In May 2008 my lovely partner and I were married. I was very grateful to find someone who shared my love of yoga. We went to India for our honeymoon and it was a very special trip with great memories. On the trip we both dreamed of one day having our own yoga studio by the ocean. I was always a big dreamer, but while we were still on our honeymoon I discovered a lump in my right breast.
I became very scared.
After a visit to the doctor it was confirmed that I had cancer. I began 13 months of chemotherapy, many surgeries including a mastectomy, and continual re-construction of my breast. I definitely stopped dreaming as much, but the most challenging part of this new life was losing my passion for yoga. I thought “What am I going to do with my life now? My body is not the same anymore and I don’t have the energy to practice.” I blamed myself, became resentful and forgot about how passionate I was about yoga.
Before the summer of 2010, I had spent many days crying in bed feeling terrible. My partner finally spoke candidly to me, he said: “The person I love and married wouldn’t spend all day crying in their bed, they would be in the world sharing their passion. You want to begin teaching yoga again? That’s what you should do.” I’ll never forget that powerful moment of encouragement.
I know I tend to push myself too hard, thinking that I’m not trying hard enough and I need to do more. For a long time I was hungry, thirsty in my life, looking ahead at a far off goal. I was trying so hard to reach something that I felt I should attain.
After my partners encouraging words, I started practicing Anusara again. Through its healing teachings I realized that what I do today, is just enough for today. No more worrying about tomorrow.
In September 2010 I decided that I would start teaching yoga again, but I would have to do it as slow as I needed to. It wouldn’t be easy after a long treatment for cancer, but everyday yoga reminded me that I was still breathing, and I felt alive.
No day but today: Life is short, but never long enough.
I bow to a light, it has been giving me LOVE. — Masumi Shane