BEYOND THE 6 MONTH MARK AFTER SURGERY – WHAT’S LIFE LIKE AS AN ENHANCED YOGI?

At six months there was still some residual healing to be done. The scars had faded considerably, however there was still an area of numbness directly above the scars on both sides.  At my 6 months check-up the doctor said it can take up to a year for normal sensation to return because of the nerve damage. At 12 months there was still a mild loss of sensation in the area. I wasn’t instructed to do breast massage and now wonder if that would have helped the nerves to regenerate.

Last yoga pic

At six months my yoga practice was probably around 90% of what it was pre-surgery. Full range of movement took around 5 months to return through the shoulder and pec region. At 12 months I had returned to most of my pre-surgery practice, with a few exceptions. Anything where I need to place my elbows into my chest is now impossible – such as Mayruasana and doing a jump-back from Padmasana. I had no issues regaining my full strength, but there is definitely a different sensation now in my chest when doing pressing or pulling movements (you just have to get used to this being your new normal). Also, I don’t like the tugging sensation that I get in my chest when holding deep arm wrapping movements in twists, so I have modified the way I do poses such as Pasasana and Parivrtta Parsvakonasana.

The only downside has been that I don’t like to lie on my front anymore because it feels like too much pressure on my breasts. As I used to always sleep on my front, I’ve had to adapt my sleeping posture, which has taken a long time to get used to. Also, whenever I get a massage now I place rolled up towels above and below my breasts so that I’m not lying directly on them. This works a treat.

There’s been no negative effect on my daily exercise. Running has always been completely normal since the surgery. I recently started started swimming again and I have no awareness of anything awkward or different.

If you are seriously considering having breast augmentation surgery, my advice to you is:

  • Find a doctor with an impeccable reputation and preferably one who comes with recommendations from people you trust. It makes sense to pay for the best you can afford in order to reduce your risk of any avoidable complications or botch-ups. All surgeries, both life saving and cosmetic, carry real risks.
  • If you are a dedicated yoga practitioner, be aware that your recovery will take longer than 3 months to return to a complete practice, and also that you may need to modify your practice to accommodate your new chest proportions.
  • Implants won’t make you a better person but they can be a positive boost to your self- esteem, and in this way they can enhance your overall quality of life. Of course you are so much more than your physical makeup and appearance. However, I believe that if something helps you to feel better about yourself, and it causes no harm to you or any other being, then it has its own intrinsic value – and accordingly other peoples’ opinions and judgements are of no importance.

9 thoughts on “BEYOND THE 6 MONTH MARK AFTER SURGERY – WHAT’S LIFE LIKE AS AN ENHANCED YOGI?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this information. Yoga is a huge part of my life; I practice regularly and teach, so I’ve been very concerned about the repercussions of this dramatic change to my body. As you probably know, there isn’t a wealth of information on breast implants as they relate to yoga, because the two topics are a bit polarized from one another. I appreciate you being open about your experience and healing. It makes me feel a little less blind moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Sarah. My whole purpose in sharing my experience was to give to others the kind of information that I couldn’t find when I was considering the surgery. I am so pleased that it can help you in making your own decision. Yoga is about self awareness and union, and it is an individual path for each of us. Opposing views don’t matter, because this is your life journey.

    Like

  3. Hello! Thank you also for sharing this info. I teach and have a couple of students with implants and one of them is definitely not comfortable even trying in peacock but I’mm having trouble finding any “official” advice about this. My other student seems ok trying it but I suspect hers are smaller. I don’t know whether or not to encourage them not to do that pose, or let them see if they can find a way that works for them. Do you practise viparita salabhasana or chinstand? because I have not taught those to that group yet, but i’m sure I’ve read somewhere that its not good to do those with implants. The one who struggles with peacock also struggles with pincha mayurasana and I’m wondering if it’s because hers are a little larger and putting pressure on the chest. She is actually very strong in a lot of other ways so this could make sense. I don’t want to discourage them from doing anything that they might be able to make work for her, but neither do I wish to encourage her to do anything that might be dangerous. Can you offer me any advice please?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Gen. I wouldn’t recommend any poses that require bodyweight pressure directly on the chest or squeeze the chest. I no longer practice Pasasana or Mayurasana or Viparita Salabhasana for this reason (I do miss those balances too). I never lie on my chest any more as I don;t like the feeling but it doesn’t stop me doing Salabhasana or Bhekasana etc. I still do balances like Pinca Mayruasana and Koundiyasana no problem. If their shoulders are open enough then they can work towards Kapotasana and the Rajakapotasana series of poses – but a tight chest compartment around the implant may limit this, so I would suggest that they don’t force any restriction they may and work with it instead. It took me 6 months to get these chest & shoulder openings back in my own practice. Hope that helps !! Yes, lack of practical information was exactly why I’ve done this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 6 weeks post op
    Chaturanga is impossible
    Can’t wait to go back to yoga .
    Thank you for this blog it is very helpful and incurring
    Big hug from Israel
    Adi ❤

    Like

  6. I have just found your blog posts about your journey back to yoga and it is the only really helpful guidance I have found on the internet. I am still recovering from a close shave with breast cancer so I have 1 implant and will be getting a breast lift on the other side. The hardest part of the whole experience is not being able to practice yoga; my soul is aching more than anything else. My surgeon doesn’t want me to do any for six months but your modifications and explanation of the routines are perfect for easing back into it. Do you have a YouTube channel? Because it would be great to have a teacher to follow so it would feel more like being in a studio, I also miss the atmosphere of like minded yogis! I know this would be great for other women recovering from breast cancer and not just the ones like me who had been yogis previously.

    Like

  7. Hi Bronwyn, yes its difficult when the doctor says do nothing! If you have good body awareness from yoga, then you should be able to make your way back into a yoga practice with a sensible approach to what feels ok, and what doesn’t. No I don;t have a Youtube channel – funnily enough since I’ve stopped teaching I’m at a loss as to what to do with 20 years of knowledge. Perhaps thats a good idea?! Thank you for your encouraging words.

    Like

  8. Hi there. I be going for my breast augmentation soon. I am also an advance yogi practitioner. Reading your blog reassures me that I can return to yoga practise. It saddens me to know that all the hard work practise will need time to regain back again.
    Are you able to return to chin stand and handstand after 6 months?
    My yoga master do locus drills with chest planted on the floor. Does this mean that this will never be accessible to yogis like us anymore,?

    Like

  9. Hi Yogimama. I still do Handstand and Pinca Mayurasana (Peacock) no problem. I no longer do any poses that require intense pressure/squeezing on chest & breasts – this includes the locust/chin stand. I think you would find it extremely uncomfortable. The reality is that this type of change to your body will require you to change your yoga practice with some of the balances. However you should still be able to do all advanced backbends, as I have had no problem returning to these. Give yourself 6 months as it will take patience for your body to heal and adjust.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s