Writing Workshop, Yoga Classes Offered for Those Touched by Cancer

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Department, in partnership with Forest Moon, will offer a free writing workshop, Spirit of the Written Word, for Western Mass. residents touched by cancer. The 10-week workshop will take place on Thursdays, March 10 through May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Artspace at 15 Mill Street in Greenfield.

In addition, the partners will present two free eight-week yoga series, Gentle Yoga for Breast Cancer Survivors. One series will take place on Sundays, March 6 through April 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., in the Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio. The second series will take place at the YMCA in Greenfield, on Wednesdays, March 9 through April 27, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Participants should sign up for only one of the two sessions.

The writing workshop is a way for participants to promote their own healing and experience the therapeutic benefits of group writing. No writing experience is required, and all sharing is voluntary and confidential. Refreshments will be provided.

Facilitating the workshop is Pam Roberts, Forest Moon’s program director. Roberts is a writer, artist, and energy healer who graduated from and was ordained by the IM School of Healing Arts in New York City. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago, Roberts found writing to be an important part of her healing process. She believes deeply in the transformative and healing power of writing within a safe and supportive workshop environment.

One of the participants in last fall’s workshop commented, that, “as supportive as friends and family are, it truly takes another cancer survivor to get what I’m going through. These groups are a lifeline.” Another commented, “The creative aspect of writing was valuable. The camaraderie was also very special. Pam has a gentleness and genuine caring that makes writing easy.”

The Spirit of the Written Word workshop is being funded through a grant from Rays of Hope, and is limited to 12 participants. Registration is required; to register, or for more information, contact Roberts at (413) 625-2402 or pamro@aol.com. Information is also available in the Oncology Department at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

The yoga series will also be facilitated by Roberts, who is a certified yoga instructor for cardiac and cancer patients. The weekly gentle yoga classes for women who have been living with a breast-cancer diagnosis will consist of stretching, breathing, and deep-relaxation exercises. The two free yoga programs have been made possible by Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio, the YMCA of Greenfield, and Rays of Hope.

To register for gentle yoga, contact Roberts at (413) 625-2402 or pamro@aol.com. For more information, visit www.forestmoon.org.