The practice of Yoga dates back thousands of years, long before religious systems or beliefs were born. The core principles of Yoga are keeping your body active, mind refreshed and spirit joyous. In a nutshell, Yoga involves transitioning between various Asanas (or poses) and stretches, breathing in a regulated manner, and meditating. Many ancient scriptures offer detailed benefits of Yoga on the mind, body, and spirit.

Hatha yoga is an ancient East Indian movement practice and discipline that is part of the larger system of yoga. It has been practiced for thousands of years, with many different styles evolving over the centuries. Hatha yoga involves regulated breathing, moving through various poses (asanas) and stretches, and meditation to achieve physical and emotional health benefits.

While there are different styles of Yoga which have evolved over centuries, the core principles remain the same. Here is a list of some yoga styles that you might come across:

  • Ananda yoga
  • Anusara yoga
  • Ashtanga yoga
  • Bikram yoga
  • Integral yoga
  • ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda)
  • Iyengar yoga
  • Jivamukti yoga
  • Kali Ray TriYoga
  • Kripalu yoga
  • Kundalini yoga
  • Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
  • Power yoga
  • Sivananda yoga
  • Svaroopa yoga
  • Tibetan yoga
  • Viniyoga
  • Vinyasa yoga
  • White Lotus yoga

Yoga and Cancer

Practicing Yoga offers multiple health benefits like improved blood flow, better bone health, higher immunity, regulated adrenal glands, lower blood sugar, happier mood, etc. For Cancer patients, many credible institutions recommend yoga due to the following benefits:

  • Helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression and improves mood and the overall quality of life.
  • Helps reduce various symptoms at different stages of Cancer.
  • Imparts more restful sleep in newly-diagnosed patients and long-term Cancer survivors.
  • Patients who practiced Yoga during chemotherapy usually have some sleep benefits in the short-term and long-term benefits to those who continued practicing it at least twice a week.
  • In Breast Cancer survivors, many patients practicing Yoga report reduced stress levels and a better mood and social functioning along with many other psychological benefits.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer patients practicing Yoga have shown a forced expiratory volume.
  • Lymphoma survivors report better sleep quality after they start practicing Yoga.

References & More Information

  1. Credit: Beyond Conventional Care Therapies
  2. Integrative Oncology Cancer Care
  3. Ministry of External Affairs, India: Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development
  4. The International Yoga Centers Directory: Yoga Style Definitions
  5. Lyman GH, Greenlee H, Bohlke K, et al. Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Oncol. Jun 11 2018:Jco2018792721.
  6. Greenlee H, DuPont-Reyes MJ, Balneaves LG, et al. Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA Cancer J Clin. May 6 2017;67(3):194-232.
  7. Shannahoff-Khalsa DS. Patient perspectives: Kundalini yoga meditation techniques for psycho-oncology and as potential therapies for cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005;4(1):87-100.
  8. Carson JW, Carson KM, Porter LS, et al. Yoga for women with metastatic breast cancer: results from a pilot study. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007;33(3):331-341
  9. Carson JW, Carson KM, Porter LS, et al. Yoga of Awareness program for menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors: results from a randomized trial. Support Care Cancer. 2009;17(10):1301-1309
  10. Bower JE, Woolery A, Sternlieb B, et al. Yoga for cancer patients and survivors. Cancer Control. 2005;12(3):165-171
  11. Rosenbaum E, Gautier H, Fobair P, et al. Cancer supportive care, improving the quality of life for cancer patients. A program evaluation report. Support Care Cancer. 2004;12(5):293-301
  12. Rao MR, Raghuram N, Nagendra HR, et al. Anxiolytic effects of a yoga program in early breast cancer patients undergoing conventional treatment: a randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2009;17(1):1-8
  13. Vadiraja HS, Raghavendra RM, Nagarathna R, et al. Effects of a yoga program on cortisol rhythm and mood states in early breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy: a randomized controlled trial. Integr Cancer Ther. 2009;8(1):37-46.
  14. Mustian KM, Sprod LK, Janelsins M, et al. Multicenter, randomized controlled trial of yoga for sleep quality among cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 10 2013;31(26):3233-3241.
  15. Chaoul A, Milbury K, Spelman A, et al. Randomized trial of Tibetan yoga in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer Cytopathol. 2018 Jan 1;124(1):36-45.
  16. Moadel AB, Shah C, Wylie-Rosett J, et al. Randomized controlled trial of yoga among a multiethnic sample of breast cancer patients: effects on quality of life. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(28):4387-4395.
  17. Culos-Reed SN, Carlson LE, Daroux LM, et al. A pilot study of yoga for breast cancer survivors: physical and psychological benefits. Psychooncology. 2006;15(10):891-897.
  18. Carlson LE, Doll R, Stephen J, et al. Randomized controlled trial of Mindfulness-based cancer recovery versus supportive expressive group therapy for distressed survivors of breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31(25):3119-3126.
  19. Fouladbakhsh JM, Davis JE, Yarandi HN. Using a standardized Viniyoga protocol for lung cancer survivors: a pilot study examining effects on breathing ease. J Complement Integr Med. 2013;10.
  20. Cohen L, Warneke C, Fouladi RT, et al. Psychological adjustment and sleep quality in a randomized trial of the effects of a Tibetan yoga intervention in patients with lymphoma. Cancer. 2004;100(10):2253-2260.
  21. Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies
  22. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Yoga
  23. 21. CAM-Cancer: Yoga

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