Yoga brings strength, peace during cancer battle

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The Mayo Clinic lists it as one of the top ten alternative therapies for cancer patients. A visit to Covenant's cancer center class explains why.

"There is some anxiety that comes along with trying anything new- not just exercise, but especially with yoga and exercise," says Covenant's fitness director, Morgan Auerhammer.

The complicated-looking movements may seem a little too strenuous for someone battling cancer, but that is actually far from the truth, Morgan tells me.

"They might have limited range of motion due to radiation or surgery, and this helps improve their range of motion through their entire body. So it helps them feel better as well as gain strength."

Not just physcial strength, Morgan adds, "It really ecompasses strength, flexibility and peace of mind. It connects our minds with our bodies and improves our quality of life."

Covenant's yoga class is not just a good option for cancer patients who already have some experience with the ancient practice either, Morgan says.

"We keep it small. by keeping it small we can start slower. It doesn't matter if you have had any experience in the past."

In fact, she tells me, the instructor can help patient's adapt positions to meet their specific needs.

Ultimately, experience of trying something new, making it your own, and finding new abilities can make all the difference for someone battling cancer, "It creates a positive thing, going through this not-so-positive journey."

Covenant is offering yoga classes at its cancer center in eight week increments. For information about future classes, visit their website.

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