We get to talk to yoga teacher and cancer survivor Lisa Merkle (pictured right) on Facebook Live tomorrow, 2/14 at 10:30 am EST on our page. (If you miss it, go check it out--the video will be there). This is super exciting for us. She has spoken and written extensively about her battle with cancer. Because she was a yogi living the wellness dream, she tried natural remedies for a really long time when she first had symptoms. She just wishes she had seen a traditional doctor sooner because then she would've caught her Stage 3 Rectal Cancer earlier.
After chemo, surgeries and treatment, Lisa is cancer-free. Thank God. But she does want yogis to know that we can come down with conditions despite how much we meditate and drink kombucha. Colon and rectal cancers are actually on the rise for younger people in their 20s and 30s. Regular physicals and doctor visits are as important as ever. And our healthy, holistic lifestyles certainly help, too.
Of course, even as she spreads her message of awareness, Lisa is very grateful for her longtime yoga practice. It helped her through her battle and beyond.
"From years of practicing yoga, I had developed a stable of tools that allowed me to look at my experience with cancer as transformative as opposed to being a victim. This was incredibly healing for me," she explains. She already had a gratitude practice. She was comfortable with the ideas of surrender and grace. Her meditation practice evolved. As wiped as she was during treatment, she was able to do asana which felt really good to her body.
Today she teaches restorative yoga, and she's taking Kula's Advanced Teacher Training for Trauma and Addiction on March 24 and 25 in Miami. "I’m interested in the science behind meditative practices and the physiochemical state that yoga and meditation induce. It’s incredibly healing--not just for cancer patients. We all need space for healing as human beings living in turbulent times." We are inspired by her story, and we hope you are, too!