Yoga’s Healing Powers for Cancer Survivors

Yoga has become one of the biggest fitness trends in recent years. Yoga studios are opening up in every city and there is surely at least one in your neighborhood. While yoga may be one of the biggest fitness trends nowadays, a study reveals yoga’s true healing powers for cancer survivors. 

According to Susan Brink for National Geographic, “In the largest study of yoga that used biological measures to assess results, it seems that those meditative sun salutations and downward dog poses can reduce inflammation, the body's way of reacting to injury or irritation.” Reducing inflammation is important for cancer survivors because high inflammation leads to “fatigue for months, even years, following treatment,” says Brink.

In the study, researchers looked at 200 breast cancer survivors who had never practiced yoga before. Half of the group was instructed to not practice yoga while the other half participated in twice-weekly, 90-minute classes for 12 weeks and were encouraged to practice at home with take-home DVDs. The researchers found that the group that had practiced yoga felt less fatigue and higher levels of vitally three months after the treatment had ended. 

How does yoga reduce inflammation in breast cancer survivors? No ones knows exactly, but according to Brink, “Cancer treatment often leaves patients with high levels of stress and an inability to sleep well.” The leader of the study,  Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggests that “Poor sleep fuels fatigue, and fatigue fuels inflammation”.  By practicing yoga, cancer survivors can sleep better and reduce fatigue, yielding less inflammation. 

Reap the benefits and start practicing yoga in a welcoming, beginner friendly atmosphere here at Community Well! Community Yoga will begin the first Sunday of February with Yana Ibrahim, certified personal trainer and Level 1 Prenatal Yoga Teacher with MamaTree. View dates and times on our calendar of classes and free programs.