Patient Power: Endless Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients
During the month of September, we will be featuring stories and articles about fitness and multiple myeloma as part of our Muscles for Myeloma series.
Trying new things can be stressful. Most people have grown up jogging or playing sports for exercise, but yoga can sometimes seem like it might be right for "other" people. It's time to think twice about starting even a simple yoga routine. Yoga is very adaptable and can be practiced by anyone--and the benefits cannot be passed up.
Caregiver Esther Schorr started yoga about 5 months ago, and now practices 2-3 times per week. Her exercise regimen before yoga consisted of more “aggressive” activities, such as running and lifting weights. She has found, however, that the combination of these types of exercise and the practice of yoga is not hard on the body and great for overall attitude.
Raquel Jex Forsgren, certified yoga therapist, described many different aspects of yoga that can be of benefit to everyone—the postures, breathing, imagery, and deep relaxation to reset and rebalance the nervous system—all controlled by one’s self. The video below shows Raquel as she leads us through a simple relaxation yoga routine.
Raquel mentioned a practice called “alternate-nostril breathing” that can bring immediate calmness, especially in stressful environments for cancer patients such as the doctor’s office, a blood test, or even waking up in the middle of the night. Using two fingers, bring them to your nose and close off one nostril at a time, breathing normally and naturally. Begin closing the left nostril and exhaling through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril, then switch to close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat and gradually lengthen each exhale.
Maybe it's time to give yoga a chance. Check out these valuable resources to try yoga at home:
“People don’t have to do difficult poses or meditate for long periods of time feel the benefits of yoga. Whether you are in treatment, beyond, or supporting someone on their journey, yoga can help bring inner peace and well-being.”
YouTube has many yoga tutorials of all levels:
Thanks to our Muscles for Myeloma sponsor