Breast cancer took a great toll on Gale McCombie’s body to the point where she had very little mobility and felt like she had arthritis throughout her entire body.

To help in the healing process, McCombie signed up for yoga thrive, a research project through the University of Calgary specifically designed for cancer patients, survivors and their support partners.


Instructors were trained to understand the effect of cancer on the body, so they are able to assist patients and survivors with side effects and healing on an individual basis.

“The instructor helped me with what I needed to do in order to feel part of (yoga), better myself and she inspired me,” said McCombie.

Now the research program has expanded and come September, yoga thrive will be a full-fledged program with 14 locations in Calgary and numerous locations across Alberta and Canada, something that thrills McCombie, who’s leery of heading to a traditional yoga setting.

“I’m still not ready to go into the regular (yoga) system yet. I just don’t feel comfortable,” said McCombie.

Nicole Culos-Reed, lead researcher, said she found the program helps decrease fatigue, stress, and depression and improves participants’ quality of life.

Culos-Reed said the growth of the program is a way for participants to maintain their physical activity.

“We are trying to build yoga as a sustainable community program that is always there in the community so they can continue to go.”

To register for classes in Calgary phone (403) 220-7749.

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