Welcome to Healing Yoga for Cancer Survivorship, a gentle yoga program specifically designed to build breath and body awareness, increase energy, circulation and lymphatic drainage, reduce anxiety, fatigue, sleeplessness, constipation and pain for those going through cancer treatment. The sequence provides instruction on intention setting that is done at the beginning of the session; simple sound practices to focus your attention and bring you more closely into contact with your center; mudra or hand gestures to calm the mind and emotions; breathing techniques to increase prana, the vital force in your body that is helpful for healing; and a progression of yoga postures from a reclining position to sitting to kneeling to standing that will move all the joints in the body; we will finish with restorative yoga and meditation techniques that will refresh the body, mind and spirit.
Feel free to practice the entire sequence or only the sections that feel appropriate for you on any particular day. Try to practice for a few minutes each day to give your body and mind the time and space to heal. It is best to practice with a yoga mat on a hard floor surface. The yoga mat provides both cushion and traction for your feet during the standing postures. You may also need a folded blanket for some of the postures, especially for the head during the reclining postures and to sit on to make sitting on the floor more comfortable. Fold the blanket so that you sit on the long-folded edge and sit high enough so that the knees fall at or below the hip bones. If sitting on the floor is not comfortable, please feel free to sit in a chair instead.
PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS: Be sure to stay mindful of the body and breath throughout the practice, and only do the movements in a range of motion that is completely comfortable and in such a way that your breath stays normal and fluid. If a movement or practice causes discomfort, pain, dizziness, nausea or breathlessness, please stop immediately and rest for a few moments. Listen to the cues and messages from your body before deciding if it would be appropriate to move on to a gentler technique or if you need to stop practicing for today.