Pain can come in many forms during cancer treatment, from surgery, the bone pain associated with some chemotherapy, localized pain from radiation treatments, or from the cancer itself. This week we will concentrate on practices that gently move the body to ensure proper circulation of blood and energy to help alleviate pain.
Trikonasana, or Triangle pose, is a posture that increases balance, strengthens the legs, increases awareness of the core and expands the energy of the heart and chest out through the hands. It is a wonderful posture for exploring how yoga requires mental alertness and consciousness of all parts of the body at once in order to maintain alignment. This week we will explore postures similar to Triangle from a reclining, kneeling and finally standing position.
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
Lie on the back with the knees bent.
Variation II: Hold the strap in the right hand and place a block on the outside of the right hip. As you exhale, lower the leg directly out to the side so that the outer thigh rests on the block. Extend the foot into the strap and reach the left arm out to the side. To release, use the inner thigh to draw the leg up to center.
Parighasana (Gate Latch Pose)
Begin kneeling. Straighten left leg and press toes towards floor to prevent hyperextension of knee. Exhale and side bend over left leg bringing left hand to block behind knee or to floor. Reach right arm overhead and keep tail bone long.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left out to 90 degrees and right foot in 30 degrees. Inhale arms out from shoulders. Exhale and cock hips to the left. Reach left arm parallel to floor to lengthen the left waist and bring left hand on block, foot or floor. Rotate the chest towards the right and reach right arm towards ceiling.
Fatigue is a common side-effect and can be caused by radiation treatments, chemotherapy and other drug therapies, over all stress and the lack of sleep common during treatment. This week we will focus on energizing mudras and pranayama and restorative postures to provide true rest and relaxation to the body to help alleviate fatigue. Conserving energy is an important part of dealing with fatigue. Try not to not do too much on your good days and make time for nurturing activities that will help you save your healing energy for yourself rather than expending it on others.
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.