Yoga can be a powerful healing tool during a cancer diagnosis. Cancer patients and survivors can help repair body, mind and spirit with regular practice of this ancient form of exercise. It can help calm the mind, ease side effects and improve quality of life. In this guest post, you will learn the many benefits of yoga for cancer.
Meet Tami Killam, Yoga Teacher
Tami Killam is a survivor of chronic illness. On her journey to heal herself both mentally and physically, she discovered yoga and all the amazing healing benefits it has to offer. Tami says yoga saved her life. She is now a yoga teacher and founder of Whispering Path Yoga & Reiki. She has additional training in Yoga for Cancer.
I first met Tami online in a blogging group. Since, we have chatted about cancer and yoga. It can offer so many good things to cancer patients and survivors. I was thrilled when she agreed to write a guest blog post for Pink Ribbon Runner. I think you will really enjoy her article.
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Yoga and Cancer
When you hear the words you have cancer, your mind begins to race with so many questions that bring up many unknowns. It takes time to learn the options and to figure out what is right for you and your cancer diagnosis.
Whether you are newly diagnosed, currently on a healing journey or a survivor of cancer, the act of stepping on a yoga mat can have many benefits and positively impact your cancer journey.
Yoga brings calm to chaos
Yoga brings stillness and pause to a chaotic situation bringing calm to the body and clarity to the mind. It can be a complementary add on to the medical protocol to support the physical and mental well being of the patient no matter where they are on their cancer journey.
Yoga meets you where you are right now
Yoga meets you where you are on your mat. It encourages you to do what is going to best serve you in the moment. No need to worry about what the person next to you is doing because they are not walking in your shoes on your journey.
Everyone is unique and their experiences on their cancer journey are unique to them, so their experiences on their mat will be unique to them as well.
Yoga helps manage symptoms and side effects
Yoga includes meditation, breathing, moving the body into yoga poses, restorative poses and relaxation practices that will support mental, emotional and physical wellness. And it helps patients manage symptoms, side effects and promotes a healthier outlook on their cancer journey.
Yoga gives you strength
Decrease in muscle strength and flexibility are usually side effects of cancer treatments. Yoga can increase your strength and flexibility by offering a practice of weight bearing poses on your mat.
The weight bearing poses will positively affect your balance and help promote better range of motion in the joints.
As you continue your practice you will notice better posture and stronger bones. A reduction of body pain, muscle aches and joint pain will be noticed on and off the yoga mat as well.
Yoga supports weight management
Exercise is recommended for people on cancer journeys at normal weights and obese weights. Yoga can facilitate weight loss and support weight management when a continued yoga practice is sustained.
Yoga helps regulate the Lymphatic System
Movement of the body also helps to regulate the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction, flexion and movement to keep the lymph flowing and draining out of the body since this body system does not have its own pump like the cardiovascular system does.
Cancer treatments can contribute to lymphedema which is the buildup of fluid in the arms, legs, neck and abdomen. Movement in Yoga helps encourage lymphatic drainage and the flow of the lymph throughout the body to maintain a balanced lymphatic system.
Yoga helps with fatigue of cancer treatments
Extreme fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect of cancer treatments. Yoga helps to build a better quality of life by reducing fatigue and helping to improve overall sleep at night.
People who practice yoga report the quality of their sleep improves. The length they are able to sleep also increases.
The meditation and breathwork in the yoga practice has a big impact on the sleep quality experienced by people on a cancer journey.
Yoga empowers healing
Yoga empowers newly diagnosed, people currently on a healing journey and survivors of cancer to bring what best serves them into their wellness plan.
The regular practice of yoga helps to bring a sense of control back into their lives and helps release anxiety and fears of what is to come.
Yoga brings the person to their mat and helps them focus on the present moment, what they do have control over and helps them release future worries and what they do not have control over.
Bring Yoga into your life
Bring Yoga into your life to reduce symptoms and side effects while building strength and positively affecting your immune system and physical body.
Let Yoga cultivate a sense of presence, and positive emotional well being.
You have the power to take an active role on your cancer journey and positively impact your healing and wellness. The light in me sees, honors and respects the light in you.
Keep shining your light bright!
Tami offers online Zoom Yoga for everyone. She also offers both private and group Yoga for Cancer classes on Zoom. Be sure to check out her fabulous teachings and classes. Breathe, meditate and move your body with Tami.