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Devin Batey Bigler

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Devin Batey Bigler

Battling Cancer with Yoga

Island University Alumnus Devin Batey Bigler discovered her peace through the stretching and strengthening power of yoga in 2003. Years later, she has helped numerous cancer patients discover their inner strength and serenity through the same practice.  

Bigler, who graduated from the University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Art in History and a Minor in Kinesiology, taught yoga to cancer patients at MD Anderson, the Woodlands Regional Care Center from 2011 to 2013. Her practices have helped heal and ease many cancer patients and survivors. She says that research has shown that individuals undergoing active treatment and practicing yoga can lower anxiety, reduce the severity of symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and improve overall quality of life.

“Introducing yoga in a manner that is ‘user friendly’ and relevant to the individual’s needs is one of the most important gifts I can offer,” said Bigler. “The yoga classes I teach have a tendency to grow into very supportive and nurturing communities or networks.”

During her time at MD Anderson, Bigler helped conduct studies which scientifically-documented the benefits of incorporating yoga into the clinical care of people with cancer. The benefits included less fatigue, better emotional health, improved sleep quality, and better overall quality of life.

Bigler has also taught yoga classes for adolescents, young adults, and women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She also taught yoga­ once a month at Galatas Elementary School in The Woodlands, Texas, to K-4 and special needs children.

Recently, Bigler relocated to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to be with her husband. She says that having yoga in her life has helped her with the life transition.

“I will miss working with cancer patients and survivors, and other incredible groups I have had the privilege to work with,” said Bigler.  “I will however continue teaching yoga and sharing the benefits of this practice.”