Yoga Provides Multiple Benefits for Cancer Survivors

Yoga has long been a form of relaxation, meditation and exercise, dating back to several thousand years B.C. Originating out of India, yoga teaches us to focus on the self: mind, body, spirit. Which is exactly what cancer survivors need to do to heal. So it makes sense that a new study found that yoga can aid survivors with sleep, energy and vitality.

Researchers studied 410 cancer survivors who had difficulty sleeping. Half of the subjects participated in two 75-minute yoga sessions per week, in addition to post-cancer care that the whole group received. The sessions consisted of 18 poses that incorporated breathing exercises and meditation. At the end of a month, sleeplessness improved in the yoga group by 100 percent.


Before the study started, only 15 percent of participants in both groups were sleeping soundly. At the end of the study, 16 percent of the control group were able to sleep soundly—an increase of only 1 percent—whereas the yoga group doubled their stats to 31 percent. Given the fact that the yoga group had decreased their sleep medication by 20 percent, while the control group increased theirs by 5 percent, there is a strong link between the practice of Yoga and improved sleep ability.

The yoga group also reported an improvement in fatigue. “If you break down the program into its basics—breathing exercises, postures, mindfulness—it’s not entirely clear which component … is most important,” lead researcher Karen Mustian said. “It could be they all work together to improve sleep, fatigue and quality of life … or it could be that one of them is really the most important piece.”

Very little is required to begin practicing yoga:

Attire: loose-fitting pants or shorts that have some give so that you can move freely, along a tank top, t-shirt and/or a sports bra depending on coverage you are comfortable with. No special shoes are required. In fact, most classes are taught barefoot.

Accessories: the only real accessory you should have is a yoga mat, which can be purchased inexpensively at your local Target or fitness store. The mat provides a comfortable, stable surface for movement, and provides traction so you don’t slip during poses. It also protects feet and hands from the harsh, hard nature of the floor. If you find it difficult to stand for any length of time but still want to get a workout in, consider purchasing a yoga ball. Available in a variety of sizes, you can sit and stabilize your body as you go through poses. An added bonus is a core workout while on the ball, as you do need to balance as you sit.

Source: Health news

Cancer Survivor to Return to Golf After 20 Months

When Jarrod Lyle returns to golf after a 20-month layoff at the Australian Masters, he expects some teary eyes on the tee.

Lyle is 32 years old and will be playing his first tournament since his second fight with myeloid leukemia — his first came at 17. This time, he’ll have his wife and young daughter with him Thursday when he starts a tournament that he’s not sure he’s physically ready to finish should he make the 36-hole cut.

“Just walking to that first tee and teeing the ball up and trying to hit it — that’s probably going to be the hardest thing,” Lyle said Tuesday at Royal Melbourne.

“It’s just going to let a whole lot of stuff out. Hopefully when that ball flies I can just get on to playing golf and put everything behind me and just get back to the golfer that I am.”

Lyle, then a regular on the U.S. PGA Tour, was diagnosed with his second bout of leukemia in March 2012 just before the birth of his daughter, Lusi. Lyle’s wife, Briony, became pregnant despite medical advice that Lyle’s first bout of cancer and the resulting chemotherapy would leave him sterile.

With a medical exemption to return to the PGA Tour whenever he feels he’s ready — and it might not be until late in 2014 — Lyle has found his second bout of cancer illuminating.

On the positive side, he knew what to expect, and anti-nausea drugs to counteract the chemotherapy had improved in the 15 years between his illnesses.

On the downside, because he had the disease once, it was harder to overcome twice. The first time, he spent two to three weeks at a stretch in the hospital. The second time, it often was four or five weeks or more. He’s lost weight, and his strength.

And he’s still not out of the usual five-year cancer-free time frame, as he thought he had done as a teenager.

Briony and Lusi, nearly 2, will be among a big group of friends and family supporting him at Royal Melbourne on Thursday on Friday. And against all odds, maybe the weekend.

Lyle will tee off just after midday on the first hole Thursday with two veterans to help him along — fellow Australian and 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, and Brendon de Jonge, the Zimbabwean who represented the International team at the recent Presidents Cup.

Many of Lyle’s fans will be wearing specially designed yellow shirts and hats to support his involvement in the children’s cancer charity Challenge.

When Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in 2012, he was wearing a “Leuk the Duck” pin on his cap. The cartoon duck is a mascot for kids who come through the Challenge charity, and Woods wore it out of respect for Lyle, as did many players in the field not long after Lyle’s second cancer fight was known.

“To have the support of all those guys, guys that I am not really close with as well, it is nice,” Lyle said at the time. “It is nice to know they still care and want to know how you are going.”

On Thursday, Lyle won’t forget that support and knows where his heart will be.

“I’m going to dedicate this first tee shot to everybody that’s done that over the years or over the last 20 months,” he said. “Everyone who has got in contact with us and given us support.”

Source: abc news