Skip to main content Skip to search
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2
Yoga practice is reported to lead to improvements in quality of life, psychological functioning, and symptom indices in cancer survivors. Importantly, meditative states experienced within yoga practice are correlated to neurophysiological systems that moderate both focus of attention and affective valence. The current study used a mixed methods approach based in neurophenomenology to investigate associations between attention, affect, and cardiac activity during a single yoga session for female cancer survivors. Yoga practice was associated with a linear increase in associative attention and positive affective valence, while shifts in cardiac activity were related to the intensity of each yoga sequence. Changes in attention and affect were predicted by concurrently assessed cardiac activity. Awareness of breathing, physical movement, and increased relaxation were reported by participants as potential mechanisms for yoga's salutary effects. While yoga practice shares commonalities with exercise and relaxation training, yoga may serve primarily as a promising meditative attention-affect regulation training methodology.

BACKGROUND: Increasing rates of survival present a new set of psychosocial and physical challenges for children undergoing treatment for cancer. Physical activity (PA) has been shown to be a safe and effective strategy to mitigate the significant burden of cancer and its treatments, with yoga increasingly gaining recognition as a gentle alternative. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and benefits of a 12-week community-based yoga intervention on health-related quality of life (HRQL), select physical fitness outcomes and PA levels (PAL). PROCEDURE: Eight pediatric cancer out-patients (4 male; 4 female; Mage = 11.88, SD = 4.26) participated in the 12-week intervention consisting of supervised yoga sessions 2 times/week. Participants (patients and parent proxies) completed measures assessing HRQL, physical fitness and PAL at baseline and post-intervention. RESULTS: Rates of recruitment, retention, attendance and adverse events indicated the program was feasible. Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests indicated significant improvements for patient (P = 0.02) and parent reported HRQL (P = 0.03), functional mobility (P = 0.01), hamstring flexibility (left, P = 0.01 and right P = 0.02), and total PAL (P = 0.02) pre to post intervention. CONCLUSION: This 12-week community-based yoga intervention was feasible and provides preliminary evidence for the benefits of yoga on HRQL, physical fitness and PAL in pediatric cancer out-patients. In a population where sedentary behavior and the associated co-morbidities are a growing concern, these results promote the continued exploration of yoga programming.