gentle yoga for cancer recovery
posted: August 30, 2010
My mom is very spiritual and loved yoga. This year she was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo emergency surgery. She currently has a colostomy bag attached to her, and always complains how she would like to do gentle meditation and yoga, but can’t twist or do many of the poses. I was wondering if you could recommend any dvds that my mom could do at home that were more about breath and breathing vs poses. She has to stay at home a lot so I thought this would help her have some positivity in her life. Thanks! - Tara
a yogi answers
Thank you for your email. There are many ways to support your mom with her yoga practice during this transition in her life. One of the blessings that yoga offers is that there truly is a practice for each and everyone of us no matter where we are at. Asana, posture practice, comprises about 5% of what the teachings of yoga have to offer. The true benefit of yoga lies in the deeper practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation.
Pranayama practice is a powerful emotional support for body, mind, and more importantly the energetic connection to life (spirit). Breathing is the sutra (thread) that connects life into our cells. Healing occurs on a cellular level and their is nothing more revitalizing to our cells than plenty of conscious breathing. Meditation being a higher form of practice helps to calm the mind of mental chatter and channels that focus and energy into healing and courage to live from a place of possibility and acceptance.
There are many forms of yoga practice that are less movement based and more energetic and breathing based. A favourite of mine is kundalini yoga. If you can get past the traditional dress and a bit of sanskrit there is a whole other domain of bliss and spiritual practice on offer.
There are many videos available and because kundalini yoga is a formulaic practice, which means it’s consistent in its teachings, you could choose any video and benefit greatly. Each teacher is schooled in understanding the energetic benefit of the kriya, which is like a posture but a breathing posture with a specific mental focus. Gormukh Kaur Khalsa, a popular Kundalini teacher, has many videos available in book stores and on Amazon. The secret to benefiting from any practice is consistency. A little bit of breathing and meditation in the morning and evening is much more effective than doing a lot once a week.
Claire, lululemon Burlington ambassador
a bit about claire
Claire has always been in awe of the incredible regenerative and healing powers that the human body possesses. She has seen this first hand with her 20 years experience as a critical care/emergency nurse in dramatic situations as well as her own personal experience of serious back issues that she had to deal with at one point in her life. It was the powerful physical aspects of her vinyasa practice that firstly connected her to the power of yoga. She has come to understand that this was just the tip of the iceberg. She teaches from a place of delivering an intelligent, rigorous, and kind physical practice that accesses the vast terrain of our mental and emotional domains that in turn allows us to come to terms with who we are as human beings. Claire is Certified Baptiste Master Teacher with degrees in Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, and committed study in Ayurveda she facilitates Teacher and Assistant trainings, as well as life transformation programs in the US and abroad.
what is ask a yogi?
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