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Breast Cancer Awareness: 3 Poses Restorative Poses for Healing
by KiraGrace Warrior Lisa Laird
I was honored 4 years ago when Margaret Burns Vap, founder of Big Sky Yoga Retreats, asked me to be involved with Cowgirls vs. Cancer, a non-profit and one-of-a-kind scholarship retreat designed for woman who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
We host women from all over the country for this annual retreat. The retreat provides solace, rejuvenation, and healing. We've been able to give scholarships to 60+ yoginis who are all too familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial tolls of breast cancer, so they can experience holistic healing through yoga and horses in the wilds of Montana.
These retreats are near and dear to me. We work all year helping participants plan for their trip. Sometimes it's as if we know them well before they even arrive. Seeing these women from all walks of life come together over an awful thing - cancer - and together, find such healing, strength and grace is beyond beautiful.
My favorite class I teach on this retreat is a Before Bed Restorative Yoga. The laughter, tears and sweet support that naturally come with that class is something special. I'd love to share three of the poses we incorporate in this class with you today in honor of those who are affected by breast cancer:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu â Om Shanti, Shanti Shanti
Cowgirls vs. Cancer's Restorative Poses for Healing
These poses are all accessible with various props. Use these restorative poses to help reduce stress, restore and relax your body.
Supported Legs up the Wall
Place a bolster, block or folded blankets against the base of the wall. Place your hips on your prop and lift your legs up the wall. Once the legs are flush against the wall, gently tuck your shoulder blades underneath you, relax the arms, legs and face. Focus just on your breath. To come out of this pose, draw your knees to your chest and roll to either your left or right â using both hands to come up.
Bring your bolster or blanket next to the top of your left thigh. Frame your hands on either side of your prop and slowly twist the spine to rest your belly on top of your prop. Turn the neck to either the left or right side, making sure itâs comfortable.
Breathe deeply and relax. Take your time coming off of your prop. I usually encourage some cat-cow stretches after a long hold in this pose.
Supported Wide-Angle fold
Sit with your legs wide â toes and knees pointed to the ceiling. Bring your bolster or blankets close to your hips. Fold from the hips as you rest your stomach over the bolster. Breathe deeply and let go.
Being involved with Cowgirls vs. Cancer has changed my life, and continues to educate and inspire me and remind me that at the end of the day, all any of us have is hope. And I hope that we can find a cure.
To get involved or learn more about what we offer visit us at http://bigskyyogaretreats.com/retreats/cowgirls-vs-cancer. Thank you to all who support and continue to support our cause. KiraGrace is one of our favorite contributors! For the past two years KiraGrace has outfitted our cancer kickinâ cowgirls! Thank you!
Photo Credit to Nicole Ross the Creative Quarterback
Lisa was introduced to yoga at a young age by her parents, who practiced Ashtanga yoga. She attended classes with them, seeing it as a way to complement her studies in ballet. However, a dance injury brought her onto her mat full-time. She quickly began to see how transformational yoga was and became hooked. Yoga really helped her heal, understand and respect her body. She might not be practicing ballet but still loves to dance, viewing sun salutations as a true dance of self-expression.
Currently, Lisa teaches with Big Sky Yoga Retreats and is their Cowgirls vs. Cancer Program Coordinator. Annually, she travels to Chacala, Mexico to teach giving class donations to Cambiado Vidas. Lisa believes that personal awareness trickles directly into community awareness and that through yoga, one breath at a time, people can positively change their lives and the world. Visit Lisa's website , and follow her on Facebook and Instagram .