Yoga is becoming more and more recognized as an accompaniment to cancer treatment. Mostly viewed and experienced as a way to relax the mind and to tone and shape the body, Yoga is a very ancient science that is misunderstood in today’s society. While the benefits of Yoga surely can include a calm mind and fit body, Yoga is a way of building and maintaining healing energy while removing the more damaging patterns and behaviors that otherwise drain this precious, healing resource. To be a Yogi, one must master one’s mind.
Mental, emotional, and physical stress stem from a mind that has become destructive rather than constructive. While most people live their lives in search of creativity, success, abundance, and a sense of accomplishment, they often do so at the expense of their own well-being. Most of the time, this is unconscious. Some people live very successful and creative lives, and then there are people who intend to live very successful and creative lives yet do not know how to. At the end of the day these individuals feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained and exhausted.
Exhaustion, stress, and lack of energy all stem from behaviors and patterns of living that are in disharmony with the first two laws of Yoga: Yamas and Niyamas. The Sanksrit word Yama means “death”. The Sanskrit word Niyama means “death inside”. We must ask ourselves, what is it that needs to die in our external environments and in our internal environments? Of what can we let go? What is no longer needed? In which ways are we damaging ourselves, allowing our minds to drain our energy, and leading destructive rather than constructive lives?
Patanjali, a great Master of Yoga, has shone his light on a path we all must follow. In his legendary Yoga Sutras, he tells us that the reason our minds, bodies, and spirits are not at rest is because our minds are violent. It is the mind that seeks to hurt its own system and the systems of others. We are not truthful with ourselves. It is the mind that deceives its own self and attempts to be deceptive with others. The mind is a thief. It steals, covets, hoards, and eventually drains our energy in patterns of which most of us are unaware. Yet, for the Master of Yoga who has reclaimed his or her own energy through Yamas and Niyamas and the practices of Yoga, the mind is no longer an enemy, but it is a great friend.
The question that then forms in the mind is, what does Yoga have to do with cancer? Cancer appears in a body that is destructive rather than constructive. The internal cells are in a state of attack, and the body is a battlefield.
Science has been able to prove that cancer cannot exist in an oxygenated environment. Dr. Robert O. Young, head of the pH Miracle Center in Valley Center, CA, has demonstrated that when the pH of urine drops below 5, on the scale of 1-14, the chances of an individual developing cancer increase dramatically. A low internal body pH deprives the body of oxygen, and the blood becomes dirty. Our internal cells are like fish in a fish tank. If the cells are not bathed in pH balanced water, and if our “fish tank” is not kept clean, the body begins to lose more energy than it gains because it is forced to clean up a dirty internal environment. In a dirty fish tank, bacteria grow.
The bacteria morph into yeast. The yeast morph into fungus. The fungus morph into mold. These toxins deprive the body of oxygen. The internal pH of the blood begins to drop, and the body goes into survival mode. The pH of the blood will only drop when the tissues in the body have become so toxic that they have entered a state of latent tissue acidosis. The degree of latent tissue acidosis is most commonly measured by urinary pH. A urinary pH of 5 or below signals severe latent tissue acidosis and a body that is severely deprived of oxygen. The state of the blood can clearly be seen in a Live Blood Cell Analysis.
How does a body end up in a state of latent tissue acidosis, and how can Yoga return a body to health? The world of Yoga practices spans every bodily system. A Yogic diet is an alkaline diet centered around pure, fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and low-acid grains. Making the body more alkaline is the key to eliminating latent tissue acidosis. Cleansing the body and bringing fresh oxygen into the system also makes the body more alkaline. Pranayama (building healing energy in the body through breath) brings fresh oxygen into the lungs, the blood, and the cells. Both Pranayama and Yoga Asanas (postures) cleanse the body’s internal organs, remove acidic toxins from the body, and cleanse and heal energy pathways in the body (refered to as Nadis in the Sanskrit language). The practices of Yoga are designed to clean the blood.
Aligning oneself with the Yamas and Niyamas destroys the damaging patterns and behaviors that make an individual more extrovert, stressed, and capable of draining the healing energy built through the Yogic practices of Pranayama and Asana. In fact, there is a Yama in Pranayama. It is therefore necessary to be mindful of one’s attitude towards oneself and others before the practices of Yoga can begin to heal the body. This is the reason Yamas and Niyamas are the first two steps in the eightfold path of Yoga.
It is exciting that Yoga has been recognized as a useful and helpful addition to cancer treatment. Yoga is currently being taught in conjunction to cancer treatment in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, MC Anderson, and many other major cancer treatment centers. As a patient learns the ways his or her mind has become destructive rather than constructive, the practices of Yoga will naturally heal the body. The human body is remarkable by design. It contains everything it needs to heal itself, and the body is constantly amazing practitioners in the medical field. Unexplained miracles happen every day.
The practices of Yoga can bring a person who is out of balance into a state of balance. It can help an individual live a very long, happy, creative, and abundant life. It can assist a person to live free of sickness and disease, to move from a dark place into a place of love and healing light. This is my prayer for all of those who suffer with cancer or any dis-ease.