Yoga is an ancient Indian practice and is an important part of traditional Indian or “Ayurvedic” medicine in India. Yoga uses several exercises including breathing, meditation, and body posture exercises. Many different styles of
yoga exist that use a variety of techniques. The purpose of yoga is to achieve self-realization or enlightenment. Today it is also used for a variety of medical conditions and to maintain good health.
Like other forms of exercise and meditation, yoga appears to have several potentially beneficial effects. It can affect blood pressure, blood glucose levels, stress levels, and anxiety, and can affect brain chemicals related to mood.
Developing research suggests that yoga for 12 weeks improves quality of life, emotional and social well-being, and mood in women with breast cancer who are not receiving chemotherapy. Eight weeks of yoga also seems to decrease pain and tiredness in women whose breast cancer has spread. In breast cancer survivors, yoga seems to improve quality of life and diarrhea, but not other problems with digestion.