Truckee yoga fundraiser benefits free cancer care programs |

Truckee yoga fundraiser benefits free cancer care programs

From left, Yoga for Life instructors Meg McCraken, Laura Green, Nikki Dean and Meghan Ruiz.
Courtesy Leslie Robinson |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Participants of all of ages and abilities gathered on the lawn at West End Beach on June 20, overlooking Donner Lake, moving through an inspirational 90-minute yoga practice in support of whole body healing programs for local cancer patients.

The class — Refill, Renew and Remember — taught by local teachers Nikki Dean, Meghan Ruiz, Meg McCraken and Laura Green, reminded people how important it is to take care of yourself, as well as others.

A highlight was the partner yoga in which the connection, joy and laughter shared was inspirational. And there were hugs and huge smiles all around as the event wrapped.

Dean has seen first-hand how exercise through yoga movement has helped cancer patients. She helps to lead yoga classes as part of Exercise for Energy, a free program specially designed for current and recovering cancer patients at the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center.

This ongoing class offers guidance, support and useful tools to maintain health and wellness. The class incorporates strengthening, stretching, breathing, balance, cardio, wellness education, nutrition and cooking demonstrations, and massage.

Exercise for Energy is supportive, medically managed and taught by health professionals, and provides tools patients need in a supervised environment.

Exercise for Energy and the other patient and family support programs at the Cancer Center are funded through philanthropy.

These programs are offered free to patients and families and include counseling, massage, acupuncture, art and exercise programs, yoga, and meditation.

Many community businesses supported the June 20 event by donating prizes for a raffle. Lizzy Henasey won the grand prize, a 4-Day Pass to Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley.

This marked the second annual Yoga for Life fundraiser, and total of $3,082 was raised; the group plans to continue the event every year.

For more information on the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center and its programs, visit

This article was submitted by Tahoe Forest Health System. Visit to learn more.

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