Yoga

Yoga is perfect for those who have had treatment and surgery for cancer. Lymphoedema patients or those at risk of getting lymphoedema can also benefit.

What is Yoga?

“When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. This control of the senses and mind has been defined as Yoga. He who attains it is free from delusion”

In Western society today, everyone refers to the physical aspect of Yoga – Asana (postures), as ‘Yoga’. However, Yoga is much more than just postures. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ meaning union or communion. It also means to bind, join, attach and concentrate. It is the disciplining of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will which enables you to look at life in all its aspects evenly.

Yoga is one of the six systems of Indian philosophy

  1. Nyaya (Sanskrit: “Rule” or “Method”)
    Important for its analysis of logic and epistemology. The major contribution of the Nyaya system is its working out in profound detail the means of knowledge known as inference.
  2. Vaisheshika (Sanskrit: “Particular”)
    Significant for its naturalism, a feature that is not characteristic of most Indian thought. The Sanskrit philosopher Kanada Kashyapa (2nd–3rd century) expounded its theories and is credited with founding the school. Important later commentaries were written by Prashastapada, Udayanacharya, and Shridhara.
  3. Samkhya (Sanskrit: “Enumeration” or “Number”)
    Samkhya adopts a consistent dualism of matter (prakriti) and the eternal spirit (purusha). The two are originally separate, but in the course of evolution purusha mistakenly identifies itself with aspects of prakriti. Right knowledge consists of the ability of purusha to distinguish itself from prakriti.
  4. Yoga (Sanskrit: “Yoking” or “Union”)
    Its influence has been widespread among many other schools of Indian thought. Its basic text is the Yoga-sutras by Patanjali (c. 2nd century BCE or 5th century CE). It is the union of mind and body. It is not just asana (postures), as is referred to in Western society. It includes asana, pranayama (breathing), meditation and relaxation.
  5. Mimamsa (Sanskrit: “Reflection” or “Critical Investigation”)
    Mimamsa, probably the earliest of the six, is fundamental to Vedanta, another of the six systems, and has deeply influenced the formulation of Hindu law.
  6. Vedanta (Sanskrit the “conclusion” (anta) of the Vedas)
    The earliest sacred literature of India. It applies to the Upanishads, which were elaborations of the Vedas, and to the school that arose out of the study (mimamsa) of the Upanishads. Thus, Vedanta is also referred to as Vedanta Mimamsa (“Reflection on Vedanta”), Uttara Mimamsa (“Reflection on the Latter Part of the Vedas”), and Brahma Mimamsa.

In Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutra’, he refers to Yoga as Chitta Vrtti Nirodhah – in other words; Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind. This is what we want to achieve in our yoga practice. Through a combination of asana, pranayama and relaxation we can reach a state of meditation, enabling you to switch off your busy mind and bring you to the here. You will feel calm and present.

Hatha Yoga (Sanskrit: Ha – Sun; Tha – Moon)

Hatha Yoga originated thousands of years ago. It is a physical, refined, powerful and transformative practice that calls on the body, breath and mind to work as one. Asana, pranayama and meditation help balance opposites: right and left, feminine and masculine, hot and cold, movement and stillness rationality and intuition. In life, we tend to favour things we like and avoid things we dislike, creating imbalances in our bodies and in our minds. Hatha Yoga brings balance, opening the central channel of energy in the subtle body.

Hatha Yoga is composed of the following:

  • Asana (postures)
  • Pranayama (prana means life force, or energy, so it’s the expansion of prana)
  • Mudras and Bandhas (gestures and locks)
  • Shat Kriya (6 cleansing processes)
  • Meditation

During a class you will be led through a balanced practice of asana, pranayama and mindfulness techniques to improve not only the physiological systems in your body but also, steadiness to your mind and a more intimate connection to yourself.

Yoga for Cancer patients

Yoga is perfect for those who have had treatment and surgery for cancer. Classes are 60 – 90mins. They will be gentle and relaxing. You won’t be required to be flexible and bendy. It will be a gradual progression to a perfect Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), so no gymnastics required - though effort will be required for some of the postures.

The focus is on improving flexibility – opening your chest and shoulders, which often become restricted following surgery for breast cancer and radiotherapy; opening hips, which often become tight because of emotions and stress, or if you’ve had treatment and surgery for prostate cancer; stretching out hamstrings and gently increasing rotation in the spine.

Yoga for Lymphoedema patients, or those at risk of getting lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema responds especially well to muscle movement and abdominal breathing. Often, people with leg lymphoedema get tight and restricted muscle movement due to thickening in the tissues. Many people with arm lymphoedema don’t use their arms as much as they could because they’re nervous of their condition deteriorating. They are often told don’t use your arm. However, movement and use is GOOD.

All these classes will be adapted specifically to the individual patient, taking into consideration your history, when and where you had your surgery/treatment i.e. breast, ovaries, prostate, where you have lymphoedema, your age and your ability.

There will be emphasis on correct breathing techniques - I will teach you how to do yogic breathing, before moving onto other more advanced techniques. Each class will end with guided relaxation.

Classes are on a one-to-one basis, or if you’d like to bring a friend along, one-to-two.

Prices

60mins: £60
90 mins: £90
(All equipment supplied)