The Yoga for Mankind Studio in Old Town Orcutt will be offering a Relax & Renew Workshop on May 24th from 2 to 4 PM to benefit the Mission Hope Center.  The workshop will combine gentle, restorative Yoga postures ending with a meditation practice called “Yoga Nidra.”  Restorative yoga is a practice in which people learn how to relax and rest deeply in yoga postures.  All proceeds from the workshop will be donated to the cancer patients at Mission Hope.

For the last three years, Mission Hope has offered free yoga classes to their patients. Vicki Forman, the owner and instructor of Yoga for Mankind, is donating her time to teach restorative yoga and meditation to the patients at Mission Hope on Tuesday mornings from 10 to 11 AM for the month of April. She has been a certified yoga teacher for 20 years and has taught at Mission Hope for the last three years.

The National Institutes of Health reports that yoga combined with conventional medical treatment can relieve symptoms linked to cancer. Studies show that yoga improves the quality of life– especially for women who have had breast cancer. Yoga can be used to control physical functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, metabolism, and body temperature.  This can result in improved physical fitness, lower levels of stress, and increased feeling of relaxation and well-being. It is important to note that these benefits of yoga relate to improvement in the symptoms of cancer and are not considered a “treatment” for cancer.

“Restorative yoga is more about being still and present in the body than moving actively from pose to pose” explains Vicki Forman, a certified Yoga Alliance teacher. “Restorative poses are normally held for 5 to 10 minutes, so the student can get the healing benefits of the yoga posture. Typically, restorative yoga postures are supported by blankets, bolsters, and yoga blocks so the student can feel supported in the posture. The support allows the body to soften, relax, and release into a gentle stretch. Many yoga students find restorative yoga to be the perfect practice for healing and nurturing the body and quieting the mind.”

The Mission Hope patients are grateful for the teachers who have volunteered their time to teach yoga at the center. Alison Hood, a yoga student from Santa Maria, says, “As a cancer survivor, it’s especially difficult for me to relax. This class truly helps; the stress melts away.” Christine Orth has attended the Mission Hope yoga classes for three years. Christine says, “I enjoy the relaxation and healing feeling from gentle stretches and breathing.” Yoga classes are free for the Mission Hope patients and are typically a four week series. Students must register to reserve a place in the class.

The Yoga for Mankind studio offers two classes similar to the restorative yoga class at Mission Hope. A Restorative and Aromatherapy class is offered every Friday at 4:30 PM and a Candlelight Yin Yoga class is held on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM. For more information about the Relax & Renew Workshop to Benefit the Mission Hope Center, please contact Vicki Forman at (805) 680-6542 or go to the Yoga for Mankind website at www.yogaformankind.com