Yoga: A Powerful Ally In The Fight Against Cancer

How would you describe the relationship you have with your body?

How has your diagnosis affected this relationship?

Yoga Teacher, Jane Pope is here to break down the benefits of yoga for cancer patients like you…


The physical body experiences everything we think, feel and do. The mind-body connection is, of course, well documented and researched. The very fabric of us responds to every moment in time. The body speaks to us when we are in pain, unwell or injured. How our mind reacts to this language is key to getting well again, repairing and healing.

We need to learn to listen to be interested in how the body reacts and responds.


How body-aware do you think you are?

How observant and interested are you in the sensations and feelings you experience physically? Whether you are well or unwell.


This interest in, and respect for, our body provides the beginning of healing and regaining some control of what we CAN do, not what we can’t.


Yoga, even though very mainstream, needs to be more understood. Common misconceptions of Yoga include:


  • I won’t be able to do it
  • I’m not flexible enough
  • It’s only for flexi women and young people
  • It has religious overtones


This is not the case. The benefits of Yoga have been widely researched and studied recently. If all you’ve seen of it are visual images of Instagram models doing elaborate and complicated poses or ancient long-haired Yogi men sitting with their feet behind their ears, you need to think again!

Yoga is for everyone. Yoga is scientifically proven. Yoga works.


Yoga means ‘Union’; it is the mind and body connection

From this, we learn to move and think about our body more helpfully and intelligently.

Yoga can help everything. A cancer diagnosis is life changing.


How do you feel about your body, your illness, yourself?

What are the overriding feelings that present to you?

If the answers to these questions are all quite negative, then it’s time to do something else.


Your oncologist is in charge of your cancer treatment. You can be in control, too, of what happens now. We need to do something to help ourselves. This website is here to help you embrace activities that will maximise your outcomes.

Whatever the treatment or surgery, a targeted and specific Yoga practice will help the mind and body work together to see you through whatever lies ahead. I work with cancer patients to bring balance, not war, to the body and mind. We breathe, stretch mindfully, and learn how to relax and release the body of tension, stress, impurities, and toxins. Yoga makes space for the body to heal itself.


Your cancer is the body telling you something has to change

Doing Yoga helps you do something positive and proactive for your body. It knows it’s been heard and responds accordingly. Yoga works deeper, broader, and subtler than most other exercise programmes.

The aim, of course, is to kill the cancer cells in the body and prevent the body from producing more cancer cells. The intention you make to work with what you have positively is profoundly felt in the body’s cellular structure.

In addition, Yoga will make you stronger, more flexible and freer in your everyday movements; your breathing will improve, and you will feel more focused. Crucially, because you are working WITH the body and not fighting with it in your mind, it will take little time to FEEL the benefits.

Any activities promoting health and wellbeing work with your medical treatment. These additional activities can be transformative.


Research on Yoga and Cancer

Research studies done in the last five years in the US and the UK took two groups of cancer patients.

One group practised Yoga every week and their outcomes were measured against the other sample who were not practising Yoga at all.

The results showed an emphatic difference in how the group doing Yoga reduced treatment side effects, and their recovery was quicker.

Mental health and stress levels improved and healing from surgery was speedier.


A learning curve is ahead

We must use our trust, belief and commitment to help our body clean itself of cancer. There is sometimes anger, sadness, resentment, and fear. However, from these things can come courage, determination and a new sense of what you can achieve, personally and physically, mentally and psychologically.


There will always be times when everything is overwhelming and difficult.


These times will pass. You are walking down a new road of discovery. May that be a way to discover your strengths and work to them? To your full potential, and ultimately a way through to another place. It’s a better place. Yoga helps us connect to what is good and encourages us to disconnect from what restricts and limits us.


This is especially important now and when we need encouragement, support and optimism – where perhaps there is an endless cycle of struggling and pain.


Consider this… What is there to lose? It’s all gained with Yoga

I am a very experienced and well-qualified Teacher of Yoga. An intelligent programme of work during your diagnosis, treatment and recovery is in your hands. I am happy to discuss further to help you find a way to a happier, calmer, healthier self, in body and mind.

I am currently having work done on my website, so if any of what you have read here in this article (and there will be more to come) interests and inspires you to take control of your outcomes, you can contact me via my email address or by calling me directly.

All questions are welcome. All people are welcome.


By Jane Pope, Dip BWY Yoga Teacher

Jane Pope

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Despite having the support of family, friends, and medical professionals, it’s normal to feel isolated and alone. 

However, you are not alone. You are now a part of a community who have gone through similar experiences and have come out stronger on the other side. What-Next is run by individuals who have either had cancer or supported someone with cancer.

We want you to know that you can overcome this challenge and live your best life along the way.

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