Yoga Therapy For Cancer
Cancer, the Big “C”, the silent killer, etc. Whether you have been diagnosed or someone you know or love has been, these words can throw your world into chaos. With very little information or assistance this can be the most frightening time in your life. But, it doesn't have to be if you find the right advocate and resources.
Enter yoga therapy. This little known and often misunderstood branch of yoga can be the answer to how you deal with chronic illnesses and their symptoms.
A 300-hour yoga therapy training program is offered through the American Viniyoga Institute. It is a school founded by Gary Kraftsow based on the teaching of Krishnamacharia with the idea that Adaptive Yoga is yoga for all people. It was one of the first schools registered and certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapist.
Yoga therapy offers the client tools to manage the symptoms of mental, physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual challenges brought on by cancer. It isn't just how good you look in your down dog. In fact you might never do a down dog again. What you will learn to do is pay attention to your breath. Every breath you take becomes precious and a deeper understanding reveals that it can calm your emotions, clear your mind, and regulate your autonomic nervous system, all working to help you de-stress so you can make the appropriate choices for your treatment and healing.
The yoga therapist works with the client to design a practice that takes into consideration physical strength and ability, energy levels, personal belief systems and time constraints. At your first meeting the therapist will do a health intake/evaluation much like an acupuncturist or massage therapist. Then together you will discuss long-term and short-term goals, the realities of end of life concerns and the need for additional resources to support over all health. An evaluation of how you breath and move will be included using static and moving physical assessments. A short practice to address your immediate concerns and symptoms will be created.
You will be guided through this practice and then take it home to work on your own. Repeated visits help you refine your unique practice. The end result should be a practice that guides you into a deeper awareness of your condition and gives you the strength and confidence to choose appropriate life decisions.