Using Gravity to Address Lymphedema


By Jennifer Brilliant

The accumulation of fluid associated with Lymphedemna occurs when lymphatic fluid cannot return from the limbs to the thoracic region of the body.  This issue is a common side effect of many surgeries and cancer treatments. Any pose that uses gravity to assist in correcting the proper flow will be beneficial to the reduction and/or prevention of lymphedema.

Arms RaisedThis uses gravity to assist flow of lymph, increase body awareness, musculoskeletal strength. Arms up position also challenges cardiovascular system.

To Do:

url-11Dandasana – Staff pose (Seated on a blanket with legs straight out in front of you. Spine is upright) Inhale your right arm up, exhale and lower. Inhale left arm up, exhale and lower. Repeat 3 times.



url-12Sukhasana – Easy Crossed Legs with arms lifted, palms facing each other. Inhale your arms up, exhale and bring your arms down. Repeat 3 times.




url-13Tadasana – Mountain Pose. Inhale your arms up, exhale your arms down. Repeat 3 times.





Elbow Pump– Increases flexibility in your shoulders. As arms raise, gravity is used to increase lymph drainage.

To do: Grasp opposite elbows. Keep your torso stationary and facing forward.  Alternate movement of elbows side to side.  Continue with this repetition gradually raising arms higher and higher to your comfort level. You may be able to grasp elbows and move arms side to side with arms overhead. If you have a more limited range of movement, raise arms to your comfort level.

Viparita Karani – Legs Up Wall– Uses gravity to aid lymph drainage, rests your body and mind

To do: Place your buttocks up on a blanket and rest your legs up on the wall and relax for several minutes.  This allows lymph fluid to drain towards your thoracic duct.

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About Josi Kytle

Founding Partner of y4c & the Retreat Project Josi is the impostor in this group of yogis. Although she practices yoga personally and believes in its healing physical and emotional benefits, Josi isn’t an instructor. Josi bring the business acumen and organizational strategy to the team to enable efficient and sustainable growth of the program. Her background is in consumer marketing for FTSE brands like Hilton, British Airways and Avis in both London and in New York City. Josi is also Tari’s daughter so their unique, loving and familial approach lead all aspects of the business.