Yoga and the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Posted on October 18 2019
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I wanted to take this opportunity to write about Yoga and its place in the fight against Cancer. I am a breast cancer survivor myself, and Yoga made a strong positive impact on my life, both during treatment and remission.
Although not a cure by any means, Yoga can still be a useful practice in enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients. It reduces stress and relaxes the mind, which often results in fewer feelings of hopelessness and fear. Yoga can also strengthen the body and the immune system, giving our bodies the extra boost they need to fight.
Those who understand the struggles of fighting cancer know that emotional and spiritual well-being can make all the difference. It is what gives us the strength we need to fight this terrible disease. Even during remission, the thought of recurrence is continuously on one's mind. Yoga is a practice that can help one center themselves and become more mindful. It teaches us to live in the present and to be grateful for the life we have today.
But don't just take my word for it. A study by yoga therapist Cheryl Fenner Brown found that participation in her Healing Yoga for Cancer Survivorship (HYCS) protocol reduced symptom severity by over 8%. Participation also showed over a 6% increase in functional well-being (such as the ability to sleep or concentrate at work), and over 10% decrease in emotional symptom severity (such as sadness, worry, and helplessness) (1).
I am often inspired by how yoga practice has changed my life for the better. That is why I created a line of yoga-inspired jewelry. Wearing these pieces is a great reminder to stay mindful of each day and to live life to the fullest. The tenants of yoga have helped me through the painful struggle of surviving cancer, but honestly, yoga can help anyone cope with the hardships of life.
I did not choose to have breast cancer. But then again, nobody does. I eat organic. I exercise every day. I teach scuba diving for a living and have a relatively stress free life. Why me?
However, I am choosing how I go through the journey. I could feel sorry for myself, and my family, for what we had to go through. But I choose to feel grateful for this gift of healing. If you haven't considered starting a yoga practice, try it out! You will be happy that you did.