- Range of motion in shoulders and arms
- Chest and upper back stretch/strengthening
- Lymphatic drainage in arms
- Seated in a comfortable position on the ground with bolsters, blocks or blankets. Or in a chair.
- Sit upright with palms on your thighs.
- INHALE: Lift your arms to shoulder height, bending your elbows to make a cactus shape, with palms facing forward.
- EXHALE: Bring your palms and forearms together in front of your face.
- INHALE: Reopen your arms to cactus.
- Repeat the last two steps three times. Move slowly, following your breath. Then lower your arms and rest your palms on your thighs.
Modifications: Forearms and palms may not come all the way together. Bring them as close as is comfortable.
- INHALE: Lift arms to cactus.
- EXHALE: Fold left arm over right, giving yourself a hug.
- INHALE: Begin to lift your elbows higher. As if taking off a T-shirt, slide your fingers up your arms as you reach your arms toward the ceiling. Expand your chest.
- EXHALE: Lower palms to thighs.
- Repeat sequence, this time folding right arm over left to give yourself a hug. Then repeat the entire sequence six times, alternating which arm is on top.
Modifications: The action of removing the imaginary T-shirt may be difficult if you are recovering from surgery. Modify by skipping this movement and returning to cactus arms instead.
Excerpt from ‘Yoga for Cancer: A Guide to Managing Side Effects, Boosting Immunity, and Improving Recovery for Cancer Survivors’. Purchase today.