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.


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 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.