Lymphedema After Mastectomy: Learn About Breathing Exercises & Restorative Yoga

It is not unusual for a woman to develop lymphedema after a mastectomy. Lymphedema is a sometimes-painful swelling in the soft tissues.  This can be due to the removal of lymph nodes, scar tissue, strictures, and other factors.

Manual lymph drainage massage is the usual recommended technique to treat this swelling.  It may be surprising to know that another therapy that benefits lymphedema is yoga, especially restorative yoga. When the lymphatic system is at its optimum, it is like a free flowing river, running without obstacles.  However, when the lymph nodes are removed or damaged, that same river meets obstacles and begins to slow down and this creates a pooling of fluids.  This build up in the tissues can cause swelling and inflammation and reduce oxygen in the lymphatic tissues. The white blood cells, or immune soldiers of the body, can be impaired in their function in this situation.  This may increase the risk of infection and create a possible permanent disability.  Edema is often found in the arms and legs, but can be found in other parts of the body.

Knowing how important it is to keep this fluid running like a free flowing river, we need to foster relaxation and gentle movements that encourage its increased flow.  This is especially important after breast surgery or removal of nodes, when it is paramount to undertake new activities to increase impaired lymphatic function.

The need to develop a deeper state of relaxation to counter the mental and physical stress of illness and its treatment is critically important to our health and well-being.

Practicing yoga, especially Restorative Yoga which targets the pectoral area, keeps the fluid moving through the body rather than slowing down and creating a back up.  This benefits the breasts by promoting drainage and healing and creating a sense of safety when expanding the chest.

Practicing Restorative Yoga daily will undo the harmful effects of too much sitting or inactivity.  Starting yoga practice with a knowledgeable Restorative Yoga teacher is as important as wearing a bandage or support garment.

An important thing to understand in your practice of Restorative Yoga is that you must to slow down enough to listen to what your body is telling you.  Any time you overwork your muscles or strain your healing tissues,  you run the risk of fluid build up.

Let this be the yoga practice of self-understanding.

More Great Articles

  1. How Breathing Exercises Can Raise Energy Levels For Breast Cancer Patients
  2. Breathing, Yoga and Cancer
  3. Breast Cancer Breathing Guidelines & Techniques During Exercise
  4. Diaphragmatic Breathing for Cancer Survivors
  5. Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment
  6. Yoga Pose for Breast Cancer – Root Lock KRIYA Breathing
  7. 4 Benefits of Breathing Exercises For Breast Cancer Treatment
  8. Why Start A Breathing Practice For Breast Cancer Recovery? Good Health!

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn 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 if you have questions.

Prevent Breast Cancer With These 5 Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Healthy Lifestyle Choices To Prevent CancerNecessary Lifestyle Choices for Optimum Health
An anti-cancer lifestyle will include a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy. It is important to cultivate an awareness of what feels and taste right going into your body. It is equally important to stop and take notice of bad choices. Ask yourself “Is this good or bad for me? “Will it make me feel better or worse?” We all want to feel alive and vital.

1. Exercise – Yoga
Practicing Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery has shown through studies to encourage and improve sleep and to enhance overall quality of life. (Reuters Health) – About one third of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that affects their quality of life. A new study found that doing yoga might help restore some lost vitality. (

There are some simple suggestions to start exploring a change in vitality:

2. Cancer Prevention Foods – Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
It is suggested to eat a plant base diet of fruits and vegetables: make your diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables that are full of micronutrients and bioflavonoids which are duly noted to help prevent breast cancer or other cancers. Five or more servings per day is recommended by the American Cancer Institute. Red and blue berries hold a significant amount of necessary cell builders and anti-cancinogens that are a necessity on our tables.

Here are some simple choices to select from to start improving your health:

3. Water Therapy – Alkaline Water
Alkaline water (referred to as ionized water) can neutralize or decrease the acidity of the body’s pH caused by stress, modern diet, and air pollution. We suggest trying this water and feeling the possible positive effects.

Find a water store and get alkaline water by the gallon (it usually stays charged with negative ions for up to 48hours)
Purchase if possible a home alkaline water system that filters pollutants as well as charging the water with negative ions and anti oxidants

  • Benefit from the many ways to use alkaline water like necessary hydration for the body’s cells

4. Manage Stress – Learn to breathe
Deep breathing is vital in that it encourages the release of body toxins, rebuild healthy tissue which consequently increases overall energy. This true oxygen exchange stimulates digestion, assimilation and elimination. A very important function of breathing fully and slowly is that the body’s natural relaxation response is prompted. This relaxation response results in decreased tension, anxiety and fatigue.

A great place to start is with our single down-loadable breathing exercises or you could do the following.

5. Laugh Often – Emotional Balancing
It has been shown that even when manipulated to smile people in truth feel happier and joyful. Laughter can stop depression right in its tracks and boosts our immunity.

We suggest the following to bring on happiness.

  • Have a daily joke sent to your e-mail
  • Watch funny YouTube videos
  • Listen to the comedy channel on the radio
  • Download comedians from iTunes
Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn 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 if you have questions.

Restorative Yoga

There is so Much to Recovery

breast-cancer-recoveryAs I am sitting by the fireplace in the midst of the Catskill region and reflecting on what to write for this breast cancer blog, I am reminded of my yogic learning. In yoga we try not to think that which we do not want. This is a blog for any recovery.

Recovery requires us look at more than the physical body
If I only focus on the disease, then my recovery is limited. Recovery requires us look at more than the physical body. Recovery cannot occur unless we are willing to look at the complexity of our being. We need to heal our physical body but that also includes our emotional, mental and spiritual being. Doctors and treatments do not heal us; they facilitate our process of healing. They are very necessary. They give us the strength and physical ability to enable the healing that comes from within us.

Our body when balanced has the power to heal
Working in hospitals as a student, I could not understand when doctors would say; “I can not do anything for this patient, she does not have the will to live.” We as patients must become partners with the doctors in the healing process. Our body when balanced has the power to heal according to yoga. Therefore yogis do exercises and breath work to enable the body to balance.

When the body has dis-ease, it is out of balance. With the wonderful work of science, doctors now have the ability to attack most dis-eases, and to give us the strength to begin the healing process. These blogs are here to assist us in this healing process.

The word yoga means to “yoke our individual self with the universal self.” We believe that eventually all of us will join our creator. To do so, we need to purify this physical, mental and emotional body. Our soul is universal, we are universal, but having a human experience. It is everyone’s destiny to return to the source. It matters not what you call the source, God, Allah, Krishna, there is only ONE but we all take different paths. When we are on the path towards our goals, we feel more balanced.

Our spiritual body is also required in the healing process
All beings on this planet rely on life force. This life force we call praana, others may call it chi or adamantine particles. Praana is the essence of life. It is the essence of creation coming from the Heart Core of our Supreme Creator. Therefore, our spiritual body is also required in the healing process.

How much praana we are able to absorb is dependent on our physical, mental and emotional vessel? I like to compare it with the electricity in our homes. It is always there to give us 120 volt. The refrigerator takes all of the voltage; whereas the transistor radio can only take 12 volts. Similarly our body utilizes praana according to the state of our being. The goal is to be able to absorb more and more praana. More life force in the physical body will affect the mental and emotional body. Similarly the emotional body affects the physical. When we are happy or in love, we have an abundant amount of energy. When we are sad and depressed our energy is low. When our mind creates tension, the flow of praana is obstructed within the physical vessel. So we must constantly try to increase the praana within us, through any method available, either physical, mental or emotional.

For any healing to occur we need to increase our intake of praana
Praana is life force that will aid all healing processes. The easiest way to increase praana is through the breath. Yoga states that by the regular practice of praanayaam or breathing exercises we can maintain a higher standard of health, vigor and vitality. For any healing to occur we need to increase our intake of praana.

For this blog post I would like YOU to start taking long deep breaths
Let the exhalation be as long as the inhalation, break the breath between both for a short while. We call this rhythmical breathing. This can be done at any time of the day, and as many times as possible. Practice daily, and slowly the body will get accustomed to taking in more oxygen.

When life becomes overwhelming and tense, take a deep breath and allow the exhalation to be twice as long as the inhalation, and the body will quiet down immediately. Put this tool in the back pocket and draw it out whenever necessary. Life gives us much tension.

With Love and Respect
Ma Mokshapriya

MokshaPriya Breast Cancer Authority Blog ContributorMokshapriya is ordained as Swami Ma Mokshapriya Shakti Saraswati and has taught yoga, meditation and philosophy for over 40 years. She currently teaches and gives guidance in Queens NY at the Yogashakti Yoga Center. She is the co-founder of the Yoga Teachers Training Institute and has trained over 250 yoga teachers in Long Island and New York. Mokshapriya has a Education by researching and writing a “Comprehensive Eclectic Yoga Program: A Strategy for Self-Improvement” Curriculum for College. She is very direct, but approachable. You may contact her at or

Try These Great Tips For Breast Cancer Post Surgical Recovery

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery BookRestorative Yoga therapy can effectively help restore physical movement and aide in post surgical recovery. One of the essential tools for recovery is effectively dealing with stress and depression. Pain and worry affects the body, creating stress hormone release. When the body becomes stressed, the breath becomes shallow, which in turn tenses the muscles. Some may even find themselves unconsciously holding the breath.  Here are a restorative yoga poses we have created specifically for post surgical breast cancer recovery:Restorative Yoga For Post Surgical Recovery

Try Let It Rise Yoga Pose To Restore Movement For Breast Cancer Post Surgical Recovery

Restorative Yoga therapy addresses the emotional and physical causes of stress, fear, anxiety and depression. This marks the beginning of recovery and allows a state of clarity and relaxation to be experienced. These states of calmness produce their own associated neurohormones which promote the healing process to begin. We have created a step by step instructions so you can learn how to do specialized breathing techniques during breast cancer treatment and for post surgical recovery.

Breathing Guidelines & Techniques For Breast CancerStart A Breathing Exercise Routine To Manage Stress, Fear And Anxiety

Long-term health benefits of yoga breathing exercise is potentially significant, but short-term increase in energy, focus, peace and brain power you gain from just a five minute yoga breathing technique is incredibly strong in your general well – availability, productivity and happiness.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn 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 if you have questions.


Feelings -  Breast Cancer Journaling TherapyThere are four words in the vocabulary of emotion, affect, feelings, emotion, and mood. FEELINGS are an awareness of what is happening inside of us and I imagine that those two words, “breast cancer” have brought up many FEELINGS. Maybe you have experienced FEELINGS that you have never felt deeply before such as fear, terror, and anger. Then there are those FEELINGS of sadness, confusion and helplessness. All of these FEELINGS are normal when you have had to face breast cancer and the multi-dimensional issues that come with it. You have had to learn a whole new language that was once foreign to you. You have had to learn about types of breast cancer, stages of breast cancer, and the many treatment options. You have had to show your body to doctors, nurses, and other medical strangers. You have had to make tough and sad decisions about your breast and/or re-construction options. You are fighting for your life and fighting not to be just a statistic. Your very identity has been shattered and threatened. Don’t you think you are entitled to some anger about that? Are there enough tears inside your body to tell your story? Your life, as you know it, has changed permanently. You FEEL many FEELINGS about that and all are important.

FEELINGS are information for us to pay attention to. It is important to notice, identify, and name the FEELINGS you have about your breast cancer diagnosis. Those FEELINGS may change on a dime with no warning. One minute you think you are fine and then one of those breast cancer commercials pop-up on the TV and you burst into tears. Then, someone tries to comfort you and you tell them to leave you alone. They leave you alone and then you accuse them of not caring. They say you are impossible and a fight breaks out between you and the person who was just trying to help. Wow. Sound familiar? FEELINGS are just like that scenario. You may not believe me, but it is easier to fight with someone over disagreements than it is to FEEL the terror that comes with breast cancer. So, in one way, FEELINGS are a distraction to what is really going on.

Thus, here is a short diagram of what to do with all of these complex FEELINGS that are coming out of nowhere.

  1. Notice the FEELING.
  2. Describe and name the FEELING.
  3. Breathe into the FEELING using your breath as your friend.

Really that is all you need to do to honor the feeling and let it go. You may choose to journal your FEELING or use crayons to color your FEELING. But right now, Notice, Describe, and Breathe is all you need.

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Breast Cancer Breathing Guidelines & Techniques During Exercise

Breathing Guidelines & Techniques For Breast Cancer

Yoga Model Angela Strynkowski, E-RYT 200, RYT 500 Founder of

How to breathe and control your breath Is important:

The breathing exercise that we propose is simple and controls the constant practice of involuntary inhalation and breath through the understanding and regulating the process. It has a great beneficial effect on the physical and mental health.

In yoga, breathing is known as a rather integrating principle called the prana, a wide-reaching effects that can bridge the body, mind and spirit together in a harmony which is the basis of yoga and meditation. The practice of yoga is breathing after all seeking yoga breathing techniques to maximize this universal energy that exists inherently in all of us.

Those who practice yoga feel that this state of harmony is natural and there are many aspects of life that pull apart the internal harmony of our. The yoga breathing exercise is one of the basic fundamental techniques we can use to control and even eliminate the impact of external forces have on overall health and well-being.

Some basic guidelines to breathing techniques during exercise:

  • Get up early in the morning. Come out to the countryside and make sure you’re near an open window.
Sit with back straight. Keep your hands loose inside the basin you. Observe for a few minutes to breath and has stabilized the rate of take a deep breath very slowly. As the air enters pull your belly inward, outward raising your chest. The muscles of your stomach must be tense.
Hold the breath and count to five. Then exhale and gradually relax the abdominal muscles. If you have too tiring to hold your breath counting to five, count to three or less.
  • Take a full breath – inhalation, end – and then repeat the whole exercise.
  • Once familiar and master in this technique, you can try switching between the left and right nostrils.
  • Close alternating nostrils consecutively using the thumb and ring finger with the little finger of right hand, while the other two fingers should be folded. First inhale deeply through the left nostrils and exhale through the left. Too late. Make sure stomach muscles are turned on enough.
Then change the process – breathe in through the right and exhale through right. Repeat entire process for some time.

Yoga Breathing Techniques:

1. Breathing practice. First of all, it should be jurisdiction, time and motivation to improve our breathing through exercise. The yoga breathing techniques to help turn the main control of the minds and our bodies, but can only work if you commit to a disciplined program for a period of several months.
2. Understand the physiology of breathing. Much of advanced breathing techniques yoga breathing involves changing the speed and breath as well as controlling the depth of breathing exercises. The goal of yoga breathing (pranayama) is to facilitate the mind and heart and increase the oxygenation of the cells in your body – otherwise known as a process of breathing. To master the pranayama, the images in your mind the end of the toxicity and gas up and breathe, your mind is pure, clean oxygen your body.
3. Be aware of your body and breathing. The yoga breathing techniques emphasize the role of your body, of your abdomen, sides of your chest and your chest as well as your lungs breathing in the yoga. For example, when you practice deep breathing to the abdomen is a critical indicator to get enough breath to complete adequate oxygenation. Truly mastered the pranayama is only possible when you become aware of the pace of your breathing in any activity at any time of day.
4. Dining and inhalation and exhalation, focused almost entirely on inhalation, making sure getting a real deep breath, without any focus on how they let the air out of my body. In fact, the end is as important to the success of yoga breathing exercises. Focusing on a consistent, controlled version rather than a jerky, uncontrolled release.

Inhalation should be done gently and effortlessly. Prefer to breathe through the nose. Do not tense the nostrils; let them remain relaxed. It should all be done in a smooth, continuous rhythm with each part following smoothly on from the previous part. Avoid any jerky movements and undue strain.

  1. Slowly and gently push the stomach forwards as you breathe in.
  2. Push the ribs sideways while still breathing in. The stomach will automatically go inwards slightly.
  3. Lift the chest and collar-bone up while still breathing in.
  4. When it has been completed pause for a second or so, holding the breath (optional). Mind it is to be un-forced.


  1. Just allow the collar-bone, chest and ribs to relax-the air will go out automatically.
  2. When all the air seems to be out, push the stomach in very slightly to expel any remaining air in the lungs. The upper ribs are now contracted first.
  3. You may take a tiny (optional) not-forced pause here too, just as on top of the inhaling.




Long-term health benefits of yoga breathing exercise is potentially significant, but short-term increase in energy, focus, peace and brain power you gain from just a five minute yoga breathing technique is incredibly strong in your general well – availability, productivity and happiness.
Read more on Swami Ramdev yoga exercises and yoga for beginners.

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 if you have questions.


Becoming Mindful For Breast Cancer Recovery

Becoming Mindful For Breast Cancer Recovery

By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

What Does Mindful Mean? Why is it so Important? How Does it Help Breast Cancer Recovery?

Being mindful means “being conscious or aware of something directly.” Once mindful, you can foster positive change. Developing of a mindful practice, like yoga or breathing is the key to recovery. Mindfulness, whereby combining the breath consciously with yoga movements causes this awareness of the mind right into the present moment. Right where it needs to be in order to move forward and heal.

Why is it so important to be mindful? Because it stops the negative chatter of a restless and wandering mind. Stress and anxiety are some of the byproducts of this unmindfulness. We may become careless and lack clarity in making good decisions, especially health decisions when we are unmindful, or lack a degree of consciousness. It is right now, here where you become “present” to whatever is, or isn’t. Learning how to stay in a mindful state allows you to get past that which may cause undo stress or harm. This can be attained through the proper training of the breath, focus of the mind and movement of the body. When the breath, mind and body come together, consciously, the ability to create relaxation and a new found state of clarity is then realized. Here you can tackle recovery head on and with deep purpose.

How Does the Breath Make us Mindful?

“When the mind wonders; the breath is sure to follow” Swamini Kaliji

It is stated in yogic practices that when the mind jumps all over it is called “the monkey mind.” This unfocused mind can create stress and anxiety, all of which has a negative impact on the mind and body causing a profound effect on the autonomic nervous system which then increases stress hormones and overall emotional responses.

The reason being mindful is so valuable is that the mind is deeply incorporated with the breath. A mindful practice is cultivated through learning how to use the breath positively, or in partnership with the mind. It is an intentional act of unity, whereby unconscious thoughts and feelings of the mind are then brought to a single point of attention. This is achieved one way by focusing fully on the breath. Through rhythmically breathing (inhale and exhale of the same duration) we tap into our deepest inner resources for healing, and for relaxation. By flowing through a series of breaths, the body experiences an inner calm which then awakens the prana (life energy) and moves the mind towards a higher level of understanding. It is through the control of the breath, that the mind will reflect a higher knowledge and a positive state of confidence and self-esteem. It is emotionally challenging to learn you have cancer. A natural response is “Can I do this? “ Let this be the yoga practice of self-understanding.

The deeper the commitment to a Mindful Yoga and Breathing practice, the deeper the relaxation response will manifest, healing the trauma of worry, anxiety and fear associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer. It is challenging to start a yoga practice when this fear, stress, anxiety and depression surface. It is precisely when we need support, not only from our doctors, families and friends, but most importantly from other women who have breast cancer or even another type of cancer. These personal connections help us to feel “part of” a community who understands our emotions and experiences. Unconditional love creates miracles! Creating a strong support system and a safe place to be (oneself) are paramount to alleviating the stress that derives from breast cancer. A clear mind, a full breath and a body in motion are paramount for recovery. YOU are responsible for your healing process and progress so breathe deeply and move freely.

Breast Cancer Yoga has two therapeutic breathing exercise CD’s for good health.

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 if you have questions.

Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment

Yogic Breathing For Breast Cancer

By; Diana Ross E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Learning breath exercises will aide in the recovery process from breast cancer. First it is important to learn to breath correctly. Breathing correctly is done by taking in air deeply through the nostrils so that the lungs expand. Second, learn to use breath exercises so that they are used as treatments for specific situations, such as stress reduction or increase energy.

Natural Breath is used for stress management because it has the most calming effect of all the breaths. This breath reduces stress and tension by turning off the sympathetic “fight or flight” autonomic response.

Positions for breathing exercises during breast cancer therapy can be done in either a seated, laying down, or even in a standing position. However, you must be in a comfortable position so that the mind stays focused. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing.


  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Promotes diaphragmatic breathing
  • Supports expansion and relaxation of thoracic cavity
  • Reduces lumbar spasm and pain
  • Massages digestive organs and increases peristalsis
  • Relieves constipation
  • Stimulates flow of bile
  • Increases venous return and lymphatic drainage
  • Turns off sympathetic “fight or flight autonomic response”
  • Has one of the most calming effect of all the breaths


  1. INHALE, drawing breath in through the nostrils, down deep into lower lungs; lower lungs expand and belly extends out.
  2. EXHALE, gently draw naval back towards the backbone releasing air from lower lungs through the nostrils.
  3. Let there be a natural pause of transition before you inhale again.
  4. Continue to lengthen and balance natural breath for up to five minutes.
  5. Continue and then begin to lengthen exhale; moving the breath into a 1 to 2 ratio.

Breathing exercise program aides in breast cancer recovery along with other benefits that a person gets by practicing it. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing. Along with daily breathing techniques we encourage an anti-cancer lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that includes a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean, pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy on your road to recovery from breast cancer. Cultivate awareness of what goes into your body; stop and take notice of habits.

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 if you have questions.


Breath Importance Breathing Exercise CD's From Breast Cancer Yog

%d bloggers like this: