How Cancer Shaped Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work

The name Ruth Bader Ginsburg became almost synonymous with strength and stamina as she rose to prominence in judicial and feminist circles throughout her long career. Famously nicknamed the Notorious RBG and known for her grueling fitness regimen, the late Supreme Court justice also struggled with cancer and other health issues for the better part of her time on the bench — culminating with her death on Sept. 18 at the age of 87 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.Ginsburg’s health issues became public in 1999, six years after her appointment to the Supreme Court, when she had surgery for early-stage colon cancer. Ten years later, she went through the same process for pancreatic cancer. And nearly a decade after that, the Supreme Court announced that Ginsburg had undergone surgery to have two cancerous growths removed from her left lung. She announced in July 2020 that she’d been treated earlier that year for cancerous lesions on her liver, but made clear her intentions…

Using a Folded Towel During Yoga Was the Simplest Solution for My Knee Pain

Ironically, my new favorite yoga prop has been in my possession years before I even owned a yoga mat - or had any idea what Child's Pose was. I'm talking about a simple folded towel or blanket. And even though I've always had one at my disposal, I only recently started adding it into my practice for the sake of my joints.

Every yoga instructor I've ever followed has advised those with sensitive knees in the class to cushion their joints with towels or blankets during certain weight-bearing poses. I actually have that very concern, but I've ignored the tip, thinking it couldn't possibly make my experience any more enjoyable. I'll also admit I never wanted to look weak in front of my peers.

Doing yoga exclusively at home - and really diving into the motivation behind my personal practice - helped me conquer so many of my insecurities. After I reached for that towel and tucked it under my knees during Camel Pose, I finally got to feel that glorious stretch in my lower back and shoulders without painful pressure in my knees. I only wish I took advantage of my instructors' advice sooner - it was only there to help me.

Tess Koenig, a yoga instructor based in New York City, prefers students use props rather than force a posture or deal with pain in a pose, and offers the use of a towel or blanket in positions where the bone may be supported by the ground in weight-bearing positions.

"Towels and blankets offer that support to help you maintain your breath on your knees, as does a mat folded over twice if those props are not available to you," Koenig says.

While there are many poses that could benefit from a folded towel or a blanket as a prop, Koenig specifically mentions Cat/Cow, Modified Push-Up or Chaturanga, and Camel Pose.

"Typically we see Cat/Cow in the beginning of practice, when our bodies are still warming up, which is even more so a reason to use padding instead of forcing your way through discomfort as your body is lubricating for practice," Koenig says.

During Modified Push-Up or Chaturanga, Koenig says you're rolled onto the front of your knee caps during optimal alignment: "that can be a lot to maintain for many repetitions or during vinyasa."

To make Camel Pose more comfortable, Koenig recommends evenly laying out a towel or a blanket and kneeling on it with your knees - hip width-distance apart - before settling into the posture.

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via POPSUGAR Fitness


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