Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Free yoga sessions for people living with cancer

PEOPLE living locally with cancer can benefit from free classes to maintain flexibility and mobility, no matter what their stage of treatment.

The classes are being provided by qualified yoga teacher Jenna Blair and her team thanks to £1,780 funding from Lingen Davies Cancer Fund. Those taking part will be encouraged to do what they can, while listening to their body, as part of living well, with and beyond cancer.

The charity, which works to raise awareness about cancer throughout Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid Wales, supports a wide range of technology and services for those going through it. It has recently funded six weeks of cancer-specific yoga and tai chi classes for anyone living with cancer, which will start this Spring.

The funding has been agreed upon through the charity’s small grants application process – available for anyone looking to run services and support to benefit those impacted by cancer.

Jenna, who runs Jenna Blair Yoga in Shrewsbury, has run these kinds of sessions before and said they were a huge benefit to people, in more than just a physical way.

She said:

“Some of the sessions we have previously offered have been specifically for people living with cancer, Gentle Yoga and Tai Chi classes that focussed on mindful movement, breath work, finding stillness and peace, and also offered a sense of community.

“What really struck me was that cancer wasn’t spoken about but there was a real understanding that people had a shared experience. I’m often asked about cancer-specific sessions, people feel comfortable knowing others understand.

“It can be a little daunting trying something new but I would encourage people to give it a go – the team likes to have a conversation before any class to help build the confidence of those attending.”

Lingen Davies has funded 24 sessions in Shrewsbury to begin with, with a view to rolling them out further across the region. It will be a combination of Gentle Yoga and Tai Chi, open to everyone impacted by cancer, and run by Jenna and her team – who currently offer a full programme including 23 classes a week for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, including specific children and mums and baby classes, chair yoga and specialist yoga workshops.

Having practised the discipline herself since 2017, Jenna qualified in 2019 and launched her business in 2021 when she decided to quit her job in the property sector.

She added:

“You can see the transformation in people even after just 45 minutes of yoga.

“Even if that’s the only tiny slice of peace and calm in their lives, it’s fantastic to see. We don’t make people do anything they don’t want to. We’re here to guide but it’s down to the individual to do what feels right and rest when it’s called for – it’s gentle, inclusive, and kind.

“We offer variations on moves, we can accommodate those who might just want to do yoga from a chair and we encourage people to listen to their body. Yoga can provide little sparkles of peace, it has an amazing array of physical benefits and can improve bone density, muscle strength, circulation, lung capacity, mobility, flexibility, balance, and functional movement.

“And on top of that yoga has enormous holistic benefits, it’s good for the body, the mind and the soul.”

Anna Williams from Lingen Davies said the charity was very pleased to be able to offer this different kind of support to those living with cancer in the region.

She said:

“This can be a huge benefit to anyone affected by cancer and I would encourage anyone who can access them to take up the offer. We are working with a wide range of organisations that deliver physical and mental well-being in the wider community. We want to ensure those impacted by cancer can access a wide variety of services to help them physically, emotionally, and mentally as they go through treatment and live beyond it.

“We are proud to be able to offer these yoga sessions and hope to be able to offer this further afield in the coming year.”

For more information about Lingen Davies and the life-saving work underway visit the website: www.lingendavies.co.uk.

For more information about Jenna and the sessions on offer call 07812 596609, email: enquiries@Jennablairyoga.co.uk or visit the website jennablairyoga.co.uk.

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