Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Karma Project in Honor of a Loved One

Lisa O’Rear thought that participating in this year’s 8th Annual Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer was the perfect way to complete her “Karma Project.” She has only been practicing yoga for a year and is now on her way to becoming a yoga instructor. One of the requirements for her yoga-teaching course is to complete a “Karma Project,” which brings yoga into the community by volunteering.

“Breast cancer is a huge deal. It runs in my family,” said Lisa. On April 23, 2010, Lisa lost her cousin Micheline Camire Bedard to breast cancer. She had been battling the disease for two years. “When Micheline was diagnosed, it brought back painful memories for our family. “Our aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 49. Micheline was the same age when she was diagnosed,” Lisa wrote in an email.

Yoga has been a fundamental experience in Lisa’s life. She credits yoga and its benefits to the healing effects that it has had on her personal life. “Yoga teaches you about acceptance; about being content with what is and not what could be,” said Lisa.

Over 200,000 women will be affected by breast cancer this year. However, a pilot study revealed that a brief yoga class would be beneficial for combating side effects from cancer treatment. Lisa is familiar with the many aspects associated with yoga. “It allows women to be physically involved. You can sit in a chair and do yoga.  It makes them [women] feel like they’re doing something. It gives them hope,” she said.

Lisa, 33, has done research about breast cancer gene testing. She believes that the more you learn about breast cancer, the more you realize that it could in fact be you. She is afraid of breast cancer and disappointed that people don’t become involved enough until it affects them. “Motivation comes from within. How could you not be a part of something that affects so many people?”

“Think about all the women you work with; about all the women you come into contact with in your daily life.” Many of those women will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Lisa.

Yoga Unites for LBBC will take place on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum on Sunday, May 16. Lisa’s team “MC Yoga Love” has raised $1,260 for LBBC education and support programs.

“You don’t always have the opportunity to do things like this in life. Micheline was a humble person. She was much more concerned about other people than herself. She was an inspiration,” she ends.

Would you like to share your story about participating in Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer? Email