There are certainly no guarantees in life for perfect health, but practicing the yoga lifestyle can truly make a difference. When it comes to cancer prevention, there are preferred foods, meditation, breathing techniques (pranayama), and postures (asanas) that do wonderful things inside us that support and strengthen the immune system and major organs. Yogic practices allow the student to discover a healthy relationship between the mind and body. That connection focuses on concentration and living in the moment.
If we look at what cancer is, any dictionary will explain it as a malignant tumor or growth caused when cells multiply abnormally, destroying healthy tissue. It is a frightening thought to all of us. We want to protect ourselves and our families from this disease. How could yoga possibly prevent cancer?
It’s important to see what is going on inside our bodies when performing asanas and proper breathing techniques, as these are keys to a holistic way of living. For instance, inversion poses like the Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana zero in on balancing the thyroid and pituitary glands; twist poses such as the Rotated Triangle or Parvritta Trikonasana target the liver and kidneys by massaging organs internally through mild compression, cleansing these organs, and removing toxins. A simple Legs up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) allows the student to focus or clear the mind of negative distractions. Additionally all postures can be modified by attending classes that are gentle, therapeutic, and restorative in nature. If you are searching for therapeutic classes, be aware that yoga training sessions can be very different due to the variety of styles, teacher methods, and yoga school philosophies.
Correct breathing or pranayama is also essential to the health of the human body. In yoga, we learn that it’s not just about the pure alignment and holding of these poses, but also through the clean flow of energy going through the body. The more oxygen to the blood and brain, the better, because oxygen purifies the bloodstream, while it takes away toxins and waste products. The brain becomes more mentally alert and rejuvenated when stagnant air is moved out of the lungs. During the Abdominal Lift or Uddyiana Bandha, the stomach, intestines, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, colon and kidneys all receive a natural massage and toning up. It also corrects the functioning of the adrenal glands and sex glands.
Yogic methodology cannot promise a life free of cancer but it can reduce many of the risk factors associated with cancer. Practicing yoga becomes a lifetime program along with sound nutrition and a healthy way of living.
“According to the U.S. government, 53 percent of all illness is caused by lifestyle choices. That makes daily meditation and Yoga Science the cheapest and most practical form of health insurance available.” – Leonard Perlmutter, founder of the American Meditation Institute.