International Day of Yoga
June 21 was proclaimed the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations in December of 2014. I am certain there will be many celebrations across the globe practicing various levels and difficulties of this popular practice for mind, body, and spirit.
The benefits of yoga are many for all ages. I remember with great fondness the days I brought my kindergarten students in from recess when they were all wound up from being on the playground and practiced a bit of yoga with them before we would start a lesson. We would sit quietly on the rug in circle, legs crossed, thumbs touching the middle finger as the back of the palm laid gently on the top of their knees. I would ask them to close their eyes and take deep breaths and slowly breath out with a gentle, “Ohmmm”. It refocused and quieted them down almost immediately.
Yoga and Breast Cancer Patients
Breast cancer survivors utilize the gentle movements of yoga to combat fatigue, the side effects of chemotherapy and other treatments, and to aid in better sleep. Many cancer centers and yoga studios offer classes of gentle yoga to patients in recovery and after treatment. One such study discusses the benefits of yoga for breast cancer patients.
Yoga and Breast Reconstruction Patients
Breast Reconstruction patients can benefit from yoga after they have healed from surgery and have been given clearance from their plastic surgeon and health care team. The elements of flexibility in various forms of yoga help with regaining strength and improving range of motion.
My personal routine after healing from my DIEP flap breast reconstruction has been starting my morning with a yoga video in the privacy of my own home. I have also attended group yoga instruction. I am always amazed at the feeling and sense of calm I have after these classes. My evening routine now before I crawl under the covers; I start out by doing a cat-cow pose to stretch and align my spine after a long day. I stretch out opposite arm and leg while I am on my knees to gain a sense of balance. I work into a downward dog. I finish my, “before bed routine” with a gentle child’s pose. It is a simple, quick way of quieting my body for a better night’s sleep.
Do you have a personal yoga routine?
Have you used yoga during or after breast cancer? Has yoga been a part of your routine after healing and recovery from breast reconstruction? What is your favorite yoga pose? What benefits have you seen because of practicing yoga? Feel free to share your answers in the comments.
Happy International Day of Yoga!