Founded via a grant through JGW Patterson Foundation and together with the Gateshead charity FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together), I am offering a weekly Yoga and Meditation Session for cancer patients, survivors, everyone affected by cancer and simply everyone who would like to come along.
Sessions are followed by a tea/coffee hour…
Thursdays 11am- noon Yoga and Meditation 12.00- 1.00pm Coffee/Tea
Free of charge, but if you can make a small donation, please. Thank you!
Read this beautiful article on the group published by YOGAMATTERS:
Read here how my friend Cristiana gave me the idea to set up this group:
I remember very well the evening when my first yoga course at the community centre was to take off. It was a rather rainy January night, six o’clock – already dark of course that time of year. I was in between excited and nervous, unsure who or even if anyone would actually turn up. Shortly after I had arrived at the hall where the yoga was to start in about twenty minutes time, a couple of people showed up who had heard about the new class or who found a flyer. And then the door opened again and I have to admit I was startled! Cristiana entered the room…along with Arlene, her mother-in-law who came from Canada to support Cristiana and her husband Jason since the shocking diagnosis of a grade four brain tumour (glioblastoma). In the few months that my husband and me had lived in the UK, we had become friends with Jason, Cristiana and Arlene – but I somehow had not expected her to come to my yoga class.
Yet there she was…telling me how she had enjoyed yoga and meditation in the past and that given the circumstances she thought it would be a good idea to give it another go. Especially with someone she knew and who was conscious about what was going on in terms of diagnoses and treatment. She mentioned, she had been advised to come to similar classes in a centre in Newcastle, but she did not feel like going there at all. For two reasons: First, it was just too far. So exhausted from coping with the illness and its treatment and the way it affected her life, travelling on bus, train and bus again barely made a yoga class appealing, beneficial or relaxing at all. Second, the centre where classes were offered was located where she received treatment, unsurprisingly evoking dragging thoughts and emotions. Wow, I was nervous and felt very humble having Cristiana in my class, as she showed me such level of trustfulness.
A few days after we went for coffee and she let me know once more how beneficial she found the session. How she enjoyed feeling her body, feeling that she did care for her body and her mental wellbeing. How she felt calmer and a bit more balanced in her own self, especially since she felt she was struggling so much with her reality. She mentioned that there must be a big need for yoga sessions for cancer patients, as she had not found anything similar in Durham or close by. She said she would not have tried it in a studio or with someone who she did not know could deal with her condition affected by cancer and the treatment.
So the idea was born and Cristiana encouraged me to try to set up a Durham yoga and meditation group for people affected by cancer. Now two years after the first class at the community centre, this group is planned to take off after having received funding from the JGW Patterson Foundation in Newcastle. I am very proud and thankful to be able to deliver these classes followed by a tea hour for cancer patients, their relatives and friends – thereby taking into action my friend’s idea, and as her husband Jason called it, to honour Cristiana’s legacy. We, that is the FACT team and me, hope we can offer a valuable support service in the Durham area for people affected by cancer.