TLC Fit Week Four: YOGA!

February 16, 2012

Special thanks this week to my friend Lisa Barnes Dolbear for featuring TLC Fit in her LAVA online article! Click here!

The four of us sat in the Teens Living With Cancer Center for almost an hour after the kids left. Just the four of us, just talking. I looked around at this increidble team and I thought of how interesting it was how we found one another. We have the Momma of it all…. Lauren. She’s the founder of Melissa’s Living Legacy. Ten years ago she lost her daughter Melissa and back then she could have pulled the covers over her head, but instead look at what she has done with that grief and a promise to her daughter.

We have Leah who is Lauren’s right hand. A two-time Cancer survivor herself she is on a grant to work at Teens Living With Cancer and it runs out in June. We need to find a way to keep her there because she is a crucial part of this endeavor.

Andy. He’s a Cancer survivor and he’s come on board to do what he can do to help. He resonates with the kids, brings a beautiful piece of motivation and someone they can all relate to. Plus he’s my push up challenge buddy.

And researcher Katie, who has a real name but that’s the one I give her all the time. Without her we wouldn’t be an official funded study Without her we wouldn’t have much of what we have. Her passion for this kind of stuff and working through the whole process of being a study……. is incredible.

Each of us brings a certain piece of the pie to the table. If I could create a dream team this would be the team. In some way Cancer has ripped through the four of us and ultimately that is what brought us together. In some way we take our grief and what Cancer has done to us and we make it better for these kids.

It was yoga night last night and I was amazed at how well they took to it. My style of yoga follows the Baptiste Power Vinyaysa style, in short: I am freestyle. I teach my students to take a pose and fit it to their bodies rather than stuff into the mold of the pose of the model in a magazine. In our case here there are real issues that we have to deal with and work around. My style is a highly athletic dynamic style, I don’t focus on much other than breathing and moving.

I think it really resonated with this group.

Most impressive….. svassana. To make it very simple at the end of each practice you lay on the floor, close your eyes and just….. “be there”.  More often than not, and trust me I did this too….. most adults will tap their fingers, not be able to stay still, look at their watches, and even their iPhone (during class). These kids…….. didn’t move a muscle. I thought that was incredibly interesting. Years ago I couldn’t lay on the floor for five minutes because my mind was racing.

These teens did. And loved it.


I love this group. I see the results of our efforts. They are working out at home. They are tracking it and keeping goals. I am seeing small changes in the way they carry themselves. I see their confidence rising.

I can’t wait to be able to show off who they are. We will be able to do that….. just after the study is over. However….. if you were to watch this video….. it was made in 2010 by some of the kids who *might* be working with us. It’s a performance they did at a fundraising event. They wrote and choreographed everything themselves. Listen closely to the words they rap. It gives you insight into a world you don’t want to live.


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