Registered Yoga Teacher and cancer survivor Marsha Therese Danzig shares some of her yoga practices to help anchor your mind, body and spirit during cancer treatment.
You’ve gotten your diagnosis. You’re adjusting to your new life as a cancer patient. You’re attempting to navigate all of the medical lingo, tests, treatments, decisions and emotions. Or, your cancer has returned. You’re a pro. And you are still attempting to navigate all that comes with cancer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have something steady and reliable to turn to, to help you gain some calm, some good feelings, some restoration, a feeling of well- being, some control over your life in the midst of all “that”?
Yoga, a 5,000-year-old practice for the body, mind and spirit, is just such an anchor in the life of a cancer patient. No props are needed. No gear. No athleticism. Just you, your body, your mind, wherever it is, and a willing spirit.
Here are simple yoga practices you can do anywhere to reduce your stress level and increase your well level.
Find a place to sit, either in a chair, in a bed, or on the floor. Take as deep a breath as you are able. Breathe in, pause, and breathe out with an audible sigh. Do this 8-10 times, taking slow deliberate breaths. As you breathe in and out, say to yourself “In this moment, my breath calms and soothes me.”
Place your hands on your thighs. Breathe in, reaching your chest up and forward. Pause. Breathe out as you round your back, chin towards your chest. Do this 3-5 times, flexing and extending your spine. Say, “In this moment, my breath calms and soothes me.”
Relax with your eyes closed. Lift your arms overhead if you are able (breast cancer, high blood pressure, lymphoma patients keep your hands to your sides). Lean to the right and exhale as if you were a reed in the wind. Inhale, come back to your original position on your inhale. Lean to the left and exhale, then return to your original position on the inhale. Do this three times. Close your eyes, saying, “In this moment, my breath calms and soothes me.”
Relax with your eyes closed. Place your left hand on your right knee. Twist your torso to the right. Exhale. Return to your original position. Inhale. Place your right hand on your left knee. Exhale. Return. Inhale. “ In this moment, my breath calms and soothes me.”
These exercises are known as the six movements of the spine. The benefits are amazing: rejuvenating energy, space between each vertebrae which creates better breathing hence stronger immunity, organs that are toned, tension released from the lower back to the neck, and easier flow of cerebral spinal fluid, which calms and nourishes the nervous system.
I encourage you to try these six moves out on a daily basis, wherever you are. Moment by moment, breath by breath, you can feel better.
Registered Yoga Teacher and cancer survivor Marsha Therese Danzig shares some of her yoga practices to help anchor Read More