Cancer, Gratitude Practice & Yoga: Easy Ways To Significantly Improve Your Life

Developing gratitude is a practice and a skill which yoga supports. One way to engage in a gentle practice of gratitude is through the use of mudra. Mudras are hand positions and often called ‘yoga for the hands’. They are gestures which ‘seal’ our intentions or desires by focusing breath and energy into our mudras.

Lotus Mudra is one way to contemplate our gratitude. By joining our hands at the heart-space, we keep the base of the palms joined and touch pinky and thumbs together;  while spreading open our fingers like a lotus flower. The lotus flower is nourished by mud and fed by sunshine.

For cancer survivors, and I am one, this lovely gesture has even deeper and richer meaning. From the murky depth of cancer, there continues to be rays of life and hope. Can we hold both truths in our mind’s eye?

I find that a simple bouquet of flowers goes a long way to nudging my mind toward gratitude.  As we hold the Lotus Mudra, we can fill the container of our hearts by naming our blessings. Practicing gratitude takes less than 3 seconds and this small change can bring big rewards to our immune system.

Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” depends on feeding the soul. We acknowledge the mud we all swim in, and see that difficult circumstances may bring opportunities, as well. I was talking with a newly diagnosed cancer patient just yesterday. He has been stubbornly independent his whole life. And he told me he was proud of himself for being independent. I told him that cancer diagnosis and treatment was a time to open up receiving help. We don’t “do cancer alone”!

Research tells us that those who have a :

  • Social network, far better during cancer treatment
  • Yoga can help fatigue and sleep
  • More fruits and veggies in our diets is better fuel for our bodies
  • Spiritual practices can be supportive of our immune system
  • Developing coping skills can ease anxiety

Yoga practices are more than postures for the body or asanas. A whole person is mind, body, emotions and spirit. We simply unite these aspects of the human experience with breathing consciously. As we progress, we consciously awaken to our everyday lives and see anew. We needn’t travel to India, yoga’s homeland, or even leave our beds to give gratitude aloud. I am not advocating ignoring the pain that cancer and its treatments bring. I am saying that these muddy waters are rich soul-food which demands we rise above the darkness. That in the midst of hardship, we do not overlook the tenacity of a weed to grow out of cement.

And though I don’t know you, when I give thanks during the Lotus Mudra, I will call your soul by name and include you in my gratitude. We journey together.

About Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist 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

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17,894 other followers

.

Suggested Cancer Self-Help Healing Books:

 

Healing Mudras For Cancer Survivors

Healing Mudras For CancerBy: Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net.

In yoga, there are many ways to connect to the Universal oneness. In postures, we call it asana practice. Through breathing, it is called pranayama. With our voices, it is called mantra. And through use of hand gestures, it is called mudra.

Each connection is from earth, through our bodies and to the energies of our spirits. Each form of yoga activates nerves, glands, mind, body and spirit. Yoga itself is a moving meditation. We open our channels of self healing.

Mudras are beautiful and powerful expressions of intention to draw on internal and external energy of our healing potential. As a cancer survivor and yoga teacher, I share mudras with my students. Mudra’s hand positions often have mantras and pranayama features. A common mudra is putting the thumb and forefinger together while mediating.

I encourage my students to make their own personal gestures to express their emotions. For example, there is a mudra for healing grief. But we each experience grief differently. When we turn into our bodies, we might feel grief in our heart chakra or in our naval center. We can use our own hand gesture to explore grief for ourselves. Yoga continues to grow and change with each practitioner. So why not learn from our inner guidance?

Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist 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

%d bloggers like this: