University awarded £2,550 from Macmillan to host yoga classes

20 April 2016

The University of Derby has been awarded £2,550 from Macmillan Cancer Support to host free yoga classes at the Multi-Faith Centre, for women who have suffered or survived gynaecological cancer.

Macmillan is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.

Heidi Sowter, Reader in Oncology at the University of Derby, recently applied for funding from the charity based on results from a clinical trial in 2011, investigating whether yoga can improve life quality for cancer sufferers. The research found that yoga helped to increase flexibility after surgery, aided relaxation and sleep and to boosted physical confidence.

Physical therapies aim to achieve feelings of well-being by working the body and mind. There are a number of therapies available which use gentle, controlled, low-impact movements combined with breathing exercises. They can be done by people of all ages and of varying levels of fitness.

Heidi said: “This is an exciting opportunity to help women who have experienced, or are still experiencing, any type of gynaecological cancer. During the classes that took place on the clinical trial, some lasting friendships were formed, and many of the participants have continued their yoga practice.

Woman doing yoga

“We have a qualified yoga teacher, Ruth Wileman, who has experience working with cancer patients, and she can adapt the postures to suit women of all age, shapes and fitness levels.  I’m looking forward to being able to extend these benefits to all women in the local area who have been affected by gynaecological cancer.

“We hope that all women in the future, who have been affected by gynaecological cancer, will have access to more help and support both during and after their treatment.”

The classes are also supported by One Voice, a local charity that provides community support for gynaecological cancer patients.

The yoga classes will take place every Tuesday starting from April 26, between 6pm-7.15pm, at the University of Derby’s Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road, DE22 1GB.