Prenatal Workshop with Caitlin & Evie

Saturday May 6th, 2017 from 3-4:30pm at the Nantucket Yoga Room

This prenatal yoga workshop will be taught by Evie O’Connor, with hands-on therapeutic massage by Caitlin Marcoux. Both teachers are certified Prenatal Yoga Instructors and Caitlin additionally is a Licensed Prenatal Massage Therapist. The class will synchronize mellow movement, restorative postures, guided meditation and massage to create a a sacred space for deep relaxation and connection. Space will be limited to 8 pregnant goddesses to ensure a deeply nurturing experience.

 There is no yoga experience required to attend this workshop.

Prenatal Yoga Workshop with Caitlin & Evie

Curios but not 100% committed? Nervous about exercising while pregnant? New to yoga?

Read more about Caitlin’s experience using yoga to create a powerful, orgasmic birth experience. Her, now 7-year old son Griffin, was born at home on a yoga mat, with no interventions necessary. To this day, Caitlin credits yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques) with her unassisted delivery.

*** REGISTER HERE AND CLICK ON THE WORKSHOPS TAB ***

 

Nantucket Prenatal Yoga

 

Classes at The Yoga Room

Explore a slower flow.  Often lunar in nature, this downtempo class will focus on the transitory spaces between hip-opening and heart-opening postures, linking them with Chandra Namaskar vinyasa, otherwise known as Surya Namaskar C. The flow is meticulously decelerated so that a deeper technical understanding of the postures can be explored and greater attention can be paid to the psychosomatic experience therein. This approach to vinyasa can help balance your Muladhara (root) Chakra, ground you physically and emotionally while practicing comfortable stillness. Through a softer entrance into standing poses like Trikonasana and Ardha Chandrasana may we feel connectedsafe, and secure.

Tuesdays: Strong Girls Yoga 3:00pm

This girls empowerment class is designed specifically for pre-adolescent & adolescent girls. Class will explore many yoga poses which build strength and flexibility but will go beyond the physical practice of yoga to cover to the basic tenants of yogic mindfulness. Students will be exposed to the concepts of non-violence, truthfulness, gratitude, moderation, and the cultivation of compassion and joy. The girls will also work on building self-esteem and confidence through a playful mix of heart-opening poses, thoughtful discussion, meditation and breath work. This class is appropriate for girls ages 11-14. Some prior exposure to yoga is recommended. $15 per class.

Tuesdays: Dynamic Flow (level 2/3) 5:30pm 

music-driven mixed level class. Dynamic Flow is a challenging vinyasa practice which strives for fostering a light-hearted, invigorating and creative environment. Sun salutations, mandala namaskars, and free flows incorporate extra choreography and are typically set to eastern inspired grooves. Intense core work is a routine component of class, and is accompanied by high powered rock n’ roll, techno and electronica. By mixing a stimulating and sweaty vinyasa practice with loud joyful music students may find they have worked harder and stretched deeper without even knowing it, having FUN all the while. This is a WARMING class. Please expect to release toxins through your pores; we suggest brining a towel to class!

Register Now

Thursdays: Strong Girls Yoga 3:00pm

This girls empowerment class is designed specifically for pre-adolescent & adolescent girls. Class will explore many yoga poses which build strength and flexibility but will go beyond the physical practice of yoga to cover to the basic tenants of yogic mindfulness. Students will be exposed to the concepts of non-violence, truthfulness, gratitude, moderation, and the cultivation of compassion and joy. The girls will also work on building self-esteem and confidence through a playful mix of heart-opening poses, thoughtful discussion, meditation and breath work. This class is appropriate for girls ages 11-14. Some prior exposure to yoga is recommended. $15 per class.

Register Now

HeartCore Flow: January 26th 2014

Sunday, 2-4pm
Eyes of the World 
Providence, RI.
 
HeartCore Flow

Open your heart and ignite your core with this fluid sequence of backbends, forward folds and heartfire core work. Explore the wisdom of your innermost guru, challenge yourself to soften up against your edge and stoke the flames of your creativity. Pranayama, yogasana and meditation will be used to cultivate agni (fire) and uncover personal satya (truth.)

$35 by Fri Jan 24
$45 by Jan 25

 

It Takes an Island

Part of this letter was originally published on  September 19th, 2013
in the Inquieror & Mirror Newspaper on Nantucket

Fight Back with Love

 

For six months now, we have collectively fought my cancer with the support of the entire island, several fundraising events, home delivered good meals, childcare assistance and a whole lot of love.

Like a child who wakes on Christmas morning to a sea of sparkling wrapping paper, and the magic impression of Santa’s recent visit, I’ve had to pinch myself many times over the past 6 months to make sure I’m not dreaming. From the moment I was diagnosed with cancer on March 15th, to this very day, and I’m sure into the months to come, I have felt blanketed in Nantucket’s support. Despite the challenges my family and I have faced this year, my partner and I agree that we are two of the luckiest people in the world, cancer and all, for surely the love we have received has far outweighed the suffering we have endured.

During the first 3 months of my chemotherapy this spring my body crashed hard. Fatigued and in pain, I was often too exhausted to cook for my family. A meal train for us  was set up online, and within a few days it was full. 2-3 nights a week from March through May members of this incredible community took care of us. Friends, coworkers, yoga students and people we didn’t even know put together thoughtful, often beautifully arranged, healthy meals that made us feel nurtured and supported.

 To all of you, our deepest gratitude.

As my treatment journey continued and my health became more fragile, it was clear I would not be able to work. I closed my massage therapy practice for the time being and worried about loosing my teaching place at The Yoga Room. Much to my relief my employer and friend, Shannah Green, reassured me that she would keep my name on the schedule no matter what. My co-workers: Paul Bruno, Clay Twombly, Susan Browne, Bettina Broer and Patricia Dolloff, all took turns covering my regularly scheduled classes. They never questioned me if I said I was up to the challenge of teaching and were always there for me, even at the last minute, if I was too sick to show up.

When it was time for my double mastectomy in July, I was forced to rest for 6 weeks. During this time ever one of the teachers who taught my classes asked to put their earnings on my paycheck. Shannah began teaching a weekly seva class, gifting all of the proceeds directly to my family and I.

To Shannah and my co-workers at The Yoga Room, my deepest, deepest thanks. 

It goes without saying that the foundation of my support at the darkest of times has come from my immediate family and my closest friends, but I would like to publicly acknowledge the bravery of my parents, Joanne and Steve Marcoux, the strength and compassion of my partner, Burr Tupper, and the pinch-hitting help of my ex-husband, Paul Budzynski. Without their support, I would have been lost at sea. Instead I been buoyed up by their love and confident that my little boy has been getting all that he needs to thrive when I am absent.

To my little boy, who perhaps will one day read this, thank you. Thank you for understanding about Mommy’s booboos, shaved head, low energy and “broken boobies” (though I’m still dying to figure out where you came up with or heard that one!). Thank you for offering to “buzz your hair” to show your solidarity. I’m sorI’m I’ve too too attached to your golden locks to let you do it. Thank you for keeping your sense of humor on the days we’ve had to wear face masks, and for making silly games out of the millions of times we had to wash our hands.

And thank you for all the hundreds if not thousands of warm little boy hugs your been giving me your whole life, but especially this year. Some times I feel it’s been a diet of your love alone that has pushed me through to the end of my hardest days.

 

Caitlin Marcoux, Cancer Survivor, Breast Cancer Ninja, The Cancer Diaries

Griffin and I “playing” with our masks when my wbc counts are low

It has taken many anchors to keep my ship grounded these past six months, and most recently a few strong captains to take the helm. On Sunday, September 15th, a team of incredible women including Shannah Green, Julie Hilberg-Hunt, Megan Soverino, Vanessa Raab Moore and Patti Cattafe put together a stunning silent auction event at the Cisco Brewery. Spearheaded by my dearest of friends, Elisa Allen, these ladies created the most beautiful and touching event I have ever been at the center of. Together they collected auction items from some of the most talented artists, skilled artisans and tradespeople, hardworking merchants, industry folk, restauranteurs and craftspeople on Nantucket. I cannot say how deeply touched I am by their efforts.

Fight Back with Love organizers Megan, Shannah and Julie (Elisa not pictured)

Fight Back with Love organizers Megan, Shannah and Julie (Elisa not pictured)

Thank you to the following people who donated their time and skills, contributed their wares or helped in any way to make this weekends fundraiser such a success:

The Rose & Crown

Sally Bates Electric

Joann Burnham & The Nantucket Yoga Festival

The Yoga Room

Paul Bruno & Roaming Dog Yoga

Bettina Broer & Yoga with a View

Jessica Jenkins & Downtown Yoga

Patricia Dolloff Yoga

Megan DuBois Yoga

Burton Balkind & KindFlow Productions

Cate Raphael

Clay Twombly & Cambia Means Change

Susan Fitzpatrick

Susan Warner

Katie Ashley Compassionate Cuisine Coaching

Theater Workshop of Nantucket

Sally Charpie

Petticoat Row Bakery

Organic Nail Salon

Cara DeHeart & Seaweaver

Charlotte Hess

The Bean

Arbonne Products

Nantucket Seafoods

East Coast Seafood

Force Five

Atlantic Landscaping

The Water Closet

The Tile Room

East End Gallery

Robert Sturman

Laurie Richards

Ron Lynch

Kit Noble

Cary Hazelgrove

Beauty By the Sea

Lynn Tucker Beauty Products & Services

Santjes Ooman Massage

Ugne & Brandon Jellison and Authentic Body Therapy

Casey Boukus

Bartlett’s Ocean View Farm 

Pauli & Uribe Architects

Mindy Levin & Nantucket Family Chiropractic

Gary Konher & Nantucket Surf School

Christine Lee Pilates

Amber Hinds& Au Coeur  Design

Emily Brooke Rubin Jewelry Design

Claudia Buttler & Ambrosia Chocolate & Spices

Susan Lister Lock Jewellery

Nell Van Vorst

Christine Sanford

Patina

Hepburn

Zero Main

R.J. Miller’s & Ann Fitzgerald

Sarah Hutton Jewlery

Darya’s Salon

Toscana Corporation

Florabundant

Amy Pallenberg Garden & Design

Nantucket Holistic Health

Sheri Perelman

Tracy Cullinane Personal Training

The Westmoor Club

Nantucket Cycling & Fitness 

Nantucket Health Club

Anita Bierings

Michael Rich

Robert McKee

Jessica Sosebee Gallery

Audrey Sterk Design

The Lovely

Elise Gura & Space

Nantucket Beach Chair Company

Pollacks

Sam Parsons

The Lion’s Paw

Peter England

Annye Camara & Annye’s Whole Foods

Best of the Beach

Megan Anderson

Bruce Bartlett

David Berry & The Nantucket Honeybee Co.

Bodega

Dr. Buck Weaver

Bookworks

Nantucket Looms

Indian Summer

The Haul Over

Cru

Company of the Cauldron

Straight Wharf Restaurant 

George Riehof

The UPS Store

Stephen Swift

Neil Brosnan

Kitty Kania

Denna Charnes

Caitlin Jelleme

Rachel Dowling

Louise Turner

Thank you to the following people who helped before, during and after the event: Sky Wallace, Victoria Paige Ewing, Bettina Broer, Paul Bruno, Cate Raphael, Brad Nolen, Antitank Stefanski, Burton Balkind, Mike Allen, Erin Elizabeth, Heather Williams and Dina Warren. 

Additionally, thank you to The Cisco Brewery, Jenny Bence of The Green and DJ Pete Ahern for making the day come together with spectacular style and tying it all together with the healing energy of phenomenal food, drink and great music.

To everyone who attended “Fight Back with Love” and to everyone who bid on the silent auction items, my most heartfelt thanks.

Fight Back with Love

Incredible but true, the list goes on.

I’d like to thank Steve Tornovish of Krav Maga Nantucket for holding a special Women’s Self Defense class in my honor this summer, and to all the attendees for their generous donations – I bow to you. My deepest thanks.

To Ieva Aldins, of Dharma Yoga Nanatucket who taught one of her monthly Seva (charity) yoga classes for us this summer, thank you. And to the following yoga sisters and brothers who held donation yoga classes across the country in my honor throughout the last 6 months: Amber Cook at Moksha Yoga in Chicago,  Larisa Foreman, Kate Greer and Nocile Burille at Krama Yoga in Cambridge, Alex Jarobe and Rachel Ann Gasner of the Yoga Pod, in Bolder, co. and my whole family or yoga teachers and fellow 500-YTT candidates at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC. And to Jennifer Hrabota-Lesser for her Bujangasana t-shirt campaign, which also raised money for our charitable fund – thank you.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. 

To talented, local photographer Laurie Richards and former Nantucket resident and brilliant artist Hannah Stone, both of whom auctioned off portraits in my honor earlier this spring, thank you.

To Clay Twombly who made for me the most beautiful mala, thank you.

To my friends in Chicago, for dedicating this year’ Annual Shawn Koch Memorial Poker Run to my fight, thank you.

I’d also like to thank the following businesses for supporting my family and I directly: Dharma Yoga Nantucket for allowing me to take free yoga classes during my treatment, Pi Pizza, Susan McGinnis and The Center Street Bistro for feeding us on more than one occasion, Darya Afshari for cutting my hair and eventually shaving it off, Monika Rudnicka for giving me the most amazing facials throughout my chemotherapy, Sheri Perelman for Reiki, Casey Boukus for massage therapy and Jenny Bence for treating me to acupuncture with Tammy Belanger this spring.

Looking back a little, I’d like to Thank you to everyone who came out to Cisco on July 23rd for our Boob Voyage Party. Organizing that event gave me something to focus on other that my approaching surgery. Burr and Griffin and I will be moving out of our Heller’s Way home this spring, and I cant think of a better way we could have celebrated our time there. Funny how it took having cancer for us to finally throw a proper house party. Thanks to Doug Cote and Floyd Kellogg for our semi-pravate Lance Mountain Dance Party, what a blast.

I would also like to thank local pilot Chris McLaughlin and Patient Airlift Services for all there assistance getting me back and forth from Nantucket to Boston, whenever they could make it possible.

In closing I’d like to thank every person who sent me a card, or mailed me a care package, left a note on my back door, a four leaf clovers or hand knitted socks in my mailbox, a CD in my car, flowers in my living room, taught a class in my honor, said a prayer for me, gave me a hug, picked my son up for a playdate, gave me a hug, was brave enough to ask me how I was, gave me a reassuring pat on the back and told me with certainty that I could win.

Today I can say that I am winning, and I’m winning because of you. This enchanted island truly is home to the kindest most compassionate people in the world. And while it may not seem lucky to have cancer, I consider myself so lucky to have had cancer here.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

(photo: Robert Krivicich}

(photo: Robert Krivicich}

Humbly Yours,

~Caitlin Marcoux

when fight and flight turn out the light

3:00am April 11th, 2013
Nantucket, MA.
Breast Cancer Day 26
 

Taxol/Herceptin

Like I said in my last post, there are good days and bad days. This is just as true in regular life as it is in life with cancer.

So I knew it wouldn’t be long before the adrenalin my body’s been using to fight and fly it’s way through the first couple of cancer weeks would eventually wear off. Adrenaline is an amazing chemical that helps us deal with difficult things, prepares us for battle, gets us juiced up to win the big race. It gives us a powerful boost of fast acting energy, enables us to run like the wind, and in my case, got me from exam table to operating table, bone scan to CT, biopsy to chemotherapy. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself, I was too busy getting organized to save my life.

Over the last few weeks I’ve felt galvanized to attack my responsibilities with gusto. I’ve read the research, the this is your life with cancer books, created treatment plans and schedules, mapped out my calendar for the next 15 months, organized childcare and playdates, re-structured the medicine cabinet, organized the refrigerator, corresponded with countless friends, and plowed forward with work to the very best of my ability. I’m not bragging… I’m preparing you for the crash.

 office work in the MGH halls{Me: organizing my thoughts while awaiting a lymph needle biopsy}

Too much of a good thing is usually bad

Once you’ve won your race, passed the big interview, or absorbed the news without fainting, and bathed in your pool of epinephrin and nor-epinephrin, it’s time to get out. It’s not a good thing for anyone, to stay in a state of sympathetic nervous system overdrive. Too much cortisol; another neurotransmitter which is designed to act in harmony with adrenaline and perpetuate your state of fight or flight, will eventually cause damage to other parts of the body: things like

  • Exhaustion
  • Physical pain
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Anger
  • Sleep problems
  • Aggression

Really? On top of having invasive ductal breast cancer, I was going to take on that list? No thanks…

So as it came a little closer to the time of my actual treatment I did my best to prepare myself to actually feel things, not sprint past them: fear, anger, resentment, shame, guilt, helplessness, and vulnerability, I let it all well up and come flooding out. I made  a pact with myself that I would allow myself to experience these things as they came up, sit with them, and then do my best to move through them.

So this is where the yoga, meditation, gratitude lists, thank-you notes and writing come in. I have absolutely no interest in becoming bosom buddies with cortisol, or any other part of chronic stress, or the PTSD they say many cancer patients cope with for the rest of their lives.

Have you ever been to a chemo session? The video below is of me, obviously before the recent haircut, getting my first infusion of Taxol and Herceptin (the two chemo drugs I’ll be taking until June 12th). It’s just raw footage, nothing very interesting… but if you’re curios, go ahead and watch. I won’t be offended if you don’t; it’s long.

 

Have a sense of humor.

It’s so true, having a sense of humor will take you far: way farther in fact than adrenalin, and without any side-effect.  Laugh at yourself wearing a stupid mask. Strike a gorilla yoga poses out in front of the hospital. Make a positive SPLASH in the murky, dreary often depressing world of deathcare, I mean healthcare.

Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn.  ~Irvin S. Cobb

my second chemo treatment{April 6th, 2013. Me: getting ready for infusion number 2}

Humor prevents one from becoming a tragic figure even though he/she is involved in tragic events.  ~E.T. “Cy” Eberhart

The truth is, I am very willing to be here and that makes it easier. I’m willing to sing out loud, probably off-key and to laugh at myself in spite of my fears. I’m willing to learn the most that I can from this crazy teacher named Cancer.

But just in case you thought I was playing this all too cool for school, I’, going to share one last (short I promise) video with you here. Maybe I’m the crazy one for sharing, but if my students are out there reading this, especially my Strong Girls, I want them to see that you can be fierce, loving and vulnerable all at the same time; that you can smile on the beach in the sunlight one day, and ball your eyes out the next – It’s all part of this amazing privilege we to enjoy as humans.

Don’t worry though – I’m laughing today 😉

Last thought for today..When life gives you lemons, make lemon aid! I hope anyone who has been affected by cancer will join me at the Yoga Room on Mondays, where I will be leading a FREE Yoga Therapy for Cancer Care class from 11-11:45am. You do not need to register, just drop in – just check the class schedule here, to make sure I’m not traveling for treatment that week.

Yoga Therapy for Cancer Care

Until next time, stay receptive.
Love,
C
 
 
turning tragedy up side down.

A great day to have cancer

Nantucket, MA.
April 8th, 2013
The campaign continues…
 

Dearest Friends,

So much love to all of you whom have continued to offer your support. I am continually humbled by the generosity of you all; near and far. I can honestly attest that only other time I have felt this level of deep primordial human connection and love was the day my son Griffin was born. It has been and continues to be  AWEsome.

Since my diagnosis on March 15th, I have had all kinds of tests and procedures, and am now comfortably navigating my treatment plan. To those of you who have sweetly offered up alternatives to the traditional Western medical approach, please know that your suggestions are appreciated, but that my family and I are fully committed to our current path. Please respect that our decision to seek treatment at Mass General Hospital is final (I say this with the utmost love and respect).

I have this amazing portal into my heart now, and I fully intend to use it.

portocath

Although it may surprise some of  you that I have embraced chemotherapy, I have complete faith that it is the right choice for me at this time. With the support of the Caitlin Marcoux Charitable Fund and donated services, I am thrilled to be able to  supplement my infusions with weekly Acupuncture  with Tammy Belanger,  bodywork with Casey Boukus and regular chiropractic care at Nantucket Family Chiropractic, with Dr. Mindy Levin. I have also begun practicing yoga with Sheri Perelman.

Most of you know I am an avid juicer already, and Jenny Bence has begun force feeding me a steady diet of wheat grass (read here to hear all about the benefits of this power-packed little plant). I am also pursuing colonic therapy, jin shin jyutsu, and Reiki.

So as you can see I am keeping myself tuned up and as in balance as I can be under the circumstances.

It is also my goal to begin each day with a big glass of alkalizing lemon water, 15 minutes of meditation,  a gratitude practice of some kind (journaling, thank-you note writing, and intention setting) and 20-60 minutes of gentle yoga. So far I’ve successfully done this the past three days in a row and hope to hold myself accountable for each remaining day of my treatment.

As I said in my Rebelle Society post last week, no man is an island, and neither am I. I don’t think so highly of myself that I cannot accept help. For me individual counseling has been an ongoing part of my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Now that I have cancer, I think it’s even more important. I’m also a big fan of couples’ therapy. So if I could write that piece again, I would add #11: Get a Therapist.

(incidentally, there will be a follow up to that Rebelle piece that will probably included several more tips, so if you have one you’d like to share please feel free to comment on this blog below).

In any event, the chemotherapy is going well. I already feel like my tumor shrinking, and I have less pain in my right breast. There have been side-effect of course, but so far I feel lucky that I’ve been able to work a little and there, and it has had less of an impact than I had anticipated.

I preemptively cut off all my hair at Darya’s Salon last Monday night, so don’t be too shocked when you see me all punked out and Billie Idol-like. I want to send out a HUGE shout-out to Darya Afshari for being an amazing source of support and sexy inspiration, and to my Cancer Ninjas:  Julie, Heather, Alison, Ariel, Emily, Megan, Patti, Tracy, Elisa, Kristen, Melissa and Siobhain for being there with me every cut of the way.

Haircutting Angles

 

I have good days and bad. I’m exhausted from the day I get my infusion (Day One) through day 3 or 4. On a good day, like today, I feel almost normal. On a bad day I have headaches, bone pain, joint pain, anxiety and lots and lots of bloody noses… but this I can take in stride, and it feels like little to sacrifice for the chance of living a long and beautiful life.

 

Until the next update…

Love & Light,

Caitlin

 

So, you have breast cancer.

Dear Friends, Students & Clients,

I have Breast Cancer…

On Tuesday, March 12th I went in for a routine mammography. Even though it’s not recommended to start getting annual mammograms until you reach 40, I’ve been getting them since May 2011, when I found a suspicious lump in my right breast. This particular exam was a follow-up to the last one, which was done 12 months earlier.  After having a mamo every 6 months (following the watch and wait protocol) it was decided that the mass was nothing to be worried about (you have cystic breasts with fibrous tissue I previously was told), so I was floored when it was suggested on the spot that we do a needle biopsy.

On Friday, March 15th, 2013, I went up to Mass General Hospital with my dear friend Megan. Things unfolded in both slow motion and fast forward from there on out. The pathology from my needle biopsy arrived just 9 minutes before we walked into the exam room, confirming my Cancer, and when I was told “So, you have breast cancer” for a hot dizzy moment, I thought it was the end of the world. Bone Scan

I was in shock. I was freaked out. I was scared sh*&less.

But 10 days later I feel very differently. As weird as it may sound, I am confident this is the beginning of a bright new chapter of my life. I’m no hero, and I’m not going to say something inauthentic like “I feel blessed” that I have Cancer, or “It’s a gift”, but I do feel like it’s an amazing opportunity for growth. As my teacher, Elena Brower, says, we choose our parents, we choose our life lessons, “We pick them perfectly”. So following this, somewhat Buddhist train of thought, I must embrace the fact that I have chosen Cancer too. This is the new reality for me, one I have chosen so that I may learn from it, so that I may teach from a place of deeper wisdom.

That’s the new plan. The total and compete acceptance of Cancer as my new Guru.

You will be hearing a lot from me, over the next 14 months. I plan to blog. I plan to write. To document. To teach. To inspire. To bring awareness to Breast Cancer in the under 40 population. To make sure my Strong Girls know that self-breast exams are mandatory. That we are our own best health advocates… that no matter who tells you your self-detected “likely benign” LUMP is not worth further investigation, should your intuition tell you otherwise it is. I plan to stay around for a long, long time. To love my family and friends, to nurture my partner and to parent my son.

Flight Like A GirlWhen I first found out I was sick, I preemptively took a leave of absence from teaching and massage therapy. But now that my treatment plan has changed quite a bit, I am hoping to teach as many of my regularly scheduled classes as possible. I am lucky that my chemotherapy treatment will not be scheduled on days I would normally be at the studio, and I will have several days after chemo during which I can recover without missing classes. So for those of you who would like to know as to whether or not I’ll be at The Yoga Room on any given Monday or Tuesday evening, or Sunday morning, please just consult TYR’s online schedule. I am forever grateful to my TYR colleagues for accommodating me and my last-minute needs.

Teaching has always given me strength. Walking away from it completely, would feel like a surrender, and I am very much a fighter.

Some logistical stuff:

Many people have asked me how they can best support us through these challenging circumstances. For those of you who would like to contribute financially my friends Jason Bridges and Emily Molden have set up the Caitlin Marcoux Charitable Fund at Rally.org. This is also where I will post medical updates from here on out, instead of on FaceBook, as it is a more appropriate platform.

And for those of you who would like to contribute domestically, my friend Kristen Lewis has set up a SignUp Genius campaign, where you can sign up to deliver a meal, volunteer to help with my son’s childcare (pick-ups or drop-offs to school, or playdates*) or help out around our home. *Please note: Griffin will really need some small friends to run around with on Thursdays and Fridays after school, even if it’s just for an hour. This is probably the best way anyone can help us.

I know that I can’t do this alone. And I am so very, very grateful to both my local community and my global yoga community for all the ongoing support. I can’t think of a better place than Nantucket to have Cancer, and I couldn’t be in a better place both spiritually and mentally to survive it.

I am a lucky, lucky girl.

A few special Thank-Yous to the following people who have helped me through this initial phase of my cancer treatment (many more thank-yous to come):Health Alter

Thank you to Shannah Green and Elisa Allen for facilitating an amazing and much needed retreat at Kripalu this weekend. To Alison Alpert for coming with me to my first needle biopsy. To Megan Soverino for being there now and always,  but especially for being there to hold my hand when I got the news at MGH on March 15th. To my parents Joanne and Steve, and my sisters Ariel and Grey. To my ex-husband Paul Budzynski, for being a rock at a time of need, for accepting me once again despite my mistakes and with all my faults, and for taking such good care of our son Griffin. To my friends Jason Bridges, Emily Molden and Kristen Lewis for setting up, in record time, all kinds of online support. To Amber Hinds, my web-designer. To Jenny Bence, owner of The Green, for making me drink way more wheatgrass than I ever would on my own. To Darya Afshari of Dayra’s Salon, for helping me feel pretty (sister, you will be shaving my head soon). To Elena Brower for being an ongoing source of wisdom and support and bad-ass coach. To my friends Kate Greer and Richmond Dickson for giving us a warm bed to sleep in and nurturing food to eat on Wednesday night, March 20th. To my beautiful yoginis in crime Caroline Pope Peavy and Juliet Loranger, for coming up on Thursday night, March 21st, to hold me after a long day of bone scans and blood tests. To Rebelle Society for giving me a place to write (the words are on their way). To my son Griffin, who inspires me to be the very best mama I can be. And of course to my partner, Burr Tupper, who is always, always, always there for me.

Live Strong. Feel Beautiful

Strong Girls Yoga for Tweens & Teens

Tuesdays @ The Yoga Room
3:00-4:00pm
$15 drop-in welcome. 
 

Today at SG Yoga I’ll be putting my old Yoga Journals to good use! Each student will get one magazine (picked for them based on their interests and personal goals) to look over and get inspired by. Next week I’ll ask them to share one pose from their YJ magazine that moved them and riff on why, then we’ll go around in a circle and break each pose down in stages. It’s a really fun assignment, and can help demystify the trickier looking poses y making them accessible at a beginner’s level. Not only is this fun, but it’s really empowering.

Yoga Journal Magazines

Then we’ll be incorporating last week’s home work assignment into our flow practice, and hold space for some of the self-esteem issues that may or may not come up in our post-flow discussion.

SG HW week oneI am so honored to be working with these amazing young women. If only I had started a yoga practice at their age!

Live Strong. Feel Beautiful!

For more information about the Strong Girls Yoga class, please click here

 

Holidays: not just for Suckers

Season’s Greetings and Happy Freakin’ Holidays

Holiday 2012{photo:Robert Sturman}

Yeah, I like it. Christmas that is. I like Solstice and New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day, and Birthdays too. Maybe I’m a sucker. Or maybe I just think that any chance to celebrate shouldn’t be wasted. I like rituals; simple ones like lighting candles and incense, toasting at a birthday or graduation and dressing smartly for the right occasion. I also like ones that involve intricacy and planning; Blessing Ways, Weddings, even Memorials.

Ritual invokes our attention, intensely. For many of us who struggle with staying present, a ritual or milestone event can help slow things down. They get us to pause in a very concentrated way.

All that being said though, I can get myself a little wound up with expectations. For example, I know that birthdays are really special to me – especially other peoples birthdays. I love giving gifts and making people feel good, so I get really get excited when my partner’s birthday approaches. Ironically though, he doesn’t place so much significance on it, nor carries around a special attachment to the date. I have found myself crestfallen when in the past, he’s decided to skip town on his birthday. SO, I’m learning to let that go… It’s his birthday after all. If I didn’t have such high expectations around how I see myself celebrating him (her, them, whomever) I’d spare myself the suffering that comes with disappointment.

This year, I’m trying to shed my expectations around Christmas. Not an easy thing to do for a ritualistic family-centered mama like myself. But that’s the plan. My kid is with his Daddy Paul this year, and instead of being with my parents and sisters on Christmas night, we’re splitting the holiday into Christmas Eve dinner (which we get to attend tonight) and Christmas dinner, which my BF and I will spend with our dear, dear friends the Murphy’s and their family. It’s pretty outside the box.

Turn it up-side-down though, and there’s a lot of good to be found. I get to wake up tomorrow morning and hold my man. I’ll get to casually and slowly open the presents he’s given me, and I’ll get to watch with my undivided attention as he opens his. We’ll have a quiet morning together and maybe walk down to the beach. My gracious ex has been kind enough to part with little G for an hour around bunch time and then I’ll get him back in the late afternoon. It will be lovely to celebrate with our friends, who are Griffin’s godparents, and were among the very first people to meet Griffin when he was born. I’d say it’s going to be great – but then there go the expectations again.

So, in honor of starting NEW traditions, I’m celebrating Christmas this year by teaching a pay-what-you-like Flow class at The Yoga Room. If you’re interested show up at 2pm, we’ll probably go until 3:15 or 3:30pm. It’s not on the regular schedule, and you can’t pay for it with your class card . Bring a piece of paper with one word written on it. Let it be the first thing that comes to mind. Bring cash, a re-gift, cookies, or whatever feels like a good way to contribute.

~Happy Holidays, Love & Light, and with few expectations,

Caitlin

Nantucket Chronicle Article: Wild Yoga on Nantucket

Yoga in the Wild

by Peter Brace

Originally published in the Nantucket Chronicle on December 7th 2012

 

YOGA IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF ISLAND LIFE FOR MANY NANTUCKETERS…

…So why not practice it out in the wild.
by Peter B. Brace on Dec 7th, 2012

Yoga in the wild

Article and photos by Peter B. Brace

Balance, strength and love. For me, those three things give flight to my seven-foot frame in the practice yoga.
I’ve been a yogi for more than nine years now. My joints, specifically, my hips, but also my knees, knuckles, back and ankles can attest to the benefits of my practice. My heart center, where my love comes from, can speak to the warm, communal and supportive salve applied to my soul during each class and which lingers inside me from one class to the next.
The physical strength gained from continued or, in my case lately, a semi-continual yoga practice, is considerable and significant, and can be measured when I stop practice for a period of time, say, three weeks or longer because when I return to practice, I’m aware of the strength and flexibility that I’ve lost by not practicing. When I am back on track and have been so for several months, which is where I hope I’m headed with this latest re-entry into sweating and wobbling, I still can’t imagine practicing the postures on anything but the hard, level floor of a yoga studio or some similarly stable surface, so yeah, yoga on a standup paddleboard, not so much.
In October, one of my instructors at the Nantucket Yoga Room, Caitlin Marcoux invited me to take photos of her and her partner, Burr Tupper, and some of their friends doing poses and being photographed by a nationally known photographer named Robert Sturman based in Santa Monica, Calif. Sturman, a self-described artist using a camera, does portraits of people practicing yoga in outdoor settings. Having traveled around the globe to, as he says, celebrate different cultures in such places as Europe, Cuba, India and Nepal, using his camera, Sturman advanced his yoga practice beyond the mat by capturing yogis and yoginis posing in the wild.

Sturman:

“It started because I ultimately wanted to bring a yoga practice into my life because I had noticed that a lot of artists live very self-destructive lives and I wanted to find a way to rewrite that script and create much more of a positive experience for myself, so I started practicing yoga and I started to change a lot of things.
There’s a great quote by Picasso, which says “art is the elimination of the unnecessary” and I found also that when I was practicing yoga that I sweat so much out, I let go of so much while I was on the mat that it was also a process of eliminating the unnecessary. So, as soon as it started to make an impact on my life and [allow me] to create the kind of man I wanted to be, I started to look around and I saw how beautiful and poetic the asana’s looked, and it was so beautiful to me that I just started to make art of it.
I feel like I’m an artist and I’m a figurative artist, and having people in the midst of beauty doing beautiful things just makes more beauty, and yoga is an immensely beautiful poetic practice and so is the world, so that’s what my work is about; celebrating that.”

Before his celebration of yoga through a SLR digital camera began, eventually leading to his becoming an official artist for 2005 Grammy Awards and for the U.S. Olympics, Sturman took Polaroids, manipulating the image right out of the camera by carving up the surface and accentuating the lines and the forms while the chemistry was still viscous.

Sturman:

“When Polaroid went out of business, they divided up their film between artists that had done some nice things with their products and I happened to be one of those artists and so that’s when I made the transition into another medium, just straight photography. At the same time, I transitioned into really studying yoga.”

Following Sturman’s culture quest with his camera was the next stage in his career, a more in-depth study of yoga through his lens that perpetuated his photographic career theme in which he celebrates the poetry of life. Marcoux, who got her yoga instructor certification from the White Lotus Yoga Foundation in Santa Barbara, Calif., connected with Sturman via social media. She then invited him to come out to Nantucket in October to shoot her and other yoga practitioners, including her sister Arial Marcoux, Tupper, and friends Juliet Loranger, founder of New Bedford’s Yoga on Union and Petra Ledkovsky, a yoga instructor at Power Yoga of Cape Cod Marcoux met atShiva Rea teacher training in 2009, pulling poses in scenic locations around the island.
What this meant to me when Caitlin dangled the making of the making of yoga in the wild, in addition to returning her many favors doled out on the mat by the imparting of her knowledge, was affirmation that building my poses should only happen on level mediums. Think it isn’t a challenge to cop a pose on a beach, near a lighthouse with distractions such as foghorns, passing boats and swarming gulls or out in a thick forest with muddy terrain? It’s every bit as tough as one might surmise. Though as yogis we’re taught to inhabit a boundless realm, I know the limits of my muscle-bound and heavy, massive body. But, I’m glad to have something to push back on too and was delighted to get the chance to witness the grace and skill of those advanced well beyond my own current station on the mat.
Sturman shot Caitlin and her friends out in some of Nantucket’s most beautiful locations and I had the pleasure of watching and photographing them wriggle into poses I aspire to perfect. I was amazed at Caitlin’s focus and balance on a short, narrow piece of plywood just beneath the surface of Miacomet Pond and equally impressed with Burr’s poses on a log suspended several feet from the ground in Squam Swamp.
Of them all, the sequences at Miacomet Pond where Tupper had submerged the platform in the pond, seemed the most challenging for Caitlin, considering the limits of the platform and the water temperature in late October.
There were poses at sunrise on Brant Point, a session at Miacomet Beach and then the Squam Swamp shoot, which was sublime with Caitlin and Burr posing individually and with each other against the backdrop of twisty black tupelo trees, the ground carpeted with a rainbow palette of summer’s leaves and my dog wandering in and out the shots.

So, check out the photos with this post, as there are many, maybe explore Sturman’s web site through the link near the top of this post and definitely look into beginning your yoga practice at the Nantucket Yoga Room here on the island.
Thank you to Robert and Caitlin for including me in the fun.

Robert’s finished body of work can be seen in the portfolios on his website. All his work is available for purchase.

 {photo: Robert Sturman}