Yoga for Colon Cancer

Yoga instructor Sarah Bergman demonstrates poses designed for colon cancer patients.

If recovering from surgery or undergoing treatment, please consult with your doctor before practicing the following sequences.

SARAH BERGMAN: For this practice, you will need one sticky mat, one strap or belt, and one folded blanket.

Easy Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with your arms down at your side, knees bent, and feet on the floor, hip distance apart.

Inhale – press down on your feet and raise your pelvis.

Exhale – slowly lower your pelvis and spine, one vertebrae at a time.

Inhale up and exhale down.

Inhale up and exhale down.

Reclined Wide-Angle Pose

Inhale your legs straight up. Bring your palms to your inner thighs and exhale, stretch your legs open.

Inhale – close your legs slowly, slightly resisting with your palms.

Exhale – stretch your legs wide open.

Inhale – close your legs slowly, and exhale, stretch your legs apart.

Inhale – legs together, and exhale, hug your knees into your chest.

Exhale – stretch your legs wide open.

Inhale – close your legs slowly, and exhale, stretch your legs apart.

Inhale – legs together; exhale, stretch your legs wide open.

Inhale – close your legs slowly, and exhale, hugs your knees into your chest.

Raise your right arm and roll to your right for three deep breaths and relax your legs.

Head to Knee Pose

When you’re ready, press yourself up to sit with your legs straight out in front of you and sit on a blanket so that your hips are elevated. This support allows for the low back to extend.

Have a strap in hand and wrap the strap around the ball of your left foot. If your right knee doesn’t rest comfortably near or on the floor, support it with a folded blanket.

Bring the sole of your right foot to your upper, inner left thigh.

Line up your navel with the middle of your left thigh, slightly twisting your spine.

Grab either side of the strap with both hands.

Exhale – begin to fold forward by deepening the groins and gently contracting your belly towards your spine.

Inhale – lengthen your spine.

Exhale – extend your spine over your left leg and slide your shoulder blades down your back.

Inhale – extend your spine straight, draw your sternum upwards to the ceiling.

Exhale – extend your spine over your left leg with your chest wide open.

Inhale up and switch sides. Press the sole of your left foot up into the inner right thigh. Grab either side of the strap with both hands.

Inhale – press your sitz bones down.

On your exhale, begin to fold forward by deepening the groins, and gently contract your belly.

Inhale – lengthen your spine, sit tall.

And exhale – fold over your right leg, sliding your shoulder blades down your back.

Inhale – extend your spine straight.

And exhale – extend your spine over the right leg with your chest open.

Inhale – lengthen your spine.

Good. Remove your strap to the side of your mat.

Bound Angle Pose

Extend both legs out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket.

Bend your knees and pull your heels toward your pelvis and press the soles and outer edges of your feet together.

Exhale – tilt forward by deepening your groins back.

Inhale – sit tall; exhale – tilt forward, continue to lengthen your front torso.

Inhale – sit tall.

Exhale – fold forward with as straight a spine as possible. Open the soles of your feet and take six to nine long, smooth, and even breaths.

Pay close attention to the end of your exhales. Notice the natural contraction effect of the exhale on the muscles around the perineum, your lower abdomen, and your buttocks.

Inhale smoothly to come back up.

Exhale – use your hands to encourage your knees together. Press your feet into the mat and reach your arms forward. Lift your chest, draw your navel towards your spine and slowly roll your torso down to the mat vertebrae by vertebrae. Remove any blankets from under your body and rest completely.

Corpse Pose

Draw a deep breath in and exhale; relax all the muscles of your body.

Chaturanga moving meditation; a moonlight meditation.

Bring your awareness to your spinal column from the crown of your head to the perennial floor. Draw in a deep inhale that expands your belly, chest, back body, and pelvic floor.

Fill your whole torso with air then slowly exhale.

Now visualize the crisp, bright, white light of a full moon.

On your next inhale raise your arms overhead and visualize the moonlight entering your body through the crown of your head and traveling down your spinal column.

Exhale – lower your arms down by your side and visualize this beam of moonlight moving back up your spinal column, out the crown of your head, and connecting back to the moon.

Do this twice more to the expanse and contraction of your inhale and exhale.

Now visualize pulling a pool of this bright moonlight down to the root of your spine.

On your next inhale, visualize the light of the moon going up your back, vertebrae by vertebrae.

On your exhale, see the light coming down the front of your spine to the area that you are healing, and see all growth or disease going away.

Practice this for as long as you will.

Come out of this meditation very slowly by deepening your breath and making small movements with your fingers and toes to awaken your limbs.

Gently open your eyes, being very mindful to not jump out of this deep meditative state. Take your time.

Namaste.

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