Yoga is a great form of gentle fitness and could be used to help you feel more relaxed and in control of your body.

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and is a whole body philosophy that consists of:

  • Working with breathing

  • Stretching exercises

  • Postures

  • Meditation

There are several different types of yoga, but most use some form of gentle stretches, movement and meditation. The combination of gentle, controlled, low-impact movements combined with breathing exercises could help your body relax and improve your oxygen and blood supply. This could then help your circulation and breathing, promoting general good health. These benefits could aid cancer patients with sleep problems, helping them to feel less fatigued and more refreshed. The release of endorphins while practising yoga also produces a welcomed positive boost in mood.

The focus on strength, flexibility and breathing in yoga could enhance physical and mental wellbeing, helping to relieve the exhaustion, stress and anxiety that the battle of cancer can cause both the patient and their loved ones. Yoga has also been known to aid cancer patients with pain, increasing their ability to tolerate treatment.

Practising yoga increases your balance and flexibility, enabling you to stay supple and prevent injuries and strains. These benefits could increase your ability to move around quickly and easily after surgery. Yoga also counts as a strengthening exercise, providing a means of strengthening the body and boosting the immune system, which is particularly important when enduring chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Through this, a much-sought-after sense of clarity and well-being is created.

People of all ages and varying levels of fitness can participate in yoga, and it can be done either individually or as part of an organised class. Its gentle nature renders it a great, easy way to get back in to fitness after some time out.