Cancer Care

I started working with the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation in May 2021, bringing Chair Yoga to help those affected by this rare lymphoma. Since then, I have added Yoga Nidra and Private Yoga Wellness specifically for those managing Waldenstrom’s.

My father was diagnosed with the blood cancer WM in 2019, and I wanted to provide a safe space on Zoom for those affected with WM to move and breathe, while addressing some of the side effects such as fatigue, compromised immune system health, decreased bone mineral density, balance issues, and stress. (Note: Yoga is a complementary or integrative practice to be used in conjunction with standard medical treatment.)


Chair Yoga Mondays at 2pm

Sign up through Michelle Postek, IWMF mpostek@iwmf.com

Our 45 minute classes incorporate some of the following:

  • Breath exercises for reducing stress and boosting the immune system
  • Gentle stretches designed to energize the whole body
  • Yoga poses that move the lymph fluid, and improve balance and steadiness
  • Meditations like body scans to facilitate mindfulness, acceptance, and relaxation
  • Optional 15 minute community chat (satsang) after class
Managing Waldenstrom’s with Complementary Practice of Chair Yoga

Our WM Satsang

Satsang refers to the practice of connecting with members of the community, in pursuit of truth and support. I never would have predicted the popularity of the class, but I’m so grateful to say that with the help of the IWMF and some anonymous donors, we have been able to continue a well-attended, ongoing weekly class with folks from all over the world!

Behind the scenes of our “Satsang” or community connection

Each week the community supports each other in whatever they’re experiencing. They also share how the practice helps them breathe better, feel more relaxed, balanced and flexible. The connection they experience with each other over the Zoom platform is just as therapeutic as the movement and breathing.


What students are saying about Chair Yoga for WM:

Last week, I had to make my first venture out into the wider world, flying to a doctor’s appointment. This normally calm human was a knot of anxiety, thinking about exposure in the airports, hotel, etc,  in the midst of the lifting of the mask mandate plus uptick in case transmissions. Yoga for WM WORKS….a wonderful, calming technique to help one refocus, and magically reduce stress and anxiety.” -Carol A., Fairfax, VA

 “I cannot say enough about the this class and the benefits I have received from taking it. Ann’s bright cheerfulness sets the tone for my day. Her constant attention to our unique needs make me feel very special. I have also learned from the support group after class as well.” – Susan S., California USA

Thanks so much to Ann you, and the IWMF for these wonderful yoga classes.  This is a highlight of my week. Ann is the best yoga instructor I have encountered.  Her lovely personality and soothing voice make the classes most enjoyable and therapeutic.  I just love her classes. It’s also very gratifying to meet with other WMers and hear about their experiences. Everyone is so willing to share and learn. Thank you for organizing all this.” Anne M., North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!


Yoga Nidra – a Conscious Relaxation Practice

Second Sunday of each month at 4pm ET email ann@anngraceyoga.com

Those affected by Waldenstrom’s are invited to attend a live Yoga Nidra offering for free, once a month. This guided relaxation practice can be done from bed and is good for reducing stress, getting better sleep, and elevating well-being in general. If you miss a class, you’ll receive the recording later – reach out if you’d like access to the recordings.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

Like my free videos and recordings? ☕️ Buy me a coffee to say thank you!


What students are saying about Yoga Nidra:

THAT was wonderful! My husband Pat and I just followed your Yoga Nidra session with candles, essential oils and lots of cushions and blankets. What a gift this was, thanks! I can tell you really know what  you are doing. It’s the first time anyone “guided” me into an intention…that was brilliant. Also I heard studies about gratitude found that just saying “I’m grateful for this or that” doesn’t work, that one needs instead to remember and experience a time when they were grateful for a real thing. You actually had us do that type of thing today.  I feel so lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to experience your excellent guidance, you are very special and talented as a guide.” – Janet L., Yoga Nidra Student


Working Together Privately

If you are interested in private yoga wellness sessions, please reach out for more information. I have an Intake Form for WM you can fill out to get started. If you need a sliding scale, please let me know and we can figure something out. Visit my Private Yoga page for more information.


Research

  • Cancer survivors including those recently diagnosed report better sleep, less stress, and improved mood and quality of life with the practice of yoga. Among less active cancer survivors, a restorative yoga practice may be easier to maintain, and also have benefits. Regular practice also increases benefits.
  • The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO) recommend yoga for anxiety, stress reduction, depression, mood disturbance, and improved quality of life in cancer patients.”
  • Qualitative results showed improvements in overall mental health, anxiety, depression, and mood. Physical health showed improvements in fatigue. These improvements were shown to last 8 weeks post practice.

More feedback:

“Ann’s communication style, skills, and knowledge are exceptional. She is tuned into and present to each participant. Her soothing manner and watching us carefully, recommending adjustments and gently encouraging us to accept how/where we are at that moment, makes me feel safe. She checks in with each person before starting the recording (smaller class so was able to do) and she also has us raise our fingers to show her (and us) where we are at that particular moment on energy level and stress level. The content of the class provides options while listening to our bodies. It feels so good! She facilitates a comfortable “community” with the participants even though using Zoom. I am grateful it’s available to do in my home. Often I can’t drive, yet want to do a class specific to my needs. This provides it! Having the classes available to watch again is wonderful too! Thank you so very much!” Barbara Q, Waldenstrom’s Chair Yoga Participant