Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Blogger: Yoga and Cancer Patients

In yoga, everyone has a story to tell and wisdom and information to share about their own experiences, but it should also be noted that Bikram Yoga itself really does have the ability to help individuals who are struggling with debilitating illnesses, and so I have had the privilege to finally be able to have a guest blogger on my site. Hot Yoga has many advantages that I have touched upon in previous blogs but today I would like to share the table with Krista so, without any further ado, here is Krista's insight she wishes to share with you all:

The therapy and treatment stages for a cancer patient can be excruciatingly difficult. Extended rounds of chemotherapy and radiation have been known to bring on many side effects that have an impact on quality of life. Luckily there have been growing options in complementary treatment options that are directed towards alleviating some of these symptoms. One of the popular and growing options includes Bikram yoga, primarily because of its ability to mix both physical and mental benefits for patients.

Bikram yoga has a great impact on regular participants for its ability to cleanse the body and its impact on cancer patients is no different. Patients have been known to help reduce their acidity through hot yoga. Acids are removed from the body during hot yoga through working the lungs with heavy breathing, the kidneys with increased metabolism and heart rate, and creating an alkaline environment within the body. All three of these elimination methods help to cut down on the acidity within these cancer patients.

Hot yoga also allows patients a chance to get more oxygen in the body. Because breathing is such a heavy focus during hot yoga, they help to move stagnant air out of the lungs. What this is doing is taking out acids and making room for oxygen to come in. This oxygen goes on to diffuse in the blood and be carried throughout the body of a patient.

Perhaps the biggest reason that hot yoga is so popular with cancer patients is because of the ability to connect the mind and body. The treatment stages of cancer can be busy, stressful, and fearful. Hot yoga provides a chance to reconnect the mind and body through tranquility and peace. All types of yoga, including hot yoga can help people to find peace of mind. A great example of the impact that hot yoga can have on cancer patients involves its help with mesothelioma patients. This is a type of cancer that results from asbestos exposure and forms within the lining of the lungs and abdomen area. These patients have an extremely low average life expectancy and hot yoga has been known to give them peace of mind and tranquility during the stressful and fearful time following diagnosis. The ability of hot yoga to have astounding mental benefits is one of the main reasons it is continuing to grow as a complementary treatment option.

While hot yoga is not as popular with cancer patients as traditional forms of yoga, it is continuing to grow. More research from physicians and scientific evidence will continue to make hot yoga a great option to cancer patients looking for a complementary therapy to alleviate some of their side effects.

Krista Peterson is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness and how they can be treated." If you wish to contact Krista she can be reached at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Set Yourself on Fire!- A Competitor's Goal

I open my eyes, slowly, aware that I am facing away from the clock I turn over to see the alarm; yet even as I gaze upon it I know already it's ten minutes to 7. I take a deep breath in and go over in my mind the days events that will take place. START. It's the same routine I have had for the last week and a half. Protein for breakfast and lots of water, tea to soothe my nerves and some fruit to quench the sugar and water fixes. Stretches to loosen my legs and a little music to lighten the mood before I head on over to my 930 Bikram Yoga class. I walk in the frigid January air trying to keep my body from cramping anticipating the heat that will wrap itself around me. The moment I see friendly and familiar smiles and faces from the receptionists and students, my mind is already a little more at ease. BREATH. My mind seems to time the minutes to each posture I've been waiting for, my legs holding out the endurance needed for standing head to knee and that released freedom I start to appreciate when I'm able to bring my elbows down and think about one symbol of my strength to keep my forehead on my knee. FOCUS. Class lets out and I lay in savasana knowing what comes next. I bring myself in bridge to stretch out the back and it lets out a little crack to tell me it's ready for some back bends. The wall bends are not my favorite but as I peer into the mirror to my side I see a beautiful display of an arch. RELAX. A familiar voice tells me it's time for practice to begin; more standing head to knees, more standing bows, more floor bows, more rabbits, more stretches. The hot room no longer has the same effect anymore, it becomes an immersement of energy now, a place to feel the forca of strength. PUSH. After two hours of practice I come out to the explosive fresh air; throat burning, ears in pain from infection, muscles screaming, blood pumping, tears overwhelming, hands shaking, elbows blistered, feet numb. PAUSE. I look into the mirror and notice there is something different about me; it's in my eyes.. A look of wanting, a feeling of needing... a confidence, a determination.. a desire. TIME.
...Beep...Beeep...Beeep...My alarm goes off and small smile stretches across my face, yeah, it's going to be a good day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Namaste Yogi's!

After a few months I return again with more followers lol, thank you to everyone who has been to this page and I apologize for no response from me for awhile. It seems every time I thought of some idea or had a moment of inspiration the old writer's block floated on in and I could not put down one single thought.

I am officially in the 8th Annual Western Hatha Yoga Competition as of this Saturday. What have I learned or tried to incorporate into my test of skill (if you may)?

* A proper diet is essential in maintaining energy, flexibility, hydration, strength and endurance.
* I miss my sugar, dairy and wheat:(

* There are many challenges towards this type of goal and lots of stress factors that will rev up your emotions. It is normal to feel temporarily discouraged but the most important thing to know is that another day lies ahead to keep yourself balanced. Another day to revive your confidence.

* If you just ask for help, it is always there within your reach. My stubbornness can outweigh my need for support sometimes but through my favorite yoga guru, Frank (have I mentioned he is temporarily back in town?) I understand my body, it's abilities, my capacity for learning and most importantly the confidence I now have to firmly walk up on that stage and say 'I can do this'.

* I am in awe of the other competitors who I will have the privilege of competing with, I understand their struggles, their emotions, and their nervousness and they all have my utmost respect.

*The flu, ear infection, sore spine, bruises, sore elbows, sleeping problems and a stubborn cough are not going to get the better of me!

*I am going to order my favorite pasta with a ginger ale and a mouthwatering chocolate dessert the day after the competition. It's about balance, right?