For a while now, researchers have studied the effect yoga can have on breast cancer patients during the treatment process.
Research released only last month found that cancer patients who practice experience lower stress and improved quality of life.
Further recent studies have shown that yoga is being practised not just by breast cancer patients, but by those suffering from different types of cancer, as well as from other serious illness.
The therapeutic application of yoga is now centred on reducing treatment-related side effects.
Yoga, applied in this way, has grown in popularity largely because patients are given the chance to take part in different styles and schedules of yoga participation.
Often, patients will choose to take part in daily sessions of yoga in the morning and at night. Some others may prefer to take part in longer therapy sessions once or twice a week.
Slowing the mind
The mental benefits of yoga can be extremely valuable. As specialization keeps growing in the medical community, patients are growing accustomed to multiple doctors and full schedules.
The use of yoga as a complementary therapy option provides cancer patients with the rare ability to slow down the mind and become immersed in relaxation and meditation.
It is not uncommon for cancer patients practising yoga to report feeling far calmer, more energetic, and less anxious after a class.
A great example of the effect that yoga can have on the mental state includes mesothelioma cancer patients.
This is a type of lung cancer with a low life expectancy rate that develops from asbestos exposure. These patients are able to use yoga as a tool to help shut off the mind from high stress and fear that often accompany routine therapy.
Yoga's assistance as a tool of meditation and stress reliever often makes it a vital part of the treatment process.
Routine schedules of chemotherapy and radiation often turn into battles with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
Yoga has been proven to lessen the impact of all these side effects - one of the reasons it has become a popular option for cancer patients. Outside just cancer cases, arthritis patients often use yoga as a way to help improve their flexibility, reduce pain, and improve the body's overall range of motion.
Other research suggests that yoga may help people with asthma, high blood pressure, lower back pain, epilepsy, anxiety and depression, and epilepsy.
What type of yoga is best?
For the bast majority of those suffering from, or recovering from, cancer, a gentle practice - perhaps combined with meditation - is the most suitable.
Restorative yoga is a hugely accessible, gentle form that is available to just about anyone: bolsters, blankets and cushions are used to invite the body to open and the mind to become cam (for more on Restorative yoga, click here).
Alternatively (or in conjunction with), viniyoga, emphasising gentle movement with the breath, may also be appropriate.
It is always best to call on the help of a yoga teacher with experience of working with people suffering from serious illness.
Private classes are almost always available from teachers, and carry the very real benefit of being tailored to the individual's exact needs and wishes.
Otherwise, look for small group classes with a focus on gentle movement and/or meditation.
With continuing research on both breast cancer patients and all other types of cancer, yoga will only continue to become a more popular option in the medical community.
As more doctors and physicians come to realize the true benefits of implementing yoga into the treatment schedule, more and more patients will reap its benefits.