rhonda-m-smith_web.jpgBreast cancer survivors can learn about the importance of exercise, especially yoga, in the recovery process, at an event being hosted by Rhonda M. Smith, founder of Breast Cancer Partner, an organization that focuses on breast cancer recovery through health and wellness.

The program, “The Recover Restore Reenergize Yoga Experience for Breast Cancer Survivors,” is slated for Saturday in Miami Beach.

“We must address the growing need for advice, education, tools and resources for breast cancer survivors regarding their health and wellness, not only during but especially after treatment ends,” Smith, herself a cancer survivor, said in a statement announcing the event.

“We, as survivors must do what is within our power and control to minimize recurrence and lower the risk of developing other health problems so that we can live a long, healthy, and vibrant life after treatment,” Smith said.

Smith, a Miami Beach resident, cited Dr. Michelle Holmes, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard,  as saying that breast cancer survivors who spend three to five hours each week, about 30 minutes per day,  doing exercise have the best survival rates.

To prevent breast cancer recurrence, she cited the American Cancer Society as recommending exercise for 30 to 45 minutes a day at least five days each week.

Smith said there is no specific evidence that yoga has many benefits for breast cancer survivors but that researchers at the University of Rochester have concluded that practicing yoga twice a week can improve sleep quality, decrease dependency on medication and mitigate some of the fatigue that follows intensive chemotherapy.  She said another study conducted by Dr. Laura Porter of Duke University found that yoga can help to relieve severe hot flashes and other bothersome menopausal symptoms for women.

Smith describes Saturday’s program as an “experiential event in an intimate setting. It will enable breast cancer patients and survivors to become more aware of the mind, body, spirit connection associated with yoga, more ‘mindful’ about their life on and off the yoga mat and more educated on the health benefits of yoga, rather than just viewing it as a form of exercise, so that they can practice with a higher level of intention,” she said.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Ashwin Mehta, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

His research interests include yoga, meditation, sleep medicine and mindfulness-based relaxation. He will speak on the health benefits of yoga for breast cancer survivors and its importance in survivorship.

Michelle Maniaci, described as “a holistic physical therapist, integrative yoga therapist and energy medicine practitioner,”  who leads group classes at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, will discuss the various aspects of yoga.

Maniaci will also lead attendees through “a series therapeutic poses to help them relax, recover, restore and reenergize in the midst of their breast cancer journey.”


WHAT:  Breast Cancer Partner’s “Recover, Restore Reenergize Yoga Experience”

WHEN: 2-6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13

  The Miami Life Center, 736 Sixth St., Miami Beach

  Advanced registration is required and may be done at www.breastcancerpartner.com/events or via the Breast Cancer Partner Facebook page under the events section.

COST: $45 person

WHOM TO CALL: For more information, call 888-808-4446 or e-mail info@breast


Survivor: Rhonda M. Smith