Breathing, Yoga and Cancer

Breathing Yoga & Cancer

By: Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of E-RYT200, E-RYT500 Certified Yoga Therapist with Yoga Alliance.

Breathing and yoga are powerful and have immediate benefits for cancer patients:  Together they offer the power to gain some control over anxiety, a restless mind, and the whirlwind of change that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

From my own experience of cancer, and being a caregiver to my middle sister and mother who also experienced cancer, I learned a lot of what is truly important.  I felt such a lack of control over myself during cancer treatment  that I began to control my environment to an unhealthy extent. Did I really want to use up my precious energy in cleaning? Didn’t being a good mother include cleaning, laundry, dinner and quality bedtime routines?  None of my usual touchstones of health were in place. And at one point, the dust balls in the corner seemed to mock and taunt me. I couldn’t keep up.

Dust balls are not that important, but our minds might replay messages of ineptitude about how we are coping with cancer. My mind told me that those dust bunnies were evidence of a person who was not performing her household duties and was failing physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Surveying our bodies and our breath, we take inventory of what is happening right now. When we focus our energy, we begin the process of letting go of everything else.  We are not our diagnosis.  We begin to see and feel our bodies, our emotions, and our spirits.  The breath carries us within and connects us to a greater truth.

Here’s a way to find your truth:

  • Settle into your surroundings.
  • Draw your focus to your heart center.
  • Feel your heart beating.
  • Feel your breath moving in and out.
  • As your focus becomes centered on your heart, let your heart open with each breath.
  • Listen and breathe.
  • Feel and enjoy.

I know that my students come to yoga class to invest time in themselves and their wellness.  It is a huge effort of energy and time and I don’t take that for granted. The room is set up to be inviting, relaxing, calming and accepting. We freely hug and greet one another. We take time to talk about where we are in our life’s journey or cancer journey. We do not judge ourselves or others. We simply come to place of “being.”


Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapists with International Alliance of Yoga Therapists
Atma Yoga Teacher Training, certified 500 hours Los Angeles
A Gentle Way Yoga, certified 200 hours
Silver Age Yoga, certified 200 hours

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  1. Thanks Jean, even your words in this article help calm and focus on the breath – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on listening post delores.

    Liked by 1 person

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