Grief to Gratitude: A Young Adult Cancer Yoga + Mindfulness Workshop

woman on yoga mat

This 6-week program will normalize grief and help you tune-in and connect to your body, mind, and soul through yoga, breathwork, meditation, and other contemplative practices.  We will join together as a community to discuss, process, and move through grief to find our inner GPS and sense of self.  Together we will focus on life as it is now in the present moment, after a cancer diagnosis, compared to the life once imagined.

This workshop will have a 15 young adult cancer patient, survivor, and caregiver capacity, and will meet for 2 hours starting on Monday, March 22nd starting at 4:30 pm PT / 6:30 pm CT / 7:30 pm ET!  This is a 6-week program and a commitment to each week is important for a safe space and cohesiveness of the course.

Who: 15 young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

When: Mondays, 6 weeks, starting Monday, March 22nd @ 4:30-6:30 pm PT / 6:30-8:30 pm CT / 7:30-9:30 pm ET via video chat.* (*US time zones…please confirm what time this means for where you live).

How does it work? Lacuna Loft will send you an email about a week before the workshop with information on how to join the video chat. ***You’ll need the link that we’ll provide you, a headset with a microphone, and a webcam.***

Meditation Group in Partnership with Help with Hope

young adult cancer meditation group

Join Micah Walsh – Help with Hope’s Director of Wellness and an expert in Meditation, in practicing mindfulness meditation moments.

Meditation and mindfulness have been proven to contribute to the overall well-being of the body, mind, and spirit.  When combining the two, mindfulness meditation allows us to access the inner calm of our minds and activates our innate ability to heal physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

This new online Meditation Group at Lacuna Loft will focus on creating a personal practice of mindfulness meditation, open to young adult cancer survivors!  Plus, if you’re dealing with cancer and have a kiddo at home, you can sign them up for their own session of this program below!

No prior meditation experience is required.  Please RSVP each month you’d like to join by filling out the form below!  Every First Wed of the month!

April:  Wednesday, April 4th
May:  Wednesday, May 2nd

Each evening Meditation Group program occurs via online video chat. Prior to each month’s Meditation Group, RSVP and we’ll send you the link you’ll use to join the video chat.  Please have a microphone headset and a webcam.

Interested in the Child Meditation Group?  You can sign up here!  The young adult cancer Meditation Group sign up form is below!

Sibling Mindfulness Project

sibling mindfulness project

Coping with a brother’s or sister’s cancer treatment can be tough. Researchers from the University of North Texas and CanTeen, an Australian organization for young people living with cancer, are exploring whether using a smartphone-based mindfulness app can help. If you are between 15 and 25 years old and have a sibling who has been diagnosed with cancer in the past five years, you may be eligible to participate in our research study.

Researchers will provide participants with a mindfulness app, ACT companion, which you will use over the 8-week period of the study. Participants will be asked to complete brief questionnaires before, after the intervention, and at 2-month follow-up. With this study, the researchers are hoping to explore whether mindfulness as a therapy (delivered by a smartphone app) can be helpful for you and whether family relationship styles affect how well mindfulness works. The results will be used to better understand how siblings are impacted by their brother’s or sister’s cancer, as well as what works to help.

To learn more and contact us, please visit

The MATCH Study: Mindfulness Meditation

mindfulness meditation and cancer

Cancer Knowledge Network (CKN) has partnered with Dr. Linda Carlson and her research team at the University of Calgary and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in a ground-breaking new study measuring the effects of Mindfulness Meditation and Tai Chi/Qigong on the quality of life for cancer survivors.

The MATCH Study is being offered both in Calgary and Toronto over the next 3 years and is now recruiting cancer survivors!

To learn more, go here and here!

Mindful Mouth-fulls

Each week we are be exploring a restorative yoga pose or breathing technique with images/video and tips.  Check in at Lacuna Loft on Wednesdays to anchor your week with peace, grounding + community (and don’t forget to join the dialogue all week long by posting comments).  Excited to journey together!

I often find myself focused on only what is physically visible to others… As if they are unable to see the hurt, frustration, anger, or sadness that is going on within me.  As if I’m not making myself visible in the way I stand and cross my arms or the way I respond to a comment in an extra-emotional way.  What is inside has a way of coming to the outside, and yet I can go through my day without noticing what kind of things are “inputting” into my system.  From the news or music I ingest or the people I spend time with or what I put into my body as I eat and drink… all of these affect my wellbeing and my joy each day.  So what could it look like to notice these pieces of my life and take an inventory?  What could I maybe bring awareness to and re-order to ‘input’ more freedom, joy, and love?


Who are the people around me and what influence do they have?  Do they bring me up and remind me of who I truly am?  Do they speak critically or hurtfully?  Do they love and care for me?

What are the voices I’m listening to saying – both external and internal?  What kind of language do I use to talk about myself?  Am I critical about how I look?  How I spoke?  What I do or don’t know?  What kind of self-talk am I creating inside?

How am I treating my body?  Am I fighting against it?  Am I able to listen to my body?  Do I give myself time to breathe fully?  What am I putting into my body?

While you ponder these questions, take a swing at this mindfulness exercise below.  Slowing down while I eat is just one way to remind myself that what I put in my body and my life matters – and I want to receive it fully!  Going into the holidays, it is easy to be mindless about what I am eating.  Besides the fact that I’m definitely eating MORE,  I don’t even notice what I’m eating to really enjoy it.  Amidst the hustle and bustle of events and people and to-dos, I barely notice what I eat – I just do it more, and faster!  What if we could take one meal a day, or even a few bites each day, with purpose and presence?  What about breakfast – or the first bite of each meal?  To savor food, and life.

As I practice eating slowly, chewing eat bite enough to help my belly digest, and feeling gratitude for all the hands that brought my food to my plate, I feel life slow down and a great love well up inside of me.  A great love that brings lots of healing into reach.  Maybe you will feel something like that, too.


one raisin

Pick up the raisin (or other dried fruit) and bring it to your nose.  Smell the fruit’s sweetness.  Feel its texture in your hands.  Notice the different colors present on one little piece.  Place the raisin on your tongue.  Notice how it feels, tastes, and smells now.  Move it slowly all over your mouth, feeling the changes as it rehydrates.  Keep the raisin in your mouth for at least a minute, detecting all the subtle variations in the experience of eating just one little raisin.  When you are ready, begin to slowly chew the raisin, sensing new changes.  After you swallow, what taste and feel are left in your mouth?

Coming Back to Center

restorative version of baddha konasana

Each week we are exploring a restorative yoga pose or breathing technique with images/video and tips.  Check in at Lacuna Loft on Wednesdays to anchor your week with peace, grounding + community (and don’t forget to join the dialogue all week long by posting comments).  Excited to journey together!  Namaste!

Restor(y)ing Mind+Body+Soul

It only takes an instant, and I’m in that downward spiral of defensive, protective, complaining, blaming, you name it.  One ‘wrong’ word, one funny look, one disappointment in my day and whoops!, I’m a totally different person.  The cheerful me that got plenty of sleep, a nourishing breakfast, a morning walk, and some doggie lovin’ is now feeling a little more like an angry blowfish with spikes ready to poke whoever is nearby, including my most beloved ones!

With practice though, I’ve learned that this blowfish doesn’t have to have the last word.  In fact, she sometimes doesn’t even need to have a single word.  I can see the spiral beginning and come back to center and find whatever the situation needs – compassion, patience, or clear communication.  First, I learn to notice the feelings that are present and acknowledge them.  The anger, frustration, disappointment, whatever – is there.  No matter the reasons, it’s just okay.  I’m a human.  I have emotional triggers.  I just see it for what it is – an emotion, a reaction, a choice.  What DOES matter is how I’m going to choose to respond to these feelings.  Will this angry she-blowfish get to send pokes out to the people around me?  Or, will I acknowledge my feelings and then choose to come back to who I want to be, who I really am, the joy-peace-compassion-love in all of us? 

Creating the space to CHOOSE how to react (instead of letting my instincts just run the show) takes practice.  It takes a lot of apologizing sometimes, too.  But the space, when created, is magical.  It means I have the power to decide who I want to be and how my life goes – no matter what happens! 

Coming back to center requires knowing I have a center and then practicing finding it – first in calm and then in times of storms.  May this yoga pose, a restorative version of baddha konasana, help you feel your center physically and then find it spiritually and emotionally.  May the time you practice being in your own center give you power to come back to center when the challenges come.  Because they will… and we want to be unshakable.


  • one couch seat cushion angled up against the wall (use anything stable behind it to prop it up)
  • two smaller pillows or blankets rolled up for each leg

Find yourself a peaceful space with a soft floor – a blanket or carpeting will do.  Prop the couch cushion against the wall using a block or pillow to secure it from falling down to the floor.  Cozy up to the base of the cushion with your seat right at the floor in front of it.  Lean back and allow the cushion to support your back at a comfortable angle for you.

Bend your knees and allow them to fall outward from your body.  Bring the soles of your feet together at your midline.  Place your hands, palms face up, on your legs or knees.  Bring your first finger and thumb together to touch.  Close your eyes and breath deeply through your nose.  With each inhale, feel your breath moving from the soles of your feet up the midline of your body, along your spine, between your eyes, above the crown of your head.  On the exhale, feel your breath move in the same line in reverse.  Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and enjoy feeling your midline, your center.  Trust that this peaceful self is available whenever you need it.  And with the holidays coming and busy end-of-year calendars, you may need it soon!


Bonus: this pose is also a great position in which to practice meditation or breathing techniques!

Balancing Breath

Each week we are be exploring a restorative yoga pose or breathing technique with images/video and tips.  Check in at Lacuna Loft on Wednesdays to anchor your week with peace, grounding + community (and don’t forget to join the dialogue all week long by posting comments).  Excited to journey together!

Check out this video for instructions in Nadi Shodhana, a yoga breath exercise (pranayama).  Alternating nostrils while breathing in and out through the nose brings a sense of balance and calm in the body, mind, and emotions.  And, I just read (in Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Claudia Welch) that this technique can bring balance to our hormones as well!  Just another reason to take 5 minutes a day to give the gift of healing to your body.  Give it a try and let us know what you experience.

See you next week!


(Quick explanation if you can’t watch a video right now: Breathe in and out through your nose.  Center yourself and breath deeply and evenly.  Bring your right hand up and spread your fingers out.  Bring the pointer and middle fingers together and bend them to your palm.  Bring the pinky finger alongside the ring finger.  Bring your hand up, palm facing the nose.  Press your thumb to block your right nostril and then switch and bring your ring finger to block your left nostril.  Play with that coordination.  

Then, inhale fully and put the thumb to the right nostril, exhale out the left.  Inhale through the left nostril and switch fingers to exhale on the right.  Continue like this (inhale, switch, exhale… inhale, switch, exhale) for 5 minutes.  Notice how your body feels after directing it towards balance.)