How Important is Your Yoga Practice in Breast Cancer Recovery?

Yoga With The Sisters NetworkBy Diana Ross, ERYT & Founder, Breast Cancer Yoga

Boy, I find myself saying this over and over again to my students, especially those students that take a break from their practice and come back to class expecting to pick up where they left off. You must practice  your yoga to stay strong and flexible. This applies to being strong and flexible of mind, as well as body. Oh, and let’s not forget – most importantly, of spirit. Yoga is not just the pose but also the breath and meditation. Two of my most favorite things to teach, and two of the hardest things to teach.

So much has changed since the research community alongside the yoga community joined forces to show their groundbreaking protocols for preventing, treating and healing breast cancer. There are many yoga studies underway at medical institutions all over the world to help support Yoga and Good Health.

MD Anderson, Duke, Harvard and the University of California to mention a few are funded by the NIH (National Institute of Health) for their research studies that exclusively focus on the benefits of yoga and recovery.

Decades ago yoga was some sort of “hippie” thing that some people did to be cool or different. It wasn’t really tied into the medical community for it’s healing effects. Actually the idea of integrating yoga with medicine was viewed as being a bit out there.  Well no longer is this true. Today’s picture is so different of yoga. It is one of the fastest growing areas of health and wellness in the cancer communities, or just in general.  Physicians, psychologists, researchers and neuroscientists are revealing evidence of how a yoga practice can positively affect us mentally, physically and spiritually.
Yoga for Breast Cancer
So back to my question ~ How important is your yoga practice?  You need to ask yourself – Do you feel good after a yoga class? Has something lifted or shifted? Are your thoughts clearer? Do you feel rested or less anxious? If you said yes to any one of these questions, then a yoga practice is good for you. If you find it challenging to start on your own in your home, then go to a class that will be suitable for you. A class of contemporaries. Women love to be with other women especially if they share in the recovery process, as you can see from the LI Sisters Network. These women love and support each other.  Don’t hesitate to look around for a restorative or therapeutic yoga class.

If you know that yoga will decrease depression, increase immune function, support flexibility, and give you greater strength than why not commit to a yoga practice. The truth is yoga relieves depression, calms the nervous system, promotes strength and flexibility.  Throw in the benefits of breathing and mindful meditation and you can change your life – heck change your health.  Just ask the experts.

How to start, or support your yoga practice? Keep it simple, and make it easy. First, make the commitment of a certain amount of time each day just for you and your yoga. It can be even before you get out of bed. This is where your best work can begin. Start in reclined Butterfly (soles together, knees to side) and breath consciously. When ready bring your arms over head and support arms with a pillow. This is a real easy place to start. Or find a place for your practice, either at home or in a studio, gym, medical institution, and then show up. Start with one class and build from there. Again make it easy. Ask others to join you so you feel supported. It will also motivate you to do it and have quality time with a friend or family member.  Find balance; do what you can and don’t have unrealistic expectations. A yoga pose is to explore no to concur. Have fun, be in the moment and enjoy each breath, then sit still to receive the benefits of your practice.  I speak more of starting a yoga practice on  http://breastcanceryogablog.com/2013/06/03/understanding-breathing-or-should-i-say-prana/ and vist our YouTube Channel and watch some helpful and healthful tips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPX5ucaZvlg.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Comments

  1. Your method of explaining the whole thing in this post is really fastidious, every one be capable of easily know
    it, Thanks a lot.

  2. Hi Diana, I’ve just viewed with great interest your beautiful website and am in awe at what you give to your fellow b.c. ‘friends’, ‘survivors’. Your sessions look so peaceful and I’m sure all who attend, rtruly benefit as well as really enjoy just ‘being’ in a soothing and calming atmosphere such as this…..

    I’m an MLD therapist and have my clinic in Basingstoke, working with many BC clients who have lymphoedemas. I also volunteer for our wonderful breast cancer charity The Pink Place, which offers free therapies on a Monday morning for all those going through the cancer journey (we now include all cancers) I also volunteer at the Fountain Centre, part of St. Lukes Cancer unit at The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. I have just qualifed with the Pink Ribbon Rehabilitation Exercise Programme and hope to offer classes in Basingstoke early next year. However, depending upon where you offer your sessions, I would be more than happy to advertise for you – perhaps even attend, if there was an opportunity……..

    Your website is a delight to view and offers much info for those needing a helping hand as they go through their cancer journey……

    Thank you!

    • Thank you for your kind words on our site. It was an effort from me, my daughter and granddaughter. Yes, it is a labour of love. My classes are wonderful. Right now they are on hold because of my lung cancer but my students are missing their yoga; me included.

      You also do a lot to serve this community through your time. Happy holidays.

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