A free yoga program for cancer survivors, family and caregivers will launch a new cancer survivorship initiative through Conemaugh Cancer Center.

“Say Yes to Yoga!” is a gentle, mindful yoga session to help combat fatigue, improve strength and range of motion, reduce stress and improve sleep, survivorship initiative coordinator Jamie Mack said, noting that the yoga session will be the first of many workshops.

“Cancer alters people’s lives,” Mack said. “We will focus on the physical, emotional and social issues that patients and families are facing. The goal is to have patients not only survive, but to really thrive.”

Future free workshops being considered include arts, music, nutrition and relaxation programs to build self-care skills, she said.

The interactive programming is designed to build resilience, with some of the same networking benefits of a traditional cancer support group.

“We want patients to feel support and encouragement and offer that sense of hope,” Mack said. “This is really a community going beyond chemotherapy and radiation treatments.”

A licensed clinical social worker, Mack joined the Conemaugh Cancer Center in January. The Armagh resident formerly worked in community mental health.

“Say Yes to Yoga!” will be held at 1 p.m. April 26 at Conemaugh Cancer Center in Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. The free session will be conducted in partnership with Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center and taught by Rachel Allen, a registered yoga teacher with more than 20 years of experience in trauma-sensitive yoga.

All participants must be vaccinated and will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing. Registration is available by calling 814-534-1245.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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