Gil Katz, E-RYT 500, WCS

Yoga For Cancer

Yoga Gil Revolutionizes Yoga for Cancer Survivors-

reprinted from Nearsay. December 2011

There is no refuting the notion that yoga is extremely beneficial both physically and mentally. People have learned the techniques necessary to redefine their bodies and relax their minds. While this information probably comes as no surprise, it is interesting to know the benefits that yoga can have on cancer survivors as well.

After consulting with senior medical professionals at NYU Medical Center and New York University, Gil designed a yoga therapy program specifically for breast cancer survivors.  In 2010 he expanded his program to all cancer survivors.

One of his focuses is on helping to reduce the risk of lymphedema, experienced by many cancer survivors. This includes lymphatic massage, breathing techniques and certain poses that will help move lymph fluid throughout the body. Cancer treatment also has a weakening effect on your bones making them brittle and fragile. His sessions will show you safe poses you can also do at home to help strengthen bones.

The philosophy behind yoga has extremely practical implications for people with cancer, encouraging you to listen to messages from your physical and emotional body. Yoga stresses the value of community (Sangha) which can be useful when trying to cope with stress.

The holistic benefits behind yoga are available to everyone, but for cancer survivors it is very useful to learn practices to use away from the medical community. The last thing that most people with cancer want is to be stuck in a cold environment like a hospital. With Gil’s program they are welcomed into a warm and friendly atmosphere where they can socialize and feel just like everyone else.

What makes Yoga Gil so wonderful is his complete dedication to lending a helpful hand. Dealing with cancer in his own family and as a certified cancer instructor, Gil offers donation based classes and private sessions to patients and survivors with any type of cancer. Think of him as a “cancer care-giver” rather than a yoga instructor, who’s only goal is to teach people poses and breathing techniques to relieve pain, relax the mind and allow the body to heal.  If traveling does not work into your schedule, Gil also makes house calls.