To understand how yoga contributes to the recovery process and its potential to reduce negative outcomes from surgeries or interventions, the researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center selected a group of adult women with suspected gynecological cancer to investigate the Feasibility of a Brief Yoga Intervention to Improve Acute Pain and Discomfort Post- Gynecological Surgery.

Usually, when diagnosed with gynecological cancer, women undergo major abdominal surgery. The options for pain management for this population are inadequate. Psychological distress is often an additional factor that increases the perception of pain in this population.

The researchers chose yoga as an intervention as they understood the practice brings together key elements to help patients: movement, breathing exercises, and meditation. The participants were asked to do 15-minute yoga sessions, one before and two after surgery. The intervention involved gentle movements that could be done in bed to avoid any kind of discomfort.

The study pointed out that yoga was feasible because it impacted the surgical, psychological, and physical outcomes, helping the patient cope better with the process, as well as, in the short term, showing a reduction in pain and distress.

Just as in the study, I know many students who have come through this whole process better because yoga has been a steady part of their selfcare routine long before they faced surgery. The longer the practice, the better the outcome, but new students can also benefit from the power of yoga. The practice helps build physical and mental health.


Surgeries, even the simplest ones, are perceived by the body and mind as traumatic processes. Throughout our lives, we accumulate small traumas that can lead to the formation of a dense layer that affects our emotional state, impairing health.

For me, Wilhelm Reich’s psychosomatics makes a lot of sense because in his studies he discovered that our body holds all the physical and emotional experiences we go through in our lives, from birth to death.

Reich concluded that there is a continuous energy pulsation through our body that regulates the functioning of all our vital functions.

If it is kept in rhythm, there will be a spontaneous movement of this energy, so we will have no physical disturbances or dysfunctions. However, if external conditions or factors disturb the flow of energy to the point of blocking or accelerating it, our organism will try to get rid of it, and if it can’t, it will react with anger or aggressiveness to destroy the threats. This ability to self-regulate is what generates a state of health for all human beings. The change in the flow of energy can affect parts of the body and the human state of health can be altered.

When our emotions are blocked, it is because the energy is stopped, and from a somatic point of view, our physiological functions, such as respiratory rate, blood circulation, and body fluids, and cellular processes are also disturbed. This is how we go from a healthy to a sick state of health when our emotional state becomes unbalanced. It is therefore essential that our body can resume the normal flow of energy as soon as possible.

Some people react by wanting to forget what happened and return as soon as possible to normality. I am sorry, but this will not happen—your body is no longer the same. What is normal today, is not the same as yesterday, or what it might be tomorrow. A sense of normal comes from accepting reality and life as it is. Trauma does not have to be a negative entity in life. It is possible to view trauma as a resource for building health in the long-term. The practice of yoga aids in this process.

Your body can be forged in practice. I make an analogy to the art of forging iron developed by our ancestors approximately 4,000 years ago. They heated and cooled metals to change their mechanical and metallurgical properties, being able to shape and produce utensils for everyday needs. This technique would transform raw materials into an object that was often so strong and durable that it was passed down from generation to generation.

Wisely, the Vedas recognized the value of consistent yoga practice to make the body increasingly strong, resistant, and malleable to change. So much so that in their writings it is recorded that “he who forges his body in the fire of practice will know no aging or death”.

You can build health and eliminate suffering with yoga practice. What you need to do is commit to rescuing your health, and your body’s full potential, and embrace a new possibility for life and personal growth. Dealing constructively every day is the only option, perhaps a bit painful at first, it requires maturity, but it is the only path to total health. If you don’t embrace reality widely, with the difficulties that arise, you do not evolve, and your health will be harmed.

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