Yoga for cancer, stage to stage

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It is called Amy Dara and teaches yoga to survivors of cancer, a discipline that can be practiced in all stages of the disease. If you are in this situation, do not miss all the physical and mental benefits that explains this expert.

What the word? survivor? The first thing we asked Amy Dara, an expert who has spent six years teaching formations in the United States and Europe in centres as Urban Yoga. "The word survivor or survivor applies to living persons diagnosed with cancer and who are in treatment or have already passed it", he explains.

Amy was interested in this topic as a result of the demand of some survivors of cancer who came to their yoga classes and was formed with Tari Prinster, another professor who helped and who, having overcome breast cancer, developed the program that both teach today. Amy, who lives in Washington, teaches yoga for patients and survivors of cancer in several centers, in a hospital.

Benefits at every stage

As Amy Dara, yoga can be practiced at every stage of the disease although, as explains, "each survivor has a treatment designed for its own type of cancer: one only need surgery, others require treatment forever, and most need something of each and will have to make revisions and tests on a regular basis."

"Any cancer patient can improve both your physical state and emotional in all stages of the disease practicing yoga", he says. Indeed, there are studies showing the benefits of this practice on the quality of sleep, fatigue and anxiety of patients and survivors, as well as help reduce the intake of medicines. Amy then explains some of the main:

  • Diagnosis. "The practice of yoga will help you to prepare your body (strengthen muscles and bones, improve flexibility and balance) and the mind (overcome the trauma of receiving the diagnosis and the fear of uncertainty) for treatments", says.
  • Surgery. "Yoga improves the immune system by moving lymph through the body, reduces the risk of blood clots and helps the proper healing of the intervened area," he says.
  • Chemotherapy/immunotherapy. "Relieve cancer-related fatigue, improves concentration, soothes upset stomach and enhance self-esteem after the fall of the hair," he says.
  • Radiation therapy. "Reduces the risk of limited range of movement of areas affected by Burns and relieves the discomfort of being in the same position during the radiotherapy machine long," he said.
  • Hormone therapy. "Balances the fluctuations of mood, helps to prevent weight gain and to manage hot flashes," says Amy Dara.
  • The end of the treatment. According to this expert, at this stage yoga "helps to restore normality in the body and the mind, to reduce the risk of depression after staying only after so long with the team's medical care and caregivers, and to prevent and control the side effects long term treatments."
  • Tests for the detection of cancer. In these cases, according to Amy Dara, yoga practice will help to relieve anxiety.

But in addition, says Amy, "at every stage of the process yoga improves the State of mood and faculty the survivor to take care of". "The kinds of also serve to benefit from the support and inspiration from the other survivors", adds.

And all the survivors of any type of cancer can benefit from yoga, since, as Amy explains, "the practice can adapt to the unique needs of each person in each stage of treatment".

So are the kinds

As explained this expert, classes last between 60 to 75 minutes. "Style is a combination of Hatha, Vinyasa and restoration; a combination of postures, breathing techniques and meditation is practiced". "And always is a practice adapted to the needs of the students," recalls.

The benefits of this discipline are innumerable for cancer survivors, but also there are contra-indications and stances which must not be made ever, as explained by this expert: "the strong tilt forward and twisting positions should be avoided because of the risk of vertebral fractures, because many cancer treatments have as a side effect the early onset of osteoporosis".

"Also should avoid postures that put the weight for a long time in the arms where the cancer is located in the upper part of the body - for example the position of the dog upside down-, or feet where the disease has affected the bottom, since they increase the risk of lymphedema" emphasizes. "I said, seems that you can not much teach classes from yoga to cancer, but the truth is that there are many options," says Amy.

A myth surrounding cancer and yoga

The first as it explains Amy, is that the practice should be smooth: "many people tells the survivors of cancer that it rests, when most can - and want to - move and exercise to calm your mind".

"The important thing is that they know the medical precautions that should be taken to avoid complications such as Lymphedema, and not feel pressured to do more than what they are able to", says. "A certified yoga teacher to teach yoga to cancer can show you how to adapt the practice at every stage," he says.

The advice of Amy Dara

Despite its benefits, yet there are few cancer patients who come to the practice of yoga in Spain. If you are going through this situation and want to encourage you to try it with someone expert, Amy Dara recommends "go without expectations, and be open to what happens". "It's okay to be emotional and you're with other people who understand what you are going through." One last tip from Amy: "before you start, introduce yourself and talk to the teacher about your type of cancer".

More information

In Zentro Urban Yoga, where Amy Dara imparts its formations for teachers of yoga for cancer, you can make a course or take lessons. In the Spanish Association against Cancer You can also find workshops and teachers of yoga to cancer. In the MD Anderson Center They offer yoga classes for cancer patients. In the web of Amy Dara you will find detailed information about Yoga for Cancer Survivors program.

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By • Dec 30, 2015 • section: Bless you