Yoga was my lifeline: former cancer patient

By Fermin Cabanillas

Tomares, Spain, Feb 4 (EFE).- When the journalist Nuria Tamayo managed to cure her cancer, she decided to help others do the same and became an expert in oncological yoga.

In the Spanish southern Sevillan town of Tomares, more and more people who are suffering from cancer meet around every afternoon for Tamayo’s specialist yoga sessions.

“Yoga was very beneficial not only to regain mobility, but emotionally, because for me it was a lifeline,” the journalist says.

Tamayo, who suffered from breast cancer, understands how the disease can affect the body.

For example, breast cancer surgery can cause reduced arm mobility or stiffness.

It is one of many conditions associated with cancer where yoga can help with physical rehabilitation and to rebuild “a space of security” for the recovering person.

During a break in her class, Tamayo says “yoga saved my life.”

“I decided that I had to teach what I knew to other patients,” she adds.

Tamayo’s practice is highly personalized to each person’s needs.

She works “with an adaptation of the yoga (technique) depending on what stage and type of treatment the patient is receiving.”

In her class, some attendees move lightly like athletes, for others simply lifting their arms is a struggle such as for Concha Rodríguez, who works hard despite suffering from breast cancer which was diagnosed a year ago.

Rodríguez uses a chair and wooden blocks as support and struggles to find the necessary strength in her left arm to finish the class. She has just finished a course of radiotherapy.

“When cancer comes into your life you have two options: either you fight it and come to a head or you sink into misery, and I decided that my life would be a continuous struggle, and that’s what I’m doing,” she says.

Her mantra is “everything that is good for my body is good for me.”

Today the class has a very special guest, the president of the Local Board of the Spanish Association Against Cancer, Jorge Jaime, who says these activities help patients and the families of people suffering from cancer alike. EFE


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