This week is devoted to adding some more energetic standing postures to the healing Yoga for Cancer sequence. Remember that you can do any of these short vingettes of practice depending on how you are feeling each day.
State Your Intention
During the first yoga session you will create an intention for your yoga practice. Each time before you practice, sit comfortably with the eyes closed and bring to mind this resolve, state it silently three times with your full awareness.
Vowel Spiral A-E-I-O-U-M
Begin in a comfortable seated position (you may sit in a chair if needed).Take a few breaths into the lower belly and exhale naturally through the nose. When you are ready to begin, chant the sounds at a natural speaking pitch. You may also place your hand over the areas of the body where the vibration is strongest.
Begin kneeling with the hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips with the toes pointed. As you inhale, lengthen the spine from the crown to the tailbone.
Cat: As you exhale draw the belly in, round the back and drop the head and tail bone towards the floor.
Cow: As you inhale arch the back lifting the sternum forward and the tailbone up towards the ceiling, pulling the shoulder blades down the back. Repeat at least 5 times with the breath.
Intended Benefits: Massages the internal organs, stretches the muscles along the spine, assists with lymphatic drainage
Extended Childs Pose to Cobra
Extended Childs Pose: From a kneeling position, step the hands forward a few inches and then exhale into Childs pose with the arms extended overhead on the floor. Only go back as far as your knees will comfortably allow.
Knee Plank: As you inhale move the torso forward bringing the shoulders over the wrists and the torso in a plank position. Then exhale back into Extended Childs Pose.
Cobra: If it is available to you, you may also bring the torso all the way forward into a gentle back bend with the elbows bent, the heart lifting and the pelvis close to the floor. Then exhale back into Extended Childs Pose.
Repeat at least 5 times with the breath.
Intended Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the front and back of body, assists with lymphatic drainage and constipation.
Child Pose to Extended Hero
Childs Pose: From a kneeling position, exhale and sit back on the heels into Childs pose with hands beside the feet or place palms in front of the knees for more support.
Alternate Childs Pose: Only go back as far as your knees will comfortably allow. You may need to place the hands in front of you and lower yourself down slowly, especially if there is knee pain or any nausea.
Extended Hero: As you inhale, lift the chest, press the pelvis forward and raise hands to the heart, hands to the head or the arms straight overhead.
Then exhale back into Childs pose by sitting back on the heels, folding the torso forward and bringing hands to floor beside the feet or in front of the knees.
Repeat at least 5 times with the breath.
Intended Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the torso, assists with lymphatic drainage and constipation.
This simple standing series is perfect for days when you are feeling more energetic and will build strength in the shoulders, legs, hips and back. The focus continues to be on creating movement for lymphatic drainage, and on increasing focus and balance.
Stand with the feet slightly wider than hips width apart. Begin to gently swing the arms around the body loosely as you twist the torso right and left. You may choose to bend the left knee as you are turning to the right if that is more comfortable. Close the eyes if the movement makes you dizzy. Repeat for up to 1 minute.
Intended Benefits: Encourages lymph to move
throughout the body
Warrior II Series
Stand with feet wide apart.
• Turn the right foot out 90 degrees and the left heel
back about two inches so that the right knee points
towards the right toes and the pelvis to the left
corner of your mat.
• Inhale and bring hands to hips or raise arms up to
• Exhale and bend the right knee over right ankle
• Inhale raise right hand to the head or the right arm
overhead as you reach the left hand towards back
• Exhale return arms to parallel to floor
• Inhale and straighten the right knee
• Exhale and release arms to the sides
• Repeat with the breath 3‐5 times per side.
• Intended Benefits: Strengthens legs and torso,
stretches belly and back, increases circulation,
articulates work in feet.
Stand with block between feet. Lift right foot onto block and turn leg out until heel rests on inside of left ankle. Keep hips level and bring hands to heart. Keep the entire left foot in contact with the floor, pressing especially into the ball of the big toe. Find something to focus on that is at eye level or lower to allow your eyes and mind to quiet, this will help your balance and your focus.
• Hold for 5‐10 breaths per side and come down with
• Intended Benefits: Strengthens legs and improves
• Lay on the back with support under the head and
knees if needed, close eyes and feel the breath
moving in and out of your nostrils.
• Place the hands on the lower belly. Inhale and feel
the fullness in the belly, exhale and feel the
surrender in the belly.
• Practice for up to 5 minutes.
• Intended Benefits: Calms the nervous system,
grounds the emotions, and relaxes the body.
Lay on the back with feet on the edge of the seat. Press down in the feet and lift the pelvis off the floor and place a block or a folded blanket under the back of your pelvis. The prop should be between the waistband of your pants and the tailbone. If it is too high or too low it will not feel comfortable so find that sweet spot where your sacrum parallel to the floor. Rest the arms slightly
away from sides with the palms facing up. If the hips are elevated, it is best not to use a pillow for the head. Rest for at least 10 minutes.
• Intended Benefits: Induces relaxation response,
reduces edema in the legs and feet, relaxes lower
• Contraindications: High blood pressure, nausea
Home Practice Blog
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.