The Integrated Meditation and Yoga Program (i-MAY Thrive) at NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center is an evidence-based, therapeutic mind-body program designed specifically for adult cancer patients undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to help manage the various physical and psychological side effects of the disease and its treatment, enhance quality of life, and improve clinical outcome.

The Program aims to integrate evidence-based protocols from the field of mind-body medicine into the clinical oncology setting to empower patients across the cancer care continuum with a customized portfolio of safe and effective non-pharmacologic interventions to practice at home to self-manage stress and improve functional ability.

Designed by Leigh Leibel, MSc, C-IAYT, ACSM-CET - working under the medical direction of the Division of Hematology Oncology - the iMAY Thrive curriculum emphasizes the meditative arts, conscious breathing exercises, restorative relaxation, and gentle physical movement. Instruction is customized to the individual and may be given one-on-one during the chemotherapy infusion or in a private setting while waiting for oncology appointments.

This is a grant-funded wellness program free to all cancer patients and survivors treated at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and their support persons. Take a deep breath and Thrive!

Ashta Yoga is a subsidiary of The Zed, LLC, the last word in evidence-based wellness for cancer, chronic disease, and prevention.

Leigh Leibel, MSc, C-IAYT, ACSM-CET is a journalist and mind-body specialist with a focus on cancer, chronic disease prevention, and supportive care. 

She has a clinical practice in integrative oncology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City where she is Director of Integrative Practices, Division of Hematology-Oncology, and teaches the Mind-Body curriculum to 4th year medical students in Columbia University’s Integrative Medicine elective. 

Ms. Leibel is a 2018 alumna of the National Institutes for Health / National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control Summer Fellowship Program in Bethesda, MD, and holds a Master of Science with First Class Distinction in Yoga Therapy from S-Vyasa University in Bangalore, India. Her dissertation, Effect of Sukshma Vyayama on Aromatase Inhibitor-Induced Arthralgia in Post-Menopausal Breast Cancer Survivors: A Feasibility Study Conducted on Facebook was selected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for inclusion in the Journal of Clinical Oncology supplement to the 2019 Annual Meeting proceedings.

In 2018, she chaired the Yoga and Cancer Symposium at the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


J. Gregory Mears, MD is Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He maintains a clinical practice in Hematology/Oncology and is an avid yoga practitioner.


The Inspiration!  Patient artwork decorating the walls of the Chemotherapy Infusion Center at Columbia University Medical Center.