How does yoga help the healing process?

When you step into a yoga practice that is really attuned to your physical and emotional needs, you feel safe, you can deeply relax, and the mind can go into a neutral space to interrupt usual patterns of worried thinking or self judgment.

In order to heal there has to be a moment of neutrality, an opportunity to become the observer of your experience instead of thinking you can control everything.

Yoga allows people to observe how much pressure they put on themselves and experiment with letting it go, even if just for the duration of the class. It helps them move their bodies to discharge anger, fear and pain.

Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of awareness and uses movement, breath work, mantra, and meditation to help you connect to your body, mind, energy and true Self.

“For some people in class, this is the first time they have tried yoga, but they are with a tribe of others who have walked through fire. To be in that environment and to know your teacher and fellow students know what it’s like and are still doing the practices together and rejoicing is powerful.”

~ Judy, Program Participant

JoyBoots & Research

Kirtan Kriya is a meditation that can help as we live through interesting times to bring stability to the mind and calm to the nervous system.

I conceptualized and collaborated with Ashley Henneghan, NP, PhD, on testing the impact of this meditation on people experiencing chemo brain and I’m excited to share this article detailing the research.

I met Ashley in 2016, by helping her recruit JoyBooters for her study on the prevalence and impact of chemo brain on breast cancer survivors at the University of Texas School of Nursing, where she is now an Associate Professor and Researcher, and Founder of the Henneghan Lab: Cognitive Health Initiative for Cancer Survivors.

We were both yoga and meditation practitioners and began to discuss collaborating to research meditation, specifically Kirtan Kriya, as an effective intervention for cognitive impairment (chemo brain).

Based on prior research from UCLA showing that Kirtan Kriya reduced inflammation and improved memory and cognitive function, and from my own experience practicing and teaching it, I suggested we study its measurable impact on people suffering from chemo brain. See this recent article from UCLA:

Ashley is a leading researcher on quality of life and wellness after cancer and always has several studies happening at once. Nevertheless, she found a way to get funding for a pilot study on the impact of Kirtan Kriya on post-chemotherapy breast cancer survivors.

My role was to teach the meditations, explore questions or resistances to daily practice with the participants, and check in on them regularly.

Interestingly, the study also found that perceived cognitive changes following (breast) cancer treatment are multifactorial. Higher stress levels, loneliness, daytime sleepiness, and poorer sleep quality are linked to worse perceived cognitive functioning. Also, stress, loneliness, and sleep quality may affect cognitive functioning through a shared psychobiological pathway.

Interventions targeting stress, loneliness, and sleep quality may also improve perceived cognitive functioning in (breast) cancer survivors.

These are difficult challenges. JoyBooter programs can be a powerful tool to address many of these symptoms through community, yoga movement, processing traumatic moments together, and learning meditation tools.

Check out more research articles and resources at Henneghan Lab: Cognitive Health Initiative for Cancer Survivors.

Research Opportunity on Survivorship (with compensation)

Many of you know what it’s like to be in the infusion center, walking in with mixed feelings of trepidation and hope. That’s kind of how I have felt moving into 2024.

On the hopeful side, my updated version of the online course Healing Well: Reconnect with Your Life after Cancer is almost finished and I’m feeling proud!  It has most of what I’ve learned and taught over the past 30 years as a psychotherapist and yoga/meditation teacher (with 16 years as a cancer survivor) and it offers a framework for validation, resilience and healing you don’t find elsewhere.

I’m so ready to share more widely these valuable tools for reclaiming your time and life. My experience has taught me that we humans need MORE support and connection, not less, in order to feel emotionally healthy, content and joyful.

Speaking of tools, many of you participated in the 2019-20 study conducted by Ashley Hennegan, PhD, RN, FAAN, and me on how meditation can positively impact cognitive function after chemotherapy (AKA chemobrain) and other side effects from cancer treatment. You can see the published study here.

Ashley continues her groundbreaking research into survivorship at the University of Texas at Austin and has asked for our help recruiting participants to finish collecting data.  Who’s in? There’s even compensation for participating. The eligibility info can be found here.

And fellow Joybooter, Rakefet Laviolette, LPC Associate, is also offering a new Group for Caregivers. Details can be found here.

Please share these resources widely.

How DO You Heal Emotionally after the Trauma of Cancer? The 6 Principles

Over the years, I’ve received many messages from people who heard an interview I did with Dr. Ann Kelly (shared below) at Therapist Uncensored about how hard it is to heal after the trauma of having cancer.  And I explain the six keys to unlocking the healing process.

In September, 2023, new classes, therapy groups, and an online course will begin to help you learn and practice skills based on these principles.

Be sure you are on the JoyBoots community mailing list so you know when they open up!


Cancer sucks, no way around it. If you have it, had it or are supporting someone who does, this episode will be nourishment for you by bringing your mind and body into the healing and recovery process for cancer and trauma is so important.

Fighting cancer is often traumatic physically, emotionally and relationally. Podcast host Dr. Ann Kelley joins therapist and Yoga Instructor Kelly Inselmann (LCSW, C-IAYT,CGP) as she shares her personal journey through cancer recovery and describes her passion and process in supporting others to find hope and healing while in this compromised state.

They discuss how modifying the six principles of emotional recovery into the basic principles of yoga can have an immense impact on well-being and recovery.

Real Healing Requires Community

“The reality is things may never be exactly the same. Be honest with yourself about what you are feeling and find community who allow you to show up just as you are” from the Healing Well Course.

This Wednesday on June 21, 2023 we have the last JoyBoots Yoga class of the summer. It’s been such a pleasure to reconnect with so many old friends and to meet new ones as well.

I will be away June 26-July 24, 2023.  After the summer break, that’s when you can count on our weekly class continuing…

JoyBoots Yoga is unique in that we address, experientially through our practices, some of the more challenging aspects of living with cancer or after treatment.  These are:

  • feeling gripped by fear (of recurrence, physical pain, our own mortality)
  • negative circular thinking that can’t be easily stopped
  • tension and stress you hold in your body
  • anger you pretend not to have (that comes out inadvertently)
  • desire to understand yourself and your precious path forward so you can make meaning of life
  • chance to deeply breathe and strengthen your relaxation response
  • feel more grounded and emotionally balanced

Being able to show up just as you are to find a seat for you at the table helps heal loneliness and isolation.

It’s hard to heal emotionally when you feel alone.

I’m excited to bring a variety of JoyBoots programs forward beginning the end of August.

My online therapeutic course, Healing Well: Reconnect to your Life After Cancer starts in September 2023 and will be available to take at your own pace.

By request, we will also have some In Person Workshop and Meet Up Opportunities beginning in the fall as well.

Please join the JoyBoots Community (free) or email me at for more information or for an individual session.

Stay Cool this Summer!

JOY BOOTS Yoga is BACK for 4 weeks starting May 31, 2023!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?  We were still deep in the pandemic doing online classes when I had to take a hiatus to rest and care for my middle school daughter and my husband following his devastating surgery.

Thankfully, my family has reached a moment of stability.  My daughter finished her freshman year in high school and my husband is doing well and on a break from further treatments for the time being.

I’ve been getting lots of inquiries about our JoyBoots Yoga class, groups, and community and I have missed you! What’s happening in your life?

As mine has stabilized, I’ve turned to the question of What Now? How do I want to spend my professional time?

My mind always returns to the JoyBoots Community and the pleasure I get in our connections and in offering groups, classes, and individual sessions.

I started thinking of the ways yoga, meditation, and therapy all help us move from anxious to grounded, calm, and hopeful.  Check out this previous post on 3 Key ELEMENTS everyone should know:

Join me in practicing easily accessible movement, breath work, and meditation to shift your experience of the present moment, stabilize your mind, and open your heart.


With the present moment being all we have,

I felt inspired to offer my JoyBoots Yoga Classes for

4 weeks beginning Wednesday May 31, 2023 – Wednesday June 21.


I hope to be back in person this Fall, but these classes will be ONLINE and DONATION based, pay what you can.

Suggested Donation is $20 per class (Venmo or CashApp). 

To sign up for notices of the class, please email me at with YOGA in the subject line.  I will add you to my weekly list of people to receive the ZOOM LINK. Then you can drop in as you wish (no obligation) and donate only if you attend.

More info about the class here:

Kelly on Hiatus Until September 2022

Hello JoyBooters!

I’ve missed seeing you and hearing from you. I have not forgotten you or our community connection.  Please drop me a line to let me know how you are!

My family has needed my attention and focus which has kept me very occupied.  I also broke my ankle (try-malleur fracture) while on a trip to California and stayed an additional month for surgery and recovery in May.

I’m hoping to resume Wednesday JoyBooter Yoga as well as begin new groups, courses, and individual client openings in the fall…

Check out many videos and yoga practices specifically for our community here on my BLOG/VLOG – there are many years worth of videos.

For high quality physical and emotional support during treatment and after, I also highly recommend services at

Stay cool this summer!


XO Kelly

8 Week Online JoyBoots Therapy Group starts soon!









The cancer experience is a challenge that continues to unfold as you integrate the painful moments as well as the heart opening ones.  Whether you are still in treatment or finished, in my experience, the emotional work is not over and, in fact, is a rich part of your life’s journey. You don’t just “get over” your deeper awareness of the fragility of life and the desire to find greater meaning from your life and relationships.

That’s why I’m writing to invite you to join a special 8 week therapy group for cancer survivors that will meet (online ZOOM) beginning February 16th.  Because we are online, you can join from anywhere!

This group touches on a new theme specific to the cancer experience each week with the goal of moving you forward on your emotional healing journey.

Themes include:


This therapeutic group integrates simple movement and yoga for strength and energy and provides a unique space to begin to share, integrate, and heal.

I’m looking for people who know the value of acknowledging and sharing feelings and have an openness to begin with yoga and meditation. This is a group for working on and uplifting YOU!

$50 per 1 hr 30 minute group or $375 for the 8 week series. Compare at $150 for a 50 minute individual therapy session.

Move beyond the “new normal” to a place of greater support and healing. For additional details, questions and to register for the required individual session (at a reduced rate), please email 

The individual session is for me to understand your experience with cancer and to be sure the group is a good fit for you at this time. I’m also happy to answer questions by email prior to scheduling your session.