Yoga Helps Survivors with Fatigue

CURE, Supplement 2012, Volume 11, Issue 0

A little yoga can go a long way in relieving fatigue.

A little yoga can go a long way for breast cancer survivors who have fatigue, according to a study published in Cancer. Yoga participants in the study experienced significant improvements in fatigue and vigor compared with participants who didn’t do yoga.

In the small study of 31 women who had survived breast cancer, half attended Iyengar yoga classes for 90 minutes twice a week for a 12-week course and half attended health education classes for two hours once a week. The health education group reported no changes in fatigue. Both groups said they had positive changes in depression and stress.

Iyengar is a form of yoga that focuses on poses that are held to achieve alignment. The study combined Iyengar poses and breathing techniques that are believed to reduce fatigue.

Study authors estimate that a third of breast cancer survivors experience persistent fatigue that impacts their quality of life. According to the American Cancer Society, fatigue is the most common side effect from cancer and its treatments.

[Read more about yoga during and after cancer in "Bending the Rules."]