The world turns pink around this time of year, signaling renewed focus on breast health and breast cancer awareness.
Pink ribbons, pink hair, even pink football gear worn during NFL games serve as a subtle reminder that annual preventive care screenings, early detection and treatment are the best defense against breast cancer.
But many in the yoga community would add something else that wellness regimen: their yoga practice.
Whether they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or were undergoing treatment, so many women at studios across the country credit their hot yoga practice for helping them manage their anxiety, regain their physical strength, and heal their bodies and their spirit.
Sterling Hot Yoga Mobile owner Lucille Moran was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer and already she can feel the positive benefits of her yoga practice.
“In sorting out a plan for health, I have learned that breast cancer has very high rate of cure,” she wrote in a client newsletter. “Every year there are more breakthroughs in therapies, and women and men are gaining more options.
“I’m lucky because the tumor was caught early, is isolated in one location and is very slow growing,” she continued. “I am convinced that our yoga has kept my body as healthy as it could be.”
Some physicians are even starting to recognize yoga’s therapeutic benefits for cancer patients.
In 2008, Dr. Timothy McCall, a physician specializing in internal medicine and the medical editor for Yoga Journal magazine, detailed some of these yoga benefits for cancer patients in the medical journal Oncology.
Among them, reduced anxiety, longer and more restful sleep, better mood and lower levels of fatigue.
McCall praised yoga as being part of a cancer treatment regimen for its adaptability based on a student’s diagnosis and overall level of health.
Because so many forms of yoga exist—from gentle to more vigorous sequences—there is something accessible to nearly everyone.