Avoid Certain Yoga Poses?

Last Modified: June 14, 2011


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Should I avoid certain types of yoga moves if I had surgery for breast cancer in the past?


Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, Penn Medicine researcher who specializes in the role of physical activity in lymphedema development and prevention, responds:

Yoga moves that ask you to place any of your weight on your hands or shoulders, or that require you to hold a difficult upper body position for a lengthy time might be things to build back up to. If you want to do forms of yoga that require ability to do these things, get a physical therapy evaluation first. Many forms of yoga are completely safe for cancer survivors of all types, including breast cancer. As with all forms of exercise, start low and progress slow after breast cancer treatment.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript from IntegrativeTherapies in Cancer Care.