I’m Not Dead Yet

I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. It’s in my liver and bones, maybe my lungs and thyroid.

Every week I run into and get messages from people who’ve heard the news. I can tell by the tone of their words or the look in their eyes: they think I’m dying. Of course they’re right, I am dying. But what is often less obvious is that the reality of impermanence applies to them as well. It’s simply a matter of time. We’re all dying.

This blog post is dedicated to my cancer story.

I find solace in reading about other people’s cancer stories. I hope others find solace in my story.

I was first diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer on Friday April 13, 2012.

(To read that part of the story visit, Living through Cancer)

Fast forward 7.5 years, on the Friday of the Labour Day long weekend in September 2019 received a call from my oncologist. My family doctor had just sent him my file. The oncologist told me to go immediately to the closest emergency department. My heart began to race as my thoughts rushed ahead to worst case scenario outcomes.
Could it be the cancer coming back? The last time I saw my oncologist in 2012 I asked him how I would know that the cancer had come back, he said ‘you’ll get very sick, you won’t get better, and then you’ll come see me’. Could this be what he meant?

I had gone to my doctor because I was losing my appetite and had noticed that my urine was dark. My doctor thought I was jaundiced. She said the skin and whites of my eyes were yellowish. I hadn’t noticed. She sent me for an ultrasound and blood work. The very next day she told me that they had found some sort of obstruction blocking the bile duct. I asked what the most common reason for a blocked bile duct was. Her words are etched in stone in my mind: pancreatic cancer.

After waiting in emerg for 6 hours, I was finally seen. The doctor was easy going, he kept saying he’d have me out by the morning. He ordered a CT scan because he assumed it was a gallstone blocking my bile duct.

At 3:00 am, the doctor came to my bedside and said, “I’m sorry, I have some bad news. The scan is showing masses in the liver. It looks like cancer. We’re going to admit you right now.” Then he just walked out of the room. His job was done. The nurse who was checking my vitals when the doctor came into the room began to console me. She told me that I should feel comforted in knowing that I was in good hands in the care of the hospital. She said that the blocked bile duct brought me to the hospital and this could be a blessing in disguise. “At least now you know you have cancer,” she said. I looked into her eyes, I could feel the compassion oozing out of her, I remember thinking to myself she has the hardest job and most meaningful job, like a shaman she guided me into another world.

In the hours leading up to the doctors pronouncement, I was lying in the emergency room making plans in my head. Planning my next holiday, the workshop I was looking forward to attending, my next visit with my daughter… We fill our lives with plans until one day plans have no meaning. Left alone in the cubicle after the nurse left, my mind shifted gears. I began to remember and feel all the sources of love in my life. My thoughts drifted from person to person. The plans faded away. All that remained for the next few hours was a feeling of grace. It was quite surreal. In retrospect, I’m not sure what took place in those hours. It was as if I entered another state, one where frivolous plans had no meaning and the only thing that mattered was the memory of what it feels like to love and be loved.

Once diagnosed with cancer, fear that the cancer will reappear becomes a daily recurrence.

30% of breast cancers come back within 10 years.

Mine took 7 years, but in retrospect I think I have been living with cancer for about 3 years. More on that later. When cancer reappears, it’s called metastatic breast cancer (MBC), stage 4. There is no stage 5. Stages 1-3 are curable. Stage 4 is considered a terminal disease that can be managed but not cured.

I was admitted into the hospital at 4 am.

At 8 am, after being awake all night in emerg, the doctor came into my room. My husband had gone home to get some sleep and, alone in my room, the doctor told me that I had an incurable, terminal cancer. He went on to say that I had the right to refuse treatment and to ask for assisted dying. He said that he does not always talk about these subjects with patients but in my situation, he felt it was appropriate. I wasn’t sure what he meant.

As soon as he left the room, my cell phone rang. It was just after 8 am and the name on the phone was Ronnie O, an old yoga student who I had not spoken to in five years.
He said, “Diane, is that you?” and immediately he launched into a dream that he had just woken up remembering. He felt compelled to call me and tell me about it. He said I went to him in his dream and surrounded him in light and love. He wanted to tell me how much I had helped at a time in his life when he needed support, he needed me to know how much he had appreciated everything I did to help him.

I started to cry. Ronnie said, “Diane, are you ok? What’s going on?”

When I told him that the doctor had just left my room and that I was in the hospital and had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease, he was shocked.

Timing is everything. I needed to have a big cry.

I stayed in the hospital for a week. By the time I left, I weighed 106 lbs. I was shriveling up.

I had been scanned from toe to skull multiple times with various radioactive and iodine solutions pumping through my veins.

I logged into my hospital records after a few days.

The radiologist report that I saw in my inbox described my situation as ‘likely cholangiocarcinoma’. I googled this and found out that it’s a rare and deadly bile duct cancer. My prognosis was “months.” No wonder the doctor on the first morning had been talking to me about assisted dying. I wish he had told me they suspected cholangiocarcinoma, instead of me having to read the report on my own.

A few days into my stay at the hospital, I had to have a procedure called an endoscope. They gave me a general anesthetic and put a probe down my throat, into my stomach, across the small intestine and up the bile duct. They put in a plastic stent to open up the bile duct.

While they were placing the stent, they took cells from inside the bile duct and sent them to the pathologist.

On the day that I was leaving the hospital, the oncology nurse came in to explain the next steps to me and told me that the cells taken from the bile duct were not malignant. This ruled out cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer.) This was good news!

It was confirmed with a biopsy and CT scans that the cancer in the liver and bones was the old breast cancer that had metastasized, meaning it had spread to other sites in the body. So even though it’s in the liver or bones it’s still called breast cancer.

When I learned that I had metastatic breast cancer, I joined some FB groups for MBC. My own FB group (Yoga and Movement Research Community) moved to the back burner and I spent my social media time reading about other women who were dealing with the same diagnosis.
Their stories both inspire and terrify me. Some women in the groups have been living with MBC for over 10 years, one woman 22 years, while some die in less than 2 years.
The prognosis for MBC is vague. Living in a perpetual state of uncertainty is the new normal for me and thousands of other women dealing with this disease.

Four years ago a new drug called Ibrance was approved to treat estrogen positive HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer. Ibrance slows down or stops the proliferation of cancer cells. It’s a capsule, I take it once a day for 21 days and then I take one week off. The worst side effect of Ibrance is that it lowers white blood cell counts. The one week off gives the body time to recover.

Some women who started to take Ibrance 4 years ago are still alive today. Doctors have no idea how long they’ll live.

The old statistics for MBC are no longer accurate. Clearly, women can live for years if the drugs work. Once the cancer outsmarts the drug, it’s replaced with a new drug, and thus the battle with cancer ensues. The advances in cancer research are encouraging. The trend is moving towards treating cancer with more specificity and a new class of drugs called immunotherapy drugs. In order to qualify for these new drug trials I’ll have to get my genes tested for mutations. This gene panel is not available in Canada. It is being used in the USA and Europe but it is not covered by OHIP, our universal health care in Ontario.

I will be scanned every 3 months to determine if the cancer has progressed, regressed or remained unchanged. If the drugs I am currently taking don’t work, then the next round of drugs are chemo drugs or a combination of chemo and immunotherapy drugs.

Cancer has hacked my system.

Signals from my body to brain are confused. My sense of proprioception has been seriously compromised.

The radiation oncologist that reviewed my images told me that she was surprised I could even walk given the severity of the cancer in the bones of my pelvis. She said that I was at risk of pathological fracture. My daughter Kathryn, who was with me for that appointment, asked what would I have to do to break the bone. The doctor replied, “Any fast movement, like sitting on the couch too quickly.”

This doctor, and the doctor who came into my room that first morning, instilled a deep sense of fear into me. Up until that point, I had been walking with a small limp. Soon after that appointment, my condition worsened at an alarming rate.

I understand the importance of providing patients with all the information, but instilling fear instead of hope can have lasting negative implications.

I recently had 5 doses of radiation to the right hip. I don’t think it helped, but maybe it takes time. Apparently bones can remodel with radiation treatment.

I need a cane, crutch, walker, fingertips on walls or counters, or holding someone’s hand, to help me walk.
Sometimes, on a good day, and after a lot of rest, I practice walking slowly without a support. It takes all of my concentration.

Looking back, it’s clear to me now that the cancer started to come back a few years ago. I had been having minor hip issues for a while — they would come and go. I never once thought it was cancer. I was studying gait mechanics during this time and managed to always find an alternative pathway in my gait patterning, one that avoided pain. The limp I describe was my way of compensating for the pain I was feeling. I’m not sure if my prognosis would be any different if I had known I had cancer 3 years ago. I have no regrets, I’m glad I didn’t know. Living blissfully unaware was wonderful.

The first 2 months post diagnosis have been extremely challenging. I was moving less every day, afraid of the pain, I became very protective of any movement that caused even the slightest amount of pain.

I decided I needed help. I couldn’t trust my own sensations anymore, so I sought out a movement therapist. She helps me move through the pain with sensitivity. I am reminded that my body is clenching and gripping out of fear. She helps me to unwind the tension by offering support when necessary. Slowly I am recovering my sense of proprioception which has been seriously hacked by the cancer.

Aside from my mobility and associated pain, my overall health is good. I have a good appetite. I’ve put on weight and I am sleeping well.

One day, when I was feeling sad about the deterioration in my body, my daughter reminded me that there were so many movements that were still accessible. We went through them together: push ups, downdog, squats, bridge, core work, etc.

As long as I’m still alive I will continue to do my practice, which is another way of saying that I will practice being mindful, regardless of what ‘it’ looks like. I’ve gone through many iterations of styles and techniques only to come to the realization that self-realization has nothing to do with tradition, lineage, systems or gurus. All of these techniques were simply organized opportunities to feel and focus on the present moment.

Funny how sometimes it takes almost a whole lifetime to realize that everything was perfect just the way it was — not to say that this perfection does not include hardships and suffering. No one is immune from tough times. Suffering is not something I would ever wish on anyone, and yet it is during our darkest hours that we come closer to connecting with our deeper purpose.

When everything else fades away, what matters stays.


If you are interested and would like to reach out to me please leave me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

89 replies
  1. Hill Anna says:

    Hi Diane-This is Anna Hill and Jim Creeggan. We just read through your post which is particularly meaningful to me. I just spent the last two weeks in Denver with my mom who also has cancer. In her case, she has become manic and delusional and it has been hard for her to connect with the people she loves. The good news is that she has recently reunited with her husband and we have organized a schedule of friends and family to visit her so she is never alone. We have decided that isolation is a terrible suffering that does not need to be part of illness. Melting into love seems like the healing path in a time of crisis. Your ability to connect through your writing is incredible. Thanks for sharing your experience not only with your loved ones but with ever wider circles who benefit from your teaching. We send you all our love. Anna and Jim

    • Diane Bruni says:

      Dear Anna and Jim,

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing a bit of your story, it seems like so many people are dealing with challenging situations. You’re right about isolation and suffering, being alone I’m sure would make it worse. I read somewhere the other day that research has shown that simply holding someones hand reduces the level of pain they are experiencing. I’m doing my best to process this transformative experience.

  2. Jennifer Anderson says:

    Oh Diane, my heart is heavy with your diagnosis news. I’ve been thinking about you, our time in Mexico this last February, and the movement you’ve opened me to – axis syllabus, developmental movement…. tonight I went on a binge and watched all your videos on this site, and on MRC too. To read this post last, I’m gobsmacked.
    Your life is a stunning achievement of resilience and inquiry, and I’m grateful to be your student. You’ve given so much to so many. I hope you see, sense, feel the rippling waves of love you’ve sent out into the world, rippling back to you now.
    With love for you and your family, I wish you peace, much joy and Tough resilience in thIs fight.
    Gratitudes, jenny

    • Diane Bruni says:

      Jennifer, thank you for reaching out. I’m so happy to read that the exposure to alternative movement (axis syllabus) was benefical to you, I certainly have received so much from unwinding and relearning how to move with ease and grace. I can feel the ripple effect of connections that ripple towards me. Its an interesting time for sure. Getting older and dealing with the reaility of a body that is failing is a very humbling experience.

    • Kathryn says:

      Hi Diane,

      I’ve known your name for a long, long time, and then started to get to know your internet presence a few years ago. You seemed like a tough cookie to me. Some of the tough cookies I know in person are the gooiest people on the inside – lovers and lovers of life.

      I’m so sorry to read about the return of your cancer, and wish you quality time and excellent care from your people and your team.

      With love from Ottawa,

      Kathryn Flynn

  3. Leah Rogan says:

    Oh Diane I had no idea what you’ve been going through these last few months. I am shocked but also so heart-broken that you’ve had to endure this. I share Jennifer’s thoughts above – it seemed like yesterday we were all in Mexico in that amazing warmth and sunshine. I had my cervical diagnosis last December as you know, and had the surgery in March. So far, so good for now, but it was a wake up call.. that life is finite, and all we can do and should do is live in the now and cherish each moment. Know that you are surrounded by love and light from all of us. Sending healing vibes your way.. oxox

  4. Niya says:

    Sending so much love your way, Diane! And so much gratitude for introducing me to new ways to explore movement and boundaries. All of that has been a beautiful compliment to my yoga therapy learning journey.
    If there is any support that would be helpful in Toronto, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    • diane bruni says:

      Hi Leah, Thanks for sharing a piece of your story here. I remember so clearly the day you told me about your diagnosis, its truly amazing how these events become etched in our memories, even when the diagnosis is not our own. This helps me to remember how my diagnosis will effect others, it seems to have a deep effect on people, I think I understand why. Hearing about another persons diagnosis reminds us that it could happen to anyone, anytime, and thats scary. I think the fear factor is what locks the memory in our minds. Oh yes those memories of Mexico make me happy! I might go back this winter, just waiting to see if my white blood cell count stabalizes before I take off.

    • Diane Bruni says:

      Niya, thank you for reaching out. I am so glad to know that the ‘new’ movement has penetrated your life in a good way. It was an incredible time in Mexico last year, I have interesting memories of conversations we shared. I hope you’re doing well.

  5. Ilyan b says:


    You have been a constant source of insight and inspiration for me as a teacher and friend in movement and in life. Your deep well of internal strength and wisdom that has given so much will continue to serve, no matter the challenges of your physical condition, you are cherished and loved from all directions. I am very sad to hear all of this and wish all discomfort and arbitration to dissolve from your experience at once! I wish I knew more to say, I would love to laugh and explore movement or make you some food, tell stories or something that brings smiles many many more times over.
    Wishing you swift recovery and wellness through this difficult chapter.
    With compassion and love,

  6. Taigarci says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your cancer coming back so agressively. I hope treatment works the best It can work for you and that you find peace and hapiness in the new life you are creating to honor the current state of your body. You are right, we are all dying, we don’t know when it’s coming, when our body will be completely disfunctional (I have elhers danlos and though it will not kill me, I relate to that uncertainty, to the radical lifestyle changes you have ti make to accept a condition). When you are forced to face this, life changes, and not necessarily for the worse. We have never met, but like the student that called you, you have changed my life for the better. May be 4 years ago, your videos, teachings, discussions helped me get out of the toxic world of yoga and start a quest to find new movements and a community in México that is healthier than yoga in all respects. Now I am ex yogui that explores and teaches movement. Along with Gina Gonzales, (now, my teacher) we are trying to create safer spaces for movers in México. All of this, my freedom from yoga, my confidence in exploring, wouldn’t hace been posible without you and all of tour corageous work.

  7. Elena Flores says:

    Dear Diane, you don’t know me, but I know a lot about you. I came across your group when it first started and since then I only read all posts and I love to read what you comment on them.
    Thanks to your work, I have learned so much, it has helped me recover depression and find a new and amazing meaning in life.
    It really hurts my heart to read your story and what you are going through, yet your life is such an inspiration.
    Thank you so much for sharing your process, I know our words are only words but I am truly and deeply with you in my heart.
    Wishing you all the strength and courage you need accompanied with lots of wisdom and clarity that may help you through this stage of life.
    With much gratitude and appreciation 🙏🙏🙏

  8. Asia Nelson says:

    Diane. Three years ago you did your workshop in Waterloo with my YTT. Do you remember, you had something going on and when I asked you said, “It’s a possible sign that the cancer has come back.” We looked each other in the eyes and there was nothing to say. Two people, two women, standing in the middle of the messy reality of life. I wanted to hug you or say something useful, but more than that I wanted to somehow ‘send’ you the strength and ease we all desperately need in those moments of deep, unknowing fear. I felt like I wanted you to be able to stand “on” me in a sense, like Here, I have extra, use my strength, take what I have.

    Then we moved. You spoke, and we were moved, changed. You led, and we moved, together. It was magic, connection amidst chaos.

    You have, in so many ways by just being yourself, affected people profoundly. You are a true teacher and I hope we get many years more of your light. However this path is unfolding, know that there’s so much love out here joyfully radiating back to you. That’s radiation I wish could heal a hip. ;)

  9. MARILYN LAZAR says:

    Diane, You share your story with a rare power and generosity. Your message is piercing and your words convey it perfectly. I’ve been in an outer sphere of yours for some years. Close enough to be impressed and impacted by the breadth and depth of your knowledge and the humility with which you share it. From your kind instructions on which direction to lay my mat during my first crowded class with you at the studio you founded, to locking eyes during savassanah interrupted by an earthquake on the beach in Puerto, you exuded calm.You are a gifted teacher of any modality that you embrace, and your choices are varied, unique and courageous. From spearheading movement to dirty fingernail gardening, through honouring elders and embracing youth. And you are teaching still. You are a timeless gem full of insight, some experiential, some spitual, all.bundled in spunk. My daughter and I both consider you a role model and often laugh at memories of experiences with you and your lovely humour. I feel and send gratitude and love your way.

  10. Karen says:

    Dearest Diane!
    You write so well!!! I’m so sorry though to read your well written words… I’ve known you for a long time though not well I’ve always appreciated you and your classes. I think last time we saw each other was at Body Bliss in the salty pool you were with your daughter. I’m in India right now, in Auroville, I’m sending you my love, and I’ll pray for you next time I go in the Matrimandir.. xox . Karen Racicot

  11. Téa says:

    Wow! You continue to teach us all Diane. Thank you.

    “what is often less obvious is that the reality of impermanence applies to them as well. It’s simply a matter of time. We’re all dying.“ …so true. And what does it mean to live a life?

  12. Andrea says:

    hi diane. i usually quietly think or pray for ones who have been in and out of my life who are sick or who i just feel i need to pray or send positive vibes to. you have always been one of those people. yourself and joy. i took the downward dog teacher training (quite some time ago). it was the first training you had to withdraw from leading due to your cancer diagnosis. i was lucky enough to take a few of your classes as you regained your health and strength to teach again.

    i feel like i have so much to ask you, selfishly because i’m not sure when i’d have the opportunity to again. however i just want you to know that you came into my life as a teacher and someone i have always looked up to. as you have inspired so many lives, know that you have also inspired mine. and as i face a crossroad myself, i will do my very best to remember to live to inspire, to embrace my passions, and to live fully, as you ARE living still.


  13. Tammy says:

    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I walked with a friend through her journey of MBC, and I was so uninformed at the time. If I had known then what I know now (much of what you expressed above), I could have been a better source of support. Thank you for helping others learn about this journey with your words. Blessings to you on your journey. May you witness miracles each day.

  14. Eileen says:

    Hi Diane, you taught yoga at Metro Movement for Stelio and me many (many) years ago. I believe it was right before you opened your own studio. I just wanted to reach out and let you know how much I enjoyed you and your class all those years ago. Both Stelio and and wanted to let you know you are in our hearts and we’re very sorry to hear what you are going through. It sounds like you have so many people who love and support you and that is everything! xo

  15. Joan Lois Sumner says:

    This seems so wrong and unfair.
    You were my first real yoga teacher and have taught many of my favourite classes. What you mean to me and the movement community in Toronto is immeasureable. I loved 80 Gladstone and so much. I wish I was there to hug you.
    Very much love
    Joan Sumner

  16. Katelyn Grady says:

    Wow. Diane your writing is so powerful and succinct. Your clarity and attitude are inspiring and illustrative of the work you’ve done. You are such an incredible woman. Rachel and I were just saying how GOOD it feels to be in your presence. I’d love to see you in Florida this winter. Sending love daily, Katelyn

  17. Sandra Nicht, MS Yoga Therapy says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this, and yet you seem to be navigating the uncertainty with a measure of grace. While everyone must one day pass, learning that your days might be fewer than expected can be terrifying. I’ve never met you in person and hope to one day, perhaps it won’t be until our next lives, but I wanted you to know that you have inspired me with your openness about your experiences. I am grateful you have passed on your knowledge to others, and I hope you will outlive your doctors…

  18. Michelle Katz says:

    Dear Diane,
    May Light and Love continue to embrace you with healing and much strength.
    My prayers and meditations are with you as you continue to live your journey of life.

  19. Ilse Gudiño says:

    Hi lovely Diane,
    I send you so much love and strength. I had no idea what you have been going through these last few months and I am sorry to hear it came back. I wish miracles for you Diane, you have always been such a promoter of health and good habits, I just want you here. I always think of you when exploring movement and figuring out my own practice as my body ages and changes. I love your courage and how you never cease to explore. I am pretty far away now or I would personally come to see you. Sending you so much love, for you and yours. Enjoy the holidays and love to Katheryn as well.

  20. Tammy says:

    Dear Diane,

    We are friends on FB and met somewhere in the yoga community along the way at some point in time. I say that probably so you can understand I’m not a stalker … I work in integrative health but I do not stalk people dealing with physical dis-ease. I’ve long learned that physical dis-ease is the human way of transforming and that they way we transform is our unique path – so unique to each of us that holding space is the most supportive thing we can do for one another. I listened to this podcast recently and as a #survivor it spoke to me … here’s the link .. https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-456/. Sitting in this journey with you – the one that shines the light on our fourth dimensional awakening. Thank you for sharing your light and love. Tammy

  21. Shellie Siadatan says:

    Hi Diane- you don’t really know me. We have met twice in our lives:) one time you had a group renting space in my Martial Arts school on Dupont. I’m reaching out to offer support if you are at all interested. Hands on gentle energy work- just intentionally clearing out pain and bringing in healing. Of course as a gift:) For reasons beyond my understanding I have been called to this many times over the years and try to respond to this call. If you ever want very gentle loving healing energy I can come over. It’s my pleasure. I have practiced and taught Qigong Tai Chi, and RMT for over 20 years. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone outside of your circle:) and of course there is no cost:) and please keep writing- it’s just so beautiful. Shellie

  22. Joanne says:

    O Diane, so sad to hear this news. I too will remember our time together in Puerto Escondito very fondly-such a great trip-and changed me forever as a yoga teacher. I learnt so much from your bravery, speaking your truth, and your love of movement, of inquiry, of Mexico,
    and continue to learn from your sharing of this chapter. On this solstice, I wish you so much light to guide you thru the dark places.

  23. Natalie says:

    Hi Diane,

    thank you so much for sharing your journey, being fourth right and having the courage to tell your story.
    since the day I walked into 88 Gladstone I knew you would forever be my teacher.
    your closing perspective speaks so loudly to me, we all find our own pathway to self realization, and no matter which path we take, the end goal is to simply BE.
    I am sending you love, light and continued progress with your new movement practice. I hope being in your body continues to bring you joy in your sessions.

    be well,

    Nat xx

  24. Theresa Whitely says:

    Diane, you are my hero and you always have been. I love you dearly my friend. Thank you for sharing your journey. Thank you for the reminder that we need to live to our full potential now, something you have always done. You continue to inspire me and I’m grateful for our friendship. I will see you soon. xoxo

  25. Lora says:

    Sending Blessings and hope to you. I did a teacher training with you, many year ago (2007?) and was always touched by your kindness and genuineness ❤️ My own mother passed from pancreatic cancer. I never really got the chance to process in this way and feel some console in your story. Thank you for so openly sharing this with us, it can make a difference for people like myself. Sending massive love and healing your way. You are an inspiration to me ❤️🌈🙏🏼 Lora Cooley

  26. Stuart Wiber says:

    Diane my teacher,
    The years I attended your class will never and have never left my soul. I exist with our time daily. I wish I lived in TO for the last 8 years and could continue growing in your company – our orbits have not aligned in a long time. But nothing has changed in my deep love and admiration of you. If ever you need a light in your mind, remember our smiles – I do think of you every time I move, exercise, stretch, or connect with my spirit. You are a soul teacher. I hope to see you when I come to TO in January, if time allows.
    Much much love and admiration,
    Stuart Wiber
    PS Liv is sending you an e-mail with family photos :)

  27. Louisa Pucci says:

    Awe Diane I was sad to get this news of you. You continue to be a curios, playful person who inspires so many people. It is true what you say: none of us get out of here alive. What holds meaning? What is it that endures? Cancer has touched my family too… my mum had been blissfully unaware of living with cancer for yrs … she has stage 4 endometrial cancer that is metastatic and is undergoing chemo to manage the pain. Cancer does play with sense of reality, balance and identity. You may need assistance to walk but you walk this path with tremendous grace and humility… curiosity and courage. I am in awe of you. May you feel seen and supported by all the beings of light. Sending you oceans of love and gratitude. xo

  28. Maria says:

    HI Diane,
    You don’t know me. I am a yoga teacher in Washington DC, but I know you and have followed career. Thank you for your inspiration then and now. Here is a quote from Rumi that reminds me of what you shared in this blog “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Seeing you LOVE <3 Maria

  29. Amy Hoare Nassar says:

    Totally humbled by your story Diane. So much love to you dear one. Thank you for always inspiring me.

  30. Jill McCubbin-Clare says:

    Hi Diane,
    We are of a similar age and isn’t it amazing how we all are connected with social media now?!
    I have been aware of you and your yoga journey since the Breathing Space Yoga TV episodes. Your graceful presence was mesmerizing and you held your energy so well. I have watched how you morphed into a movement educator after your 2012 cancer diagnosis and how you moved away from unhealthy and dangerous movement methodology to exploration of diversity of functional movement. You have been part of my online learning team as well as Leslie, Susi, Gary, Dr. Stuart McGill, Tom Myers, Jill Miller, your daughter, and many more.
    Notice your ability to laser focus towards the possibility of healing with commitment. It is ok to let go of the outer responsibilities and selfishly devote this time to healing. Notice you already have this innate talent.
    I will be holding this space for you, my friend. Om Shanti

  31. Sumati says:

    I so very much wish that this post was something you never had occasion to write.
    I want you to know how very grateful I am for the sharing of knowledge and space you’ve made a part of your practice.
    I have been inspired by your willpower insight and bravery , and informed and shared new questions and new paths and found answers in the spaces both in person and online that you’ve created and held. Your honesty and vulnerability is refreshing and a reminder always that our strength is from the inside out.

    Beauty on Diane, and thanks for sharing your journeys, even the roughest parts.
    xo with much love 🙏♥️🌜

  32. Fern Lindzon says:

    Dear Diane,

    Thank you for posting your moving story. I’m so sorry to hear that the cancer has returned. I wish you love, healing, life and the strength to beat it once again. Take good care. Love, Fern

  33. Jennifer says:

    So beautifully written and expressed Diane. Lots of healing energy being sent your way. Continue to be the brave, inspiring Warrior that you are🙏

  34. Lee says:

    Thank you for your ongoing strength and luminosity. I hope that you are with us for many years, to say again and again what you now see and say with such amazing clarity:

    “I’ve gone through many iterations of styles and techniques only to come to the realization that self-realization has nothing to do with tradition, lineage, systems or gurus. All of these techniques were simply organized opportunities to feel and focus on the present moment.

    Funny how sometimes it takes almost a whole lifetime to realize that everything was perfect just the way it was — not to say that this perfection does not include hardships and suffering. No one is immune from tough times. Suffering is not something I would ever wish on anyone, and yet it is during our darkest hours that we come closer to connecting with our deeper purpose.

    When everything else fades away, what matters stays.”

    Your distinctive voice and love, your honesty, move me deeply. Again. Thank you.

  35. J-P Tamblyn-Sabo says:

    Yoga-Mom Diane,
    Such a shock to hear this news. And so brave of you, and thoughtful of you to write this all out for us. I hope that taking the time to get this all out saves you from having to tell this same story hundreds of times. And that instead you are able to use that time to receive messages of love and gratitude and support. (And maybe even reply to some. :)
    You have always been such an inspiring leader in the yoga/mindful-movement community and you continue to show how much you have to give in that regard.
    Michelle and I have been talking a lot about how it often feels like yoga classes and the yoga community could benefit from embracing more of the “fullness” of the life experience. Not just “fullness” in the sense of gratitude and abundance, but also a fuller picture of the whole package, including its challenges, struggles and harder truths. We all need to be better at being willing to see the fuller picture. I think it was in one of Mary Oliver’s poems, where she says our ability to feel into the depths of our challenges is directly proportional to our ability to feel greater heights of gratitude. (I’m terrible at accurately paraphrasing brilliant poets, but the message is something along those lines. ;) I feel that here. This is so powerful. So real. So meaningful. And you are so courageous for including us, and continuing to share your wisdom and inspiration on this journey.
    Thank you for putting me on this path, which has made my life so meaningful, so rich, so magnificently beautiful and fulfilling, and has blessed me with the opportunity to share that with others (who in turn, got on to share it with others, etc, etc)
    Almost 20 years ago, I wrote a line in a song, about you, “I wonder if you even know, that you saved my life.” I still sing that song to my kids sometimes when I’m singing them to sleep at night.
    With your permission, I’d like to include your words, “self-realization has nothing to do with tradition, lineage, systems or gurus. All of these techniques were simply organized opportunities to feel and focus on the present moment,” in my next YTT manual. I think they carry a message that all yogis could benefit from hearing.
    With more love, and gratitude, than words can express,

  36. Sarah Manwaring says:


    I read your update this morning and have been thinking about you and your family all day.

    I have so much love for you and really want you to know that your inspiration in the early days of my own yoga journey has continued to hold me accountable for my own practice and ultimately my own life.

    Your unique way of inquiring into the journey of truth through the text of the human form.
    Your dedication to your life as a student.
    Your humility.
    Your passionate voice.
    Your vulnerability.
    Your family’s garden.

    So much of what you have shared, even if I have not seen you much in the last decade, has touched me.

    The last paragraphs of your note is especially potent. The simple essence of the teachings & the power of presence seems most naked when we let go of technique and rest into the gift of the moments we have.

    thank you again for sharing and staying connected.
    all my love.

  37. Gudrun says:

    Hi Diane
    I just want to express how sorry I am that cancer has attacked someone like you whose life has been about healthy mindful living. I remember meeting you in Puerto Escondido. You had always been one of my all time favourite yogis and an inspiration for me to become a yoga teacher.
    I was star struck all over again in Puerto.
    Just know how many lives you have touched in many ways.
    You are a positive amazing woman that has made such a difference in the community
    Sending you love!

  38. Riikka says:

    Dear Dianne,
    Thank you for your beautiful love letter for life. Your appreciation for the now is felt and I appreciate you wanting to share that. I lost my sister-in-law last year who had very similar cancer story. She was a beautiful soul and I miss her deeply. It is beautiful to hear you have much love around you. That will keep growing as time goes on. Much love and light to you and your family. I am in gratitude of your work and words that I get to read.

    Love and Light,

  39. Joan Shumway says:

    Diane, I just realized recently how absent you have been from Y&MC page. Where is she, I wondered. I am sorry to hear this news. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly. Your courage serves you well. You have touched my life though we have never met. I will be sending prayers (I don’t like that word and don’t have an alternative., maybe energy) for healing to you and yours. Life has handed you more ways to practice. Sending love.

  40. Denise Davis-Gains says:

    Good morning Diane, thank you for being so brave and present to share your story. While none of us know how much time we have, I have been through this story with many family members and loved friends. What I know for sure is that we don’t know or come close to completely understanding the bodies ability to heal. If there is anything that I can do to support you and your family in that healing process do reach out. You are in my prayers. So much love, Denise.

  41. Theresa says:

    Thank you for sharing this intense, personal story. I am caring for my mother right now, who has MBC. She chose not to seek any treatment when she first realized (due to a breast wound) that she had cancer more than 5 years ago. I have been struggling mightily with the intense grief and sadness, overwhelming anxiety and incredible exhaustion that comes with end-of-life care for your mother. I’m glad to have my practice to support me. One of the most helpful things I’ve read was your awareness that loving and being love is what comes to the forefront with a life-altering diagnosis. I am working very hard to allow my love and compassion for my mother to overtake the anxiety and fear that closes me down. Thank you for being so generous with your insights. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to “know” you through that interview I did with you long ago on hip health and yoga. All the best. And please know that what you write is having a strong impact on others.

  42. Liz Doris says:

    Hi Diane. I first met u in your classes at Downdog in T.O and then began following your yoga show Breathing Space once I moved to Peterborough. A couple of years ago I attended your mvmt workshop in Lindsay. In the spring of this year I approached u at your daughter Kathryns workshop in Kitchener. You have ALWAYS been kind, warm, approachable and generous with your knowledge. I’ll never forget during a class at D.D I was in urdhva dhanurasana…..you asked if I could straighten one of my elbows….my upside down red face replied saying I had a shoulder restriction. I’ll never forget the deep connection in your eyes and voice when u responded by saying..”thank u so much for telling me”. Your response was full of compassion and connection.
    It is now exactly how I respond and connect with my students. I have also admired and been inspired by your constant thirst for knowledge and learning new ways of moving. U continue to touch many lives. Blessings and love to u.
    Liz in Peterborough,On.

  43. Stan says:

    I happened across this news on Facebook. I am heartbroken to read these words for you and for your loving family. Thank you for your bravery for sharing I am sending you so much love and good wishes on this journey. Please keep writing. 💗

  44. Kirsty Mawhinney says:

    Hello Diane
    Thank you for sharing your Cancer Story. We have not met in person but I feel I have gotten to know you through the video you did with Mathew Remiski. I have followed your journey closely a d was very inspired to hear how you developed your own Yoga practice and Ashtanga practice. Your Insight into Yoga, injury and repetitive practice have been very helpful. Thank you for speaking out as you have helped so many of us on our Yoga path. Yes you are not dead yet. I can only share my gratitude and offer loving kindness to you and your family. 🙏.

  45. Ina says:

    Dear Diane, meeting you a bit more than 10 years ago and learning from you what is PRESENT embodiment has been the biggest gift ever, beyond postures, beyond asanas, beyond yoga philosophy. Your soul-filled words to me at the dinner table at that beautiful family house just North of Toronto, are still ringing in my body and mind and heart!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! You are the warrior of light and you are so much loved!!! You have guided me and so many souls into the light through your honesty and presence and movement!!! You are in PURE light and LOVE!!! Would love to connect and chat if you’re up to it? In the meantime sending you heaps of light, blessings and love!!! xo Ina and the Family:))

  46. Ugo says:

    I feel sorry for you and understand fully per personal experience. When we are healthy, we live in an illusion of being mighty. We are weak and vulnerable that is the truth. I compassionate with you.

  47. Mary Paterson says:

    Dear Diane,

    You have shared a deeply moving personal experience with such grace, humility and power that I am truly awestruck. Your insights are transformative. Everyone, no matter their current state of health, will benefit from reading your story. “We’re all dying.” as you wisely observe. It’s just a matter of time, and none of us knows our time.

    A spirit is not the body – this you know – and your spirit is a truly magnificent one.

    With love,

  48. Christine Alevizakis says:

    Your song is so clear and bright and beautiful and it’s the same song you have been singing since the first time we met. There are so few people who share their hard-won wisdom with others in such a direct, fearless and accessible way and you have been doing this from day one. We are all dying, yes, but you remind me once again that it’s the quality of our days, not the quantity, that gives our lives breadth, depth and allows for all the countless ripples that touch so many, and then more. For me, cancer creates waves of sadness and fear but you manage to share this difficult process with such unwavering precision and a deep awareness of what is, exactly what is. In the immortal words of Fred Rogers, ‘If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.’ You are nailing that truth for all of us. I love you!

  49. PAMELA DAWBER says:

    Diane, Thank you, I am in gratitude, for sharing your heart felt personal experience living with cancer. My personal home Yoga practice keeps me spiritually, emotionally and physically rooted as I meet each day with hope. Your Cancer story resonates to me as I live with incurable (CLL) blood cancer, with immense bone pain, although all the new oral “targeted therapy” immunotherapy drugs frequently coming out keep me alive. A quote by Ram Dass has always resonated to me “We’re all just walking each other home”. Sending love and light.

  50. Michaelle Edwards says:

    Although we have never met in person, I have appreciated communicating with you over the years regarding the evolution of yoga asana, injuries, ethics and politics of speaking up about yoga. I am so sad to hear that you are once again struggling with cancer and at the same time I appreciate your bravery and willingness to share and speak up about it. Just as you did with your yoga injury, you are helping so many by sharing your personal struggles with so many. Also your words are a good reminder that in a sense we are all dying. Some day we will sing our last song, ski our last run, cook our last dinner, or do our last yoga practice. Savoring every movement and feeling in our life is what is the essence of yoga. Gratitude makes it all so much richer and you have reminded me the importance of doing that always.
    Sending you Aloha and love from my home on Kauai. Michaelle Edwards

  51. Avery Florence says:

    Diane <3 Your soul & spirit shine through these words. Thankyou for sharing your strength & wisdom in the exact way you do. Thankyou for an incredible opportunity to spend time with my mom, with an amazing group of people, and to learn from you & Katherine & the movement team. Like you said, the movement helps inspire, but what I took most from you was your bravery, honesty & ability to share a light-hearted sense of humour with every single person. Thinking of you pool side in your weed bathing suit :P
    Sending all my love & hope to see you soon <3

  52. Mirko says:

    HI Diane:

    Sending you much love. I’ll send you my strength as well, but you have always been the epitome of calm strength. I cherish the time I spent practicing with you. It set the stage for my love of life, of yoga and of movement. Thank you. Please know you are surrounded by love.

  53. Susanne says:

    Dear Diane,
    I’m sending you love and light. I want to take a workshop with you sometime hopefully when you feel better. You are an inspiration to so many of us. Your curiosity of the body and movements has always inspired me. Wishing you the very best and lost of healing. Hugs, Susanne

  54. Linda Munro says:

    Dear Diane,
    You are such an inspiration for me. You have been since I met you! Even if I haven’t seen you in years, I think about you from time to time and when I’m teaching I still hear myself saying things you used to say 23 years ago before you even had DownwardDog!
    You are part of my teaching and my practice. I’m so grateful to you for enticing me into Ashtanga. Remember when you asked me to your house to watch Danny and Ron practice? You knew that would hook me 🙂.
    I love you and am so sad to hear about your cancer coming back.

  55. Parool Joshi says:


    Thank you for sharing your story. You explain your experience so well, I can only imagine the depth you’ve been to emerge with this beautiful glimmer of light. “When everything else fades away, what matters stays.” I also relate to “…sometimes it takes almost a whole lifetime to realize that everything was perfect just the way it was…” You are born teacher, and I find myself learning from your words today. I’ve loved your classes and will never forget that you started my journey on this path…tho now we are all on the pathless path and that is when things get interesting. You are in my heart. Much love, Parool

  56. Tony Halmos says:


    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing the story of your illness, of course, but also thank you for sharing the wisdom you’ve attained from lifetime of learning and experience, in movement practice, and in general. 

Coming up on seventeen years ago, I found myself under the spell of your guidance at an Ujayi Pulse practice that, to me, felt utterly transcendental. I remember thinking “I have been practicing in a wading pool until now, and this teacher is taking me to the ocean,” and “I’ve been practicing scales until now. This is like an introduction to improvisational composition.” And so you started to see my face more often over the next decade or so, and we got to know each other some. 

Since the end of 80G, we’ve seen less and less of each other. I think of you often, and fondly, and find myself hoping to bump into you in the neighbourhood.


In the summer of 2017, six months before my mom died at age 88, through a kind of freak internet accident, I made the acquaintance of my biological mother, who had given me up for adoption 49 years earlier. Eleven years prior to that, at age 59, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being deeply distrustful of medical science, Cheryl declined treatment and was determined to heal herself. About nine years ago, her cancer was deemed to be metastatic. Today, at 72, Cheryl no longer feels up to selling her jewellery at the Salt Spring Island market on Saturdays, but she still cooks delicious meals for her partner and takes their chihuahua for walks in Mouat’s Park.

I think the main reason I’m sharing this story with you is that, having gotten to know my Cheryl over the past two-and-a-half years, it’s apparent to me that she (like me, I have to admit) is predisposed to be something of a loner and, despite having a loving partner, three children and five grandchildren, complains frequently to me that she is all alone on her journey. I know what she means, but I wish I could make her feel less alone. I cross the country to visit when I can, but mainly I’m trying to accomplish this via text message.

    You have an awe-inspiring family, you’ve been instrumental in creating a vast community centred around nurturing, discovery, understanding and healing, and you seem to me to be very obviously someone with a huge gift for sharing, so I don’t worry that you’ll suffer from loneliness the way Cheryl does. All the same, as a member of your community who feels indebted to you and cares about you I hope you’ll consider contacting if, for example, you could use a lift somewhere or some help with something or other. (I’m not so good with handyperson stuff but I think Marshall’s got you covered there.)

  57. iwona says:

    Diane, I just read your post, I was hoping that I can join you again in mexico as two years ago … I am shocked with the news; I cant believe it … you are my best yoga teacher!!! I have been wondering for a while why didn’t I get any newsletter from you and now I know … I am sooooo sorry !!
    I am sending you unlimited love and support … I and so many others we need you!!!!
    Get well! Iwona

  58. Nancy Christie says:

    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for reaching out in the way that you have. I am moved and inspired by your approach to your illness as it seems coherent with how you live your life. As someone who is motivated to improve my health, knowing that you always do as well, I find your message humbling. We can only work with what we have at any given time, and how we do it is all that matters.
    Thanks for all that you have done to help those of us who study movement; I have personally benefitted from your organizational work. Your message to us all will help me in my personal practice.

  59. Tonna says:

    This is beautiful. You’ve always been an amazing writer! I love your work (Kathryn’s too)
    I’d love to learn more about the work you’re doing w your movement therapist.
    I’d also love to talk to her about the condition from her experience w a variety of clients.

    Can you suggest where I can read more stories of people surviving w this condition?

    I’m so glad to have read this—a lot of sources still consider MSB survival~2 years (which doesn’t help w recovery).

  60. Ivan Hui says:

    Thank you for sharing this part of your story here Diane. My thoughts and best wishes are with you constantly. I know you’ve had a tremendously positive impact on a wide-reaching community of movers but just wanted to let you know that you’ve had a huge impact on my personal journey as well.
    Thank you for creating the Movement Research Intensive, which I was lucky enough to be able to attend these last two years. Thanks for continuously sharing both your own knowledge and wisdom with those around you as well as being the connector that brings movers together to share with each other.
    With much love and gratitude,
    – Ivan Hui

  61. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have inspired so many people and touched their lives in a meaningful way. I feel fortunate to have met you at last year’s MRI. I will keep you in my thoughts as you fight your cancer. For the past three years I have helped our local university raise money for cancer research. Many of the women I have met along the way are beating the odds. The advances in treatment options are making a difference in survival. Wishing you strength and hope. Never lose hope.

  62. Laurel Beversdorf says:

    Hi Diane,

    It’s taking me a very long time to respond to this blog. When I read it, so many parts of it took my breath away. I’ve been thinking about you for the past several months. And today I listened to your voice as you talked with your daughter. I lost my mother to cancer, and I think that that might be why it’s taken me a very long time to reach out. I feel saddened hearing this news that your cancer returned, but also so inspired by your willingness to be so present and honest with us all, to continue to share your story, your grace, and your strength. I hope this medicine keeps working well for you so that you can be here for many, many more years.

    I stayed with my mother for two months and was her primary caretaker in hospice 10 years ago. She was diagnosed with terminal uterine cancer in April and she passed away in early August. Uterine cancer develops very slowly, but since my mother was afraid of getting checkups at the doctors office, she didn’t go for her annual check up for five years. The doctors suspect that it was in that time that the cancer was able to spread from stage I to stage IV undetected. By the time they found it, it was too late.

    There are so many ways in which that experience of caring for my mom powerfully shaped my life and the direction it took from that point. It was the best and worst thing I ever got to do/had to do.

    I want to tell you here in the comments of this most beautiful blog post that you’ve made a big impact on my life, Diane. Your leadership in the yoga community is awe-inspiring. When I listen to your conversation with Kathryn, I was filled with so much hope. You are such an amazing warrior, and you continue to lead with such grace, vulnerability, and strength. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out and express my gratitude to you. I’ll be cheering you on from New York City and following your story.

    Thank you, Diane.

  63. Elena Ray says:

    Hi Diane, Thank you for telling your story. I have been following your work for a number of years on Facebook-especially the years when you struck out on your own movement practice leaving behind the fundamentalist Ashtanga practice. That was a great time really so liberating. My Kundalini teacher is going through a similar thing now-heartbroken because it has been discovered that Yogi Bhajan was abusing women sexually and everybody kept it secret for years until now. So it goes again)) I commiserated with her but we also concluded that it’s also liberation from dogma. Anyway, at that time I did not know or maybe did not notice the breast cancer part of your tale, but now having just gone through my own cancer journey (Ovarian) that parts stands out for me. Even though I didn’t ask for it, wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, and really don’t want it to come back, cancer and it’s treatment sure has revealed so much truth to me and I wouldn’t give that up for anything. I am proud to be part of the Scar Clan now. You are right everything is perfect as it is. I am recovering my health and strength ( physical and mental) with mindfulness practice now, with not so much ambition as I once did. Sending you much love and peace. Elena Ray

  64. Rachel McLean says:

    Diane, I just listened to Part 2 of your conversation with Kathryn. I had to listen to Part 1 two times to take it all in. I said this to Kathryn too, thank you so much for sharing such an intimate conversation and sharing your story. It’s really nice to hear the two of you take care of each other.
    Just 2 weeks ago, Rob and I were back in Puerto Escondido and when we drove by the area we went for the waterfall walk with you, Kathryn and Kyle, we talked about how cool you are and how much fun we had on that hike. You’re true as they come and always leading the way forward with a bright light.

  65. Heather says:

    Dear Diane,
    I arrived at this post because you came to me in a dream a few nights ago and I thought I might see if you were still teaching. I have been away from Toronto and arrived back in town recently. I participated in a teacher training with you about 10 years ago. Your classes were so powerful I still daydream about them sometimes when I practice yoga. Those months learning with you and the rest of the team was a turning point for me, sending my life in a new direction. My body has never since so strong. I also met one of my best friends in that teacher training. I feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with you and for the guidance you provided for me at that time! I just wanted to thank you for everything you have created, all energy you have shared, your devotion to learning and teaching and living life fully. You have been and continue to be a great inspiration.

  66. Trang says:

    I haven’t run into you for a while and have been wondering about you. You always have a calming presence and anyone can feel safe and at ease being around you. Sending you lots of love and healing energy.

  67. Abi says:

    Dear Diane,

    Thank you for sharing what you’re going through. Your words and perspective are beautiful and show your strength and character. I admire and respect the integrity and grace with which you have moved through all of these challenges.

    I have experienced some of these different times of growth and change in classes and workshops with you. Every time I have seen you, your presence and spirit have always been sources of light and groundedness – and often in times of challenge in my life. Your continued curiosity and love are beautiful to see.

    Thank you for exploring and bravely sharing them with us. I still think about and practice what I learned with you, including how I walk and spiralling down to get into a side arm balance! Spirals are magic – and so are you.

    Sending much love and gratitude, always,


  68. Lisa Eisen says:

    Dear Diane,
    I want to first thank you for your words, your story, your honesty. I’m so sorry for the health challenges that you are going through. You remain inspirational to me and so many others with you no nonsense logical and loving approach to life. Wishing you continued love, light and ease in your life journey.
    My best wishes

  69. Robert says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You continue to be a wonderful teacher, now at a whole new level. Your blog entry is beautifully written and I will read it again, likely several times. Having been a hospice volunteer I am keenly aware we are all dying and that no one gets out alive. You’re definitely in my thoughts and I wish you peace in your life and reflections.

  70. Natasha Krickhan says:

    Hi Diane,
    I just read your story. I received a message in my inbox tonight with a link that brought me here. I’m not sure that we have ever met in person. Perhaps I took a few classes at a downward dog studio many years ago and added my email address to a mailing list.

    Having said all that, I wanted to thank you for reaching out. I wanted to wish you well. Your story was at times uncomfortable for me too read (the description of your pain and frail pelvic bone). Some parts of your story were transcendant and spiritual (your student calling you while you were in hospital to share his dream of you, with you; your description of being bathed in feelings of love). Your story touched me. With loving thoughts and hope for you to continue living and enjoying life’s pleasures and surprises. Sincerely, Natasha Krickhan.

  71. marysia jane czarski says:

    Dear Diane,
    My yoga practice began with you in 1999 on Spadina Avenue. I wore gold spandex leggings and a ball cap. For years I practiced with you on Queen W and life got busy, traffic got heavy from east to west, and we adopted a little boy. Although distant in space, what you taught me in those years remains deep in my bones and my practice. I am forever grateful that I stumbled into your class – a runner, hockey playing, aerobic instructor, in need of recovery! I send you love and strength, Marysia Czarski

  72. Lisa F says:

    Dear Diane,
    Believe me when I say that ‘you are a true guru of spirit.’ There’s no religious attachment here, and I am by no means an expert yogi…not anymore… In my 20’s I’d taught Kundalini Yoga. I loved all yoga, everything about it. But your classes (that were on TV!) are particularly memorable to me. Your calm tone and deliberate presence, teaching each person…I regret never getting to take your classes in person here in the city.
    Now, decades later, during these passed few weeks, I’ve had a powerful pull to seek this again. I wanted to introduce my daughter (11) to the serenity and strength of yoga practice. But I couldn’t teach her (few ‘tweens’ listen their mother’s wisdom : ) – So I thought of you. Interestingly, after weeks of isolation (COVID-19), your image and your lessons kept surfacing in my thoughts. So I searched to see if I could find your lessons online……and it brought me here to your deeply personal message.

    Time. It really is the constant thread that connects people, isn’t it? That saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”….I’ve also discovered that very often when the teacher needs buttressing students will feel the call and return with buoyant energy.
    Thank you, for sharing this important passage. I _know_ what you are going through. Your story, and how you shared it, is a testament to your devotion as a teacher, and your strength. You’ve reminded me that: “self-realization has nothing to do with tradition, lineage, systems or gurus. All of these techniques were simply organized opportunities to feel and focus on the present moment.” I really, really needed to read that! …and my daughter will connect with this too.
    Long ago, I was told I had a spiritual name: Baldev Kaur (“angel of energy”) — I haven’t referred to it in 27 years. For what’ it’s worth, I’m sending you my heartfelt energy in a huge postcard with deep gratitude.

  73. Margaret Hull says:

    This is Marg Hull in Kitchener. Diane, I think of you almost every morning when I make my breakfast smoothie. You may or may not remember my archaic blender, and my grieving the fact that its plastic jar had finally cracked to a degree irretrievable through duct tape. Rather than buy new, I like to find new life in old things. YOU informed me that a standard canning jar would fit my blender!!!! I still celebrate that fact, alongside my son, Chris, who lives with me this year, and goes to sleep looking forward to his breakfast smoothie.
    I was really happy to host Kathryn in my home when she did a workshop at QSY, and then it turned out that I got you as a bonus! I am grateful for your openness in sharing your journey. Your light shines brightly. Much love to you, and to all who walk this path with you.

  74. Suzanne Petrucci says:

    Dear Diane, After reading your story I have to thank you for it, so straightforwardly told, and with such equanimity. I am sure the telling took work. I have no idea a how this finds you today but I just found you after looking for quite while wondering if you were still at Downward Dog. I tuned into your beautiful TV program every day for a very long time back then. I don’t remember the year/s off hand but it was videotape era because I videotaped the programs. Your program enabled me to continue the yoga practice I began at UMass Center for Mindfulness. I remember your long dark braid. You created a very special peaceful atmosphere. It came right through the TV. You were and are still an inspiration.

  75. Frank says:

    Hello Diane ;Just today after finishing my work realized my energy is on the decline and I ache all over. Turning 65 is brutal. So I was thinking that I need to start stretching and maybe a Yoga class is in order. I came upon your daughter’s site and found your story. It Riveted me as I read it. I also had a cancer which I am told “they got it all. Your situation sounds much more serious and it’s obvious that you are a fighter and a very strong person. I wish you all the best and hope you have closed this chapter of your life. I was going to ask for suggestions on how I get started based on my age.

  76. Heather H says:

    Diane, I am so sorry to hear of your cancer dx and its progression. You are in my prayers. I used to practice to your Breathing Space Yoga program broadcast on WTN in my 20s and 30s. I took up the practice after being diagnosed with mental illness and it has definitely helped me stay healthy both mentally and physically. Know always that you are loved by family, friends and followers. You have contributed so much to us all and we thank you.

  77. Zara says:

    Dear Diane, 🧘🏼‍♀️✨🧘🏼‍♀️

    I imagine you practicing yoga onna cloud right about now as daylight is breaking.

    I was reading this story believing you are still in your body and then realized your journey here got shortened.

    It made me very sad and silent. So I am talking to your spirit now and pray tgat your heart is at a well deserved rest!

    You had such a profound impact on me while I was taking your classes.
    I don’t expect you to remember me … you met and taught thousands of students. I always appreciated the ride you gave me back to the beaches studio!☀️It feels like it was yesterday…

    You make so many excellent points in your writings. Fear is the worst killer ever. If doctors could just learn that.

    You were and are an exceptionally strong soul and spirit and I feel blessed to have known your kindness!

    Be well on that cloud! The angels must be lining up for your classes ☺️

    Love Light and Blessings,


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] first yoga teacher, the late Dianne Bruni, hosted a television series called Breathing Space Yoga. It was a thirty minute program that aired […]

  2. […] Last fall, I was eagerly awaiting news of the 2020 intensive. Instead, Diane informed me that the stage 3 breast cancer with which she’d been diagnosed and survived in 2012 had returned and metastisised to her bones and organs (you can read Diane’s thoughtful and heartfelt story here). […]

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