Table of Contents
  1. The Definition:
  2. Why is Oncology Yoga important?

What is Oncology Yoga?

The Definition:

Oncology Yoga is an evidence informed yoga method tailored to address the specific physical and emotional needs left by the cancer and cancer treatments. It is an active practice that matches breath and movement to mitigate the short and long term side effects that cancer patients and survivors face like bone loss, lymphedema, scar tissue, constipation, neuropathy, fatigue, anxiety and many more. 

yoga4cancer is Oncology Yoga. 

yoga4cancer is designed to help cancer survivors achieve the oncology and healthcare organization recommendation to speed recovery or defend against cancer reoccurrence. Each session will:

  • build strength and flexibility
  • strengthen the immune system and the lymphatic function
  • reduce cancer related fatigue
  • improve sleep and reduce anxiety
  • increase bone density
  • help manage common side effects like lymphedema, constipation and neuropathy
  • and encourage survivors to participate in their wellness plan

Why is Oncology Yoga important?

Four Simple Reasons:

#1 – The Cancer Survivor population is large and growing.

The population of cancer survivors globally is large and, due to advances in treatments, growing every year.

Most people that receive a cancer diagnosis survive.

#2 – Managing the side effects of cancer is an important job.

Most cancer treatments, while effectively controlling the cancer, come with short-term and long-term side effects that require management. Examples include include a decreased bone density, weakened immune system, anxiety, cancer related fatigue, lymphedema, constipation, range of motion and many more.

These side effects have a direct impact on:

  • Daily functioning
  • Treatment protocol adherence
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Risk of other co-morbidities or conditions
  • Risk of cancer recurrence and mortality

Oncology protocols now include management of these side effects to improve outcomes and support long term health. Additionally, it is important that the cancer survivors understand their role in that and has easy and accessible ways to support. Research has shown that individuals who play an active role in their recovery and health have improved outcomes and long term health.

The need to manage side effects and improve long term health has been encouraged by leadership organizations issuing cancer survivorship guidelines.

#3 – Survivorship guidelines

Oncologists and cancer organizations recommend exercise as part of a cancer survivor’s recovery and management plan. Both the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week to speed recovery or defend against cancer occurrence and reoccurrence. These guidelines encourage yoga. Moreover, the HHS specifically highlights the need for an active yoga practice and recommends – vinyasa yoga.

Despite these recommendations, nearly 70% of cancer survivors are not achieving this recommendation. This impacts their daily functioning, recovery rate, protocol adherence and, ultimately, it can impact their mortality.

Our mission is to help all those touched by cancer to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of yoga every week, 52 weeks a year.

#4 – Yoga has been proven to be effective.

The body of evidence on the therapeutic effects of yoga for cancer patients and survivors is robust and growing.

Research suggests yoga can:

  • increase strength and flexibility;
  • improve balance and mobility;
  • lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels;
  • support healthy body weight;
  • improve psychological well-being;
  • lessen fatigue;
  • improve sleep;
  • reduce anxiety and stress;
  • improve quality of life;
  • and enhance the immune system.

To read more about the efficacy of yoga for cancer patients and survivors, please review the studies and reports provided in our Research section.