An estimated of more than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. Consequently, they undergo painful treatment regimens, stress, and emotional trauma.
Thus, therapeutic activities like yoga can complement cancer-fighting medical treatment. It will help heal the body, mind, and spirit in the midst of the cancer battle.
So today, we shall explore how Yoga can benefit someone suffering from cancer. It should be noted that Yoga does not guarantee a cure, but it sure is a step towards that. At the least, Yoga can prove to be a preventive measure.
All information in this article has been verified by Mr. AMIT SHARMA (YOGA EXPERT).
VISIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA
1. YOGA LOWERS FATIGUE
Several studies have linked yoga with reduced fatigue in cancer patients. In fact,if we look at testimonies as well, people have accepted that more yoga sessions they attended, the lesser they experienced fatigue. The key to this lies in the fact that Yoga stimulates vitality by opening up your spine. The stretching and flexing of this area is key to releasing energy that combats fatigue.
2. YOGA REDUCES STRESS
Battling a life-threatening disease is physically, emotionally, and mentally stressful. Yoga may be able to help with this aspect of cancer as well. As yoga stimulates blood flow in our body, it ensures proper circulation. Also, the rhythmic breathing ensures optimal heart rate (not too much; not to less) and thus, keeps blood pressure in check as well.
In fact, studies say that a regular yoga routine reduces the likelihood of developing mood disturbances by more than 60%. On top of that, a healthy functioning body will in turn ensure a good appetite, regimen and overall quality of life.
3. YOGA IMPROVES PHYSICAL FUNCTIONING
In addition to everything on your mind, cancer affects your ability to move. Spending time in the hospital or sick at home can make the body stiff and sore and make it more difficult to complete daily tasks. As a regular form of exercise, yoga is a gentle way to stay limber and active. We’ve already mentioned above how Yoga stimulates different blocks of your body and in turn unlocks energy corners which lay dormant before.
Yoga is a very effective prevention for potential cancer patients as well as a step towards a right direction for people with cancer. However, it’s especially beneficial for cancer survivors. For them, Yoga can be a way to gradually detox and restart their bodily functions.
4. YOGA HELPS SLEEP BETTER
A combination of physical and mental stress can make sleep difficult, but healing the body requires ample rest. Yoga can help with insomnia and make it easier for cancer patients to relax at night. With an improved blood flow, there’s a reduced chance of deficiencies in your body. On top of that, Yoga helps in relieving stress, while ensuring ample physical activity to ensure a good sleep. Not just the duration, Yoga can also improve the quality and efficiency of sleep.
ASANAS TO START OUT WITH
We’re aware that mere knowledge is not enough to enforce a regimen change. Thus, here are some asanas which can act as a head-start for you, as a beginning for your new lifestyle.
1. SEATED SPINAL TWIST
Jessica Bellofatto says that this pose can help in treating digestion and nausea. It’s a simple asana, which can be performed anywhere. The steps include: –
- Start by sitting cross-legged on the floor.
- Breathe deeply.
- On the exhale, slowly twist your body to look over your right shoulder, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind your body.
- Breathe deeply and hold the stretch.
2. VIPARITA KARANI
This pose can help combat fatigue. It includes putting your legs up the wall. The steps include: –
- Sit on the floor with your left side against the wall.
- Turn to the left and bring your legs up against the wall as you lower your body into a prone position.
- Scoot your buttocks against the wall.
- Your shoulders and head will rest on the floor while your legs stretch up the wall in this relaxed position.
3. SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA
Also known as the Reclined Bound Angle, this is a great way to reduce stress and fatigue. This simple asana can be done using the following steps: –
- Begin seated and bring your feet together in front of you, with the soles facing one another, knees bent and heels pointing toward your groin.
- Slowly lie back, supporting yourself with your arms until your back is against the floor.
- Relax and breathe deeply, with arms out to your sides.
4. SEATED MEDITATION
A beginner pose, seated meditation helps you to focus on breathing and mindfulness. It won’t be wrong to say that this is the “oldest trick in the books”.
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed in front of you.
- Feel your sitting bones in contact with the floor.
- Lengthen your spine to sit up tall, and gently drop your chin down slightly so your neck is aligned with your spine.
- Breathe deeply and try to keep your mind from wandering.
“We know that life is painful — that getting cancer and going through cancer treatment is extremely painful, emotionally as well as physically. But as yogis, we are also taught that suffering is optional, that we can transform our suffering into awakening with the recognition that everything in life is for our awakening”Jessica Bellofatto (Yoga Guru)