Yoga for Cancer Patients Teacher Training I, II, III : “The Art & Science of Teaching Yoga to Cancer Patients” Detail Description

by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, advocate

C-IAYT, E-RYT200, E-RYT500

Yoga teachers working with cancer patients and those in long-term treatment, are very special yoga teachers, indeed!
Teaching yoga for cancer patients requires specialized skills.
It also requires in-depth, and ongoing learning in the areas of:

1) research on cancer, it causes, types and treatments  
2) advanced understanding of anatomy, physiology, psychology
3) safe and effective breathing for strength, relaxation, and pain control
4) wide array of meditation techniques for anxiety, pain control, sleep, ease of well-being
 5) yogic principles and philosophy

In order to support survivors, you need to be guided in developing skills in all these areas. This is the science of teaching yoga to cancer patients.  The art of taking the information and putting it into skillful use is the goal of this training.

The Art  & Science of Teaching Yoga for Cancer Patients  and Survivors teacher training course has three sections.

Part I: The Cancer Dilemma 30CEU’s
Part II: Diving Into Solutions: Gaining Knowledge & Practical Applications 35CEU’s
Part III: Putting It Altogether 35CEU’s.  

Course Options

Part I:  The Cancer Dilemma ( 30 hours CEU’s/Yoga Alliance) $199.00.

  • Pre-test, Introduction and Connecting
  • Complete 10 Lessons in Section 1, starting with an emotional experiential lesson
  • Be able to name  5  emotional, physical and social impacts of cancer
  • Be able to list 5  National cancer resources
  • Learn to use a 3 Part YCS Construct for designing yoga class by matching yoga benefits to cancer challenges
  • Define cancer, its stages and name 4 types of  common cancers
  • Use research-based  yoga information to develop a YCS class and cancer information to empower yourself and your students
  • List common cancer treatments, their side effects and yoga benefits
  • Yogic Philosophy, class themes and Yoga Research combined class
  • Death and dying issues and prejudices
  • Healing versus cure
  • Download and listen to Yoga for Cancer Survivors on Sound Cloud
  • The critical skill of teaching Pranayama safely
  • Skype or phone call for Lesson 10
  • Post-Test
  •  Ongoing enrollment.  Start anytime.


    Part II: Diving Into Solutions

    • The Anatomy of Breathing
    • The Breathing Book, Donna Farhi, please purchase and read


    • Keeping students safe, setting intentions and using effective , non-violent communication
    • Designing  3 Breathing lessons  from the “Breathing Book”
    • Use of research based articles to glean information and use it in your YCS classes
    •  Setting intention, use of language and attitude, environmental factors in a YCS class
    • Building knowledge, critical skills for reviewing research and becoming more familiar with cancer content, sites and information
    • The anatomy and physiology of breathing and  safe breathing practices with cancer patients and survivors
    • The effects of stress on a body, the healing effects of breathing, asana and meditation
    • Toolbox of meditation techniques, relaxation, self-hypnosis, contemplation and self-study to use in a YCS class
    • Develop a 15 minute meditation for Youtube from what you have learned
    • Ethics and teaching, using the yamas and niyamas consciously within your YCS class
    • Yogic philosophy and exploring your own practice, your thoughts on yoga and cancer , death and dying
    • Build a knowledge base of health issues associated with cancer treatments through researched based articles
    • The spiritual and physical effects of death and dying, yogic philosophy as well as physical reality
    • Field trip for self-knowledge
    • Lessons which will help you understand common side effects of cancer treatments
    • Five in-depth Lessons in Section II, ending with a Skype session or phone call.
    • Group phone calls will be an option in Section II


    Part III :  Putting It All Together

    • 23 Essential Poses for YCS students
    • Design a class and video tape it for an individual or a group, upload your YCS class to  Youtube or Vimeo
    • Demonstrate using your knowledge of breathing, yoga asana and expanded meditation techniques within an YCS class
    • Use the breathing exploration lessons developed in Part II, showing confidence in skill and knowledge in your class design
    • Using the 3 Part Construct for developing a YCS class, and  knowledge you’ve acquired, embed the information in your YCS class to empower students
    • Yogic philosophy will be detectable within your YCS class design
    • Confidently use the resources discussed to develop a safe and effective YCS classes
    • Receive a Resource Guide with my favorite collections of articles, PDF’s, Reference Material collected over 12 years
    • The final project will be agreed upon by student and teacher.  You will have two hours of direct support to design a class.
    • Ongoing support for as long as you are working with survivors


    Background Knowledge for Yoga Teachers

    Teachers and  Interested Students:  Only Part I is opened to interested participants outside of yoga  (i.e., partners, parents, siblings, caregivers, cancer researchers , medical personal, personal trainers ).

    Teachers who have completed 200 hour training, and have been teaching three years, or have completed their E-RYT training, or are in the process of getting their 500 hour training may take all 3 Parts and sign up for the discounted 500.00 training. Students who are in the process of a 200 hour training may take the entire course with permission from the instructor. Students outside the United States may take the training if you have three years of teaching experience.

    There are no refunds, so please ask me questions.



    Yoga for Cancer Patients Teacher Training

    About Jean:  Before cancer, I was a student of yoga for twenty years.  I loved more physical forms of yoga in my twenties, and developed a taste for all types of yoga into my forties.  I was a Resource Specialist for San Diego City Schools and have a master’s degree in education. My work spanned all grades and subjects, as my responsibility was to find children who needed special services, evaluate them and design programs to benefit the student’s needs. This experience directly relates to my work with cancer patients and my passion for finding a way to make yoga accessible for even the most fragile student.

    At age 46, I was diagnosed with late stage colon cancer and retired early from 25 years as a special education teaching career. After six months of weekly chemotherapy, I had a less than a 50% chance of living five years. What would I do with my life? Short or long, what did I want to do? I had a deep faith and used meditation and relaxation, but my body and the future felt uncertain and fragile. I used the beginning of a gentle yoga tape at home. You know, the first few minutes where you breathe and set an intention, and stretch a little.  And slowly, I developed more strength. I longed to share what I learned about gently returning to a ‘new normal’ with other survivors. I wanted to share that they could find healing in yoga; and that’s what I do everyday!

    Yoga became a calling. I started the first San Diego Community YCS yoga class, opened to all cancer patients, at Hazard Center YMCA in 2006; and then started another class at Ginseng Yoga Studio, where I continue to teach. I told my story in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist.  I’ve traveled around the country teaching yoga at Liver Cancer Symposium where doctors and nurses learn state-of-the-art cancer treatments. And I have taught and talked about yoga at these conferences. I am a yoga activist in many online forums for survivors. Cure Magazine, Women and Cancer, Patient Resources the Colon Cancer Coalition have interviewed me on yoga and cancer survivorship.  In 2007, I produced a Yoga for Cancer Survivors cd and donated  3,800 to non-profits, hospitals, clinics and individuals. The cd is now a FREE downloadable and the Spanish version, and one in Slovene by Lidija (one of my amazing students who is multi-lingual!)! There are many hours of meditations made for survivors for free on under Yoga Being. Like my page, “Yoga Being”, on Facebook and get daily yoga tips for cancer survivors!

    I continue to work one-to-one with patients, family members and friends who have cancer. I am online, as a yoga resource, at COLONTOWN on Facebook,, as well serving several non-profits as a support person.  I also have a monthly “Yoga Phone Class” for homebound patients. To reach survivors, we have to think outside of the regular formats and create new venues for yoga. I’m so glad to have you join me reaching out to 12.6 million cancer survivors, and even more around the world.

    Survivors come to us, as all students,  for hope of a better life.  We can empower their ” healers within ” and bring hope through yoga.




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