ovarian cancer

How Yoga Healed My Fear of Cancer

“I’m really sorry. You have cancer”.  
      I’ll never forget that moment. The moment the word ‘cancer’ entered my world.

      I was just 30 years old and I was being told I had stage four ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. My diagnosis was terminal.

      I knew, in that moment, that I had a choice: a choice between succumbing to my poor prognosis, giving up and immersing myself in fear and self-pity; or choosing to embrace life, rediscovering the joy of living and spreading positivity with those that I meet.

      I, of course, chose the latter.

      So, when I was told that my cancer was likely inoperable but that they would give me chemotherapy to ‘make me more comfortable’ I decided that my story didn’t need to end there. I had far too much living to do. I still had the power to remain in control.

      Mustering as much strength and positivity as I could – you need to remember at this stage I was critically ill and could hardly walk – I decided to dedicate my time to my health. Having practiced yoga and meditation as a form of relief from a very stressful work life for a number of years I knew that health and healing should be viewed holistically. I began developing my personal healing journey by looking not at the cancer in my body, but at the dis-ease in my mind, body and spirit. The deeper I explored, the more I realised that I wasn’t as healthy as I’d once thought. Stress, anxiety, grief and, unsurprisingly, sugar where plaguing my immune system. I needed to start making changes and fast!

I started to meditate daily – something I’d previously pushed to the bottom of my priorities, telling myself I was far too busy for ‘nonsense’ like that. I started to spend time in nature breathing in the beautiful fresh air that surrounds our country home. I also started to embrace a whole food, sugar free diet. And guess what, something wonderful started to happen. Just 10 weeks following my diagnosis I was approved for surgery.

      In May 2016 (five months after my diagnosis) I had the largest operation the team had performed on a stage IV ovarian cancer patient. During this they removed my ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb, cervix, appendix, spleen, omentum, part of my bowel (I now have a colostomy bag), part of my liver, part of my diaphragm and part of my pancreas. Recovery was hard and I spent a long six weeks in hospital.

      Once home I wanted to immerse myself into everything I’d been learning. Most importantly, I wanted to start practicing yoga again. However, no one could tell me if it was safe. I’d been told I shouldn’t expect to even walk up stairs for a few months, but here I was 3 months later, walking 2-3 miles daily and desperate to bring Asanas back into my life. A deep inner knowing was telling me this was what my body needed and I wasn’t prepared to give up.

      Finally, admitting that no yoga studio was going touch me, I approached a teacher training school. If no one knew if it was ‘safe’ then I would learn for myself. I would become an expert in my own body and healing. Amazingly they took the risk and, just 4 months after my surgery I enrolled in their 12-month training program. Something incredible started to happen. No longer was I just being taught about yoga as a form of fitness – the prevalent view in modern western society – but, instead, I was learning about the holistic benefits of yoga. I was learning about pranayama, the yamas and niyamas and a plant based diet. I knew this was the healing journey I had craved.

      And, I was right. I have now been in remission for nearly 6 months and, aside from some fatigue, I am feeling healthier and happier than I ever thought possible.

      I don’t know if yoga and embracing holistic health healed my cancer but one thing is for sure, it healed my fear of cancer and taught me how to live again.

      I now embrace a happy and fulfilling life flowing with joy and positivity. Having started my teacher training as a means of supporting my own healing I now want to share this knowledge with others and help them on a journey to recovery too, and not just those who have cancer, but all those living with dis-ease in their lives. Most importantly I want to encourage those I teach to embrace yoga philosophy.

I recently qualified as a specialist children’s yoga instructor and in August I’ll qualify as an Ashtanga Teacher for adults. I have just launched my own business as a yoga instructor. I couldn’t be more excited to start this new and exciting phase in my life.

Love and light, Fi xx


Fi has recently set up her own business as a yoga instructor for children and adults.

You can read more about Fi Munro on her public Facebook page.

She is currently writing a book about holistic health and healing due for release soon.

She is also a regular blogger for Huffington Post.

10 thoughts on “How Yoga Healed My Fear of Cancer”

  1. Good morning Fi,

    Your posts just sing positivity and inspiration! I had stage 3 bowel tumour in 2007/8 (have a colostomy) and a partial gastrectomy in 2015 to remove a Gist tumour. Due to a combination of colitis and adhesions, I have been on free fluids only since August 2016.I have restricted mobility due to CRPS in my left knee – rubbish knees full stop! But, I have fab quad muscles and am now working on my core.Any suggestions? God bless you!🤗

  2. Thanks for sharing the wonder of your journey, Fi.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your holistic approach to health and healing. This reminds me of a dear friend who was diagnosed as bi-polar, suffered severe depression for ‘centuries’ and although he could not take the necessary steps himself, other’s would meditate on his behalf. After a time, he fell ill and was rushed to hospital, where Doctors found a massive tumour on his brain, a fortnight later, as they could wait no longer, he was moved to Edinburgh where they removed the tumour, 6 weeks later he left hospital and he now leads a healthy life.
    So often it’s the case that we have to go right down into our very depths before we can begin to really live.

    You might be interested in this video which I’ve just this minute watched. At 18.00 Nilima goes on to talk about becoming whole by going on a journey which takes you through a ‘death’, a crisis, a transformation. Shakti Leadership

  3. You just keep on inspiring me!! Wonderful story, I’ve always loved yoga and know that if I rededicate myself to my practice, I will feel better. Also, you look great! So happy to hear you’re doing so well!

  4. Fi. I only met you this weekend on our training course. I thought then that you were an amazing lady…………………and now I have just read this. I had no idea that you had been through all of this. Absolutely fantastic that you have seen yoga as your way forward. You will be an amazing and inspiring yoga teacher xxx

  5. Thank you,Fi, I’ll look for a class. I live just outside Cambridge so I’m sure there will be plenty to chose from. I hope you have a blessed day, Pauline 🤗

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