Her Help In Healing: Quieting The Mind And Listening To The Body

August 30, 2017

When patients meet with Stella Snyder, they generally aren’t focusing on their illness. They are focusing on relaxing. Something as simple as breathing can help stir new energy.

“This is me time. It’s all about focusing and relaxing,” said Carmon Weaver Hicks, a breast cancer patient at IU Health Simon Cancer Center. As she stretched out on the floor with her feet elevated, Weaver Hicks took in a deep breath, listened to Snyder’s soft voice and exhaled, letting the tension leave her body with the breath. “Yoga helps with my breathing and I don’t think cancer likes the idea that I’m taking in this positive energy,” aid Weaver Hicks.

Snyder, specially trained in yoga therapy for patients with cancer and chronic illness, offers group classes several times a week for patients, caregivers and hospital staff.

Here is more about Stella Snyder’s yoga therapy:

  • Yoga for cancer patients is gentle and less physical than other yoga sessions. Patients are supported by a chair and focus on breathing and relaxation. Snyder completed 1,000 hours to earn accreditation in yoga therapy.
  • Snyder earned her a degree in virology (the study of viruses). She took up yoga in grad school as a form of relaxation and decided to pursue the teaching as a career. In addition to offering yoga therapy at IU Health, she provides sessions through the Little Red Door Cancer Agency.
  • Her greatest reward: “I like the sense of community yoga creates within the patient population,” said Snyder. “We start many classes by talking about their day, their prognosis and their treatment. It’s sort of a support group.”
  • More about Snyder: She is married and lives in Bloomington where her husband is attending law school at IU. They have two dogs.

- T.J. Banes

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