Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga For Breast Cancer: Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors
When the DNA in the cell is damaged, the cells may become cancerous. When lymph nodes carry these cancer cells, it causes damage to the other organs in the body. Breast cancer has various stages and the treatment varies based on the same.
When medical treatment is supplemented with yoga for breast cancer in order to address the patient's symptoms, the quality of life of the patient generally improves. Therapeutic Yoga, Gentle Yoga and Restorative Yoga have all been proven to show significant benefits for the patient, while addressing the side-effects caused from breast cancer treatment. Relief from symptoms after surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, lymphedema etc. is a wonderful advantage of practicing yoga as a supplement to therapy. Regular practice of yoga poses along with proper pranayama and meditation encourages breast cancer survivors to remain balanced and accept their condition with an open heart. Acceptance is a big first step in the journey of healing.
The Yoga Sequence for Breast Cancer was created keeping in mind the various muscles that are impacted the most with the treatment of Breast Cancer and need to be worked upon. Keeping in mind the different stages of breast cancer and the patient's level of endurance and strength, the yoga sequence for breast cancer has three parts to it:
Part 1 of Yoga for Breast Cancer: This yoga sequence is for those patients who were into yoga earlier and have completed the treatments towards breast cancer. The yoga poses will help them remain strong and flexible, encouraging good supply of blood to the entire body.
Part 2 of Yoga for Breast Cancer: This yoga sequence is for those patients who are fighting the conditions and are in denial. The yoga poses will help them encourage prana into the system, while slowly allowing them to face the situation and the condition with the yoga teacher's love and care.
Part 3 of Yoga for Breast Cancer: This yoga sequence was created keeping in mind the various side effects of treatments towards Breast Cancer. The digestion plays a great role here while the arms and the shoulders need attention with deep stretches in a relaxed and comfortable sitting.
Yoga teachers who feel the breast cancer survivors are in trauma, can introduce the following yoga sequence as part of the healing session:
Note: The above information is just to provide an idea about the healing process of breast cancer with yoga. This information, though constructed after a lot of research with good medical websites, should not be taken as the only option for healing breast cancer patients. This is just to be considered as a supplement to medical treatment and only a trained yoga teacher/therapist must be consulted. Care should be taken while using the above information along with taking advice from a qualified medical practitioner.
Yoga for Breast Cancer: Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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This sequence are for those who have been into yoga earlier, and have crossed the treatment stages with Breast Cancer, but want to keep their body muscles strong and flexible. Here the poses will help them get back to life with confidence and strength.
A. Come to sit at the centre of the mat in Baddha Konasana, where the soles of the feet are placed touching at the toes and the heels.
B. Taking a few breaths here, slowly connect the movement of the body with the breathing. Calm your thoughts, your inner stress, your limbs and your facial muscles.
C. Holding the feet in your hands, exhale and push the thighs downwards moving them closer to the floor.
D. Seated here in Bound Angle Pose, the hips open, while flexing the thighs and the extension of the spine encourages the flow of prana upwards and downwards.
E. For a more dynamic way, flap the thighs fast in Butterfly movement to encourage deeper opening of the hips and the lower back.
F. Stay here for almost 12 breaths. Understand the body while flapping and stop when not feeling good.
G. Placing a cushion below the hips for better support will bring less strain on the spine and the flow of prana would be smooth and you could sit longer too.
A. To move from Cat Cow pose and to go a till deeper with the stretch and the strength, practice Balancing Table Pose.
B. From Cat Cow pose, release to come to neutral. Inhale and extend the right arm out, while slowly adjusting to extend the left leg out behind you.
C. Stay extending the alternative arm and leg in Balancing Table Pose or Dandayamana Bharmanasana. Be here for about 2 breaths and release.
D. Come to the first position, and relax taking few breaths, and if required you could rest in Vajrasana too.
E. Come back to Cow pose, inhale and extend the left arm in front of you and slowly bring the right leg out extending behind you.
F. This pose helps to improve the core muscles, improves balance while strengthening the shoulders and the chest.
G. Go steady while understanding the body and it limitations. The shoulders and the arms need to regain strength slowly, with all the wear and tear of the muscles that were exhausted with the treatment of Breast Cancer.
Repeat this pose couple of times more taking complete rest in between in Vajrasana. Using the wall for support should be AVOIDED here, as one does not want to fight against gravity. Being natural with the body along with gravity is better in this situation.
A. From Tadasana, inhale and using your hand place the right foot soles touching on the inner side of the left thigh, while bending the right knee. Inhale again and stand straight and raise the arms above your head to go into Vrksasana or Tree Pose.
B. If balancing the body with the arms raised is causing discomfort, then placing the palm close to your chest in front of you is a good option.
C. Try to remain in balance in Tree pose for about 2 breaths, and exhale to release.
D. Inhale and try with the other leg balancing on the right leg. Release when in discomfort.
E. Vrksasana or Tree Pose, uses the core to hold in balance while also strengthening the legs at the ankle, knee and the hips.
F. A great way to build self confidence and acceptance with the practice of this pose. Firm placing of the foot, encourages self control of one's body with awareness.
G. Good to keep the joints active and lubricating as for some people the joints and the bones can become weak as part of the side effects of treatments for Breast Cancer.
A. Releasing from Tree pose, stand with feet together and relax the breath.
B. Inhale and place the left foot behind you, increasing the distance more than the hip.
C. Placing the left foot inwards to 45 degrees, let the right foot remain facing front at 90 degrees.
D. Making sure the distance between the feet are comfortable, exhale and bend the right knee making sure it does not go beyond the right ankle.
E. Inhale bending more and as you exhale stretch the arms out at shoulder height to Virabhadrasana ii or Warrior II.
F. Extend the arms out till you are comfortable and feel the stretch at the shoulders, chest, hips and the legs. Release and turn back completely, now placing the left foot at 90 degrees and the right foot inwards at 45 degrees to practice this pose with the other leg.
G. Strength, endurance, stability, focus and confidence is encouraged with the practice of this pose.
H. Use the body's comfort while practicing this pose and let go when in discomfort. This pose can also be done seated on a chair for better support. Encourage good and positive thoughts at the time of holding this pose.