Yoga Therapy for Breast Cancer

Yoga Therapy for Breast Cancer

Today many people are incorporating yoga into their physical exercise routine. While this regimen is very beneficial in promoting a healthy body, there are many other benefits of yoga. The meditative practices of yoga allows for one to experience calmness, a positive outlook on life, and achieve unity between the mind, body, and spirit.

Because of its many physiological and psychological benefits, yoga therapy is commonly used to manage a wide range of chronic diseases, including breast cancer. Yoga therapy has been proven to improve the overall quality of life in breast cancer survivors.

After having the opportunity to spend some time with a Yoga instructor who provides one- on-one yoga therapy for breast cancer survivors, I was truly inspired by her dedication to her clients and practice.

Christelle Jorge is a yoga instructor for women with breast cancer who practices therapeutic Iyengar Yoga with her clients. Christelle’s yoga practice is influenced by Iyengar yoga and incorporates individual poses that focus on the client’s specific needs and abilities.

Christelle believes that yoga can be very beneficial for breast cancer survivors (whether they are in or out of treatment); however, it is important that they inform their yoga instructors of their health condition and understand what poses and movements can be helpful or harmful to their heath. Christelle emphasizes that a session must be designed separately for each individual client, understanding that every client has different needs (medical or physical), flexibility levels, strengths, and levels of comfort.

Christelle’s one-on-one practice allows her to experience a more rewarding and stronger connection with her clients. She has seen a difference in comfort levels and openness with her clients. Because she is working with them so closely and focusing on their immediate needs through support and touch, she feels that her clients are benefiting from the practice. She describes the trust-building interaction between her and her clients as a “precious gift.” It allows her clients to relax and reach an optimal level of comfort.

Christelle is a mere witness as to how a regimen yoga practice can be very beneficial to the overall health of a breast cancer survivor. Along with physiological benefits of yoga, Christelle focuses on the psychological effects of yoga on her clients. This yoga practice allows for the individual to reap the benefits of stress reduction, decrease of fatigue, self confidence, and achieving optimal comfort levels which enhances relaxation.

Ultimately, Christelle believes that yoga creates a mental and physical awareness, or mind and body connection. She feels that through a therapeutic yoga practice, her clients are able to find and accept certain limits of a posture and then apply that awareness to their overall life. Through this awareness, they are more conscientious of their physical, mental, and emotional needs.

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