ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Through the hustle and bustle of a busy week, in the middle of Wednesdays and Fridays at Alaska Regional campus, nearly a dozen cancer patients, survivors, and their care givers pause to heal the mind and body through yoga therapy.
Margo Sorum, who instructs the gentle chair yoga class, said it's part of a program for the cancer patients and survivors at Anchorage & Valley Radiation Therapy Center designed to be complimentary to patients' therapies.
"Yoga is really a holistic approach to wellness, so the body is very intelligent and it knows its own inherent treatment plan and the practices of yoga help ignite that healing process," Sorum said.
Each class begins with yoga nidra, a conscious guided relaxation process.
"The body normally goes through its healing process when we sleep at night, but when you're sick the body has a lot of demands and you might not be sleeping very well so we take people into a conscious sleep so their body can do that healing process," Sorum said. "We're getting their body to begin the healing process and then reintroduce other movement and mantra which is sound and words to help sooth the mind."
Diane Brooks, a thyroid cancer survivor since 2001, said yoga helps has helped her mobility after having exploratory surgery in 2014 to find out if she had a recurrence of cancer.
"They thought it was lymphoma, I had some surgery that affected my movement and my bending in my arms and chest area and this has opened up having the meditation, having the yoga has opened up that whole area in my body from head to toe," Brooks said.
The surgery revealed she did not have cancer.
Melanie Baker, a breast cancer survivor, said she's also gained mobility through the yoga classes.
"This class has helped regain some of the mobility, I did some physical therapy after the radiation treatments and all and this is just kind of increased that mobility and help, so it does help overall your overall mobility and just strength, I enjoy it," Baker said.
Classes are free and take place on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to RSVP at 907-276-2400.