Yoga Helps Survivors Fight Fatigue, Find Peace

"This is the only time I feel at peace all week," said one of the women in the class I teach on Sundays at the in Mamaroneck.

For me, it's my chance to give back. Seven years ago I had breast cancer and my yoga practice offered a time and place where I felt like my old self, not a "patient." Because treatment for cancer is stressful, controlling stress is essential. Evidence suggests that the body's response to chronic stress makes recovery all the more difficult.

It is so gratifying to see the women I teach feel a sense of control over their bodies and see improvements week to week in a time where they don't always feel they have control.

The class I teach is a gentle class and offers inspiration and bonding for women touched by cancer. Classes include breathing exercises, slow arm stretches, healing yoga sequences, restorative yoga and balancing work that is appropriate for women during and after treatment. Each class focuses on how to stimulate the lymphatic system, build core strength, detox the body and cultivate a sense of well-being. 

Recent studies by the American Cancer Society indicate that fatigue is the most common side effect from cancer and its treatment. According to a recent study published in Cancer Magazine, yoga participants showed significant improvements in fatigue and vigor as compared with participants who didn't do yoga.