Study: Yoga Improves Quality of Life After Cancer – TIME

As any cancer survivor can attest, the side effects of many cancer treatments can often be overwhelming.  Now, what may seem obvious to many yogis – that yoga can improve sleep  and overall quality of life – has additional scientific back-up.

Dr. Karen Mustian of the University of Rochester Medical Center designed a standardized program based on hatha yoga and tested its effect on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors. Dr. Mustian performed a randomized, controlled clinical trial of 410 cancer survivors

Called YOCAS, the four-week program involved sessions of hatha and restorative yoga twice a week for 75 minutes each, in combination with breathing exercises and meditation. Among the 410 participants, who were divided into yoga and traditional follow-up care groups, those practicing yoga recorded nearly double the improvement in sleep quality and reduction of fatigue compared to those not practicing yoga. They also reported better quality of life overall, Mustian says. “And the yoga group had all of these benefits while reducing their use of sleep medication,” she says.

Continue reading this article: Study: Yoga Improves Quality of Life After Cancer – TIME.

Read the abstract here –
Effect of YOCAS yoga on circadian rhythm, anxiety, and mood: A URCC CCOP randomized, controlled clinical trial among 410 cancer survivors.

Darla Brown

By Darla Brown

Darla Brown is the founder of Share Yoga and a certified yoga teacher. Darla's love of yoga started over 20 years ago. She has taken teacher training and intensives with master teacher Max Strom as well as Jamie Elmer, Kyra Haglund, Luke Ketterhagen and Nancy Goodstein. Darla's practice focuses on breath and healing.


  1. This is such good news. I also read recently that doctors are hoping to encourage more cancer patients to exercise more after treatment as this has been shown to improve recovery rates and also prevent re-occurrence of cancer. Yoga is a great choice for providing much needed low impact exercise to help rebuild muscle tissue and improve fitness.

  2. When traveling, doing any exercise could be difficult. We made a trip recently to the east coast. The trip was wonderful but find the time and location to do yoga proved to be more difficult than expected. We brought with us some yoga books and managed minimum amount of time for yoga on the trip. It’s still doable.


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