The Ananda Meditation Retreat recently hosted the Rejuvenation Retreat for Cancer Patients. It was designed for cancer patients of all types and stages who have undergone chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment in the last 10 years. The 3-week residential and fully immersive retreat’s aim is to restore the body and mind from side effects of these treatments.
Mangala Loper-Powers is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Level 2 Ananda Yoga Teacher, E-RYT-500, Ananda Yoga Therapist, and has a Master’s in Nursing. She, too, attended the Rejuvenation Retreat and had many wonderful things to say about it. “This is a profoundly healing program, on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual,” said Mangala.
Although Mangala has not gone through chemotherapy, she personally benefitted and witnessed others do the same. “I was able to let go of crazy amounts of tension (physical and mental),” she expressed. “Everyone got more clarity on a number of issues that they were dealing with in their lives, even beyond those related to cancer or asthma. We all experienced increased levels of joy. We all learned better how to become observers of our emotions, of where our feelings are located in our bodies, and how to effectively lessen any emotionally distressing sensations via the yoga nidra process.”
The Rejuvenation Retreat entailed a gamut of activities ranging from yoga – asana and pranayama – and meditation. There was daily lecture, free time, chanting of healing mantras, and all meals consisted of mostly organic, vegetarian, fresh, and a low-sugar fare.
“We all experienced the healing power of a wide variety of yoga practices – just taking the time to practice these yoga practices changed and healed us all,” Mangala added. “Everyone experienced lessening of negative symptoms such as depression, anxiety, confusion, fatigue, and also experienced an increase in physical and mental vigor.”
Lee Mejweski, the facilitator of the program, guides participants to a place of empowerment as a way to deal with their cancer, their cancer treatments, side effects, and their futures. Through a series of testing, former participants have shown improvement in the most common symptoms of cancer.
Lee is a yoga practitioner from Toronto, Canada, and has developed this unique detoxification program. A cancer survivor herself, Lee offers the Rejuvenation platform under the support of Kaivalyadham Yogic Health Center in Lonavla, India. She is also the first beneficiary of this program, which was designed with the help of her guru, Sri Vasudeva, in Trinidad and her teachers of yoga and Ayurveda in Kaivalyadam. The program has been highly successful for the past 3 years in India and we are now blessed to offer it at the Ananda Meditation Retreat.
Mangala believes that the group support and length of the program were vital for the cancer patients to be able to open up to the challenges of healing and to learn new ways of coping with the trials that cancer brings to one’s life and relationships. “I think the guided visualizations built a cocoon of loving light,” Mangala voiced. She herself felt yoga nidra would be particularly valuable in giving patients, so that they have effective tools to help them stay out of negative emotional reactions and, rather, enable them to feel the ability to choose more positive ways of thinking and viewing their experience.
The Rejuvenation Retreat for Cancer Patients leaves its participants, at the core, with tools and education. Awareness is raised of carcinogenic factors in the environment and how to avoid them. One-on-one yogic counseling to adjust mental-emotional patterns that contribute to the illness is offered, and Lee teaches techniques to foster deep, lasting transformation. Furthermore, through an immersive 3-week program, patients gain an understanding of the visceral experiences that yoga opens for the body, mind, and emotions.
Group and individual activities include health education, yogic counseling, and therapeutic work. Lee’s aim is to help each individual examine his/her attitude and to identify his/her personal goals to create a well-balanced and fulfilling life.
Lee offers a very similar program called Chronic Cures which caters to people with chronic and cardiovascular conditions, without cancer like Mangala, who can also benefit from the healing and transformative gifts of yoga, meditation, self-realization and spiritual practices. Ananda Meditation Retreat expects to hold Chronic Cures within the next 1-2 years.
The next offering of the Rejuvenation Retreat for Cancer Patients is August 21-September 10, 2017. Sign Up
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