Breast cancer survivor introduces yoga to Philly community

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Saturday, September 23, 2023
Breast cancer survivor introduces yoga to Philly community
After losing her parents as a baby and surviving cancer, Robbin Alston is helping others find their balance.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I have seen some of the worst society can offer but I've also seen the best," said Robbin Alston.

Originally from Washington, D.C., Alston lost her parents as a baby. She was placed in a boarding school and had to navigate many parts of growing up on her own.

When she came to Philadelphia, she studied at LaSalle and Temple University. She earned a PhD and became a psychologist.

In the midst of studying to achieve her dreams, Alston was diagnosed with breast cancer. But she did not let it stop her.

Fast forward 30 years later, Alston is a survivor, an author, and the owner of her own yoga practice, se Yoga Studio and Tea Room.

"I used to peep into this building and it was an old abandoned building," said Alston, whose studio is in East Falls. "No one had been here for years."

But now, members like Rita Hart come on weekday evenings and weekend mornings to find their balance.

"I work in a hospital. It's a very stressful environment," said Hart, who has been a friend of Alston's for three decades. "A lot of times, when I get stressed out, I just practice the yoga breathing that I learned here."

A newer customer, Tracy Rollings, has been coming for just three weeks with his wife.

"Being a black male, it can be stigmatized as being too soft," said Rollins about yoga. "So, my wife has helped me with that because I was that same guy."

In the future, Alston hopes to foster more healthy mindsets, eating habits, and lifestyles for her community.

"No matter what you're going through in life, my arms, my heart is open," she said.

To learn more about se Yoga Studio and Tea Room, visit their website.

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