Breathing Space for the New Year


yoga assistance photoYoga began a long time ago. It is rich with techniques that inspire, heal, open the heart, expand the mind, and soothe the nervous system. It was traditional for one teacher to work with one student for a certain length of time, usually years. The yoga itself was designed to be most beneficial for that person’s body structure, constitution, age, limitations, strengths, and many other factors. It included not just physical movements, but the entire nature of mind, body, soul, and spirit. These days, yoga is often taught in gyms, studios and at conferences -- usually reduced to a “one-size-fits-all” approach regardless of the needs of the individual students. Fortunately, there has been a surge in the last 10 years with yoga therapy and integral yoga, which seeks to return to the more personal way of guiding someone according to their own individual needs. This is how we at Wellness Within approach all of our offerings, including yoga. While it may seem that things are dormant at this cold, quiet time of year, there are signs of growth here at 609 Oak Street in our yoga offerings. As we become more clear about what our students need, we’re able to create more specialized approaches. Our first yoga class has expanded and filled the newly refurbished room, so we’ve added 2 new yoga offerings! I love that we can now be active participants in specifically serving people depending on where they are in the cancer journey. Yoga is one helpful, healing avenue to travel.

On Thursdays from 12:30-1:30, we now have a class called iRest, which is short for Integrative Restoration, taught by Iram Khan. This yoga would be best for those in active treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, for those recovering from surgery, for those with more fragile conditions, and for those dealing with depression and anxiety. It has a deeply soothing, relaxing quality.

On Sundays from 4:00-5:15, we have a yoga class for people who have or had breast cancer. Their needs are more specific, including limited range of motion with the arm(s), an awareness of avoiding lymphedema, increasing standing strength and balance, and releasing stress and tension. Marsha Kilian and/or Sandy Burgner teach this class. They also focus on nurturing women in the midst of a stressful experience.

On Tuesdays from 4:00-5:15, our Gentle Nourishing yoga class is led by Susan Whitaker. This class is for those who are feeling stronger and want more movement, better balance, to work on range of motion, deal with stress, and learn breathing practices -- all taught in a gentle, nourishing way. We also include some restorative poses and deep relaxation.

You can see that we have a lot to offer in our yoga program! Please make sure to register online beforehand so we’ll have space for you, as most classes are limited to 8 or 9 people. Susan also requests that you meet with her ahead of time for a short consultation so she can recommend the class that would serve you best. You can contact her at

Namaste and Happy New Year!

“There are so many great treasures and miracles within you, so many magical possibilities hidden inside you.”

Mind-Body, YogaSusan Whitaker