Understanding yoga for breast cancer

Hormonal imbalance is a major factor in breast cancer, but integrating yoga into your lifestyle can help regulate it.
Understanding yoga for breast cancer

HYDERABAD : Transforming an hour of your daily “me-time” into a yoga practice can significantly reduce or prevent the risk of developing cancer, notably breast cancer in women. In India today, one out of every 28 women is at risk of developing breast cancer. Hormonal imbalance is a major factor in breast cancer, but integrating yoga into your lifestyle can help regulate it. Embracing yoga as a low-risk, cost-effective therapy can significantly enhance your quality of life. According to a renowned verse in the Bhagavad Gita, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” This implies that through the practice of yoga, our bodies embark on a path toward self-healing and inner peace.

Improving Prana through yogic power

Naveen Kolli, a yoga teacher, sound healer, and founder and director of Navyoga Academy, explains, “The word yoga for me is the combination of asana, pranayama, and meditation. When one practices yog abhyas, it improves blood circulation, resulting in a good flow of oxygen within the body. In yogic terminology, optimal oxygen flow in the body is recognised as ‘good Prana.’ When one maintains good prana, the body becomes resistant to illnesses like breast cancer, which has seen a drastic increase in women.”

He further explains, “Practicing yoga activates essential glands by reducing stress levels, releasing hormones on time, improving coordination between organs, and overall, dedicating one hour to yoga can potentially lower the risk of developing breast cancer in women.”

Regulating metabolism and hormones

Hormonal fluctuations play a significant role in fuelling most breast cancers. Studies show that such hormone-dependent breast cancers express progesterone receptors or estrogen receptors, which are reliable markers for predicting cancer prognosis. Alakuntla Mani Chandana, an internationally certified yoga instructor, says, “Yoga reduces breast cancer risk by decreasing stress, boosting immunity, reducing fatigue and nausea symptoms, increasing relaxation, improving sleep, and helping to prevent tumour growth. Regular yoga practice also maintains a healthy weight and overall well-being.” She recommends all women practice yoga daily to alleviate PCOD/PCOS symptoms and regulate hormones, which may also assist in weight management.

Must-practice asanas

 Take an hour from your hectic schedule, unroll the yoga mat, and try these four simple asanas recommended by yoga professionals for healthy living.

Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Pose): Sit like a cat, exhale while rounding the spine, and inhale while looking upwards. This pose improves breathing and activates spine energy.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose): This pose improves blood circulation in the body.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): This enhances lung capacity and stimulates lymphatic drainage, essential for lowering the risk of all sorts of cancer, including breast cancer.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): This also enhances lung capacity and stimulates lymphatic drainage.

 In addition to asanas, diaphragmatic breathing and nadi shodhana pranayama can be practiced for 10 to 12 minutes daily to keep oxygen levels stable. The longer you practice yoga, the more benefits you will reap. Discover a moment of self-connection, harmony, inner peace, and serenity through the transformative practice of yoga.

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The New Indian Express