Introduction: Smoking cessation is often accompanied by withdrawal symptoms, cigarette craving, increased negative affect, and increased experience of stress. Because yoga has been shown to reduce stress and negative affect, it may be an effective aid to smoking cessation. The objective of this study was to examine women's phenomenological experiences of vinyasa yoga as part of a smoking cessation program. Methods: Focus groups were conducted post-intervention with women (n = 20) who participated in a pilot randomized controlled trial of yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation. The 8-week vinyasa yoga intervention included twice weekly 60-minute classes that involved breathing exercises, postures (asanas), and relaxation techniques. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis focused on descriptions of yoga, breathing, and bodily sensations including cigarette craving. Results: Focus group participants described vinyasa yoga as physically challenging. Most reported deliberate use of yogic breathing to cope with cigarette craving and stress. Other perceived effects included relaxation and an increased sense of body awareness and wellbeing. Conclusions: Participants viewed yoga as positive and potentially helpful for quitting smoking. Yoga may be an effective adjunct for smoking cessation.

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