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Extended Resources: The Breast Cancer Online Summit

Extended Resources



Research on Yoga:  A Collated Document



Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training

Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training Miriam J. Johnson & David C. Currow To cite this article: Miriam J. Johnson & David C. Currow (2016) Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training, “significant improvement with training – more studies needed.”Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 10:3, 241-243, DOI: 10.1586/17476348.2016.1146596 To link to this article:

 PMCID: PMC5266177 PMID: 28079815


Morning breathing exercises prolong lifespan by improving hyperventilation in people living with respiratory cancer

Wei-Jie Wu, MB,a Shan-Huan Wang, MB,a,b Wei Ling, MD,a Li-Jun Geng, MPhil,a Xiao-Xi Zhang, PhD,a Lan Yu, MPhil,a,c Jun Chen, MPhil,a,c Jiang-Xi Luo, MD,a,c and Hai-Lu Zhao, PhDa

Five-year survival rate of those who participated in breathing exercises was significantly improved.
Adv Exp Med Biol.
 2018 Apr 4. doi: 10.1007/5584_2018_186. [Epub ahead of print]


Preoperative Rehabilitation in Lung Cancer Patients: Yoga Approach.

Barassi G1Bellomo RG2Di Iulio A3Lococo A3Porreca A4Di Felice PA4Saggini R4.

Breathing exercises helped stop craving for smoking.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 Nov 1.Published in final edited form as:Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Nov; 49: 260–271.

Published online 2014 Jul 21. doi:  10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.07.012

PMCID: PMC417446  NIHMSID: NIHMS616154 PMID: 25127084


Stanford scientists have identified a small group of neurons that communicates goings-on in the brain’s respiratory control center to the structure responsible for generating arousal throughout the brain. Mar2017  Mark Krasnow at Stanford, have identified a small clusters of neurons, in the brain stem, that link to breathing and relaxation, attention, excitement and anxiety.Slow breathing induces tranquility.  National Institutes of Health (grants HL70029 and HL40959)



Effect of restorative yoga vs. stretching on diurnal cortisol dynamics and psychosocial outcomes in individuals with the metabolic syndrome: the PRYSMS randomized controlled trial. “Multi-center randomized controlled trail of 171 patients. “Significant decreases in salivary cortisol, chronic stress severity, and stress perception in restorative yoga group vs stretching only group.”

Sarah M. Corey, PhD,1,* Elissa Epel, PhD,1,a Michael Schembri, BS,1 Sarah B. Pawlowsky, DPT,2 Roger J. Cole, PhD,3 Maria Rosario G. Araneta, PhD,4 Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD,4 and Alka M. Kanaya, MD1,a bottom line:Yoga is probably just as good for your health as many other forms of exercise. But it seems particularly promising for improving lower back pain and — crucially — reducing inflammation in the body, which can actually help stave off disease. Yoga also seems to enhance “body awareness,” or people’s sense of what’s going on inside themselves.


 2018 Annual Report on Prostate Disease from Harvard Medical School.

Yoga lessens treatment-related symptoms in men with prostate cancer Finding: Improved urinary function and erectile blood flow

The effect of YOCAS©® yoga for musculoskeletal symptoms among breast cancer survivors on hormonal therapy : Participants recruited from 2007-2010; Initially looking at sleep, the study found that musculoskeletal symptoms improved; move directed study needed. Restorative and gentle yoga was used.

Breast Cancer Res Treat.

Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Apr 1.

Published in final edited form as:

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Apr; 150(3): 597–604.

Published online 2015 Mar 27. doi:  10.1007/s10549-015-3351-1


Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience Breathing techniques are known to directly affect cardiac vagal tone and the initiation of the vagal brake to move the system towards the VVC platform and provides another bottom-up regulatory practice of yoga

Front Hum Neurosci. 2018; 12: 67.

Published online 2018 Feb 27. doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2018.000 PMCID: PMC5835127PMID: 29535617

Yoga in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Prostate Cancer Undergoing Surgery

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 30 to 80
Trial IDs: HSC2015-406H, NCI-2015-02219, CTRC 15-0003, NCT02620033

Yoga Therapy in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Childhood Lymphoma or Leukemia

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 13 to 17
Trial IDs: YOGAOT, NCI-2015-00975, NCT02473523

Yoga, Survivorship Health Education, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Reducing Insomnia in Cancer Survivors

Phase: Phase III
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: URCC14040, NCI-2015-01144, RSRB052271, NCT02613364

Hatha Yoga in Improving Physical and Emotional Health in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: VICC SUPP 1282, NCI-2013-01860, 121357, DOERSAJK04302014124530, NCT01951664

Yoga Therapy in Reducing Fatigue and Improving Quality of Life in Patients With Stage I-II Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: UPCC# 08113, NCI-2014-00413, NCT01985945

Gentle Yoga and Dietary Counseling in Improving Physical Function and Quality of Life in Stage I-II Endometrial Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: Not specified
Trial IDs: OSU-13005, NCI-2014-00770, 18240, 2013C0043, NCT02465541

Couple-Based Yoga Program in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Stage I-IIIB Cancer of the Esophagus or Lung Undergoing Radiation Therapy and Their Caregivers

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2014-0036, NCI-2015-01902, NCT02196844

Couples-Based Yoga Program in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with High-Grade Glioma Undergoing Radiation Therapy and Their Partners

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2015-0013, NCI-2015-01124, NCT02481349

Yoga Therapy for Living Well in Patients with Stage IV or Recurrent Metastatic Breast Cancer

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 21 and over
Trial IDs: Pro00044446, NCI-2014-00032, NCT01927081

Programs to Support You during Chemotherapy (Pro-You)

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 21 and over
Trial IDs: VICC GI 1549, NCI-2015-01042, NCT02489422

Ayurvedic Intervention in Improving Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Educational/Counseling/Training
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 11801, NCI-2012-00602, NCT01488123

Yoga or Stretching and Relaxation in Improving Physical Function in Patients with Stage 0-III Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: Phase III
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2009-0976, NCI-2012-01895, NCT01202851

Integrative Oncology Program in Improving Cancer-Related Outcomes in Patients with Stage III Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Behavioral study, Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Educational/Counseling/Training
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2012-0112, NCI-2014-02449, NCT02079662

Mindfulness Intervention in Reducing Anxiety in Patients Who Have Been Treated for Gynecologic Cancer

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: UW15000, NCI-2015-01263, 2015-0549, NCT02518308

Massage Therapy Compared to Light Touch Therapy in Decreasing Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 to 65
Trial IDs: R21AT007090, NCI-2014-01419, mCRF, NCT01926678

Copyright 2016 Karen Armstrong E-RYT, LVCYT All Rights Reserved (Used with permission)

Yoga for Cancer Patients a Prescription for Sleep, Vitality (as Studied at Rochester Medical Center) May 20, 2010, 6:06 PM EDT – Democrat and Chronicle By Tom Randall .“We’re not talking about using a Ouija board and using fern leaves instead of chemotherapy,” Merrell said. “We’re talking about relaxation techniques to integrate the mind and body — instead of feeling disconnected from this cancer that’s in you, to feel that you’re a whole human being and you’re going on this path toward healing.”

Effectiveness of Yoga Therapy as a Complementary Treatment for Major Psychiatric Disorders: A Meta-Analysis

  • ♦Yoga can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • ♦Yoga has few contraindications and few side effects.
  • ♦Yoga may be a helpful complementary treatment for psychiatric disorders


PMCID: PMC3219516

PMID: 22


Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Meditation Techniques as Treatments for Medical Illness Background: Meditative techniques are sought frequently by patients coping with medical and psychological problems. “Safe and effective..

Albert J. Arias Karen Steinberg, Alok Banga Robert L. Trestman

Published Online:11 Oct 2006

Mindfulness at school reduces (likelihood of) depression-related symptoms in adolescents  Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like symptoms.

Date:March 15, 2013/Source:KU Leuven

Summary: Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later.

From the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship How Mindfulness is incorporated into medical practices:

Mindfulness based stress reduction ( MSBR) Chronic physical/emotional pain

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy ( MBCT) Repeat of depressive episodes

Dialectic Behavior Therapy ( DBT) Personality/eating disorders

This Acceptance and commitment therapy ( ACT) Mindfulness and Buddhist ideas.

Comparing Individual Preferences for Four Meditation Techniques: Zen, Vipassana (Mindfulness), Qigong, and Mantra Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAcCorrespondence information about the author PhD, MPH, LAc Adam BurkeEmail the author PhD, MPH, LAc Adam Burke

DOI: “Most patients preferred Zen and Vipassana – and accured QOL benefits overtime.”


Mind Over Matter: Can Zen Meditation Help You Forget About Pain? By Meredith Melnick @meredithcmDec. 09, 2010 – article reporting on research

The studies add to the evidence that mindfulness techniques like meditation can be learned, and that they may help in the management of a variety of conditions. “The results suggest that Zen meditators may have a training-related ability to disengage some

higher-order brain processes, while still experiencing the stimulus,” said Rainville. “Such an ability could have widespread and profound implications for pain and emotion regulation and cognitive control.”

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Aug 8;17(1):390. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1898-Study protocol on comparative effectiveness of mindfulness meditation and qigong on psychophysiological outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer: a randomized controlled trial.

Ho RTH1,2Wan AHY3,4Chan JSM4Ng SM4Chung KF5Chan CLW4. Large study showed significant pain management improvement in meditation and qigong, lower stress level, and overall QOL.



Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer Cochrane Review 2018/2017


We included 24 studies with a total of 2166 participants, 23 of which provided data

Moderate-quality evidence supports the recommendation of yoga as a supportive intervention for improving health-related quality of life and reducing fatigue and sleep disturbances when compared with no therapy, as well as for reducing depression, anxiety and fatigue, when compared with psychosocial/educational interventions.




Yoga practices positively address many of the side effects that cancer patients, survivors experience. These effects are also felt by anyone involved in cancer research:  scientists, doctors, nurses, therapists, caregivers.


Yoga practices encompasses the entire person:  mind, body, emotions, and spiritually (not religiously).


More studies are needed in the field of Yoga Therapy and Cancer.



The Breathing Book, by Donna Farhi

Healing Mudras, by Sabina Mesko

Yogic Management of Cancer, by Dr. Swami Nirmalananda

The Yamas & Niyamas, by Deborah Adele

Exercises for Joints and Glands, by Swami Rama

Yoga and Breast Cancer, Ingrid Kollak and Isabell Utz-Billing, MD

The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga, by Ray Long, MD

Relax and Renew, by Judith Laster, Ph.D.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Sri Swami Satchidananda

ABC Workbook for Cancer Patients, by Robin B. Dilley

Returning to Health with Dance, Movement and Imagery, by Anna Halprin

Yoga for Wellness, Gary Kraftsow

The Stress Management Workbook, by Ruth C. White, PhD

Meditation books by Jon Kabat Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodron








A Night at the Lab: A personal story of advcocate and researcher


Tonight, I will be attending “A Night At the LAB”. A networking meeting at USC in Los Angeles between researchers and patients. I will be telling a personal story of a family member and how I used my AACR (American Association of Cancer Research” certificate to advocate for my cousin’s wife, Ellen.  Here is my story.

I received an urgent text from my cousin, John. His wife, Ellen, was in a major and well-knowned hospital in a city close to my own. Her bladder cancer returned after four years. It had metastasized and it was in her throat, wrapping around her vocal cords and also in her lungs. Ellen had gone to the doctor for over six months complaining of a raspy vocal cords and a dry cough. Even though she had had bladder cancer, the doctor didn’t do any advanced testing. Ellen was told it was a sore throat. Once more testing was done,  Ellen had been scheduled to enter a promising immunotherapy trial a month prior. However,  now she had pneumonia. John and Ellen were advised to enter hospice, though they continued to be offer radiation and cisplatin.  They needed advice. Ellen had not been responding to the cisplatin, it only made her very ill. Continuing the course of treatment would likely hasten her death.


Having just met and completed work with Keith Syson Chan, a renowned bladder cancer researcher,  at the American Association of Cancer Researchers, I texted Keith to see if Ellen might be eligible for his current bladder cancer trial. Unfortunately, she did not meet the criteria for that study of bladder cancer within the wall of the bladder, Keith immediately started to support with information that could help Ellen. We texted back and forth, discussing ways to get Ellen back into the immunotherapy trial. We were not able to get her back into the trial, but we did get some movement in her treatment. I had a plan.


I took my newly minted AACR Advocate Certificate with me and went to Ellen’s bedside. Fortunately, the doctor doing rounds was the head of GI cancer trials, he noticed my certificate on Ellen’s bed. I noticed his interest and he asked who it belonged to . I wasted no time in asking that Ellen be put back into the trial, which was her best hope, and that she no longer be given cisplatin, due to its negative effects on her general health in her weakened condition. The doctor said he would relay the information to Ellen’s doctor and team.


Within 24 hours, Ellen’s treatment plans changed. She was not returned to the trial but she was given an approved immunotherapy. She was able to go home with hope. In the month that she was home, Ellen wrote out her final wishes and contacted people she wanted to reconnect with and had time with John. The traditional immunotherapy did not work. Ellen was in critical condition and she returned to ICU. I met my cousin there with my older sister. Ellen was conscious, but her body was failing. A decision to remove her ventilator was made and Ellen died within an hour.


What could have gone better?

Ellen had a recurrence of bladder cancer and had scans and tests that provided information about the state of her disease. Unfortuately, to enter the trial she had to redo all the tests , and within that three week time, the cancer took over her lungs and she was unable to proceed into the trial. Why do trials need to redo tests?


Ellen should have been followed for five years with scanning and testing to see about her bladder cancer. We need better after-care protocols!


John and Ellen were advised to enter hospice, neither of them were ready to give up on an otherwise healthy and active 51 year old. Palliative care may have been more appropriate.  All options were not shared with John and Ellen.


Within trials, I have noticed that patients are “cherry picked” for their ability to survive the treatment. Earnest trials, should be given to the sickest patients, to see if there is benefit. The scientific method should not exclude patients that may skew the final results.


Researchers should not have politics play into patients lives. Gaps in funding and outcomes that hold millions of dollars should not affect patient care.  Even Keith’s promising bladder cancer trial was put on hold due to funding gaps. Patients die in gaps.


I’d like to see patients be given the option of an advocate as soon as they are diagnosed.


I’d like to see researchers and advocates have more dialog and have a network to work together.


What would you like to see?

Cancer Advocacy At Work

How do you get ‘state-of-the-art’ cancer treatment if you are not a former President of the United States? We know that cancer is an equal opportunity destroyer, and all treatments are NOT created equal! This is the story of how I was able to advocate for a family member and win her a chance at the immunotherapy table. The facts are altered to protect the identities only. The story is real. Too real.


When I received the email that my family member (FM) needed my opinion, I was shocked. This FM is not the kind to reach out for help unless there is a dire need. So, I responded quickly and asked what was happening. Her husband was fighting metastatic bladder cancer and though originally slated to enter a trial of immunotherapy, was now offered a Palliative Care or Hospice Plan. What had gone wrong?

He had received the news of his cancer return and gone through a series of tests. You know, CT, MRI, all the alphabet soup tests that cancer patients know so well. Then, to be accepted for the trial, all the same tests had to be redone and within that precious month of re-testing, the cancer had gotten a strong foothold across his lungs and neck. The vocal chords being squeezed of sound and a stent was inserted to hold open the crushing pursuit of his windpipe. Then, disaster struck: pneumonia set in and he was hospitalized. Somewhere in the mix, treatment plans had been changed and now the immunotherapy was a distant dream. Chemotherapy and radiation were given. Chemo, that had a 6%, yes, six percent chance of working. Somewhere in there two treatments , that didn’t work, and added to the misery! Results were damaging to his whole body and he weighted in as a child, under 100 pounds. His life force was hanging by a thread.

Read more……soon

Yoga is a Form of Meditation

Let me repeat: Yoga is a Form of Meditation. You might think of yoga as an exercise, or a physical practice where people are very fit and flexible. Yet the ancient roots of yoga tell a different story. The roots of yoga go back many thousands of years and it is only within the last 150 years that Western world has adapted this practice and called it by many names and types. Yet yoga’s benefits are part of a greater system of health that includes daily practices, called “tapas” which arise from a traditional practices or “The 8Limbs of Yoga”.

The essential health system calls for taking care of one’s physical body with cleanliness, eating well, breathing practices and then, after established in these daily routines to add a meditative side to these skills :Yoga and Meditation. And herein lies the difference between exercise and yoga practices. The breath-centered practice of yoga asks only to be “stable and easy”. How that translate in the HOT Yoga and all the permutations our Western culture has spawned, that is a much larger discussion.

Simply coming back to the intention of yoga as a form of healthcare and well-being. Yoga is movement to prepare one’s body to do more formal types of meditation. It’s that simple. On the way to sitting for long periods, yoga practices stretch and soothe the body into postures, called ‘asana’ practices. These have come from many lineages of yoga and are as varied as the night sky.

For Yoga Therapy, returning to yoga meeting a person at their ability to use these postures and benefit from enjoying our physical bodies, maybe helping them recover, or maybe helping the body to pass to its next existence. Yoga Therapy calls us to mediation on uniting our bodies, as they are, with our breath.

Yoga for Healing Phone Call

Offering “Yoga for Healing” : You are the Beloved Universe
Find a cozy place, get your yoga blanket and pillows
Bed, recliner, couch or floor is perfectly fine.

Call In: 712-770-4073
Access Code: 7569#
#6 for muting/unmuting

These can be recorded for others!!! December 15th, Thursday
We meet and greet from 4:45Pacific Time, 6:45 Central Time, 7:45 Eastern Time for 15 minutes

Breathing, Range of Motion, Meditation


Let me tell my story, since this day, thirteen years ago, I was in surgery having a foot of sigmoid colon removed. I had a twitchy gut all my life, bloating and sensitivities. It didn’t feel very different, in the beginning, when I had reflux and bloating. I was 44 and otherwise “healthy”. I worked, was raising a daughter with my husband, took care of my aging mom, was singing, doing 12 step, doing yoga, weights and aerobics. But I felt tired. Unbelievably tired. I started napping long hours. My stomach pain grew worse. I went to the doctor and told I was depressed. I took the pills, and didn’t feel any better. I took time off of work, and started to feel bad about myself and my inability to cope with life. I was so damn tired. I started having back pain, leg pain, the cancer was eating through the nerves and outside my colon. I got night sweats and felt full, even though I stopped eating. Finally, I saw blood in my stool. Then, for sure, I knew I was really sick.
After six months of weekly chemo infusions of 5FU, so aptly named, with Leukovarian, I was totally depleted of any physical power. My spirit remained strong, but my body felt ready to leave the earth. I was tempted to go. But our daughter was now 16, and whatever I could do to stay, I would do. It meant learning to live in a body that was scared, painful, weak, unbalanced and almost certainly not going to live very long.
I asked the God of my Understanding to make my life, whatever time I had left, to be of purpose. My career path switched to training to be a yoga teacher for cancer survivors. Not many people were training, so I used my experience, my knowledge of teaching and my 20 year practice of yoga to help myself begin. I started with breathing. I had lost my breathing stamina. It took time.
It took willingness to start a class in San Diego for patients, family, and caregivers. I started attending advocacy trainings for crc and ended up making a CD to hand out to cancer patients.
I continue to make digital downloads, teach yoga, train yoga teachers from around the world on my online course, and use social media to reach survivors, like me, home in bed, and not knowing what to do to feel better.
For as long as I am able, my service if my passion.
Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, E-RYT500, Yoga Therapist, Survivor, Advocate, TT Yoga for Cancer Survivors

Spare the Rear

Love it? Scope it!

Ever wonder what happens during and after a colonoscopy? Well, you go in after a prep of cleansing. They put leads on your heart, a pulse ox on your finger and a line for intravenous medications and you go into a small suite. The next thing you know, they are waking you up, and the doctor tells you what was in your colon. I had another sessile, or flat polyp, and the area of concern from the last flat polyp seemed clear. So, I go in another year.

People say that I am brave to go and get a colonoscopy. What’s brave? I show up. I go under. I come out and then I treat myself to comfort food and rest for a day.
Yes, the prep is not the most pleasant of experiences, however, cancer treatment is way, way worse!

March is Colorectal (anal) Awareness month, and I am begging you, please, stop avoiding colonoscopies for what
reason. It takes months to make an appointment, you can haggle over the prep solutions, I like the Miralax prep, it’s easy and fast.

I am a stage IIIc colorectal cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2003 of March. The week I turned 47. No more excuses, just go already!

Why Yoga?

Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., E-RYT500, Yoga Therapist, Survivor

Main Points
• Past research on yoga was poorly designed
• Newer scientific studies point to physical, psychological and social benefits of meditative group practices, including yoga
• Meditative Practices focus on breathing, mindfulness based relaxation techniques, visualization and gentle movement

What’s the buzz about yoga for cancer patients? And is there solid research to back all the claims? If we look at the research over the last two decades, we will be mislead into thinking that yoga studies show no real benefit, largely because the studies that were conducted were poorly designed and executed. The Cochrane synopsis says that yoga itself was defined in too broad of category, from vinyasa flow active yoga to restorative yoga. And since there is no agreement within the studies about what yoga practice should be used; it’s hard to ferret out any truth about its benefits for a wide range of cancer patients and survivors.

However, within the last several years, a more focused approach to research on yoga is taking place. The literature is clearly pointing toward the benefits of meditative practices, which includes yoga. Yoga
can then borrow the research done on breathing techniques for stress reduction. The heart of yoga is breathing. What separates yoga from other forms of exercise is its close attention to movement connected to breath pace. Gentle range-of-motion movements, using one’s breath as a guide is a form of meditation in itself. So, what we can infer with confidence from the plethora of studies on the benefits of breathing practices from reducing anxiety to helping people cope with pain. Anecdotally, most of my yoga students in treatment for cancer report that they use diaphragmatic breathing as their main coping tool when stressed, fatigued, experiencing sleeplessness or when they are in pain.

The structure of a yoga class designed for cancer patients and survivors should highlight known meditation practices that are documented in other populations of people under severe stress, like war veterans. In fact, the U.S. military forces are doing most of the latest research on Integrative Medicine, in an effort to care for war veterans. Meditative practices include, yoga, Thai Chi, Qi Gong, mindfulness meditation, massage, and acupuncture. Cancer patients often suffer anxiety post treatment, just as war veterans do from engaging in life-threatening battles. Here again, inferencing the similarities in beneficial complementary approaches we can extrapolate the benefits to cancer survivors. Cancer patients are living longer, with advancements in cancer treatments. However, their quality of life is taking precedence over mere survival. Yoga can have a profound positive effect on the quality of life of survivors. Research is clear on this one point.

Perhaps the most promising studies on meditative practices include regained length on their telomeres (a DNA indicator of aging). Morning blood cortisol levels showed significant drops after meditative yoga practices in as short as eight weeks. Blood pressure can be lowered with diaphragmatic breathing practices, as well as, the metronome of the heartbeat. There are many reasons to give yoga a place in the treatment of cancer survivors.

Thank you to the Ruesch Center for inviting me to share my passion for yoga, And to for supporting my reach to cancer patients through their community called “COLONTOWN”.



Jean’s yoga class (and free downloadable meditations)

Jean’s website

Jean’s FB page

Jean’s Pinterest Yoga Tips

Jean’s Yoga Tip #171: Our tongues are amazing! Stick yours out. Go on, all the way out and point it down. Now, say your name. I keep your tongue out and say your name. This helps activate our abdominal muscles, tone our chin and giggle. In yogic philosophy, the tongue is the connection to all the glands in the body. Now breathe in and out, sticking your tongue all the way out, and then bring it all the way in. Happy Yoga Tongue!

NCAN – 6/19/2015

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called asht

anga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health;

and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

1. Yama

The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The five yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence
Satya: truthfulness
Asteya: nonstealing Brahmacharya: continence Aparigraha: noncovetousness 2. Niyama

Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. Regularly attending temple or church services, saying grace before meals, developing your own personalmeditation practices, or making a habit of taking contemplative walks alone are all examples of niyamas in practice.
The five niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness
Samtosa: contentment
Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities
Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self
Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God
3. Asana
Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga, comprise the third limb. In the yogic view, the body is a temple of spirit, the care of which is an important stage of our spiritual growth. Through the practice of asanas, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.
4. Pranayama
Generally translated as breath control, this fourth stage consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions. As implied by the literal translation of pranayama, “life force extension,” yogis believe that it not only rejuvenates the body but actually extends life itself. You can practice pranayama as an isolated technique (i.e., simply sitting and performing a number of breathing exercises), or integrate it into your daily hatha yoga routine.
These first four stages of Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga concentrate on refining our personalities, gaining mastery over the body, and developing an energetic awareness of ourselves, all of which prepares us for the second half of this journey, which deals with the senses, the mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

5. Pratyahara

Pratyahara, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that we make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. Keenly aware of, yet cultivating a detachment from, our senses, we direct our attention internally. The practice of pratyahara provides us with an opportunity to step back and take a look at ourselves. This withdrawal allows us to objectively observe our cravings: habits that are perhaps detrimental to our health and which likely interfere with our inner growth.

6. Dharana

As each stage prepares us for the next, the practice of pratyahara creates the setting for dharana, or concentration. Having relieved ourselves of outside distractions, we can now deal with the distractions of the mind itself. No easy task! In the practice of concentration, which precedes meditation, we learn how to slow down the thinking process by concentrating on a single mental object: a specific energetic center in the body, an image of a deity, or the silent repetition of a sound. We, of course, have already begun to develop our powers of concentration in the previous three stages of posture, breath control, and withdrawal of the senses. In asana and pranayama, although we pay attention to our actions, our attention travels. Our focus constantly shifts as we fine-tune the many nuances of any particular posture or breathing technique. In pratyahara we become self-observant; now, in dharana, we focus our attention on a single point. Extended periods of concentration naturally lead to meditation.

7. Dhyana

Meditation or contemplation, the seventh stage of ashtanga, is the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Although concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) may appear to be one and the same, a fine line of distinction exists between these two stages. Where dharana practices one-pointed attention, dhyana is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus. At this stage, the mind has been quieted, and in the stillness it produces few or no thoughts at all. The strength and stamina it takes to reach this state of stillness is quite impressive. But don’t give up. While this may seem a difficult if not impossible task, remember that yoga is a process. Even though we may not attain the “picture perfect” pose, or the ideal state of consciousness, we benefit at every stage of our progress.

8. Samadhi

Patanjali describes this eighth and final stage of ashtanga, samadhi, as a state of ecstasy. At this stage, the meditator merges with his or her point of focus and transcends the Self altogether. The meditator comes to realize a profound connection to the Divine, an interconnectedness with all living things. With this realization comes the “peace that passeth all understanding”; the experience of bliss and being at one with the Universe. On the surface, this may seem to be a rather lofty, “holier than thou” kind of goal. However, if we pause to examine what we really want to get out of life, would not joy, fulfillment, and freedom somehow find their way onto our list of hopes, wishes, and desires? What Patanjali has described as the completion of the yogic path is what, deep down, all human beings aspire to: peace. We also might give some thought to the fact that this ultimate stage of yoga—enlightenment—can neither be bought nor possessed. It can only be experienced, the price of which is the continual devotion of the aspirant. Jean Di Carlo-Wagner

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

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The Chakra Guide: Harness the

Power of Your Chakras

Get to know your energy centers

:: by

Bee Bosnak


Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

There are seven energy centers in the body called “chakras.” The seven chakras parallel the spine, and each one has certain qualities and associations. However, it is important not to let any one or two chakras overpower the rest. Luckily, there are yoga poses that can help us balance this internal energy.

For the next seven weeks, I will be outlining how to balance each chakra with three specific yoga poses. But first, we need to understand each chakra and the emotions and characteristics it rules.

The first chakra

Chakra one, Muladhara, means “root” and “support.” This chakra is located at the base of the spine. The verb associated with the first chakra is “I am.” The first chakra is usually about survival.
When the first chakra is malfunctioning, one of the manifestations of that malfunction is obesity. Through the first chakra, we work to understand and heal our bodies. The challenge to us is to accept our body, feel it, validate it, love it.Eating is a first chakra activity. When we eat, we are nourished, and our physical body is supported. Eating grounds us. Meats and proteins are first chakra foods.

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

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A well-functioning first chakra opens us to our power and stability and allows us to grow. We are grounded, and this grounding brings us rest and solidity and stillness.
The second chakra

The Second Chakra is called Svadhisthana, which means “sweetness.”
Its element is water. The inner state is tears. Some of the malfunctions include bladder or kidney trouble. The food associated with this is liquids. And the location of this chakra is in the area of the genitals and womb.

Some of the functions and qualities associated with the second chakra are emotions, sexuality, desire, pleasure, creation and procreation. Socialization is also a function of the second chakra. The verb that best fits this chakra is “I feel.” This energy is both emotional and sensual.

The second chakra is one of feminine energies. Not only are both sexuality and pleasure associated with this chakra, but also nurturing. Here is our desire for nurturing, nourishment, warmth and touch. Denying these desires causes serious imbalances in life. Overindulgences also will cause imbalances.

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

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The third chakra

The third chakra is the Manipura chakra, which means “lusterous gem.” It is located in the area of the navel to the solar plexus. Its function is willpower. The verb associated with the third chakra is “I do.”
The glands and body systems it affects are the pancreas, adrenals, digestive system and muscles. When it malfunctions, the resulting problems can include ulcers, diabetes and/or hypoglycemia.
The solar plexus chakra has to do with “belonging.” If it is open, the individual will feel that he/she belongs to everything, firmly grounded to his/her place within the universe. It’s a mental chakra but directly related to the emotions, sinceMental understanding regulates one’s emotional life. If the chakra is open, one will be more likely to have a deeply fulfilling emotional life that does not overwhelm. However, that person might also be more susceptible to psychic “attack” or getting lost in the stars. Physical pain in the chakra stems from overuse.
If the chakra is closed, feelings will be blocked. A person might not feel anything and would not understand the deeper

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

meanings of emotions and might not be connected to his/her greater life purpose.
The fourth chakra

The fourth chakra, called Anahata, is located at the heart. Its function is love. Its element is air. The inner state is compassion and love. The verb for this chakra is “I love.”
The gland associated with the heart chakra is the thymus, and the other body parts are the lungs, heart, arms and hands. When there is a malfunction of the fourth chakra, physical problems such as asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and lung disease can result.

The love we feel at the fourth chakra is felt toward everything we encounter, because it is felt within as a state of being. At the heart chakra, our love is no longer one of need or desire. Love at the heart chakra is one of joyous acceptance of our place among all things, of a deep peace that comes from lack of need and of a radiating quality that comes from harmony within the self.

The fifth chakra

The fifth chakra is called Visuddha, which means “purification.” It is located at the area of the throat. Its function is related to communication and creativity. The glands

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

that it affects are the thyroid and parathyroid. The other body parts related to the fifth chakra are the neck, shoulders, arms and hands.
The sense associated with it is hearing, and the verb associated with the fifth chakra is “I speak.” When this chakra malfunctions, you can encounter physical problems such as sore throat, stiff neck, colds, thyroid problems and hearing problems.

The sixth chakra

Ajna, the sanskrit word for the sixth chakra, means “to know,” “to perceive,” “to command.” It is located in the head, at or just above the third eye level. The element associated with Ajna is light. Its function is seeing and intuiting. The verb that corresponds with this chakra is “I see.”

The body parts affected by the sixth chakra are the pineal gland and the eyes. Malfunction of the sixth chakra can manifest in blindness, headaches, nightmares, eyestrain and blurred vision.

This chakra is actually in the brain, so its nature is very mental. One finds inner vision as part of this chakra, as well as actual seeing and outer vision. That is why mystic and clairvoyant abilities are also associated with the sixth chakra.

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

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The seventh chakra

The seventh chakra — the crown chakra — is called Sahasrara, which means “thousandfold.” It is located just above the top of the head. The seventh chakra represents thought, and its manifestation is information. Its function is understanding, and the psychological state that it creates is bliss.

The verb that corresponds to this chakra is “I understand.” The gland affected by this chakra is the pituitary. Other body parts affected by the seventh chakra include the cerebral cortex and the central nervous system. When this chakra malfunctions it can result in depression, alienation, confusion, boredom, apathy and the inability to learn or comprehend. With the discovery and the opening of the seventh chakra, we transcend from the physical to something beyond — perhaps even a greater consciousness. After all, we are not our bodies, but our minds and souls. We are part of the collective consciousness. We are part of the Great Spirit.

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

Bee Bosnak is a Turkish-born, British-bred, fiery Aries. After spending half a decade in the mecca of yoga, Los Angeles, she decided to take a leap of faith and moved to Portland, OR, where she currently lives and teaches. Bee is a creator, a risk taker and a purveyor of laughter. Off the mat, she’s a visual fashion stylist and writer for various online and editorial yoga magazines. She documents her yogic path on her


Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

Jewish Tree of Life

Presentation by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., survivor, Yoga for Cancer Survivors, Owner, Speaker, Teacher Trainer, Advocate for Cancer Awareness, Write for, Activist for Wellness using Yoga

619 709 1496

MEDITATIONS – FREE Jean Di Carlo-Wagner Jody Whiteley Belle Ruth Napersak Yoga Nidra BENEFITS OF DEEP RELAXING YOGA

1. LowerBloodPressure 2. Lesscortisolinblood 3. Improvedfocus
4. Bettersleepquality

5. QualityofLifeimproves
6. Community
7. Metronomeofheartrateislowered 8. Relaxationresponse
9. Flow/Senseofwell-being
10. Add one of your own and share

2014 In the News

This year I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to attend lobbying efforts with the DDNC in March.  In August I attended the 2nd Annual International Women’s Cancer Survivors’ Convention in Nashville, TN.  COLONTOWN chose to do a story about the virtual YOGA DEN and my work supporting cancer patients online and in social media venues.  The Patient Resource, a well-respected magazine for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers, ran two articles on my work since recovering from colorectal(anal) cancer.  I now say anal because it’s important that we help with awareness of this growing cancer, especially among young people.

Here’s the video submitted to