By Roshani Adhikary
Author John Green once said, “In the darkest days, the Lord puts the best people into your life.” I’ve recently started leading yoga classes at the Cancer Support Community (CSC) of Greater Ann Arbor and have seen this for myself — how, in one’s most trying times, comfort can be found within a sense of community. Seeking to connect and build a network for people impacted by cancer, this local nonprofit represents a new front in cancer care — one that is happening outside of hospitals and doctor’s offices. The CSC of Greater Ann Arbor is located in an unassuming shabby wooden office building on Hogback Road near Yotsuba Restaurant. Inside one might be surprised to find such a utopian system. Going on six years now, the CSC aims to provide education, support, and, most importantly, hope to people affected by cancer. And all of the various services are free.
What’s so great about the CSC is how far removed it is from hospital settings. Intricate colorful quilts line the walls, plush and cozy couches are plentiful, and at the heart of the center, is an open kitchen which is used often. Cooking classes geared to improving wellness unite many of the people who are either going through treatment themselves or have friends or family members who are battling cancer.
CSC activities are meant to help patients with the social, emotional, and psychological effects of cancer that are often not addressed in medical treatment. Volunteers are ready to sign in any visitors, explaining the various services with eagerness: workshops for couples dealing with cancer together, lessons on cosmetics application, youth groups for children who have parents fighting cancer, yoga classes, Tai Chi, a kid’s karate class, grief groups, and even guided meditation classes.
With all of these options, I couldn't be happier to be a small part of this healing community. Yoga is increasingly becoming a buzzword, but with the most recent publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (just last week) explaining the medical benefits of yoga with cancer patients, I feel like yoga and the CSC share one thing in common: dealing with cancer head-on using only methods that have been scientifically proven to be beneficial. Namaste to that!
Roshani teaches at the Cancer Support Center at 2010 Hogback Road, Suite 3, leading Yoga class on Monday nights from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.