These 5 yoga asanas will encourage and energize cancer patients
As per reports published by the World Health Organisation, there are approximately 1.38 million cancer cases diagnosed annually. This suggests that there is a rise in the number of cancer-related cases across the World, which can be attributed to a range of reasons such as COVID-19 unhealthy lifestyle, obesity and lack of exercise and nutritious diet.
Following a fitness regime coupled with a balanced diet can help maintain good health, boost immunity and life expectancy. Moreover, the onset of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and thyroid could also be prevented with the aid of exercise and the consumption of nutritious foods. In fact, a balanced approach towards fitness can go a long way in recovering fully from ailments such as cancer.
Yoga therapy is one such fitness technique that will help cancer patients in boosting their overall fitness, mental health and energy levels. The following yoga movements should be practised post consultation from a physician and under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher. Ensure that you are using a yoga mat, are gentle on your body and practising the movements mindfully by keeping your focus on your breath. You may hold each pose for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat each movement 2 to 3 times.
1. Vrikshasana – Tree Pose
You may start your yoga practice with Vrikshasana or tree pose. This posture can bring calmness and relaxation to the mind and body.
Begin by standing tall with your feet together. Lift up and place your right foot on your left inner thigh. Then, maintain balance in this position and slowly bring your palms together to fold (Pranam Mudra). Lift up your folded palms, stretching your arms and focus looking straight ahead. Repeat the movement with the alternate leg.
Start by gently kneeling down to come in a tabletop position. Then, align your palms under your shoulders and place your knees directly under the hips. Finish it off by keeping your knees hip-width apart and turn your toes outwards.
3. Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose
Kneel down and place your pelvis on your heels pointing your toes outward. Then, keeping your heels slightly apart from each other, place your palms on your knees facing upward. Finish it off by straightening your back and looking forward.
4. Pranayama: Anulom Vilom – Alternate Nostril Breathing
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and relax your shoulders, followed by closing your eyes. Then, place your palms on your knees (Prapthi Mudra). Now, gently close your right nostril with your thumb, inhale into your left nostril and close it, letting the breath out through the right nostril. Then inhale through your right, closing it to exhale only through your left. This will constitute one cycle.
5. Siddhohum Kriya
This is a practice that prepares you to become a container to receive energies and enhances your mental and physical capacity. This technique includes 5 steps to be practised facing the east direction:
Step 1: Samasthiti: Keep your feet together and spine upright. Keep your arms on your side and stretch them slightly away from your body. Keep your palms turned outward. Relax and close your eyes.
Step 2: Pranam: Bring your palms together, concentrate on your breathing and bow down slightly.
Step 3: Pukar Stithi: Stand straight with eyes closed, stretching your arms up straight and spreading them at a 45-degree angle and turn your palms inward.
Step 4: Prapti Stithi: Stretch your arms out forward in front of your chest turning your palms upward in the shape of a cup or a container.
Step 5: Kritagyata: put your palms on your chest and concentrate on your breathing.
Yoga is the science for well being and has been practiced for thousands of years. Yoga can help to deal with a variety of health issues. Through practicing postures, breathing exercises, meditation techniques, yoga offers a safe and effective way to prevent and manage diseases such as cancer.