Our Purpose, Our Passion and Our Practice
Our Purpose and Passion
Our purpose and passion is to offer joyful and healing activities to teens and young adults in treatment for cancer. These practices are designed to support their body, mind and emotional well-being through the treatment and healing process they are undergoing. We bring teens together with fun, interesting and empowering activities that promote connection and friendships. Our purpose and passion is to help these teens and young adults feel better, stay strong and flexible, and to bring some joy back into their daily lives. Please see below for descriptions of classes offered for teens in treatment for cancer.
Fund Raising and Community Activities
In an effort to raise funds for the purchase of equipment and supplies for Mountain Rhythms programs and to help support the needs of other teen cancer programs we offer a variety of fund raising events. Our largest event is a Wine and Cheese Dance Party evening in which adults have an experience in Creative Yoga Dance. We also offer Community Drum Circles, Creative Movement and Yoga Dance classes for children and adults. All classes and workshops are offered for donation. 100% of proceeds go to support programs for teen wellness.
In addition to these efforts, Mountain Rhythms offers free programs at Shaw Cancer Center and Roundup River Ranch. Roundup River Ranch is a Paul Newman 'Serious Fun Camp' for children with life threatening illnesses.
For teens and young adults in treatment for cancer we offer therapeutic yoga which supports the healing process by calming the nervous system, opening and lubricating joints, stretching and lengthening ligaments and muscle groups, expanding lung capacity, flushing toxins and sending fresh oxygenated blood throughout the body. Through specific postures and breathing techniques, the lymphatic and endocrine systems are stimulated and balanced.
Therapeutic yoga is a deeply relaxing practice which can calm the nervous system and strengthen the immune system. Therapeutic yoga helps relax the mind, releasing tension throughout the body and improve sleep. Special sensitivity and attention are given to the areas most affected by treatment and modifications made on an individual basis. Sessions are offered in small groups or on an individual basis. Therapeutic yoga can even be offered while in bed restricted situations or a chair. Sound healing strategies are included in this class using tools such as crystal and singing bowls and quiet drumming.
Drumming is a universal language that is very empowering for the individual. No prior experience needed. A variety of African, Native American and Latin hand drums are provided. Based on the individual needs and the facility, drumming can be offered as a one on one in a quiet setting, or in small or large groups. Drumming is a very healing practice in several ways. Drumming increases the breath and blood flow throughout, thus assists the body in the release of toxins, stimulation of organs and brain activity. Our bodies naturally move to the beat while drumming which helps loosen and lubricate joints, muscles and ligaments. Students are taught a few simple rhythmic patterns which stimulates the mind, so important during chemotherapy and extended hospital stays.
Last but not least, drumming offers great benefits to the emotional well-being. Drumming provides a healthy outlet of emotions, pent up fears, frustration, anxiety and sadness. There is much opportunity for creativity and self expression. The end result is often a feeling of well-being, freedom and empowerment. When drumming in a group, called a "Drum Circle" very often a sense of connection is felt amongst the group members.Through the experience of creating music together powerful and positive feeling of being an important contributing member grows. Most importantly, drumming is fun! Our teens and young adults undergoing treatment deserve and need as much joy as possible.
Creative Movement ~ Yoga Dance
In this class, Creative Movement and Yoga Dance are merged.
Participants move every part of their body, thus supporting the healing process by sending fresh oxygen, and increasing the flow of blood and fluids throughout the body. Healthy movement helps prevent atrophy during long hospital stays. Teens get back into the swing of things more quickly. They have better better cardiovascular and muscle strength. They have better flexibility and balance. All of which support healing and prevent injury during the recovery phase.
Creative Movement is an expressive dance form wherein the movement or choreography is created in the moment based on a theme, a concept, a prop, or a piece of music. This type of creative activity is quite stimulating for the brain. It is also very satisfying and stress free because the individual moves in the way that feels best and is most interesting to his or her self. Movement exploration and creative expression is guided and encouraged. The process of creating together in pairs or groups is also extremely satisfying and powerful. This is a very special and unique way to relate and create with others.
In Yoga Dance the movement themes, choreography and music align with chakra system or energy centers of the body. Chakras relate to all aspects of life. The need to feel safe, in control and calm is associated with Chakra 1. Chakra 3 is associated with personal empowerment and taking action. Chakra 4 relates to the giving and receiving love, and so on. The chakras also correspond to areas of the body and internal organs. We can all relate to the lovely feeling that moves us to lift up and open our chest and heart when spring or love is in the air. Thus, doing chest expanding yoga and dance movement can help bring awareness and a wonderful feeling of openness to that area.
Classes include lots of props and musical instruments to inspire creativity, movement and laughter. All of that, with some great music from all over the world, makes for a fun, healthy and inspiring movement experience.
We begin class with a mindful yoga style warm up and ground into chakra 1. We dance through chakras two through six and end with a deep guided relaxation to complete the class.
Creative Yoga Dance can be very energizing, deeply relaxing or both based on the needs of the individual and group.
A picture tells a thousand words. For a quick snapshot of this super fun and healthy activity please take a look at out our Gallery!