Iyengar Yoga aids cancer recovery

Iyengar Yoga
Image via Wikipedia

Yoga improves quality of life for breast cancer patients

University of Alberta research fellow Amy Speed-Andrews has examined how a specialized Iyengar yoga program for women currently in treatment for breast cancer, and who have completed treatment, makes a difference in their recovery.

According to Wikipedia, Iyengar Yoga, created byB.K.S. Iyengar,  is a form of Hatha Yoga.  It can use props, such as belts and blocks, as aids in performing asanas, or postures.  (See photo|).

However, you must ensure your teacher is properly qualified before taking a class, and that your doctor approves.  And also ensure that it is the right type of yoga for your health and condition.

Recently Madonna came under fire for following an advanced type of yoga, which practictioners claimed was not suitable.  http://after-cancer.com/exercise/bikram-yoga-is-not-healthy-for-madonna-claims-celebrity-yoga-trainer/

At Alberta, women who are being treated and who’ve completed treatment for breast cancer say the yoga programme  made a difference in their recovery, according to Medical News Today.

In a study that extended over two years, participants answered questions about their physical and mental health. They responded to the questions when they started a 10-week session of a specialized Iyengar yoga program, and again when it ended.

After the yoga program, 94% of the women said their quality of life had improved, 88% said they felt better physically, 87% said they were happier, and 80% reported feeling less tired.

The women also said they felt less stressed, anxious and depressed, according to Speed-Andrews

Speed-Andrews, whose research was spread over two years, published the results in the journal Cancer Nursing, and intends to look at how Iyengar yoga affects the breast cancer patients’ joint range of motion, upper body strength and balance. In the future, she’d like to study how Iyengar yoga could help women with advanced-stage breast cancer.

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2010/08/21/2010-08-21_breathe_deep_yoga_may_be_a_boon_for_life_after_breast_cancer.html#ixzz0xIcoIR2V

This September she plans to add an additional component to her research once the next session of Iyengar yoga classes begins;  to examine how Iyengar yoga affects these women’s joint range of motion, upper body strength and balance. Speed-Andrews also hopes one day to study how this type of yoga might benefit women with advanced-stage breast cancer.

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