About ywca encore

What is ywca encore?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women.

ywca encore is a free eight- week program of specially designed exercise, support and information for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their life.

ywca encore helps women with the after-effects of breast cancer surgery and treatment, helping to restore strength, mobility and flexibility, confidence and general wellbeing.  

Operating in Australia for over 30 years, ywca encore has already helped thousands of Australian women.


How can ywca encore help?

Helping physical wellbeing

After breast cancer surgery and treatment, many women experience numbness, pins and needles, a loss of mobility and strength and discomfort in their upper bodies. Simple things like pegging the washing and carrying children can become difficult.

The ywca encore exercises help strengthen arms, shoulders and chest and improve flexibility and mobility. The exercises also help to improve general fitness and wellbeing, reduce the risk of lymphoedema, aid the management of lymphoedema and reduce fatigue associated with treatment.

Helping emotional wellbeing

ywca encore is a wholistic program, helping to create positive self esteem and body image and a positive attitude to life and health.

The sessions are also an opportunity for women to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment and connect with other women in their local area who understand what it is like to experience breast cancer. Many great friendships have been formed at ywca encore programs.


What are ywca encore sessions like?

Small and friendly

The ywca encore program is made up of a two-hour session every week for eight weeks.

ywca encore sessions are done in small groups lead by a fully trained ywca encore coordinator. 


The sessions incorporate land and water based exercises (in a warm, hydrotherapy pool). They also provide general support, guest speakers and information on topics like nutrition, and simple take home exercises and information.


No pressure

ywca encore participants are encouraged to work at their own speed, and to their own ability, and there is no pressure to keep up with others. Participants do not need to be able to swim, and all pools are at a comfortable temperature.


Who can attend?

ywca encore welcomes women who have experienced breast cancer at any stage of their life.

Whether you are recovering from recent breast cancer surgery and treatment, or you had breast cancer many years ago, you will still receive many benefits from the program. Women of all ages take part in ywca encore.


To participate you will need to enrol and medical approval is required.


How do I know ywca encore is right for me?

ywca encore is a long-running program that complements the medical treatment of breast cancer.


The ywca encore exercises were developed in conjunction with health professionals and the program is overseen by an advisory board of health professionals.


You will also need consent from your medical practitioner to enrol in ywca encore to ensure that the program is right for you at your current stage of recovery.


Yoga For Women After Breast Cancer DVD

An integrated yoga practice hs been shown to be beneficial to women who have had treatment for Breast Cancer. This DVD produced by Annete Louden consists of two 1 hour lessons incorporating breathing techniques, postures and relaxation and concludes with a candle meditation. Variations of postures are incldued to cater for women with alltypes of health issues including lymphoedema. 

Cost: $25

To purchase please email your request to info@ywcansw.com.au 


In the past 30 years approximately 10,000 women around Australia have completed the ywca encore program.

History of YWCA Encore


ywca encore was originally developed in the USA in the 1970s by a ballet teacher who had experienced breast cancer and saw the need to help other women with similar experiences to rebuild their physical and emotional strength. The program was set up and expanded through YWCA USA.

ywca encore came to Australia in 1983 and 2013 sees ywca encore celebrate 30 years in Australia. The ywca encore program also operates in New Zealand, Canada and Japan.






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