My name is Melanie @melbeyondyoga and I am a breast cancer survivor and certified yoga teacher . I first began teaching yoga while living and working in Afghanistan at a military base. The fitness classes on base are taught by volunteers, so if no one volunteers to teach a class, the class can’t continue. I didn’t want to see the yoga class stop at the base I was at, so I became a volunteer yoga teacher even though I had no prior experience. That’s how I first started teaching yoga . I soon found myself teaching yoga to NATO military members and civilians several times a week, and discovered that I really loved it! I also loved seeing military members experience the benefits of yoga for themselves. After teaching yoga as a volunteer for a year, I decided to get a yoga teaching certification. After a month of daily, full-time yoga practice and clean eating, I felt so strong and healthy, yet ironically, it was also at this time I unknowingly had breast cancer . I first felt a lump in my breast while showering one day. Because of my location, I had to get things checked when I went on leave. Nine months later I had a biopsy on the lump, a week later I received an email stating, “the diagnosis is carcinoma of the breast.” I was alone in my room in Afg when I read this. It was hard to believe that despite being so healthy and young, I could have cancer. I didn’t know what this meant for me, my job, and my future . I returned to the U.S. for treatment. Gratefully, I caught it early, it was Stage I, and I became cancer-free after my mastectomy! . Yoga was an important part of my recovery process, and helped me regain strength and movement after multiple surgeries. It took a year to get cleared to return to work, and 3 months after that I began teaching yoga again in Afg! I love teaching yoga in Afg because I feel like I can give something back to the base community, and I know that yoga helps us all in this challenging environment . I know yoga can heal and strengthen people. I have felt this personally myself and have seen it in others 🙏 .