Can yoga help those with cancer?

Yoga can help by improving symptoms like pain, fatigue, fitness, and emotional distress.  In a study on metastatic breast cancer, Carson et al conclude “[women] experienced significantly lower levels of pain and fatigue, and higher levels of invigoration, acceptance, and relaxation.”  Similarly, Van Puymbroeck et al observed “Hatha yoga may reduce constraints to physical activity and improve fitness in breast cancer survivors”, and in a separate paper reported “The findings revealed that the women in the study found health promoting benefits in the areas of physical health and healing, mental health and healing, and social health and healing.”.

As I describe on my blog, a recent study by Carlson et al shows, astonishingly, that there are actual effects at the molecular level of mindfulness meditation, a typical component of a yoga practice, namely that telomere length is maintained.