Breast cancer patients turn to yoga for relief

COLUMBIA (WACH)- The fight against breast cancer is heading to the mats, as in yoga mats. One in eight women will be touched by breast cancer at some time in their lives. Making sense of a diagnosis is hard but dealing with treatments can be both mentally and physically exhausting. So patients like Irmo TMs Wanda Crumlin are trying yoga for relief. She started practicing yoga about a year ago.

"I love everything about yoga. It allows me to relax it's just amazing," says Crumlin.

Crumlin returned from a three day yoga retreat with a new love for the meditative practices. The Irmo woman is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2005 and faced chemotherapy and dozens of radiation treatments.

"I still feel affects from my treatments so yoga helps me to relax and it calms me."

At AMSA Yoga in Columbia Crumlin and instructor Pamela Meriwether incorporate meditation, relaxation, and stretching into improving an overall sense of well-being. Meriwether says her inspiration to share yoga with breast cancer patients and survivors comes from her parents and sister all touched by cancer.

Meriwether says, "yoga helps reduce anxiety, stress, it can help with sleeping issues so people can feel a little more calm and rested as well as well as energized during treatments that can be debilitating."

"I wish I knew about yoga then because it would of helped me so much," says Crumlin.

AMSA Yoga is hosting the "Connect for a Cause Yoga-Thon" Saturday. There will be 9 classes open to anyone even if you don't have cancer. You can still come out and pledge your support to cancer patients and survivors. All money raised will go to provide free classes for cancer patients. Click here to learn more.