Celebrating 10 Years ❤️

I completed a grueling year of treatment for Stage 3 breast cancer in 2008.  I was overjoyed and grateful to be finished.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how difficult it would be to get my life back.

I was struggling with numerous side effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation including lymphedema, osteoporosis, a broken rib, fatigue, “chemobrain” and the common experience of depression and fear of recurrence.

I returned to my work as a psychotherapist, but wasn’t seeing cancer patients and survivors as clients because my own experience was still too fresh. But when I discovered kriya, I recognized the benefits for cancer patients and survivors.

Kriya for Immune Fitness is a practice you can do daily, as I did, to increase your energy and regain focus. Doing it every day for over a year, I found it ideal for the following:

  • managing mild lymphedema (in my arms and torso)
  • increasing mental and physical energy and conquering fatigue
  • consciously releasing tension, anger, pain and toxins
  • getting both sides of my body moving to decrease aches and pains and increase circulation
  • integrating the life changing ordeal I had been through
  • drastically reducing the depression and anxiety I felt

Ten years ago, in September 2010, I was eager to share a kriya yoga series I felt had been key to bringing back my energy.  I began offering a free weekly class in South Austin through a nonprofit. At the beginning I had very few students, sometimes none,  but I would still show up and practice the kriya on my own.

Over time, I developed a friendship with a member of the IV League, a support group for women living with Stage 4 breast cancer.  Together, we decided to offer my class immediately before their weekly support group at Casa de Luz, the macrobiotic center. For several years, the class was mainly folks from the IV League group – a closeknit and inspiring group of women.

One day, a woman from Capital of Texas Team Survivor joined us. She loved the practice, especially Lion’s Breath, and she asked if Team Survivor could co-sponsor the group, help advertise, and pay me a small stipend. I gratefully accepted and the energy around the class began to grow as more people learned about it.

Eventually the local YogaYoga studio allowed us to offer our free class in their beautiful space. When the pandemic hit in March, everything moved to an online format and we persisted, meeting virtually on Zoom each week. We average about 20 students per class and have hundreds who cycle in and out.

Sometimes people ask me why I like working with cancer survivors, assuming it would be sad or depressing.  For me, it’s the exact opposite. As one Joybooter remarked, “We get to embrace life in it’s  most VIVID, being truly aware of life and its beauty and fragility every time we get together.” I am inspired by the depth of feeling, connection and openness people bring to the class each week. I am motivated by the peace and stability of mind, pain relief, community and healing they experience.

I thank everyone that has participated or supported me and the JoyBooter community over the years.  Together, we lift each other’s spirits!

Please join me in celebrating our 10 year anniversary!  Share the Joyboots website and Joyboots Facebook group with friends or colleagues.  Since classes are being offered virtually, people can join from anywhere in the world and it’s always free.

Mamma Jamma is an amazing organization that has provided over $2 million in support for local programs and services for breast cancer fighters and survivors.  Thank you for donating to Mamma Jamma to support my class, Team Survivor and other organizations providing crucial assistance to cancer survivors. You can still donate through November 30th to help me reach my fundraising goal of $1000.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.