of NYC will be joining our family! Our Advisory Board has played a key role in helping develop the strategy for growth, while keeping us rooted in our steadfast mission of providing more opportunities of health and wellness to cancer survivors.

As a volunteer and fan, Tara has warmly and enthusiastically provided feedback and connections to our community. We are honored to have her input and vision as we move forward.

Tara connects healthy approaches to activity, exercise, food, awareness, and everyday feeling good with a wide audience around the world. Her work reaches out through a broad array of channels including mainstream print and television, web video and news sites. She's a popular contributor to The Huffington Post, Women's Health, and Men's Health, covering many aspects of yoga including basic how-to and preventive health care. Tara is recognized for her bold, fun and approachable style, breaking down ancient tradition and ideas into useful practices for everyone. She's also the founder of New York-based yoga studio Strala, where her teaching centers on building strength while helping people to live health and feel good.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What do you think about the "Save Second Base" campaign?



"Save Second Base" is a controversial slogan that's used nationwide as a fundraiser for breast cancer research. While some find it a playful way to bring attention to a cause; others find it offensive and sexist.

One argument states that if we’re going to use sex to sell a cause, then we should do so equally for male audiences and female audiences. Just as if we’re going to sell this cause from a women’s health perspective, we should do so equally with male and female audiences.

Another argument, which stands against many breast-cancer campaigns (especially the pink ones), is ignoring the fact that men make up 1% of breast cancer cases.

And the feminist argument against the "Save Second Base" campaign is that it objectifies women and ties the importance of their life to their sexual organs. Breast cancer, which so happens to attacks a highly sexualized part of a woman’s body, is also life-threatening.

After all, we should care about finding a cure because it claims women’s lives, not because it claims their breasts.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yoga & Asthma

From today's Examiner, Yogi Annette Rivlin-Gutman writes:

Clinical studies have shown proof that Pranayama breathing can help asthmatics. It supplies oxygen to the entire body and exercises the lungs and its surrounding organs.

“Prana” means life force which is the breath and “ayama” means to lengthen or to extend. So, Pranayama means extending or mastering control of the breath. It allows unconscious breathing become a conscious act.

While many of us could benefit from pranayama in order to learn to breathe more deeply, asthmatics tend to over breathe. The exhalation is commonly the most problematic. Balancing airflow to the body can help an asthmatic control the output of her breath. Living with asthma can also create high anxiety. Slow, efficient breaths lead to a calmer mind leading to calmer breathing.

Just another reason yoga rocks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cancer survivor yoga class on Long Island

Freedom Yoga
is for woman cancer survivors who would like the opportunity to develop a more peaceful and positive outlook on life.

Taught by yoga instructor
Maria Yakkey, RYT at:

Om Tara Yoga Studio
577 Broadway, Massapequa

Weekly Classes are offered on
Thursday mornings at 11:30am.
Come as you are. No prior yoga experience necessary, doctor’s approval recommended.
Wear comfortable clothing.
For more information
Call Maria at:(516) 250-0101
e-mail: santosha@live.com
Private Sessions Available

Maria Yakkey, RYT is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level and is certified to teach by Into This World Yoga. Currently, Maria is working towards her 500 hour certification.
Maria’s yoga education includes: YogaKids (CYKT),
Yoga for the Special Child, Pre-Natal Yoga, Restorative Yoga,
and Yoga for Woman Cancer Survivors.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

12 Months of Goodness



Yoga Bear is looking for studios and yogis alike to collaborate with us on the upcoming Calendar Fundraiser Project! As Yoga Bear truly values the bonds we have with our surrounding community, we feel the need to benefit us all in our attempts to reach out and ensure the long-term sustainability of our cause. So how exactly are all of us going to benefit from this? Here’s a simple breakdown of the project:

1. Studios and yogis can "sponsor" a month in the Yoga Bear Calendar by making a $100 tax-deductible donation to Yoga Bear. First come, first serve for selection of month.

2. We will have professional photographs taken of the yoga instructor of your choice (from your sponsoring studio) which will serve as the graphic for the according month on the calendar-- you will also be given digital copies from the photo shoot for your own uses!

3. We will release the Yoga Bear calendars to the public (homes, offices, non-profits, clinics, nutritionists, therapists, support groups etc.) and your studio will be recognized for its contribution to the Yoga Bear cause!

4. And of course, you will be provided with your own calendar to put up in your studio

Helping provide cancer survivors receive free yoga AND investing in an effective marketing strategy? Sounds like a good deal to us. If you would be at all interested in working with us on this project or maybe you just have some questions, please don’t hesitate to contact chad@yogabear.org

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yoga Bear wins Nike Grant



We are honored to be a recipient of the Nike Athletes Serve grant. This grant will allow Yoga Bear to continue our work with cancer communities across the US.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teaching Yoga to People with Cancer (Discount on Training)

We are very excited to announce that Jnani Chapman, RN has offered Yoga Bear volunteers and affiliate studios, to receive a 20% discount off tuition for their upcoming training.

WHAT: Yoga for People with Cancer Teacher Training (YCaTT) is a three-part certification program designed to train experienced Yoga teachers to work safely with cancer patients at any stage of illness. The goal of this program is to enable Yoga teachers to adapt traditional Yoga practices to meet the physiological and psychological needs of cancer patients and to communicate effectively with medical personnel. At the completion of the program, Yoga teachers will be qualified to design and implement wellness/stress management based classes for cancer patients. Graduates of all three parts will receive certification for this specialty.

WHEN: May 3-10

WHERE: Yogaville, Buckingham, Virginia

Find full details here. You must mention Yoga Bear when booking your reservations.

Yoga Bear at the Liver Cancer Symposium in Chicago, May 15-16

On May 14th through 16th, Yogi Bear Jean DiCarlo-Wagner will be teaching a free yoga class at the Liver Cancer Symposium (for patients and doctors) in Chicago. Suzanne Lindley, 10 year Stage IV colorectal survivor, is one of the coordinators.

Yoga Circle owner and Yoga Bear volunteer Gabriel Halpern has also offered his services to teach restorative classes at this event.

Jean and Gabriel will be working on providing 'yoga breaks' at the conference, so come prepared with your yoga gear and water!

"Give us millions to find a cure for cancer" sounds better than "give us millions to find a million cures for a million types of cancer"

This is from PHD Comics:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OM Yoga Events in NYC

We are happy to help spread the word about these yoga opportunities for cancer survivors in NYC:

OM yoga for Women Cancer Survivors Classes

MOTHER'S DAY
SUNDAY MAY 3, 10 AM - 1 PM
Sponsored by The Libby Ross Foundation
Taught by Tari Prinster - FREE to women cancer survivors
RSVP by April 15th to info@OMyoga.com or call 212 254 YOGA with any questions.
Space is limited-first come first serve registration

We welcome all moms, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts and friends to celebrate Mother's Day.

CLASSES
Tuesdays from 3:45 - 5:15 pm sponsored by The Libby Ross Foundation
taught by Tari Prinster - FREE

Saturdays from 1:45 - 3:15 pm taught by Jacqueline Lucas
reduced rate of $10, portion of proceeds go to LRF

OM yoga in NYC http://www.omyoga.com/
Located at Union Square 826 Broadway at 12th street 6th floor

Earth Day: Living Green & in Connection with All of Life


Happy Earth Day Friends! In honor of Mother Earth, we wanted to share a few tips for living green and in connection with all of life.

1. Breath
Learning to breathe correctly can change your life. Dr. Andrew Weil, a well known medical doctor who integrates western and eastern medicine, uses breathwork as his number one prescription for all stress related illnesses, physical and emotional. Deepening the breath in the body can aid in the healing process, reduce physical and emotional tension, foster a sense of peace, wellbeing and calm, allow clear thinking and decision making to emerge, rejuvenate and reenergize, bring relaxation, improve sports and academic performance and stabilize emotions. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

2. Mindful Buying
Rather than buying something new, see if you can find it used. These days you can also find everything from organic cotton yoga tops to cork yoga blocks online at sites such as eBay or even Craig’s List. Visit yard sales or resale shops, and borrow or share with friends.

3. Selective Buying
Our twitter friend @premapadam suggest buying from small, grassroots businesses like www.consciousclothing.etsy.com which sells organic cotton clothing using soy based dies. When making purchasing decisions, don't just consider the price to your wallet. Think about the price to Mother Earth. What is it made of? Where was it made? How far was it shipped? And what will happen to it when you're done?

4. Choose your mat wisely
Some Yogis have voiced concerns about the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in sticky Yoga mats. PVC has been linked to different types of cancer, and it cannot be recycled. Therefore, worn out mats with PVC must go to a landfill. Our friend @Evonborcke suggests a mat made from recycled materials, "They are still quite wonderful I must say".

5. Stay Hydrated

Did you know that tap water is more regulated than bottled water? Forget the plastic water bottle, pour your filtered tap water into a bottle like the metal SIGG bottle. Or find a Biota bottled water. The bottle is made from 100% corn (a renewable resources) and it decomposes in a commercial composting situation in 70 - 80 days.

Any other tips on being a green yogi? Please share them as comments below!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Studies claim new anti-cancer foods



Three new studies came out this week extolling the disease-fighting properties of grapefruit juice, walnuts and wine.

The research was presented Monday at the 100th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR.)

A study from the University of Chicago Medical Center claims that combining eight ounces of grapefruit juice with the anti-cancer medicine rapamycin could increase drug levels, allowing lower doses of the [exoebsuve] drug to be given.

A second study presented at the conference found that walnut consumption could provide the body with essential Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that reduce the risk of breast cancer. Researcher Dr Elaine Hardman, of Marshall University School of Medicine, said although the study was carried out in mice, the beneficial effect of walnuts was likely to apply to humans too.

The third study found that drinking wine may increase survival among patients suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Researchers at Yale found that those who drank wine had a 76% five-year survival compared with 68% for non-wine drinkers. Further research found five-year, disease-free survival was 70% among those who drank wine compared with 65% among non-wine drinkers.

Beer and/or liquor consumption did not show a benefit.

Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research, with a membership including more than 28,000 researchers, health care professionals and cancer survivors in nearly 90 countries.

Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors in NJ

We are very pleased to share these two opportunity for cancer patients and survivors in Brick, New Jersey:

WHEN: FRIDAYS 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM (except 5/29/09, 9/11/09, 11/27/09, 12/25/09)
WHERE: Brick Fitness for Women (Route 88)
Kmart Shopping Center in Brick, NJ
848-459-4255
COST: FREE for patients and survivors
No yoga experience necessary

WHEN: SATURDAYS 12 noon - 1:30 PM (first and third Saturday of each month)
WHERE: OM Baby Yoga Studio
726 Arnold Avenue
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
COST: Free to cancer patients under treatment, $5 donation from other students. Donation goes to studio and any additional funds are donated to Cancer Concern Center in Point Pleasant Beach.

Instructor: Bobbi Linkowski (Viveki) has been teaching yoga to active seniors and cancer patients for the last six years. She is a certified Yoga Instructor in Sivananda Yoga, and registered with the Yoga Alliance. She completed her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from the Himalayan Institute. She is currently interning in a program to earn a 1000 hour certificate in Therapeutic Yoga. Having started her Hatha Yoga practice for better health and to improve chronic medical conditions, she is able to emphatize with students and to adopt postures for a student's physical and mental challenges. Bobbi has worked as a Medical Technologist for over 38 years and has a Masters Degree in Allied Health Education.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yoga Bear in the Huffington Post!

Yoga Bear makes the Huffington Post today! Yoga activist and blogger, Tara Stiles gives a terrific write-up about Yoga Bear and the value our work has for cancer survivors nationally.

Check it out, tweet it, share it with others. I also recommend becoming a fan and subscribing to Tara's blog, if you don't already, for regular doses of yoga, activism, and humor.