Evidence Informed Oncology Yoga

Serving +100,000 cancer survivors in communities worldwide.

Our VISION

Oncology Yoga is prescribed and available for all those touched by cancer.

What do we do

What is Oncology Yoga?

yoga4cancer (or y4c) is an evidence-informed oncology yoga method tailored to address the specific physical and emotional needs left by the cancer and cancer treatments. The approach matches breath and movement to stimulate the immune system, improve flexibility & strength, reduce anxiety and boost overall well-being. Based on the latest research and recommendations, we mitigate the short and long term side effects that cancer patients and survivors face like bone loss, lymphedema, scar tissue, constipation, neuropathy, fatigue, anxiety and many more.

Oncology yoga is designed to help cancer survivors achieve the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exercise recommendation of between 150 – 320 minutes of exercise per week to speed recovery or defend against cancer reoccurrence.

What is a yoga4cancer Class?

An yoga4cancer class, private or therapy session is tailored to address the specific needs of cancer patients and survivors in safe and effective intervention. Each session will:

  • build strength and flexibility
  • strengthen the immune system and the lymphatic function
  • reduce cancer related fatigue
  • improve sleep and reduce anxiety
  • increase bone density
  • help manage common side effects like lymphedema, constipation and neuropathy
  • and encourage survivors to participate in their wellness plan
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EXPERTS APPROVED

Oncologists recommend yoga.

Oncologist and cancer organizations are recommending yoga and exercise as part of a cancer survivors recovery and management plan. Both the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends between to 150 – 320 minutes of exercise per week to speed recovery or defend against cancer occurrence and reoccurrence.

In the 2018 guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlighted that an active yoga practice (explicitly mentioning Vinyasa) was necessary and highlighting that gentle yoga (commonly used in many cancer centers) is not enough to achieve the recommendations.  Therefore, more and more cancer survivors are seeking active, informed yoga classes to gain both the physical and emotional benefits of yoga.

But, not all yoga is the same and for cancer survivors the needs are different. Oncology yoga programs are required to provide safe and effective support.

Learn about the Guidelines.
Oncologist recommend yoga.

I use the expression, "life-changing" very sparingly, but yoga4cancer was just that. Every bit of what I learned was critical information to teach yoga to students with cancer. This training provided me with practical and important tools and knowledge to teach safe and effective classes.

Tomoko y4c Trained Teacher

I loved my experience with yoga4cancer. I thought I was going for the asana and returned home with a deeper knowledge and a better understanding to cancer treatments, and how the human body responds to yoga. What a great experience with Y4C, such an eye opener. I will now teach yoga with a greater awareness.

Kathleen y4c Trained Teacher

The survivor yoga class has been an emotional and physical bridge to my recovery. I started my yoga with the group before my chemo.  This kind of support cannot be found in a ” regular” yoga class.


Andrea Cancer survivor

About yoga4cancer Founder

Tari Prinster

Tari Prinster is a cancer survivor, master yoga teacher, celebrated author and founder of yoga4cancer and the yoga4cancer Foundation (501c3), which bring evidenced informed yoga to cancer survivors worldwide.

When Tari was fifty, she started a yoga practice to ease symptoms of menopause. After a diagnosis of breast cancer, yoga became a powerful tool for her to manage the daily challenges of treatment side effects. More than a way to stay healthy, yoga gave her a community and the emotional support and spiritual comfort so necessary for recovery and beyond.

The challenge of cancer led to life change. Research about cancer and yoga was in its infancy in 2000. Tari got curious why yoga was so healing for her, but not recommended by her doctors. Cancer patients were told to “go home and rest.” She read widely, including both classic Eastern texts and Western science about anatomy and movement.

Learn More.

Articles

What Yoga Teachers Need to Know About Teaching Cancer Survivors

by Tari Prinster. Published in Kripalu.  Yoga for cancer patients—what better way to manage anxiety, gain strength, increase flexibility, and create feelings of well-being! A growing body of research points to this path, both during and after treatment. But it’s important for teachers to realize that teaching yoga to cancer patients and survivors is different than teaching yoga in a typical class. Here’s why.

Specialized Training Is Required

B. K. S. Iyengar said it best: “Do not imagine that you already understand and impose your imperfect understanding on those who come to you for help.” Most yoga teachers, whatever their style or practice, are trained to teach a general population. While 200-hour trainings typically include anatomy modules, there’s not enough time to cover specific physiological topics, such as cell development, or psychological challenges, like the acute anxiety induced by a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. It’s not possible to cover the specific needs or risks of the survivor in a standard yoga training.

Learn More.

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Yoga for Cancer by Tari Prinster

Tari Prinster

"Hope is not a plan. Yoga can be."

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