Yogathrive helps cancer survivors

A new set of yoga classes are launching this fall to help cancer survivors and those in treatment bolster their health and fitness levels.

Presented by the Yoga Alliance of Red Deer (YARD), the ‘Yogathrive’ sessions run Sept. 15 to Nov. 17 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Living Nutrition location.

The gentle yoga program is also designed for those with no yoga experience, says instructor Suzanne Blackwell, a teacher with YARD.

Even if people missed the first class this evening (Sept. 15), there are opportunities for make-up classes and they can still sign up for Yogathrive, she said.

Cancer can take a toll on a person’s psychological, mental and emotional levels as well as the physical and yoga techniques can help with all of those dimensions of human health, she said.

Yogathrive classes were first introduced in Red Deer this past spring at the YARD studios in downtown Red Deer. The classes were developed by Susi Hately Aldous, and were researched by the University of Calgary and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

Blackwell said the feedback from last spring’s sessions terrific. “It helped participants be a lot more aware of the parameters of their abilities to move and do different things.”

Participants also told her that it helped them with becoming more relaxed and in their sleeping patterns as well.

“They were also excited to exercise at home more as well. It was a wonderful class – I just loved teaching it. The group dynamic was very much one of ‘Let’s do this’.”

Blackwell completed the Yogathrive teacher training with Aldous and has been teaching yoga for many years in Red Deer. She is also a martial arts and fitness instructor with a long history of coaching and competing.

Of course, yoga is also recognized for its calming, relaxing impact on the body via the exercises and the focus on proper breathing. The stress from dealing with a serious illness can of course lead to holding that stress in the body in a number of way.

Meanwhile, Blackwell is excited to launch a new session of the classes this fall adding that cancer survivors have a unique and inspiring view on life. The program also provides opportunities for a strong social network.

For more information or to register, call 403-350-5830 or visit