All content © Anne Pitman unless otherwise mentioned.
Yoga is a time-honored mind-body practice originating in ancient India. The teachings are shared with honor and utmost respect. Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum is essential reading for all oncology professionals interested in yoga as an evidence-informed therapeutic intervention to improve the lives of people with cancer, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, acupuncturists, yoga therapists and yoga teachers, and all allied health professionals – as well as people with cancer and survivors, their families, and caregivers.
“Here in the infusion room, in the clinic, in the studio, in our client’s living room, we come together, therapist and client. With an approach akin to entering Rumi’s field (Rumi & Barks 2005), we meet in non-judgmental and welcoming space. In the beginnings of compassionate inquiry, a gossamer trust is stitched, guided not by scrutiny, but by wonder. In a slow and imperfect sidestep off the fast-moving path of tests and treatment, here is time and space, a resonant receptive calm, a warm presence, a skillful containment and a slow reach for gentle understanding. Together we pick up each trouble tenderly and hold it up to the light. With generous listening and attuned heart-led dialogue, we sift last night’s sleeplessness, tomorrow’s fears, this moment’s thoughts and feelings through open hands. Nourished and unearthed by soft movement, breath and companionable silence, feelings and long-held beliefs find their way to the surface, and we listen anew.
Here is a place to doubt, to cry, to unveil a hidden anger or surprising joy; all are welcomed by genuine care and non-judgmental presence. Side-by-side now, in an affinity of connection, we hold possibilities for yogic practice in wide consideration, weighing all preferences, assessments, and evidence: reports, side effects, contraindications, lived experience, patterning, and lingering worries. Attuned to their role, the therapist looks beyond themselves, calling in treasured colleagues, stitching a wide net of care. A practiced therapist will draw on the knowledge needed to respond to each unique client – sometimes reaching back for supportive philosophy or a specific aspect of current research – all informing accessible yoga practice. This is steadying practice within the wider circle of uncertainty and life’s mysteries.”
- Anne Pitman, Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum