The diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. As you and your doctors map out a treatment plan and road to recovery, where do you find the emotional strength and support to cope?
According to the American Cancer Society, yoga is a form of non-aerobic exercise that can help people relax and stay physically fit. Studies do not show that yoga can treat cancer, but patients report it helps them through this difficult phase of their life.
Studies have shown that yoga can affect blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism and body temperature, according to the ACS.
If you have never taken a yoga class, look for a beginner session. Yoga is non-competitive. The instructor will guide you through various poses while soft music plays in the background. Participants should only try to do the poses to their ability without regard to what other people in the class may be able to do. Poses are held for several seconds or minutes.
Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move your arms and legs freely. Sometimes it helps to tuck in your shirt so that your skin is not exposed during inverted poses.
If you do not own a yoga mat, ask if they are provided. Bring an antibacterial wipe to clean the mat before you begin. Yoga is practiced in bare feet to keep your body from slipping. If you want to buy your own mat, they are available at most department stores.
People who regularly practice yoga say it helps them sleep and promotes a feeling of well-being and peace. It does not treat cancer but perhaps it can soften the journey to recovery.
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