Putting myself out there and being open about my cancer journey is different for me. I went through my treatment having two separate sides of my life; my “average” life, and my cancer life. The Cancer Yogi is my pursuit in blending the two sides of myself.
I think that when we go through something scary or unimaginable, it is easy to compartmentalize as a coping mechanism. The death of a loved one, a breakup, or a sickness are some of the many reasons why compartmentalization may be used in order to survive. If I focused too much on my diagnosis, I believed that it would become an overwhelming part of my identity and would influence the other things I wanted to do in life. My way of dealing with this was to separate my worlds. The only physical signs I had of being sick were weight loss and some hair loss, but not enough to arouse suspicion, so nobody at school knew I had cancer unless I told them. I was private about it on social media. I didn’t join any support groups or any kind of therapy.
Looking back now, how I dealt with my diagnosis and treatments may not have been the healthiest. However, I have survived and I don’t regret how I did it because it got me to where I am today.
On the survivor side, I am looking to combine these two worlds. I am realizing cancer as a part of my identity as I never did before by starting The Cancer Yogi. I hope that by doing this, I can help others through their journeys and enlighten them on how yoga may help them get through the hard times a little bit easier.
This brings me to Yoga Journal. I am participating in this competition to spread awareness about The Cancer Yogi and get my name out there. I think there are many patients and survivors like me that struggle with balancing “normal” life and “patient” life. Also, finding yourself after being labeled as a survivor is something I can relate to, as I found yoga as a part of rediscovering myself after cancer.
The winner does receive compensation for winning, which I would use to start a non-profit that brings yoga to patients in cancer wards and hospitals.
Perhaps the greater prize in my eyes is the feature in Yoga Journal. Being able to reach the readers of that publication and share my story, along with promote the benefits of yoga would be a great boost for the yoga community. Yoga has so many benefits that are not fully realized by the medical community, and I hope to be a bridge that connects the two.
Voting is now live, and you can vote for me at the following link: Lauren Pickhart | Yoga Warrior (iamyogawarrior.com)
The way it works is that you get one free vote per day, and any additional votes are available for purchase and benefit the Veterans Yoga Project. Thanks in advance for your support!