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Benefits of Yoga Therapy for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Yoga is an ancient art form and life practice that has been passed down through traditional lineages for thousands of years. In the past century our Western culture has taken to this now popular form of Holistic Health and wellness because of its multitude of now scientifically proven benefits.

Yoga can be beneficial for anyone but is especially helpful for those going through cancer treatment or recovery. Cancer is a scary word and idea for many of us in the modern world, almost all of us have watched a loved one struggle or have had a personal experience with recovering from Cancer. However, thanks to Krishnamacharya and many other yogis who have brought us these time tested traditions and practices to the West so that we now have more ways to help assist those we love and ourselves personally to strengthen the mind-body-spirit for any experience life may bring us.

Yoga has a profound effect on not only strengthening the immune system, glands, organs and helping lymph flow but also teaches us how to bring peace to our minds and hearts. It is an unstoppable cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters that are released into our system once we register fear, anxiety or stress which can unfortunately further depress our immune system. This is a struggle to avoid for most any modern day human not to mention those dealing with a life threatening experience. Fortunately, Yoga has brought to us many techniques and practices that help us to learn how to control our mind and emotions so that we can decrease the occurrence of these emotional states, even cease to experience them altogether, a state called 'Samadhi' in sanskrit (enlightenment).

What many don't know yet, even many yoga teachers and practitioners alike, is that there are many more practices taught in yogic traditions for finding balance and being than recognized by most Westerners. Some of these deeply beneficial yogic techniques include Yantra yoga, Mantra yoga, Drishti yoga, Jnana yoga and yoga Nidra. These forms of yoga all offer great benefit to overall health of the mind-body-emotions by helping practitioners to effectively gain control over their mind and emotions or at least bringing periods of deep relaxation in the beginning.

We all struggle with gaining control over our continuously running minds and reactive emotional states, at first it is a practice then eventually it is a state of being. These unique forms of yoga will help you to redirect your attention to how the energy of the mind and body is flowing. They all have positive effects on lowing the blood pressure, tension in the body and bringing focus, peaceful, even positive states of being. Some people fighting cancer say that it helps calm their mind so that they can cope better with their cancer and its treatment. Others say that it helps to reduce symptoms and side effects such as pain, tiredness, sleep problems and depression.

  • Yantra Yoga is the yoga of meditation on the forms and meaning of different sacred mandalas or 'Yantras'.

  • Mantra Yoga is the yoga of using sacred sanskrit affirmations or chants to induce a meditative state with the quality or energy of the chosen mantra at focus.

  • Drishti Yoga is the meditation on a particular focus or point in the field of vision or with the eyes closed. (ex. meditating on a flame or the center brow point with the eyes closed)

  • Kriya yoga is a practice of repetitive motion and intention to open or clear specific energetic blocks of the body-mind-emotions.

  • Yoga Nidra is a sleep based meditation where you are passively and verbally led by a practitioner into some of the deepest states of meditation and relaxation possible.

  • Jnana Yoga is the yoga of wisdom and is considered one of the most difficult because of the great dedication and contemplation of all forms of knowledge required .

To learn more about the various practices within these yogic traditions and techniques contact us at Vibrant Holistics or find a Yoga Therapist near you.

Namaste Dear One

References:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/yoga

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- Kalypso
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