Those who practice yoga already know how it can help promote stress reduction, as well as overall fitness.
Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation.
According to Judi Bar, a certified yoga specialist at Cleveland Clinic, while yoga is known for its therapeutic and relaxing nature, it has other health benefits, especially for those with chronic diseases, as well as cancer.
Yoga is adaptive
Bar said that one of the most beneficial aspects of yoga for folks who are dealing with cancer is that it is so adaptive.
“Gentle adaptive motion and breathing work and meditation are so beneficial for all those reasons of calming, of focusing, of getting more grounded,” said Bar.
Bar said that even for folks who are limited in mobility, or have pain, there are still ways that yoga can work for them.
Studies have shown that yoga helps patients feel more resilient and that it can help them deal with the side effects of radiation treatments, especially fatigue.
Research has also shown that the mental and physical rigor of practicing yoga can provide a coping technique to help patients both during treatment and with the transition back to everyday life afterwards.
Support from a group
Bar said that because getting a diagnosis of breast cancer can be really scary, the physical and emotional support that comes with practicing yoga in a group is also very beneficial.
“It can also help with depression around the disease and that community effect of being in a yoga class and the support that we get and the positiveness in a yoga class,” said Bar.
Bar said that yoga is good for breast cancer survivors too, as studies have shown that breast cancer survivors who live a healthy lifestyle while in remission have a better chance of avoiding recurrence of their cancer.