Yoga Asanas for Breast Cancer Survivors-2

We have already discussed how cancer patients and survivors can benefit from the practice of yoga. Yoga is a humbling experience in a way that as humans we learn from other beings whom we have always considered to be lesser than us. We try to embody trees, flowers, animals and birds. Along with a physical exercise the idea is to try and acquire the specific characteristics of the thing that we are trying to embody.  We have discussed basic stretches of the shoulders in our first article. In part II of the article we try to learn something from these much happier beings.

1.      Cow Face Arms (Gomukhasana)



Sit comfortably on the edge of a chair or on your asana. You can also practice the asana by sitting on your feet. With bent knees the top of your feet will touch the ground and your buttocks will rest on the heels.  Outstretch your right arm in the upward direction. Take your hand as far as possible. Bend your right arm from the elbow allowing your hand to drop between your shoulder blades. Slide your left hand towards the back and place your left hand in the fingers of the right hand. Let the pull created by your left hand pull your right arm. Take care to avoid any pressure on the neck or hunching forward. Hold the pose for five breaths before practicing it on the other side.

 2.      The Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

The pose can be practiced while standing. It requires one to have a good balance. Beginners can practice a variation of the pose while sitting without entwining the legs.

In a standing position, bring your right knee to the chest. Bend your left knee

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Garudasana (The Eagle Pose)

a little and cross the right leg over it. You will have to hook the right foot with the left leg. The next step is to wrap the right arm under the left arm. Place the fingers of your right hand on your left palm. Sit as low as possible and try to raise the arms as high as possible. Hold the pose for 5 breaths. Unwind and repeat the pose on the other side.  I feel like a contortionist while doing the pose.

3.      The Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose

The Dolphin Pose

Another fun pose that you will enjoy is the Dolphin pose. While facing a wall come on your hands and knees. Place your elbows on the floor at shoulder distance. To get shoulder distance just hold your elbows with opposite hands. Place your forearms parallel to each other on the floor. Once settled in the pose, raise your hips high and drop your head to reach your chest through the arms. Gaze at your feet and push the floor away with your forearms so that the shoulders and the hips away from the elbows. Straighten your legs and try to touch your heels on the floor. Stay in the pose for 5 breaths to begin with and take it upto 15 breaths. To come out of the pose exhale and place your knees on the mat and sit back. Practice the pose and feel as happy as a dolphin.

I can personally vouch for the poses discussed in both the articles. Practicing the poses discussed in part I and part II have not only help me deal with the persistent pain in my neck, right shoulder (the operated side) and the right elbow but also helped to restore the range of my arm. Holding the dolphin pose for 15 breaths means a lot to me and the pleasure of touching the fingers on the floor in thread the needle pose puts me in a state of exhilaration. It has taken a few months of practice but trust me it is worth the effort.

  • suniltrikha-photo
  • suniltrikha
  • An experienced and senior yoga teacher, adept in the Himalayan Yoga Techniques and incharge of Ludhiana center of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center (Swami Rama), plus a guest contributor at Can Fight Cancer sharing his knowledge, experience and expertise with our readers through his writings, suggestions, videos and much more.