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Yoga is a practice that strengthens our bodies and minds when they need it most. Acute illness, like cancer, is a physical and emotional trauma that calls for attentive self-care — and science is finding that yoga can be an important tool.

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Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash

A recent study investigated whether yoga could help with eight common side effects of chemotherapy: pain, tiredness, drowsiness, nausea, lack of appetite, shortness of breath, depression, and anxiety.

The researchers assessed the participants over an eight-week structured yoga course and found improvements in many of the symptoms. What’s most important is that, “participants’ self-report of overall well-being demonstrated a positive improvement.

In other words, people who do yoga feel better, even when they have a severe illness.

If you are recovering from a serious health issue and want to practice yoga, the focus should be on having a gentle, restorative and meditative practice. Try these posts to get started:

  1. Restorative yoga
  2. Balasana – child’s pose
  3. 3 grounding yoga poses

Has yoga helped you overcome illness? Share in the comments!