Beyond the body: insights from an iyengar yoga program for women with disability after breast cancer.

Author: Thomas R1, Quinlan E, Kowalski K, Spriggs P, Hamoline R.
Affiliation: 1University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Dr Thomas); and University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (Drs Quinlan and Kowalski, Mr Spriggs, and Ms Hamoline).
Conference/Journal: Holist Nurs Pract.
Date published: 2014 Nov-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 28 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 353-61 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000049 , Word Count: 142

Lymphedema, pain, and range of motion restrictions after breast cancer remain underexplored, and few interventions have been developed for these women. Together with a yoga instructor, our interdisciplinary research team developed a yoga program for women with lymphedema after breast cancer (n = 13). Qualitative interviews and participants' journals show that there were a number of benefits to the yoga program. Themes outlining these are (1) understanding arm morbidity; (2) becoming aware of posture; and (3) countering fatigue. More surprisingly, perhaps, the participants also described the ways in which yoga furthered their understandings of loss associated with disability, the fourth theme, and showed that yoga enhanced their experiences of embodiment, the final theme. Finally, we assert that our research demonstrates the potential for qualitative research connected to the evaluation of interventions and that it demonstrates the blurring of traditional boundaries between interventions and data collection.
PMID: 25314108