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  • Life lessons from a cancer survivor
    as a corporate headhunter and was the mother of 13 year old twins Lanctôt who has been cancer free for 10 years is doing doctoral studies in psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal Her Ph D research over the last five years has sought scientific evidence to support the benefits of yoga for breast cancer patients Her interest was piqued by personal experience During my chemotherapy treatments I felt weak and had a lot of nausea she recalled I didn t know what to do because I still had to be a wife and a mother for my twins Someone in her treatment team at the Jewish General Hospital suggested Lanctôt try yoga as a relaxation technique A tennis enthusiast accustomed to physical activity Lanctôt took to the combination of exercise and meditation Yoga diminished nausea and helped me make it through the treatments she said Lanctôt continued to practise yoga and began recommending it to other breast cancer survivors She quit her job and went back to school to get a master s degree in psychology She also became an active volunteer helping breast cancer patients Lanctôt s doctoral research involves finding evidence to support yoga as a therapeutic technique It worked for her and may help others Lanctôt practises Yoga Bliss developed and taught by Dr Madan Bali 85 a native of India who immigrated to Canada in 1969 Bali yoga promotes itself as a practical methodology to tap into the body s full potential for healing and wellness It s yoga exercises mixed with relaxation techniques breathing techniques and Eastern philosophy adapted for the West Lanctôt said It s not Buddhism but there s an influence of the oriental approach to well being She still practises yoga each morning and takes classes three times a

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/life-lessons-from-a-cancer-survivor/ (2016-04-30)
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  • A fabulous and profound experience that changed my life
    Dr Bali A short time later I attended a retreat organized by Dione Cunha in the Laurentians This is when and where I had my first experience of a guided yoga class and a private therapeutic massage with Dr Bali What an experience I remember crying being so deeply touched and feeling that I was reconnecting with an inner calmness that I had lost contact with for too long I felt an extraordinary feeling of relief and joy and I remember telling Dr Bali If you knew how much I needed this After that beautiful retreat I started to go to his drop in classes in Montreal followed by the 8 week yoga course and the Yoga Teacher Training Certification I was eager to learn more and more about his method From that moment Yoga became very important in my life I wasn t into fear anymore but inhabited by positive thoughts and feelings of hope and confidence To practice on a regular basis taking care of my whole being with great kindness and stimulating the relaxation response with its precious and addictive effects to become the silent witness observing the swirling thoughts and games of the ego becoming more and more aware of the inner melodrama to come back tirelessly to the mindfulness of the present moment by cultivating intimacy with my breath with the wisdom of my body with my sensations with the presence of that rich and profound Silence within and to feel that link that connection with a feeling of eternity with a deeper Source with the cosmos the Universe I learned so much with you Dr Bali And now after taking a good time at developing a personal practice at taking care of my health and my family life to have the opportunity to share

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/fabulous-profound-experience-changed-life/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Teaching the Dr. Bali Method to women with breast cancer
    intrigued though not convinced Now I realize that it is indeed about increasing our conscious awareness of what is going on in our bodies and in our minds This coupled with present moment living is really the answer to reaching higher levels of consciousness on the way to enlightenment He also taught me the importance of deep relaxation and of creating the right environment for healing from there the innate intelligence of the body takes over and healing takes place naturally and effortlessly This and many of Dr Bali s teachings are part of what I share in the coaching that I now do with cancer patients My work with Dr Bali intensified when Dominique Lanctôt asked me to help her with her breast cancer research project I accepted not only to be a teacher in the project but also to help outline and define how Dr Bali s unique approach to yoga and healing would be packaged into a detailed eight week program This was no easy task as Dr Bali is an intuitive teacher and his wisdom is traditionally conveyed to participants in a spontaneous and poetic manner during his classes Detailing the Dr Bali Method for breast cancer patients took no less than a year of fine tuning and refining Then we started the practice sessions and quickly moved into the research projects with real patients and the magic began It was so touching to work with these women and to see them literally evolve and become more powerful over the eight week period They gained a heightened sense of what was intuitively good for them on many levels and how important their role was in terms of influencing their healing journey In addition to the treatments that they were undergoing I felt them start to realize how their everyday thoughts and actions could either contribute to or slow down their inner healing journey They began to realize the importance of surrounding themselves with positive supportive people They were empowered to speak from their heart and ask for what they needed whether it was emotional support or help in arranging the furniture so they could have a comfortable place to do their daily yoga routine Many of the women came to realize that they had to give themselves the same love attention and compassion that they were so used to giving to others They had to learn to acknowledge embrace and to see their own needs as being important as their priority The classes quickly became a very positive source of hope and encouragement in the lives of these women Some women gained strength and hope from the more the physical side of the practice while others appreciated the more spiritual self reflective aspects of Dr Bali s holistic approach Without a doubt they all gained from the wisdom and insights so eloquently expressed in the Dr Bali Method through the use of metaphors and real life examples Teaching and being in the presence of these courageous

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/teaching-the-dr-bali-method-to-women-with-breast-cancer/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Love, listen and let it be
    or cool It is a life s work Its practice is a process How it comes to us is also a process It fits into many aspects and corners of one s life It comes to our teachers in that way too How they grow into capable and inspiring teachers represents many years of exploring observing learning discovering and filtering things through their own very specialized experiences of life If we are lucky such teachers come our way and help us to grow My exploration of yoga principles started simply enough with hatha yoga classes as a physical exercise after the birth of my second child My teacher Jana Lackman was mesmerizing and took her students into a place of great tranquility into a meditation in motion that was more than mere physical poses As I came to learn the inspiration that she radiated had come from a special man Dr Madan Bali She had studied with Dr Bali for many years and his light certainly seemed to radiate through her In time I came to know and love this humble and committed yogi who was her teacher He seemed to inspire and soothe each person who came into his presence At a time when a personal drama brought a very difficult challenge my way Dr Bali was there for me Combining gentle and soothing loving kindness meditation massage and wise counsel he managed to help me to restore and integrate a renewed sense of balance into my daily life His patience and awareness of my emotional needs was brilliantly nurturing He allowed me to accept my suffering to experience what was happening with honesty to grieve and to grow At times I had a sense of guilt that my regular meditation and hatha yoga practice wasn t seeming to

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/love-listen-and-let-it-be/ (2016-04-30)
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  • The Impact of the Dr. Bali Yoga Method
    powerfull that I wanted to share it with other women touched by cancer I then founded a community support program with the help of amazing friends under the umbrella of the Quebec Breast Cancer foundation QBCF in which yoga among other services taught by Doctor Bali and teachers trained by him would be offered To this day hundreds of women have benefited from this program When I realised how Doctor Bali s methodology of yoga was appreciated by breast cancer patients and suvivors I wanted to take it to another level conduct an evidenced base research study on it to inform and touch more people in the medical community and the general public on it s potential benefits I returned to University in 2004 to do a PhD on The Impact of the Dr Bali yoga program on the quality of life of women diagnosed with breast cancer during chemotherapy The results have shown that the program can improve depressive symptoms and aspects of quality of life Many more projects inspired by the work of Dr Bali are the focus of my personal and professionnal life and I will be eternally grateful that I met this extraordinany man When my

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/the-impact-of-the-dr-bali-yoga-method/ (2016-04-30)
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  • My yoga journey
    believe in God and I was wary of anything that smelled of quackery After over an hour of Dr Bali patiently and knowledgably answering my questions I remained unconvinced Eventually Dr Bali smiled and said Why don t you try it At the end you be the judge of whether it has benefited you He insisted that yoga was an empirical science where our personal experience rather than a God or guru s words were the ultimate judge of whether yoga delivered on its promises I was still skeptical and mildly fearful but I wanted to win rowing races and was willing to try just about anything Moreover he seemed nice and it was apparent by his amazing strength he is 88 years old now and still amazingly strong that yoga seemed to be working for him I tried it and hadn t ever felt so calm yet energized and alive Since my first meeting with Dr Bali I ve tried different kinds of yoga QiGong and a variety of other types of meditation Most yoga emphasizes the physical benefits of strength and flexibility which is fantastic The Dr Dr Bali Method and most traditional yoga or other methods for meditating as I understand them use the body to move beyond the mind s constant chatter to disengage the brain from it s worries and anxieties The strength flexibility sense of youthfulness are welcome side effects of this more traditional style Yoga has given me a sense of serenity when the world feels like a storm Or when I get involved with the storm yoga points to a way out a method for dealing with life calmly Yoga reminds me how abundant and special we are To ask what we can give rather than what we would like to take and to view adversity as an opportunity More tangibly I made the Canadian rowing team the year after I met Dr Bali Recently I was facing a difficulty at work In a heated meeting with my boss I was almost fired My fight or flight response was immediately activated I used yoga to calm down and ask what can I learn I realized I had been treating academic disagreements like a blood sport To put it mildly my approach upset a considerable number of people The near encounter with unemployment became an opportunity to take the serenity I feel during yoga practice into my real life I love my work more than ever now My relationship with yoga and Dr Bali also helped my family through a very difficult time In 2005 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer She had a mastectomy chemotherapy and radiotherapy She endured the experience with more courage and grace than I can fathom Before her operation I introduced her to Dr Bali Yoga with Dr Bali was one of the tools Mom used to survive the emotionally and physically challenging time Today Mom is 68 she is totally recovered and can do over ten

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/my-yoga-journey/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Living with grade IV breast cancer
    Bali and the Serenity program and following the return of the cancer yoga took a leading role in my life I finally gave myself the privilege of practicing yoga almost every day At a time when the stars were misaligned just before the active return of chemotherapy I felt a powerful need to get closer to Dr Bali his teachings I think it is the most beautiful thing I have done for myself I thank heaven for giving me the opportunity to see what I needed Because like Dr Bali says truth is everywhere in every moment ready to reveal itself to those who want to see it Having no expectation making no judgement Doing nothing but being and breathing Letting go of the idea of accomplishment achievement and going beyond your limits Simply being instead of trying to be something different than what we are This is what Dr Bali talks about during his sessions Simply letting ourselves be is liberating and at the same time extremely difficult This is so destabilizing that I cried the first time For the first time in my life I was really accepting whatever was presenting itself to me whatever I was feeling One ounce of practice is worth four tons of theory Yoga prepares the body for mediation but in the beginning the calmness and concentration required for meditation elude us The practice of asanas postures and pranayama breath are ideal portals as they introduce us to meditation in movement that slows down the rhythm of thoughts through relaxation This is what my four tons of practice brought me As my practice evolves I notice that I have developed an inner presence that I did not have before Yoga helps me to distance myself from my own emotions from the events and

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/living-with-grade-iv-breast-cancer/ (2016-04-30)
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  • When the student is ready, the teacher will appear
    from India I had just finished Yoga for Americans and I was ready for a teacher As I reflect on this extraordinary journey with Dr Bali I am amazed at the many miracles that happened along the way Not just to me but to all of the people that we came in contact with over four and a half decades There was never a request I made no matter how absurd or outrageous that Dr Bali refused I think in all those years he never scolded me except once when I made fun of someone Dr Bali in a kind way reminded me of the importance of good speech Dr Bali is such an important part of my life and at each intersection where there was a difficult situation he was there for me like a father or grandfather and to so many others He not only listened for as long as we needed to express ourselves but would give us very practical advice so we were able to proceed with a new confidence and faith After many years of practice I realized that yoga is about so much more than exercise It is truly a way of life on all levels Dr Bali taught us by good example kindness and a clear vision There are many other moments when Dr Bali was there just helping restore balance and peace first in our physical body then in our emotional body and finally we would have a sense of peacefulness It is the sense of peacefulness that we need when things are difficult As I reflect on these special moments with Dr Bali both for myself and my family and friends I realize what he taught us all was to accept everything the way it is and then move into that

    Original URL path: http://yogabliss.ca/when-the-student-is-ready-the-teacher-will-appear/ (2016-04-30)
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