Yogi in the Community: Radiah Maria Ishmail

This week our Yogi in the Community is fairly new to the physical practice of yoga, but it is obvious that she has been a Yogi for quite some time. Radiah explains how the strength she needed during her resistance against thyroid cancer was supported by her yoga practice. Radiah’s story was right on time for me, and it is my hope that it resonates with so many of you. Be inspired.

Name: Radiah Maria Ishmail

Location: Brooklyn, New York

What led you to the practice of yoga? Yogi in the Community: RadiahI was inspired to start practicing yoga after I randomly found Laurasykora‘s Instagram profile. She posts beautiful poses from her yoga practice which left me very much intrigued. She often shares with her followers that she is self-taught, with the help of yogaglo.com. This led me to open an account, and I started my practice at home. I haven’t been able to stay off of my mat since.

How long have you been practicing? I just recently started my journey with yoga in January of this year.

I’ve learned that you are a “grateful cancer survivor”, can you talk about how your yoga practice influenced the ways in which you moved through this process? I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in July of 2011. I’m glad to say that after two surgeries & 1 round of radiation treatment, I have been in remission (cancer free) for 9 months. Although I am grateful to be in good health, after my diagnosis I started to feel very vulnerable, and had irrational fears about the cancer coming back, or other bad things happening to me against my control. Yoga has not only helped me to still my mind, but helped me feel more in control of my body and what happens to me in my life.

Yogi in the Community: RadiahWhat keeps you coming back to the mat? Besides the obvious benefits of becoming stronger and more flexible, yoga has given me a new sense of confidence. Yoga can help you to feel incredibly strong while being humbling at the same time. I also love the challenge, and never want to stop learning.

What has your yoga practice taught you so far? Yoga has taught me that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Yogi in the Community: RadiahI may fall out of a pose, or may not have perfect alignment in a particular asana, but that’s ok because it encourages a lifelong commitment to working towards getting better. The same applies with life. The fact that I have gained a few pounds, didn’t have the greatest success with helping a patient at work, or spent more money than I should have while shopping, isn’t the end of the world. Tomorrow is another day to do it all over, and make it better.

Check out Radiah’s beautiful words and postures here: Radhiah Mariah Ishmail


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