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Cancer and Yoga

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MAMASTE By Stefanie Lester Coslow


Unfortunately, I feel pretty confident in saying, that most of us, in one way or another, have been touched by cancer.

I think I first heard the c-word in my preteen years when my grandfather was diagnosed, and ultimately lost his battle with colon cancer, and at the same time, neighbors/friends of mine, in my age group, lost parents to the disease.

At this point in my life, I have more than a few friends who have, themselves, had some form of cancer.  In the fall of 2007, my dear friend Rose, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the same time that my college friend, Angie, was losing her battle with metastatic breast cancer.

Rose is now a 4 year survivor and, Angie’s legacy lives on to me personally through her family, which I hold near and dear to my heart, but to many others as well through the charity started in her memory, Angie’s Spa.  Angie’s Spa is a non-profit organization that funds free therapeutic massages for cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Of late I’ve become a pretty big believer in the mind body connection and the benefits, both physically and mentally, that stress reduction and exercise can have.  But I was really happy to read some articles recently, via Angie’s spa, about the benefits of yoga for cancer patients.

Studies have shown that yoga helps to decrease blood pressure and heart rate as well as improve mood and help with fatigue in cancer patients undergoing treatment.  It has also been shown to help with joint pain and muscles aches that can be common side effects of cancer drugs.  Yoga has also been shown to help with memory difficulties in cancer patients and survivors, and studies show that yoga can help improve depression symptoms as well.

Now I’m not saying yoga is a cure for cancer or should be used in place of traditional treatments, but I’m a huge believer that alternative treatments, such as yoga and massage, are a wonderful compliment to a traditional treatments, and I can only hope that they are explored and prescribed more and more.

For more information about Angie’s spa go to

In love and light, namaste,



Take one of Stefanie’s classes at CorePower yoga studios throughout Chicago (Stefanie C on the schedule) or at Yoga Loft Chicago She also works with private clients in their homes so think of her for your next party or corporate event. Either write her a note on the blog, or call her directly at 646-642-3391. Catch up on Stefanie’s prior posts at



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