I've been teaching yoga, qigong, meditation and nia in Haliburton since 1996. During this time I have had the honour of working with many inspiring people who have taught me so much about acceptance, dedication, positivity, and living in the moment. Wendy Bateman is one of those people.
Wendy took her first yoga class with me 2002, 6 months after surgery that she had because of a rare kind of cancer that was found in her ureter (tube between kidneys and bladder). It took 3 surgeries in four months to remove her kidney, a portion of the ureter and the top part of her bladder. She received extensive nerve damage due to the required surgeries. In the first few months after the surgery Wendy felt "totally exhausted " and mentally and physically out of balance in her body. She was very pro-active and immediately began getting massages, chiropractic treatment as well as being surrounded by many "angels" who gave her regular therapeutic touch sessions. She always worked closely with her doctors, who one day suggested that she try yoga to help with the fatigue, the pain and the desire to feel connected to her body again in a positive way.
That is when Wendy first came to one of my gentle yoga classes. In yoga, students are encouraged to move slowly, compassionately and mindfully so that they can work within their own bodies natural range of movement and needs. During the first two years of yoga, Wendy had tears in her eyes many times as she gently and consistently worked at moving her whole body, including where the nerve damage is. She often said "it feels like there are sharp little knives in there as I move." Wendy never gave up. She kept on working at her own speed in the classes and together we figured out modifications for certain poses.
The next 2 years Wendy noticed that after a yoga class she felt like she had either had a glass of wine or taken a pain killer - she hadn't but her body was starting to feel longer periods of being pain free. 2010 marks 8 years after her surgery and Wendy is a dedicated yoga student. She comes to class each week to maintain and work on her strength, flexibility and balance. She is grateful for her body and appreciates every part of it.
She inspires me because she has remained so dedicated and so positive. Someone once said to me "yoga isn't about adding years to your life, it's about adding life to your years." That is what Wendy is doing.
Wendy Bateman is a weaver and master of textiles. She travels across the province teaching and lecturing, as well as teaches in the spinning and weaving program at SSF College in Haliburton. She and her husband Sid, live at Blue Hawk Lake.