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Yoga has been helpful for many cancer patients. Anecdotal evidence shows that cancer patients who take yoga find that asana, pranayama, meditation, and the overall change of lifestyle that yoga helps to bring had a huge impact on helping them recover. The University of Windsor in Canada wants to find measureable, scientific evidence to see how Ashtanga Yoga in particular can benefit breast cancer patients as they announced a two-year study on its effects.

 The study will take a multi-disciplinary approach with psychology professors Josée Jarry and Kendall Soucie, and kinesiology professor Cheri McGowan leading the research. They aim to study the psychological as well as physical benefits Ashtanga Yoga may have on women with breast cancer.

Jaffy, who also happens to be a certified yoga teacher, will reportedly design an Ashtanga-based specialized yoga routine for the participants in the study to practice. 

She shared that she is optimistic about this study because of positive findings from an earlier study she was involved with which looked at the psychological functioning of adults before, during, and after taking 18 sessions of Ashtanga yoga.

“The research suggests that when healthy adults practice Ashtanga yoga, there is a significant improvement in self-esteem, body image and interpersonal functioning, as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety,” she said.

The University of Windsor blog made the announcement that the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation gave the three proffessors a  CA$70,000 Seeds4Hope grant to conduct their research.

A website about the research project was planned to launch in January 2017. The team will be looking for participants who have survived breast cancer, have finished their chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and cleared for light exercise by their doctors. Potential participants must also be at least three months post-surgery and not be planning to undergo surgery for the duration of the 24 month study.

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