KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A yoga studio in downtown Knoxville now offers "Yoga for Cancer" classes to help aid cancer patients and survivors in treatment and life.

Gay Street Yoga is where the calm can be felt in a cancer diagnosis.

Mary June Thompson, the owner and instructor at the studio, knows the baggage that comes with any type of cancer.

"It comes with anxiety. It comes with fear. It can come with depression. The treatment can be very hard on the body, destroying the immune system and also leaching nutrients from your body, from your bones, from your muscles," Thompson shared. "Yoga provides tools to help counteract a lot of those negative effects."

When Thompson first opened her practice, she knew she wanted to offer "Yoga for Cancer" classes immediately.

"In the 'Yoga for Cancer' class, everything that we do is very, very gentle, and it's not going to be taxing on the body, you know, for the reason your body is already being taxed by all the things," Thompson assured.

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She wanted to find a supplement to cancer treatment after seeing the effects of the disease in her own life.

"My mother passed away from actually not the cancer but the treatment, and so she's been gone for 10 years, and so it's something that's very close to my heart," Thompson nodded.

She wants to help anyone with any type of cancer: men, women, newly diagnosed and survivors.

"A huge part of your treatment is taking care of yourself," Thompson urged.

She hopes a chance to decompress and stretch will help ease the pain of a diagnosis.

"It's something that's close to my heart," Thompson said. "I couldn't help her at the time, but maybe I can help other people in honor of her."

The class is every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Gay Street Yoga, 317 N. Gay Street, in Knoxville. It's donation based, and there is no prior registration or certain skill level required to attend.

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