By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.
Yoga and Breast Cancer Lymphedema Management:
A restorative yoga practice that includes continuous flowing movements may significantly improve the lymphatic system. When lymph fluid is disrupted because of breast cancer surgery, trauma or infection, excessive lymph fluid builds up. This stagnant fluid can play havoc on the tissues and create swelling. There also can be a reduction of the oxygen absorption in the lymphatic system which increases the chance for infection. Practicing a flowing yoga keeps the lymphatic fluid pumping throughout the body’s channels, rather than accumulating or backing up. It is great for maintaining healthy breast tissue. To keep this fluid moving, we need to also foster relaxation. It will facilitate renewed or restored strength and flexibility.
Easy Warrior (Flow) Is A Standing Chest and Heart Opener Yoga Pose:
When practicing standing chest and heart openers, there must be a quality of keen awareness and discrimination that promote our sharpness of intelligence and our power of concentration. We must approach each and every chest and heart opener respectfully because the spinal nerves and spinal muscles touch one another which could create spasms and lack of circulation.
- Opens and expands pectoral muscles
- Promotes lymphatic fluid drainage and decreases blockages
- Softens stiff shoulders or frozen shoulder
- Frees the breath by way of opening the chest region
- Improves leg strength and flexibility
- Increases ROM (range of motion) for arms, and shoulders
- Has calming effect by harmonizing the breath to the movement
- Warms up entire body
- Allows neck muscles to relax which improves overall circulation
- Lengthens entire spine allowing there to be space between each vertebrae
- Begin standing with right foot forward, about 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart, with feet and hips facing forward (back foot can be slightly turned out to maintain balance).
- EXHALE, bring arms out in front by pelvis clasping hands together.
- INHALE, as you begin lifting arms up overhead, roll palms out and away from the body lifting chest up while bending right knee (front knee shouldn’t go past the ankle).
- EXHALE, lower arms and straighten front leg.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Sustain easy Warrior Pose with arms overhead and knee bent for 3 to 5 breaths.
Please note: if your arms cannot go directly overhead, raise them to where you can. Never push through a pose, going beyond your own capacity.
To experience the benefits of yoga for breast cancer, it is essential that you begin with simple, gentle yoga movements. You should also consult a doctor before you begin practicing yoga. It is also necessary that you follow a yogic diet that consists of a mainly vegetarian diet to enhance the benefits of yoga.
About 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.