Erica Nunnally is proof that yoga heals. She first began her on- and off-relationship with the mat when her college crew coach told her to try it to work through a back injury some 30 years ago. A decade into her inconsistent practice, Nunnally decided to get more serious about yoga, as well as meditation, to cope with a new diagnosis, Crohn’s disease, a condition where the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed, which can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea. She began a daily practice and completely changed her diet, mindfully choosing local, seasonal, unprocessed foods to ease her discomfort. Her dedication eventually led her to sign up for teacher-training, which she completed eight years ago. In 2012, Nunnally once again turned to yoga to de-stress after her toddler’s cancer diagnosis.
Learning from her personal journey—from dealing with her own health scare to her child’s—Nunnally was inspired to open The Bija Institute in Cumberland, Rhode Island, a weekend wellness retreat for parents and caregivers of children who are battling cancer. On this stunning property, complete with a 700-square-foot yurt that can house up to 32 yoga mats, Nunnally offers a sanctuary for others, like her, to come breathe, grieve, stretch, relax, meditate, and nourish their bodies and souls. Learn more about Nunnally and this extraordinary place in this quick clip.
By Sonia Jones