Cancer Yoga

For indigestion, nervous stomach, erratic emotions and menstrual cramps. Promotes divine feminine essence and calm, nurturing mother energy. Goddess power. Sensitive and intuitive.

Cancer rules the breasts, breastbone, stomach, digestive system, lower ribs, womb and pancreas.

Prana vayu samana  //  Ayurvedic dosha kapha

Meditation anahata (heart chakra)

Take a comfortable seat. Breathe deeply and evenly, breath rising from belly and lumbar spine to crown. Find your heartbeat. Visualize a green light entering through the nose, traveling into the lungs and wrapping around the heart. With each breath, this light glows more emerald, glittering as it encompasses the stomach, shoulders and arms. With each breath the heart receives a cosmic infusion of support and validation, and with every exhale a release of toxic doubt. Try not to fight passionate responses that may arise from undivided attention to the heart. In kundalini yoga there is a meditation called “healing a broken heart” in which you take your hands together at heart level and bow your head so that your middle fingers lightly touch the third eye. Keep the elbows up, level with the wrists, not sagging.

Pranayama: uddiyana bandha / nauli

Uddiyana bandha and nauli breath should always be performed on empty stomach, bladder and bowels first thing in the morning, and never during menstruation. These are powerful pranayama for digestive regulation. By drawing the visceral organs up into the chest cavity at the end of an exhale, the organs are massaged and detoxified as new blood flow is generated. Nauli is the next step after uddiyana is mastered – this is the “wave” motion that can be coaxed from the abdominal wall while uddiyana is performed. Performing these pranayama without proper technique is dangerous, so I humbly refer any curious kitties to live lessons with your yoga instructor. For those yogis who are especially thin, these exercises may be painful at first and you may experience the sensation of organs slipping and sliding over one another – this is normal. Perform in both a seated position and in utkata konasana (goddess pose), hands resting on inner thighs, back rounded while holding. Practice no more than 5 times a day.

  1. chandra namaskar (moon salutation): start in goddess pose –> straighten legs, with arms overhead and hands clasped, pointer fingers together, lateral flexion from side to side –> trikonasana (triangle pose) on one side –> parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) –> lunge or warrior pose (or even something like chair pose with a twist) –> inner thigh stretch –> malasana (squat) or spider pose –> then reverse, starting with inner thigh stretch on other leg –> lunge or warrior pose –> pyramid pose –> triangle –> goddess –> lateral flexion –> goddess
  2. crescent moon warrior
  3. twists from uttanasana (forward fold) or wide-legged forward fold
  4. ardha chandrasana (half moon pose)
  5. ananda balasana (blissful baby) – try one leg at a time, with sole of the opposite foot resting on the ground, knee bent, then slowly begin to extend this resting leg, inching the sole of the foot away from you

ardha chandrasana variation

Lateral and deep breathing: Lateral movement in a seated or standing position (against a wall) while breathing deeply is very beneficial. We have a habit of breathing very shallowly into only the top region of the chest, but really this breath should extend through the stomach, back and shoulders. Try laying on a bolster or just on your bed with hands on stomach and/or heart. Breathe deeply enough that your breath lifts your hands. This, as well as twisting poses, help agni (digestive fire) operate properly.