Cancer in its myriad forms shatters the sufferer and all those related to them. No matter the kind of cancer diagnosed or the stage of its spread, the life of the patient undergoes a massive shift that is accompanied by an eternal doubt about the longevity of their existence.
Feelings of depression, anxiety
Physical symptoms like pain, nausea, fatigue
Low self-confidence due to body changes
…..are some of the responses to this life-changing disease of Cancer.
The ancient healing practice of yoga significantly recognizes and supports the physical, psychological, and emotional sufferings that the disease of cancer creates. With its diverse aspects of yoga poses, pranayama, and meditation, Yoga tremendously helps the cancer patients overcome the negative effects of the disease. The subtle yoga practices have proven to be effective in improving the certain factors:
Lowered Stress Levels: Battling a life-threatening disease is physical, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and stressful. Yoga is effective in lowering the stress levels thereby strengthening the immune functions.
Better Sleep Patterns: The combination of poses and pranayama practices foster relaxation and better sleep cycles
Enhanced Physical Functioning: The regular performance of yoga postures owing to correct alignment fosters strength, flexibility, and enhanced physical functioning in cancer patients and survivors.
Detoxification: The yoga asanas stimulate the muscles, increase blood supply, balance the glands, especially the lymphatic glands magnifying the internal purification process.
Additionally, the science of yoga promotes the union of body-mind and higher self-esteem.
Given below is the list of the ideal yoga postures for cancer to practice for healing and transformation.
1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana): Start this pose in Baddha Konasana Position. (Straight back, heels and soles of the feet together, knees wide open to the sides and hands clasped around the feet). Upon exhalation, lower the back to the floor. First, come on the hands, then forearms and finally, spread the pelvis, lower back, torso, and head on the floor. Lay the arms on the floor angled at 45-degrees, palms up. Stay in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
2. Cat-Cow Pose (Bitilasana-Marjaryasana): Come on your fours for the cat-cow stretch. For the Cow Pose, curl the toes under, draw the stomach and navel in with your abdominal muscles hugging the spine. Gaze upward towards the ceiling without straining the neck. Now, come into cat position, by releasing the top of the feet on the floor, round the spine naturally and release the head down. Look at the floor. Practice this movement with the breath for about 10-15 minutes.
3. Easy Pose with Palms Pressed (Sukhasana): Sit on the edge of a yoga mat in the staff pose (Dandasana). Cross the legs at the shins (knees should be wide and each foot should rest beneath the opposite knee). Fold the knees towards the torso. Draw the shoulder blades back and straighten the spine. Join the palms together at the center of the heart. Continue to take long and deep breaths.
4. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani Asana): Sit sideways at the end of the wall. Exhale, with one smooth swing, raise the legs up the wall and gently bring the shoulders and head to the floor. Open the shoulder blades, soften the throat, and stretch the arms to the sides, palm up. Keep the legs long and vertical in place. Turn the eyes down and look at the heart. Hold this pose for as long as you are comfortable.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu-Bandhasana): Lie on your back with bent knees and heels close to the hips. Press the hands and heels into a yoga mat to lift the posterior and lower the back up and away from the floor. Rest the head, neck, and arms on the ground. Remain in this pose for 60 seconds.
6. Corpse Pose (Savasana): Lay the back on the floor. Stretch the legs with feet 2-3 inches apart and arms wide open to your sides. Close the eyes and gently relax each organ of the body. Let go off and rejuvenate your whole body. Be in this pose for no less than 5 minutes.
For those surviving cancer and enduring chemotherapy, radiation– yoga poses for cancer is an anchor to internal calm, sense of harmony, and a heightened feeling of well-being.
To Know more about the Yoga Poses, join yoga teacher training in India.