'They find strength in each other:' Yoga class focuses on helping cancer survivors

WEST ALLIS -- Sunday, June 2 marked National Cancer Survivor Day -- a day to celebrate and honor individuals diagnosed with the disease. However, there's a program through Aurora Health Care connecting survivors every week.

As patients hustled in and out of the Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis, a small group inside took time to rejuvenate and relax in a yoga class.

"We always say, 'As long as you can breathe, you can do yoga,'" said Jaime Wooten, a certified yoga instructor and owner of Fitness Advantage Trainer.

Wooten partnered with Aurora Health Care to host a series of yoga classes, with the participants sharing a connection beyond the mat.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over three years ago," said Joanne Reuss, a breast cancer survivor.

Reuss, in remission, attends Yoga for Cancer Survivors each week.

"It's wonderful for myself,  both physically and mentally," she said.

The Yoga for Cancer Survivors program started in 2016. Terese Beauchamp, Aurora Women's Pavilion manger and community outreach coordinator, said survivors were looking for a way to take control of their health.

"We define a survivor as anyone a day after they are diagnosed," Beauchamp said. "Yoga seems to meet the need of their physical, as well as their psychological and emotional well-being."

"Yoga is great, because it can help you with anxiety, fear, depression. It can also help with physical discomfort," Wooten explained.

Wooten said the connection isn't just with the mind and body.

"They find strength in each other on the days that they need it and they provide strengths to others," she said.

Reuss agreed.

"You get the camaraderie and the companionship of other people who have gone through the same thing," Reuss said.

The class gives survivors not only a way to recenter, but also relate with one another.

Aurora Health Care hosts both a series of classes for cancer survivors and classes for anyone.

The Yoga for Cancers Survivor classes are on Thursday nights. You can learn more about classes HERE. In addition, there's yoga classes that anyone can attend every Tuesday. You can learn more about those classes HERE.