Yoga for Breast Cancer
Around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. A yoga group in Epping, has been set up to increase physical activity levels, and support physical and mental wellbeing in patients throughout the journey of diagnoses, treatment and recovery.
Classes have been designed for women of all fitness levels, to support those who are inactive, and help those returning to fitness safely after operations and treatments. Focus is placed on learning to listen to their bodies through mindful attention, choosing when to challenge themselves, and when to rest.
Cancer treatment can cause various physical side effects such as peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, lymphedema, breathlessness, nausea, and other mobility issues, therefore it was really important sessions were delivered by a qualified Yoga Therapist with Oncology Yoga training.
West Essex Find Your Active Community Connector, Mirka met Rhyanne at a local community event where she established that she wanted to support women with breast cancer to be active through yoga. Utilising the Active Essex Find Your Active small grants programme funded by London Marathon Foundation, Mirka was able to support the construction of an application, and Rhyanne was successful in receiving money to deliver this project for residents local or near to Epping.
Participants have been able to learn basic yoga postures and breathing techniques, as well as practices to do at home, to build confidence and the likelihood of continuing the activity outside of the sessions.Mirka, Find Your Active Community Connector
Helping gradually and safely build confidence, stamina, mobility and stability, group interaction is at the forefront. The instructor has worked hard to build community spirit and ensure a welcoming and supportive environment is created, whereby participants can also socialise with others that have been through a similar life experience as themselves.
Over the course of the sessions, the women have formed friendships, offering each other vital support as they proceed through their journey. Many participants have reported that this is one of the highlights of being involved in the project, however, they did voice that they wished the sessions could have been a little longer, as they would have benefited from more social interaction.