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

Why Start A Breathing Practice For Breast Cancer Recovery? Good Health!

Breathing Practice for Breast Cancer RecoveryBy: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500, Co-Founder Breast Cancer Yoga.

It is important for everyone’s health to at least look at developing a breathing practice.  What I mean by that is to look at all the amazing benefits of breathing fully and consciously.  We really do not think about breathing. Breathing just is: no thought required but just imagine if you did give it thought. What would happen? Well lots would happen toward building a better and healthy life. Breathing correctly does so much on a physical and emotional level. All you need do is try it. The benefits of a breathing practice is a healing process and it will help in relaxing your body tensions while giving time for the mind to consciously rest. This often induces deep relaxation and restfulness. The deeper the tensions of mind and body the greater overall effect on the healing. Breathing is also key to decreasing mind tensions and to expand heart opening. Please use yoga props or house items, like pillows and blankets. This prop support will help in comfort and allow for this relaxation during your breathing practice to occur. Remember too, that good thoughts produce good reactions. Be open to experience yoga and the positive flow of life energy that comes through the practice.

When starting your breathing practice make sure it is simple and easy as possible so a positive tone for each day is encouraged and then re-enforced. Set yourself up for success. Start at home at first and then when ready, go to a group class where the instructor is knowledgable in recovery. I would suggest a restorative yoga class first. As far as being flexible enough; you come to yoga to gain flexibility, it is not a requirement. I have included the following steps to start an easy gentle breathing practice.

Start a Breathing Practice with these tips.

  1. Start with 5 or 10 minutes per day, and gradually increased up to one hour.
  2. Never force the breath, instead allow the natural flow of the breath in and out.
  3. Cultivate a slow and even breathing pattern.
  4. Once in the practice, begin to lengthen the inhalation and exhalation, allowing for a small pause or “holding” of the breath at the top of an inhalation and/or at base of an exhalation.
  5. Find a place that is quiet and airy; a place where nothing can distract you.
  6. Wear comfortable, loose clothing.
  7. Find a time of the day where you can establish a rhythm or routine and then try to stick with it. This will build a strong discipline.
  8. Your mouth should be clean and fresh with the stomach empty.

Remember the breath is the “cosmic gas station” so fill up.  Namaste’

Diana Ross, ERYT, CYT


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.

Wide Angle Side Stretch Yoga Pose for Breast Cancer

Wide Angle Side Stretch Yoga Pose

By:  Breast Cancer Yoga.

Wide Angle Side Stretch Yoga Pose for Breast Cancer

For the month of June 2013, Diana Ross of Breast Cancer Yoga has shared a new pose for everyone to explore and especially recommended for breast cancer patients and survivors. Try it out and let us know how you like it!

Practicing smooth flowing movements combined with proper breathing techniques helps improve posture and creates a deep sense of peace . This is important in recuperating from the side effects of breast cancer treatments. For this month I decided to introduce a deep stretching yoga pose. This pose is demonstrated by Breast Cancer Yoga’s beautiful yoga model Angela Strynkowski, RYT 500 and owner of  A Jewel In The Lotus yoga studio.


  • Deepens breath with each flowing movement
  • Stretches hamstrings opens inner thighs and calfs
  • Allows the spine to relax and lengthen
  • Creates a deep sense of peace
  • Stimulates parasympathetic relaxation response
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Reduces circulating stress hormones
  • Has a twisting and cleansing effect on liver and internal organs
  • Stretches side body ribs/lattismus dorsi
  • Develops shoulder flexibility

Wide Angle Side Stretch Yoga Pose For Breast Cancer

Wide Angle Side Stretch Yoga Pose For Breast Cancer


  1. Begin in seated pose with legs out wide apart in V with flex feet – toes extend up 90 degrees.  Sit on pillow or blanket for comfort.
  2. INHALE, lengthen spine.
  3. EXHALE, twist right over leg and bring hand toward left foot or on the out and inside of leg.
  4. INHALE, lift back up and turn to center.
  5. EXHALE, twist left over leg and bring hand to right foot or on the out and inside of leg.
  6. INHALE, lift back up and twist back to center.
  7. Continue to flow back and forth slowly balancing the  flow of movement with your breath.
  8. Place your hand behind to balance if necessary.
  9. Continue for at least 3 -5 minutes.  Enjoy this wonderful flow.

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.

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.

Bali Seal Yoga Pose For Breast Cancer

Bali Seal Yoga Pose

Breast Cancer Yoga Model Angela Strynkowski, E-RYT

Diana Ross, E-RYT 500
Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

It is summer and the perfect time to build strength. Bali Seal is the pose that helps create this strength from within.  Take it slow if you are starting out. After a few lifts and releases you will begin to feel the energy charge through you, giving you the internal as well as the external lift you need. Let us know how it felt. Namaste’


  • Stretches spine and opens chest for increased spinal mobility
  • Increased shoulder ROM, and stretches breast tissues
  • Stimulates cervical and axillary lymphatic drainage
  • Strengthens and stretches quadriceps and core  muscles
  • opens rib cage
  • Post surgical benefits of reducing fibrous adhesions and scar tissue
  • Great for opening lungs
  • strengthens lower back and squeezes kidneys


  • Knee injury

Bali Seal Yoga PoseBali Seal Yoga Pose


  1. Begin seated on an appropriate size prop in between legs, ankles should  be comfortable.
  2. INHALE, bring arms in front, interlace hands in COMPLETION MUDRA (hands interlaced with thumbs and forefingers straight) and rise up  bringing arms overhead or to a comfortable place to lift up.
  3. EXHALE, lower arms and seat back down on heels, or a supporting prop simultaneously.
  4. Continue to INHALE, and lift up.
  5. EXHALE, and lower down.
  6. Coordinate the breath with the movement.
  7. Continue to flow up and down bringing a gentle attitude to each movement.
  8. Breathe deeply and allow your body to feel energized and rejuvenated.

Visit Breast Cancer Yoga Videos, DVD’s, Breathing CD’s, and More!!

Diana RossDiana Ross, E-RYT 500 founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is a restorative yoga teacher; and a survivor that cares about making a difference in your recovery process. Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products were designed to support you emotionally and physically from breast cancer surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.

Mind Detox with Blue Iris Photo Meditation

by Irina Wardas

We must take care of our stress level in order to have a stronger immune system for preventing and fighting breast cancer. So, time to try the Iris Flower photo meditation with healing color blue to help you refocus, relax, heal faster.

Healing color blue will help you feel calm and at peace, so you can practice Blue Iris photo meditation every time you need to calm down or just before going to bed for a better sleep.

Irinia Wardas

Blue Iris Photo Meditation

Sit comfortable in your favorite place and take a couple of deep breaths.

Inhale all the energy of the Universe…

Exhale all the negative emotions you feel right now…

Keep on breathing at least for a minute paying attention to your breathing.

When you are ready, start paying attention to the details of the flower: colors, shape, light shadows, etc.

Look closely and get ready to be amazed.

Keep on breathing…

Breathe in energy from the flower and color purple,

Breathe out stress and anxiety.

Keep on breathing, exploring the image and being in the present moment.

When you feel more relaxed and calmer, take a couple of deep breathes, give yourself a hug and get back to your daily routine.

Did you know that a blue Iris flower symbolizes faith and hope? So let us be wise and always have faith and hope, shall we?

For more healing photography and photo meditations by Irina Wardas, visit 
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