We are 144,844 members in 73 forums discussing 114,677 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Fitness and Getting Back in Shape → Topic: What to avoid in yoga

Topic: What to avoid in yoga

Forum: Fitness and Getting Back in Shape — Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 10:17AM

LtotheK wrote:

Hi gang,

If there is one thing that really depresses me about BC, it's the confusion I now have over my very favorite exercise regimen.

Yoga gave me the best health of my life.  Better than weights, running, machines, and swimming.  Now, it appears that 1/2 the exercises are potential triggers for LE.

I've heard a lot about downward dog.  It would seem to me plank and chaturrunga (sp) are verboten, too.

I'd really like to hear how a yoga routine can be done without the above.  Seems to me these are the foundation of the practice, and it's rendered all my favorite Shiva Rea DVDs off limits.

Help!  So frustrated!!!

Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 2 (32 results)

Posts 1 - 30 (32 total)

Log in to post a reply

May 24, 2011 10:35AM NatsFan wrote:

L - I have LE, but I love my yoga classes and wouldn't give them up for the world!  That said, I always wear my compression sleeve & gauntlet and I do avoid poses like downward dog.  I can do plank just fine for some reason.  After dealing with LE for so long, I've just kind of learned what poses will leave my arm with that dreaded "heavy" feeling, and I avoid those, but I do all others with enthusiasm. 

I take a Gentle Yoga class - the instructor is very good about giving alternate poses for those of us who have special needs.  Maybe you could find a gentle or restorative yoga class near you - the instructor could work with you to give you alternate poses that give almost as good a workout but that protect your arm.  One you learn some of the alternate yoga moves, then you could go back to your DVDs, just using the alternate moves as necessary.  If you've had any nodes removed, you may want to get fitted with a compression sleeve and gauntlet to use when flying, and you could use that while doing yoga as well.  Just pay attention to your arm and how it feels, and if you get a heavy feeling, swellingn or anything else that feels strange, stop immediately.  

Good luck!

Mary

Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 01/30/2008 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 03/04/2008 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxotereHormonal Therapy 07/01/2008 FemaraSurgery 10/09/2008 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
Log in to post a reply

May 24, 2011 11:03AM sanbar8771 wrote:

I found that the stretching during yoga has actually helped my LE. Instead of doing the downward dog, do the childs pose. I just try and modify anything that seems to be putting too much pressure on my arms. Hope this helps!

Dx 5/7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 25, 2011 08:04PM badger wrote:

LtotheK, I also love yoga.  Started a year ago when I was six months post-op just breathing and stretching.  Now I'm 18 months out and can do most poses including plank and down dog. 

Have you tried chair yoga?  It takes a lot of the weight off your arms.  In yoga class today, we did several poses using a chair, including Warrior 3 and a modified down dog.  

I find my balance is off after tx and wonder if chemo did a number on the tiny sensory hairs in my inner ears.  So I've avoided balancing poses (forget tree pose) and was happy to be able to do Warrior 3 today.  Anyone else experience this in your practice?

Namaste!

4,347.5 miles walked ~ Find your calm. Move forward from this place.

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 25, 2011 08:27PM Omaz wrote:

We aren't supposed to do downward dog????  How come???

Dx 6/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

May 25, 2011 08:42PM Springtime wrote:

I have to be careful with anything involving inversion, or going up side down. I found out with a headstander (totally going upside down and staying there for a bit) that this gave me an LE flair (trunctal & breast LE). I had to give it up! My arm is pretty much okay but I wear a sleeve when exercising or flying in a plane for sure.

So in Yoga, I avoid shoulder stand (I do bridge pose instead). For down dog, I alternate down dog and plank rather than holding the down dog the whole time - so that I am not dumping all the blood down into my chest for too long! 

I wear a sleeve and an under armour T inside out.  I have found the inside out compression T really great for the trunctal LE. 

Psalm 91: 14-16 "Because she loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her. W long life...

Dx 7/10/2008, IDC, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 25, 2011 08:54PM lmk wrote:

I do all the poses without any problems but started back gradually post surgery.

Dx 11/16/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 25, 2011 11:43PM, edited May 25, 2011 11:44PM by TokyoSing

I re-started my yoga practice exactly 6 weeks after my mastectomy.  I started gently but within a few weeks, was back to my usual routine - doing everything including headstands and inversions. I do not have Lymphadema, so I cannot say what poses to exclude if one has it. With severe joint pains caused by Arimidex, yoga and acupuncture keep me relatively pain-free and active.  I would not and could not give yoga up!

Namaste

Log in to post a reply

May 26, 2011 07:18AM LtotheK wrote:

Thank you all so much for your feedback!  I also noted from searching on the web that dolphin pose seems to be a good alternative to Downward Dog.  I did a yoga routine the other day, and I still ache in both shoulders, moreso in my surgery side.  I do clearly need to be super-careful.

Log in to post a reply

May 26, 2011 07:39AM hrf wrote:

I used to do yoga although I was never really good but I felt better. First BC had sentinel nodes only removed - just 2 of them. Went back to yoga and was fine. Second BC had lots of nodes (on the other side) and have just a little bit of LE on that side. I told the rehab therapist that I want to do yoga again and she said to avoid down dog and plank. At this point I have very little flexibility and am very overweight. I want to go back to yoga as I think it will help me to get back to better health I do have a compression sleeve and gauntlet which I wear daily. Also a few years ago i did have kneww surgery so i have 1 knee that is tight so even child's pose is a challenge - i can do it but i can't get down low the way i used to If any of you experienced practioners have advice for me, I'd appreciate it as I feel very discouraged right now hearing more of what i can't do rather than what I can

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary

Log in to post a reply

May 26, 2011 09:48AM dianamaps wrote:

I am so glad I just found this discussion thread.  Given my BRCA2+ results and the latest MRI showing not just the first lump but in fact scattered things everywhere on both sides, all news received yesterday, I'm likely to go from the planned lumpectomy to BMX. The vinyasa flow yoga I've been doing for a few years now is one of the best things in my life. When I looked at my surgeon yesterday and expressed my anxiety over downward dog, plank, and chattaranga she wasn't very reassuring.  LE is a huge area of anxiety for me right now. 

BRCA2+, unclear margins from 6/11 lumpectomy; A/C + T chemo 8/11-12/11; Herceptin until 10/12; BMX 1/10/12 with immediate recon.

Dx 5/4/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

May 26, 2011 11:13AM Springtime wrote:

Which one is dophin pose??

Psalm 91: 14-16 "Because she loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her. W long life...

Dx 7/10/2008, IDC, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 26, 2011 02:17PM lmk wrote:

I purchased the following book to assist with my recovery post surgery.

Yoga and Breast Cancer: A Journey to Health and Healing [Paperback]

Ingrid Kollak Ingrid Kollak (Author)  , M.D. Isabell Utz-Billing (Author). I had practised yoga about a yr before surgery and started back gradually at home using this book about 1 wk after surgery. 

Dolphin is similar to downward dog except your forearms are flat on the floor with your elbows aligned under your shoulders(so an L shape). as you advance you can gradually walk your feet in towards your shoulders. My yoga instructor says it is a pose for building shoulder strength. 

Dx 11/16/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 28, 2011 10:55AM julianna51 wrote:

I am so glad I have found this thread!   I started Bikram yoga in December of last year.   I feel that it has given me so many health benefits, strength and peace of mind.  I've had primary lymphedema in my legs since my 20s and I've seen so much improvement in my legs with my practice.  I saw incredible results in my body.   I fell in love with it after the very first time.   Then BC happened, and honestly, throughout this my main worry is when can I get back to my Bikram.   I've been worried because of the heat factor but I've been doing research and found that others who are at risk of lymphedema are practicing and doing well.

I asked my PS when he thought I could go back and he said months.  Months!   When I questioned him he said it was building body strength back and pain.   So, I'm thinking maybe not months but it will be a process.   I'm sure I need to talk with a lymphedema specialist and get fitted for a sleeve too.  Currently, I'm not experiencing any signs but I know I must be cautious and aware.   The only had to take 2 nodes out on my right side.

Any other Bikram practioners out there?  Any input?

Thanks!

Jule

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11

Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 05/24/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Surgery 06/12/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
Log in to post a reply

May 29, 2011 07:20AM TokyoSing wrote:

Juliana,  6 weeks after my mastectomy, I had a one on one class with a yoga teacher who was also a BC survivor. In fact,she had a double mastectomy the year before.  She gave me the best advice ever. It was money well spent.  I know that lots of cancer centers like MD Anderson, Dana Farber etc have yoga teachers who are experienced in teaching BC survivors.  I would start there. 

Log in to post a reply

May 29, 2011 10:23AM Springtime wrote:

I did yoga all through treatment - had to give up my regular classes but then started at the cancer center where they offered free, very gentle classes. It was great to do gentle movements - felt healing to my wounded body! I even did it all through rads and reconstruction, as soon as I could. I don't think I would wait "months" !! Can you try to do some basic things at home? I worked with a Yoga CD at home until I felt I could return to regular classes. Then I started with "gentle" and move up when ready. The instructor was very supportive. 

Psalm 91: 14-16 "Because she loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her. W long life...

Dx 7/10/2008, IDC, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 29, 2011 10:33AM julianna51 wrote:

tokyo - Thanks for the advice.  I will definitely do that!

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11

Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 05/24/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Surgery 06/12/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
Log in to post a reply

May 29, 2011 10:34PM LtotheK wrote:

Jule:  my LE specialist said two forever no-nos:  Bikram, and saunas.  And yet, your leg LE seemed to be helped by Bikram!  I get so annoyed with the contradictory info...

Log in to post a reply

May 31, 2011 12:54PM julianna51 wrote:

LtotheK - I've been trying to research information on that.   Probably get different responses from different specialists, etc.   I really do not want to give it up.   I know how much it was helping with my leg LE.    It seems like the LE is so unpredicatable as to who might get it and who might not.  

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11

Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 05/24/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Surgery 06/12/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
Log in to post a reply

May 31, 2011 01:06PM, edited May 31, 2011 01:07PM by xtine

I do a weekly Iyengar class. It's pretty slow and gentle compared to a lot of other forms. At first I was a little wary of weight-bearing poses, and I had some challenges with poses that stretched my arm on the mx side. I told my instructor about the surgery and she was supportive and showed me alternative poses (like downward dog against a wall).

It didn't take long before I could do every pose in the class. We don't do handstands, which would probably be hard. But I can do downward dog and other weight-bearing poses. I decided to not push it but not limit myself, and haven't had any LE problems. The latest research shows that reasonable weight bearing can be beneficial to preventing LE.

I agree that Bikram sounds like a no-no, but I never liked that form anyway ;).

DCIS 10cm with 3mm IDC found in final pathology. Uni mx with gummy implant, Tamoxifen.

Dx 10/8/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

May 31, 2011 08:49PM elmcity69 wrote:

no bikram for me - i know i would keel over in the heat. plus, i hear most bikram teachers are nasty marines-like types. no thanks.

i do lots of vinyasa classes, some more vigorous than others, and some power classes. when my right arm starts feeling fatigued or tingly, i just pop down into child's pose. otherwise, no problems...it has actually helped my LE tremendously. my arm puffed up on a six week ban due to MX...now it's much better.

yoga has helped me emotionally more than i could ever say. i just wish i found it earlier on the life journey!

j

Dx 9/24/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 15/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Jun 1, 2011 06:07PM julianna51 wrote:

Maybe I will have to look at more types of yoga...but I am not ready to give up on Bikrams.  Hee hee hee....nasty marine types.  I think you went to the wrong Bikrams.   I've been very fortunate in mine.   Last February while mine had to close for some repairs I had to go to another center and HATED it.   So, I really believe there is a difference where you practice.

I see my BS on Friday for my first postop visit so I'll be asking him about a lymphedema specialist so that I can at least start getting answers about what I can and can't do.

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11

Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 05/24/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Surgery 06/12/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
Log in to post a reply

Jun 2, 2011 11:52AM, edited Jun 2, 2011 11:54AM by LtotheK

It's the heat in Bikram my LE specialist says is an issue, not the style.  Bikram is a very regimented style of yoga, with set asanas.  One thing all yoga practitioners should be concerned with in Bikram is that the process for teacher certification is shorter than other styles like Iyengar and Hatha. Because it is so popular as a fat blastic technique, there are a lot of people teaching, and frankly,they are not all equal.  I went to a Bikram class in NYC that was absolutely shocking.  It's amazing the students didn't all end up with slipped discs.  If you don't do yoga daily, the risk of injury is quite high--there is a whole new brand of yoga therapy just to address yoga injuries.

Julianna, please let us know what you find out, it is important information!!  You had very few nodes taken out, and so your risk may be lower.  But, as they are figuring out, no one has a real understanding of why some get LE and others don't, regardless of surgery.

Log in to post a reply

Jun 9, 2011 10:15PM CrazyKitties wrote:

Do whatever feels right, and don't worry about what you think you should be doing in yoga, That is counter-productive.

Dx 4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jun 9, 2011 10:39PM Katalin wrote:

I went to a series of Bikram yoga classes...they assured me it was appropriate and helpful for me, (about a year after completing chemo) This was an accredited studio, good instructors, etc. It kicked my a$$...made me feel truly horrible, weak, debilitated...I spent a lot of time just lying throughout the class.  I WANTED it to work but I wasn't strong enough for it.  I'd signed up for a year's worth of classes based on their claims (excellent for people recovering from cancer!), and had to fight to get out of it. I'd recommend going slow if you take up with yoga.  I tried Iyengar (spelling sorry!)...while taking tamoxifen...I exacerbated my plantar fascitus (sp!) WHILE going SLOW, GENTLE, NOT PUSHING etc. etc. etc. good instructors...then I'd get muscle cramps while doing anything involving downward dog or child's pose.  And Gentle Yoga was just boring...Yoga lovers love yoga, but I wish they'd stop espousing it for EVERYONE.  It's not risk-free and a panacea for everyone!

Dx 7/1/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2011 11:57AM thoughts5000 wrote:

I love yoga as well, and have continued a regular practice with no problems.

Dx 6/2008, <1cm, Stage I, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2011 12:09PM Sherryc wrote:

I started yoga one month before DX.  I had my lumpectomy on a Thursday and was back in yoga the following Wed.  My Dr had not problem with it and I have not had any LE.   I think it helped me heal so much quicker from surgery.  It is my understanding that MDAnderson receive a big grant to study the effects of healing after bc surgery using yoga.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2011 05:06PM, edited Jun 21, 2011 05:15PM by TokyoSing

Katalin, I am sorry you had such a hard time going back to Yoga. It is true that MD Anderson received a $5 M grant to study the effects of yoga on recovering cancer patients and the initial findings are very encouraging.

Because of my sentinel node excision, my doctor has always warned me to stay away from hot tubs, Japanese Onsens, and Bikram Yoga.  I did start with restorative yoga 6 weeks after my mastectomy but did not stay there for long. Now, 16 months after my surgery, even with Arimidex caused joint pains, I am back in my level II Hatha class. The key I think is to let your instructors know about your surgery ( and joint pains) and be patient with yourself.  

Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2011 09:02PM, edited Jul 1, 2011 09:06PM by Just_V

found this utube on dolphin that looks good but the book on yoga and BC sounds great!  will check that out too! http://www.ehow.com/video_2351526_yoga-dolphin-pose-upper-body.html

how long did you all weight post op to start up with yoga again? I had a UMX on 6/8/11 - I need to get back into yoga so I can start running again... I do Chi Running which is ALL about core, and that is where yoga comes into helping me with my running... ugh - hate BC's interruption in my life!!!!

V - Stage 1B - UMX w/ TE on 6/8/11 – 1.4 cm calc, invasion total 3cm. Second 1.2 cm mass (post op); TE removed 7/12; Onc score 12 no chemo; Tami began 7/21/11;UMX on left with double DIEP on 11/9/2011

Dx 4/14/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2011 09:04PM Just_V wrote:

katalin - i went to Bikram yoga for a while BEFORE BC, and it is brutal - hot and hard and unforgiving... seemed to me to be the opposite of yoga's spirit of wellness...

V - Stage 1B - UMX w/ TE on 6/8/11 – 1.4 cm calc, invasion total 3cm. Second 1.2 cm mass (post op); TE removed 7/12; Onc score 12 no chemo; Tami began 7/21/11;UMX on left with double DIEP on 11/9/2011

Dx 4/14/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2011 11:56PM Sherryc wrote:

vhshea I had a lump and SNB and was out for 1 week and then started back and just paced myself on what felt good.  My BS told be to go back as soon as possible.  I know it is different with a MX not sure.  I will be having a MX so I will need to find out when that time comes for me.  I still have healing to do from rads before I can have surgery and reconstruction.  So I am waiting until the PS gives me the go ahead.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12

Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/12/1997 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 09/30/2010 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 12/03/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/07/2011 TamoxifenSurgery 11/03/2011 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 03/26/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/21/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 11/27/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)

Page 1 of 2 (32 results)