Yoga for Young Adults with Non-Curative Cancer

New study on yoga for curative cancer.

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Yoga in palliative care and non-curative patients is beginning to receive more attention in the scientific research. Kate Binnie, a leading yoga therapist in palliative care, has explained that, 'yoga offers a simple, practical way to develop awareness of breathing and thinking that is non-judgemental and compassionate, and this I believe to be a key process. Negative internal voices (i.e. “I’ve just got to get on top of this”) are replaced by kind and positive affirmations (“I let go”, “I forgive” or “I relax my breath”)'.

A growing body of evidence is emerging to suggest that the practice of yoga can improve disease and treatment-related side effects in the non-curative cancer patient by addressing their physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. In this new study, the impact of yoga on the quality of life for young adults with non-curative cancer is explored.

Four young adults with non-curative cancer took part in a seven-week yoga program. Preliminary data show a significant difference in both functional well-being and spirituality. Although not statistically significant, a large effect in physical well-being, general cancer outcomes, and palliative specific scores have also emerged. Early responses to the post-program exit questions suggest that participants find the program as an opportunity for self-care, separate from traditional cancer therapies. Subjective improvements in flexibility and mindfulness (e.g., body awareness, relaxation, and calmness) have also been reported. Additionally, participants have complemented the program for its ease and flexibility of use.

These findings warm our heart greatly.


Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS