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Lynne Eldridge MD

The Yoga Experience for People With Cancer

By February 26, 2013

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I've recently started counting yoga studios in strip malls. Perhaps it's because I finally dove in and began a regular yoga class myself. Whether it's the placebo effect, the chance to spend time with a dear friend, or the actual practice of yoga, I've found that it's one of the best things I've done for myself as a cancer survivor. So I was interested to read about a new study.

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This study looked at yoga for people with cancer in several ways. It began with looking at the reasons these people chose to participate in yoga in the first place - their motivation. Then it evaluated both their experiences and the their perceived outcomes.

I certainly wasn't alone in the reasons I was motivated to begin yoga. Some of these factors included:

Taking these motivations, the researchers then looked at the participants actual experiences. Some of what these cancer patients experienced included:

Overall outcomes included:

In addition to these, I think I found the flexibility factor to be very significant as well. Perhaps being able to bend like I did a few decades ago makes me feel a little younger while in the throngs of a diagnosis that can make you feel a bit older (understatement.)

Would you like to learn more about the benefits of yoga for cancer patients, possible cautions, as well as tips on how to get started? Check out:

Photo: flickr.com, user RelaxingMusic

Source:

van Uden-Kraan, C. et al. Cancer patients' experiences with and perceived outcomes of yoga: results from focus groups. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2013 Feb 12. (Epub ahead of print)

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