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When I got sick, my yoga practice took on a whole new meaning.

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March 15, 2019

The classes became a safe space where I could reflect for an hour, forgetting the difficulties of the disease while making time for myself.

Véronique Laberge is an ambassadressof the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation who was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I started doing yoga in 2012. I have to admit that before I got into it, I wasn’t really sure it would be for me.

I was worried it would be too calm and not as physically demanding for the active person I was, for someone who loved working out, biking and spinning. Luckily, a friend convinced me to try it. It took only one class for me to get hooked!

This physical activity that I thought would be slow was actually energetic, satisfyingly demanding and well rounded. For the next three years, I maintained a varied yoga practice.

Yoga satisfied the sports lover in me. It got me working the deep muscleswhile improving my posture and flexibility.

What surprised me most was how yoga has helped me improve my concentration and develop a better understanding of myself that I hadn’t even realized was possible.

Then, in 2016, when I was diagnosed, yoga took on a whole new meaning.

The classes became a safe space where I could reflect for an hour, forget the difficulties of the disease and make time for myself . During this period, yoga was the only physical activity that kept me in touch with my passion for sports.

With time, my health improved. I was able to resume, or mostly adjust, my activities. But through it all, yoga has remained an important part of my day-to-day life. Obviously, my physical goals are down a notch or two, but the mental well-being that yoga gives me has increased many times over.

Yoga is for anyone who wants to give themselves the gift of time. Beneficial for the body and the soul, this discipline brings you back to centre. It helps you take a kind look at yourself and release your daily stresses. Without any judgement or pre-set performance goals, yoga is suitable for people of any age and physical condition.

The Foundation launched Yomni, a huge outdoor yoga event held in Montréal, Québec City and Sherbrooke. For me, it’s totally a must: I go every year!

Yomni is a wonderful opportunity to do an expert-led yoga outside in the fresh air,. It’s also a chance for curious newcomers to try yoga  for the first time, and for more seasoned yogis to practice in a unique setting!

Yomni also raises funds that are used to give people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer access to free and specialized yoga classes during and up to two years following treatment.

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