The Cancer Council’s Life Now course will begin a term of free yoga to people living with cancer in the Geraldton community next month to help combat negative emotions after harsh treatments. Designed as a stress management course, the program is open to all people with cancer and their carers. The course features introductory level courses such as yoga, tai chi and mindfulness specifically designed for people living with cancer to understand techniques for their physical and mental wellbeing. Online classes begin on May 4 and face-to-face classes begin the following week on May 11 at the Geraldton Yoga Studio. Cancer Council WA Life Now co-ordinator Jessamie Skinner said there were a range of positives when practicing yoga and people suffering from harsh treatment can bring wellness into their life through these courses. “We know through numerous studies that there are a range of benefits from participating in mindfulness, yoga and tai chi, including reducing anxiety, stress and fatigue,” she said. Therese Duirs was diagnosed with treatable bowel cancer in 2017 and underwent a successful surgery with chemotherapy, but two years later she was told the cancer had returned terminally. Ms Duirs said the Life Now program mindfulness course not only helped shift her mindset but get through difficult treatment. “Some days you can be more mindful in that moment and slow down and smell the roses or listen to the birds, and other days you can switch off — whatever might be what you need at that time,” Ms Duirs said. “You learn to breathe with intention, which had been quite useful when I’m at chemo and they’re doing a stressful or painful procedure.” Online courses require reliable internet connection. Eligibility criteria applies and registrations are essential as space is limited. To apply, visit the Cancer Council WA website at www.cancerwa.asn.au and search ‘Life Now’, or call 13 11 20 to speak to a cancer nurse.