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Yoga is a Sanskrit term which means union, bringing the body into balance with the mind. As an ancient form of exercise with a focus on stretching, deep breathing, and meditation, yoga is believed to promote relaxation and healing and can be modified depending on specific needs, abilities, and general health.

Yoga is a system of postures and breathe control and is suitable for all ages. The primary aim of yoga is to restore the mind to peace and free it from confusion and distress. This sense of calmness comes from the practice of yoga postures (asanas) and breathe control (pranayama). Yoga as a form of exercise that stretches the muscles, strengthens the bones and gently rejuvenates the body. By restoring the body, yoga frees the mind from negative feelings such as anxiousness, anger or depression that can be caused by the fast pace of modern life or an illness.

Potential Application for Children with Cancer

Yoga can be a useful method to help relieve mental and physiological symptoms associated with cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. With continual practice, confidence and strength is developed to overcome all obstacles on the path to better health and contentment. Yoga not only increases flexibility and strength, but also builds heart and lung strength since it is aerobic and includes breathing exercises. Yoga promotes healthy digestion and elimination, and the vigorous yet calming effects of yoga promote a good night sleep.

How is Yoga used in the hospital and outpatient clinic?

Yoga promotes relaxation and healing while also increasing flexibility and strength. Our yoga instructor works with children and their families in the outpatient clinic and the hospital, teaching skills such as deep breathing and common yoga positions. The yoga teacher emphasizes yoga positions and routines to help cope with the side-effects of cancer treatment and to promote wellness in survivorship. Individual yoga sessions and group classes are also available both in the inpatient and outpatient settings.