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gentle yoga for cancer recovery

This blog post was written by lululemon and posted on August 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm<!–, and filed under ask a yogi, community, yoga. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. –>

yoga for healing

ask a yogi

you asked

My mom is very spiritual and loved yoga. This year she was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo emergency surgery. She currently has a colostomy bag attached to her, and always complains how she would like to do gentle meditation and yoga, but can’t twist or do many of the poses. I was wondering if you could recommend any dvds that my mom could do at home that were more about breath and breathing vs poses. She has to stay at home a lot so I thought this would help her have some positivity in her life. Thanks! – Tara

a yogi answers

Hi Tara,

Thank you for your email. There are many ways to support your mom with her yoga practice during this transition in her life. One of the blessings that yoga offers is that there truly is a practice for each and everyone of us no matter where we are at. Asana, posture practice, comprises about 5% of what the teachings of yoga have to offer. The true benefit of yoga lies in the deeper practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation.

Pranayama practice is a powerful emotional support for body, mind, and more importantly the energetic connection to life (spirit). Breathing is the sutra (thread) that connects life into our cells. Healing occurs on a cellular level and their is nothing more revitalizing to our cells than plenty of conscious breathing. Meditation being a higher form of practice helps to calm the mind of mental chatter and channels that focus and energy into healing and courage to live from a place of possibility and acceptance.

There are many forms of yoga practice that are less movement based and more energetic and breathing based. A favourite of mine is kundalini yoga. If you can get past the traditional dress and a bit of sanskrit there is a whole other domain of bliss and spiritual practice on offer.

There are many videos available and because kundalini yoga is a formulaic practice, which means it’s consistent in its teachings, you could choose any video and benefit greatly. Each teacher is schooled in understanding the energetic benefit of the kriya, which is like a posture but a breathing posture with a specific mental focus. Gormukh Kaur Khalsa, a popular Kundalini teacher, has many videos available in book stores and on Amazon. The secret to benefiting from any practice is consistency. A little bit of breathing and meditation in the morning and evening is much more effective than doing a lot once a week.

Kind regards,

Claire, lululemon Burlington ambassador

a bit about claire

Claire has always been in awe of the incredible regenerative and healing powers that the human body possesses. She has seen this first hand with her 20 years experience as a critical care/emergency nurse in dramatic situations as well as her own personal experience of serious back issues that she had to deal with at one point in her life. It was the powerful physical aspects of her vinyasa practice that firstly connected her to the power of yoga. She has come to understand that this was just the tip of the iceberg. She teaches from a place of delivering an intelligent, rigorous, and kind physical practice that accesses the vast terrain of our mental and emotional domains that in turn allows us to come to terms with who we are as human beings. Claire is Certified Baptiste Master Teacher with degrees in Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, and committed study in Ayurveda she facilitates Teacher and Assistant trainings, as well as life transformation programs in the US and abroad.

Source: Lululemon Community Blog

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Cure Cervical Cancer through Diet, Yoga and Meditation

(NaturalNews) Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women and almost 4,000 cases were fatal just last year. Conventional treatments for cervical cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hysterectomy, or the removal of lymph nodes and ovaries can often leave the woman infertile. However, alternatives exist for women who seek a more holistic approach to improving their bodies’ responses to cancer. Cervical cancer can be remedied in ways alternative to conventional, damaging treatments. Instead of harsh treatments that can wreak havoc on the body, a combination of yoga, meditation, and a raw vegan diet can be a much more gentle and beneficial method for healing.

A raw vegan diet, for instance, is based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, sprouts, grains, nuts, beans, and seaweed. Raw foods and juices deliver pure, powerful nutrients straight to your system and are full of antioxidants and enzymes, which are vital to good health. Antioxidants, for example, reduce the cellular by-products of free radicals, which can lead to cancer. According to Leslie Kenton, author of Raw Energy, “Doctors and scientists confirm that raw diets not only prevent colds and flu and retard aging, but they can also help to cure cancer, diabetes, ulcers and arthritis.”

When Amanda Deming learned she had cervical cancer from her pap smear results, she revised the way she prepared and ate food, instead of getting surgery to remove the cancerous cells. Not only did Deming decide against conventional treatment and chose to heal her body naturally, but she became a raw food chef, as well. “I think that you are what you eat and whatever you put into your body is definitely going to manifest. If you`re eating foods on a higher vibration, you`re going to run on a higher vibration,” said Deming.


In addition to what you put in your body, it is also valuable to pay attention to how you treat your body. Yoga, including kundalini yoga, which focuses on awareness and chakra balancing, reduces stress and combats life-threatening conditions like cancer. For instance, yoga and meditation help cancer patients to use their breath to heal the body. According to Deming, “I think once you get into meditation, you`re able to listen to your body and you are actually more in tune to everything that`s going on around you–especially from within.”

Deming, like many other yoga practitioners, learned to use her own body to heal itself. Today, she is cancer-free and is a certified yoga teacher, raw food chef, massage therapist and singer. “I plan to live a long and healthy life full of positive energy, vibrant foods, great people and just be happy, healthy and holy.” Cervical cancer can be a formidable obstacle and life-threatening deterrence, but it need not be a nonnegotiable battle with one’s body, as Deming’s case affirms. Through the use of meditation and yoga, in addition to adopting a raw food diet, one may even emerge stronger, healthier, and wiser.

www.holisticvoice.org “Curing Cervical Cancer Through Raw Vegan Diet and Meditation”
http://www.holisticvoice.org/Amanda…

www.sproutman.com “Why Raw Food” www.sproutman.com/pdf/WHY_RAW_FOOD.pdf

www.askhealer.com “Cervical Cancer Information Natural Cancer Remedies”http://www.askahealer.com/cervical-…

About the author

Allison Biggar is a writer and filmmaker who believes in using the media to empower people to make a difference.
Allison is directing a documentary on people who have cured themselves of disease naturally without drugs, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
You can visit her Natural Health web site at www.holisticvoice.org.

SOURCE

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The process of self-healing is the privilege of very human being. Self-healing is not a miracle, nor is it a question of being able to do something that most people can’t. Self-healing is a process that occurs through the relationship between the physical and the infinite power of the soul. It is a contract, a union – that is the science of kundalini yoga” by Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga
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FREE Healing Kundalini Yoga Classes

for Cancer Patients & Survivors

Every Saturday 8 – 9am @ Central

Sat Nam dear souls,
I am grateful to announce that there from 11th September, 2010 (Saturday) every Saturday morning 8am – 9am there is a FREE kundalini yoga class open for cancer patients, survivors and family members.
[ WHO ] is free to attend?
– cancer patients of all kinds (must have recovered from surgery first)
– cancer survivors
– family members who require emotional support
– registered nurses & doctors
IF any of your friend is suffering from long term chronic illness, please ask them to write to me as the class may serve other patients too.
[ WHAT ] is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is an ancient science which combines postures, movements, breath, stretching, relaxation, meditation, rhythm and sound current to work on every aspect of your being: the physical, mental and subtle bodies. Consequently it works on every aspect of your life. No previous experience in yoga or related discipline is required and you will experience immediate benefits from the very first class.
[ WHEN & WHERE ] is the class?
Every Saturday 8am – 9am
Please arrive 15 minutes earlier to get yourself centered along with a bottle of water. Mats are provided.
Shakti Healing Circle
[ HOW ] to register?
Please simply email me at evewaiyu@hotmail.com or give me a call on 6449-3455.
[ JOIN ] the team
If you like to be part of this project and helps it to expand, email me at evewaiyu@hotmail.com! We need many helping hands and beautiful minds to make this project flourish. We are seeking for participation of
– Nutritionist
– Nurses
– Doctors
– Energy Healers
to help support the program.
[ EXCHANGE ] of Energy
The classes are free, however if you are believer of energy exchange here are the ways how you may contribute:
1.) Financial Donation to Kundalini Yoga Cambodia to help make this sacred yogic technology to those who are in pain & suffering
2.) OR Financial Donation to a Charitable Cause of Your Choice on behalf of the Kundalini Yoga Lineage
3.) OR Bring a fruit (orange and coconut) to the class to share it with all of us!
[ MY DEEP GRATITUDE ]
I would like to express my deep gratitude towards Stephen & Pervin from Shakti Healing Circle for generously sponsoring the venue to make this community project. My teacher trainer Tonie Nooyens who is now spreading the light in Cambodia being my inspiration and my friends who have been supportive of this idea ALL ALONG THE WAY. Thank you, thank you.
SPREAD THE WORDS, SPREAD THE LOVE.
Love & light,
Charanpal Kaur
“Be The Change You Want to See Today”

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(NaturalNews) In a study just published in the journal Psycho-Oncology, researchers conclude they’ve found a treatment that resulted in a 50% reduction in depression and a 12% increase in feelings of peace and meaning in women with breast cancer. The successful treatment isn’t a new type of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug. In fact, it isn’t a drug at all — it’s the ancient healing and exercise system known as yoga.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientists conducted a randomized study of 44 women, all with breast cancer; 34% were actively undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy while the rest of the majority had already completed therapy. Half took a ten week program of 75 minute Restorative Yoga (RY) classes and half were in the waitlist control group. RY is a gentle type of yoga similar to other forms of yoga classes that gently moves the spine in all directions. Blankets, cushions, bolsters, and any other needed props provide support that results in deep relaxation with minimal physical exertion, allowing people at virtually any level of health to practice yoga more easily.

The women in both groups completed a questionnaire to assess the quality of their lives at the beginning and end of the ten week program. According to the Wake Forest research team, the results showed that the women who had been given the RY classes experienced significantly more benefits than the control group (who were later all invited to participate in identical RY classes).

Specifically, the yoga group was found to have improvements in mental health including depression, positive emotions, and spirituality (defined as feeling calm and peaceful) compared to the control group. In fact, the scientists found that women who started the yoga classes with higher negative emotions and lower emotional well-being experienced the most benefits from the gentle yoga exercises compared to the control group. In addition, while women in the control group did not report a change in their fatigue levels, the women taking yoga classes demonstrated a significant improvement in fatigue symptoms.

“Evidence from systematic reviews of randomized trials is quite strong that mind-body therapies improve mood, quality of life, and treatment-related symptoms in people with cancer. Yoga is one mind-body therapy that is widely available and involves relatively reasonable costs,” Suzanne Danhauer, Ph.D., who headed the Wake Forest University School of Medicine research team, said in a statement to the media. “Given the high levels of stress and distress that many women with breast cancer experience, the opportunity to experience feeling more peaceful and calm in the midst of breast cancer is a significant benefit.”

About the author

Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA’s “Healthy Years” newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s “Focus on Health Aging” newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic’s “Men’s Health Advisor” newsletter and many others.

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(NaturalNews) The origin of the word “yoga” is the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning “yoke or union.” And practitioners of this ancient discipline, which combines physical postures, meditation, breathing exercises and a philosophy of mindfulness, aim for a union between the mind and the body. Now western science is backing up this basic tenet of yoga. It appears yoga does help link the mind to the body. What’s more it can link appetite control to weight loss.

According to a new study headed by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, people who practice yoga regularly are less likely to be obese. The reason isn’t necessarily the exercise part of yoga but the mindfulness part that promotes a slim body. Simply put, practicing yoga makes people mindful of what and how they eat — and that, the scientists say, can help prevent the dread phenomenon of middle-age spread in normal-weight people. In addition, it may promote weight loss in those who are overweight.

The new research, just published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, was inspired by a previous study by the same team of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists. Four years ago, Dr. Alan Kristal and his colleagues first found that regular yoga practice seemed to promote weight loss. The researchers theorized that the weight-loss effect might have more to do with increased body awareness than the actual increased physical activity of yoga practice.

Specifically, the scientists suspected that people who practice yoga and mindfulness become more sensitive to feelings of real hunger and also real satiety. Bottom line: yoga practice makes you less likely to eat except when you are actually hungry and more likely to stop eating when you are full. The result? A slimmer body, controlled appetite and a healthy BMI.

In a statement to the media, Dr. Kristal explained the new study confirms his research team’s initial ideas about yoga’s connection to weight control and weight loss. “In our earlier study, we found that middle-age people who practice yoga gained less weight over a ten year period than those who did not. This was independent of physical activity and dietary patterns. We hypothesized that mindfulness — a skill learned either directly or indirectly through yoga — could affect eating behavior,” said Dr. Kristal, who heads the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center.

The researchers discovered that people who ate mindfully, meaning they were aware of why they were eating and did not engage in binge eating or munching even though they weren’t truly hungry, weighed less than those who ate mindlessly and in response to anxiety or depression. The scientists did not find a similar association between other types of physical activity, such as walking or running, and mindful eating.

“These findings fit with our hypothesis that yoga increases mindfulness in eating and leads to less weight gain over time, independent of the physical activity aspect of yoga practice,” said Kristal, who is also a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health. “Mindful eating is a skill that augments the usual approaches to weight loss, such as dieting, counting calories and limiting portion sizes. Adding yoga practice to a standard weight-loss program may make it more effective.”

Dr. Kristal, who has practiced yoga himself for 15 years, explained in the press statement that yoga leads to mindfulness in a variety of ways, such as being able to hold a challenging physical pose by observing the discomfort in a non-judgmental way while accepting these feelings with a calm mind and by focusing on breathing. “This ability to be calm and observant during physical discomfort teaches how to maintain calm in other challenging situations, such as not eating more even when the food tastes good and not eating when you’re not hungry,” he said.

Other yoga research is being actively pursued by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), too. According to the NCCAM’s web site, studies are underway to see how yoga might help a variety of medical conditions including high blood pressure, chronic low-back pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV and multiple sclerosis.

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by Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa

Life is funny, sometimes.  But other times it can be exasperating, too. On occasion we are liable to just roll our eyes at the quirky flow of happenstance. At times like this, we may say something like, “If only life had a manual that came with it. But it doesn’t.”

There used to be manuals, or something like manuals. In times past, there were prescriptions for living and dying based on scriptures and traditions. Some still rely on them. And today some people are finding their way back to themselves through tribal ceremonies, purifications and ancient prescriptions for longevity.

We live in an age of scientific discovery, leaning much less on tradition than before. But that science is changing. We are also leaving the age of half-blind science, the science that is blind to itself, blind to connectivity, blind to our shared humanity. Some of this new science isn’t even being discovered. It is being rediscovered.

In 1968, a man named Yogi Bhajan came from the East and taught what in India had been a secret science. It was called “Kundalini Yoga.” He also shared his vision of the dawning of a new age of holism, empowerment and connectivity. The beauty of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is that it works on the premise that we were born to be healthy and happy and radiant, no less. It is also highly specific in its applications.

Kundalini Yoga uses a combination of body postures, breathing, inner locks, mantras, hand postures, and mental focus. Yogi Bhajan also included in his teachings the science of diet, eating particular foods for particular health-giving effects.

Kundalini isn’t hot yoga or cold yoga. But the aim of every yoga is eventually to raise your kundalini and make you ultimately aware.

Since we are still partly in the old paradigm, not much money goes into the scientific validation of the effects of Kundalini Yoga – or other forms of mind-body medicine. Most of the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of research grants dispensed by the National Institute of Mental Health, for instance, goes toward validating new pharmaceuticals.

Even so, Kundalini Yoga provides an amazing treasure trove of remedies for all kinds of maladies and challenges of life. And the outcomes are very heartening indeed.

Get migraines? Don’t know what to do? A regular yoga routine, with emphasis on relaxing the neck and shoulders, can help. You might try eliminating foods that can trigger migraines, such as caffeine and wheat. There are also particular Kundalini Yoga exercises you can do to prevent or cope with the onset of a migraine headache.

Therapeutic Effects of Kundalini Yoga

Self-esteem is a huge health issue. When your self-esteem is down, it takes the immune system down with it. It can work the other way, too. Yogi Bhajan, compassionate master that he was, recognized this and gave special physiological routines to rework the brain and help develop a sunnier disposition. Sometimes we call them “medical meditations.”

Kundalini is known as a “shakti power,” a feminine energy. As such, there are plenty of exercises and routines to help a woman though all the phases and challenges of her life. If you are a woman, you are uniquely situated to influence the future for the best, since future generations are born through you, and mother is the first teacher and guiding influence. All the more reason to grow and excel.

Kundalini Yoga is a tremendously hopeful body of know-how and applications. Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa uses his knowledge of Kundalini Yoga and other therapies at the Alzheimers Prevention and Research Foundation he founded in Tucson, Arizona. His work with thousands of clients demonstrates there is plenty that can be done to lessen the effects of mental deterioration.

Dr. David Shannahoff-Khalsa at the University of California in San Diego uses Kundalini Yoga to treat psychiatric disorders. Utilizing exercise, meditation and diet, he has shown that even some very desperate cases can turn themselves around. His caseload has included people with every imaginable syndrome, including anxiety, depression, bipolar, addictions, insomnia, chronic fatigue and hyperactivity disorders.

The age of science has allowed us to awaken from the slumber of blind faith and superstition. Now we are finding new sciences that serve our sense of connectivity and wholeness, health and well-being. Kundalini Yoga is an ancient science that gets results in our fragmented, hurry-up culture. There is no doubt in my mind that Kundalini Yoga will play an important role in our present and future.

Source: http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/dec09_bodymind

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Woman practicing yoga. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety.

ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety. The findings, which currently appear on-line at Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, is the first to demonstrate an association between yoga postures, increased GABA levels and decreased anxiety.

The researchers set out to contrast the brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels of yoga subjects with those of participants who spent time walking. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

The researchers followed two randomized groups of healthy individuals over a 12-week long period. One group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the remaining subjects walked for the same period of time. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging, the participants’ brains were scanned before the study began. At week 12, the researchers compared the GABA levels of both groups before and after their final 60-minute session.

Each subject was also asked to assess his or her psychological state at several points throughout the study, and those who practiced yoga reported a more significant decrease in anxiety and greater improvements in mood than those who walked. “Over time, positive changes in these reports were associated with climbing GABA levels,” said lead author Chris Streeter, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM.

According to Streeter, this promising research warrants further study of the relationship between yoga and mood, and suggests that the practice of yoga be considered as a potential therapy for certain mental disorders.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health.

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