13th Annual International Conference of the Society of Integrative Oncology "Advancing the Global Impact of Integrative Oncology", Hilton Miami Downtown, Miami, Florida, November 5-7, 2016


Leigh Leibel will present the workshop,  "A Simple Yoga/Progressive Muscle Relaxation Intervention for Cancer Patients to Practice at Home to Help Manage Treatment Side Effects, Enhance Quality of Life, and Improve Clinical Outcome"

The objective of this workshop is to share a simple and effective 15-minute Yoga/mind-body technique that patients may practice on a regular basis to help manage various physical and psychological side effects of cancer and its treatment. Common adverse sequelae include anxiety, fatigue, sleep dysfunction, neuropathy/balance issues, constipation/nausea, arthralgia, pain, and menopausal hot flashes.

This is an inexpensive, non-pharmacological Yoga/mind-body intervention that is easy for clinicians to learn and teach their patients, and it empowers patients by giving them an effective stress management tool that is enjoyable to practice at home on their own or with other family members - thereby increasing the incidence of daily compliance.

The technique is appropriate for the immunosuppressed, those at risk for lymphedema, those with decreased bone strength due to disease or treatment, and for patients with general de-conditioning. The physical exercises described may be modified as necessary for functional limitations and may be performed in a bed or chair.

This simple mind-body practice introduces patients to a healthy lifestyle protocol that will help them thrive during active chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as successfully transition from patient to survivor.

In this 75-minute interactive workshop we will introduce the technique (15 mins), cite relevant research (15 mins), practice the protocol as a group (15 mins), discuss patient feedback and compliance (15 mins), and propose techniques for implementation in clinic (15 mins). Hand-outs and links to video demonstrations will be provided.


Symposium of Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) / International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Washington, DC, June 9-12, 2016

Leigh Leibel will present:  Hospital Yoga for Cancer Patients in Active Treatment: The Eight Limbs and the Four H’s

Many oncologists prescribe traditional Indian Yoga as a nonpharmacologic intervention to ease the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone/targeted therapies. However, teaching Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga to a diverse patient population in the outpatient hospital setting can present unique challenges for the Yoga therapist. This presentation will provide insight into some of these issues (the four “H’s”), and offer actionable solutions that may be replicated in both a clinical and in-home setting. Participants of the Cancer Community CIC who want to work with cancer patients, survivors, and their families will find this presentation valuable because it addresses important issues that Yoga therapists must consider when establishing their own in-clinic and/or private practice, and it offers practical solutions proven to work at NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center - a major New York City Comprehensive Cancer Center. This CIC presentation encourages Yoga therapists to think creatively, critically, and collaboratively when designing a therapeutic Yoga program that is appropriate for a diverse, immunosuppressed clientele.


     Restorative Yoga Classes Designed for Cancer Patients & Survivors - FREE!

ASHTA.Yoga and Oxygen Fitness in New Canaan, CT are pleased to offer free weekly Yoga and meditation classes to those in our community whose lives have been touched by cancer. We warmly invite cancer patients, survivors, and their families to join us for 75 minutes of kindness, compassion, and love as we relax into a restorative practice of gentle Yoga and meditation. During our time together we'll move through five or six soothing poses that are performed lying and/or sitting on the floor while being comfortably supported by bolsters, cushions, blankets - even the wall! Thanks to the comfy pillows and props we'll be able to settle in and stay in each position for five to ten minutes - oh so relaxing! This is a rare chance to linger quietly and savor the simple sweetness of life in the present moment. 

This evidence-based class is designed by Leigh Leibel and the Yoga team at Columbia University Medical Center to help cancer patients and survivors manage the many physical and psychological side effects of the disease and its treatment. Taught by Leigh, this is a gentle class appropriate for everyone but we do ask for your doctor's written ok if you're in active treatment. Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Yoga studio at Oxygen Fitness. (No classes the month of July.)


Traditional Indian Yoga Nidra by Candlelight

Yoga Nidra is a beautiful 5,000 year old Indian meditation that promotes a profound sense of relaxation. Leigh Leibel leads an authentic candlelight practice several evenings a month in New Canaan, CT.


Leigh's Spring Speaking Engagements

  • Lung Cancer Support Group, Columbia University Medical Center - Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
  • Breast Cancer Support Group, Columbia University Medical Center - Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
  • Rotary Club Luncheon, New Canaan, Connecticut - Thursday, April 2, 2015.
  • Multiple Myeloma Support Group, Columbia University Medical Center - Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
  • Pancreatic Cancer Support Group, Columbia University Medical Center - Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
  • OB/Gyn Cancer Support Group, Columbia University Medical Center - April date TBA.


Yoga and Meditation at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC

Amazing things are happening here! We are excited to offer ASHTA.Yoga and meditation classes at Columbia University Medical Center. Thanks to a generous grant from the OctoberWoman Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, this evidence-based mind-body program is available to patients, their loved ones, and hospital staff at no charge. In addition to private and group classes on HIP 9, we work one-on-one with patients as they receive chemotherapy in the Herbert Irving Pavilion HIP 14 Infusion Center, as well as bedside for hospital in-patients. Offerings include: Gentle Chair Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Mindfulness and Lovingkindness Meditations, Pranayama and Breathing for Health, and much more!  Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 9am - 6pm.

 Private Session for Patients with Cancer and Chronic Illness

We begin with a 90-minute introductory session that includes a discussion of the various yogic techniques that we deem to be safe and effective to help people cope with side effects of treatment. The program includes the illustration of meditation, conscious breathing, gentle and restorative yoga poses, and chanting. It is geared for beginners and people not experienced in yoga. Subsequent sessions will build upon this foundation. The goal is for each individual to take this on as a daily practice; detailed handouts with instruction for self-practice will be provided. Sessions are held fireside in the New Canaan studio or in the privacy of an individual's home. Yoga mat and props are provided. Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes. Scheduled privately.   


Friday Night Yoga Funk for Oncology Nurses

Yoga Funk Cancer ... A one hour stress-buster designed for the fabulous oncology nurses and staff at NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. So, who knew that the HIP 9th floor waiting room was also a Yoga disco?!


Karma Yoga Mondays:  A Meditation of Love and Light

Start your week with one hour of soulful meditation and get your Karma on!  Karma Yoga means selfless service in Sanskrit - so in the spirit of giving, the meditation class on Karma Mondays is donation based, and 100% of the funds collected will go to the Women's Resource Center in Siem Reap, Cambodia to help Khmer women in need. Check out the fabulous work they do:  www.wrccambodia.org. So wake up and join us every Monday morning at 8am as we gather in front of the fireplace for meditation; honoring ourselves while sending love and light to others. After class, you're invited to stay for a cup of New Canaan's own Zumbach coffee and to write in your journal. Yoga mats and props are provided - or bring your own. Monday mornings at 8 am in New Canaan, Connecticut. Suggested Donation $25.  Suitable for all levels of experience.


 Fireside Yoga:  An Evening of  Relaxation

Fireside Yoga is a stress-busting 90 minutes of traditional Indian yoga: chanting mantra, pranayama breathing, meditation and a series of restorative yoga poses designed to relax the mind and body while rejuvenating the spirit. Gathering in a semi-circle in front of the fireplace, we will set our intentions for our practice ... and begin! Yoga mats and props are provided but feel free to bring your own mat if you'd like.  Monday evenings in New Canaan, Connecticut.  Suitable for all levels of experience.