The Exhalers

Just a few ways to create wellness

One of the trade offs for living in the crowded metropolis New York City area, is that it's filled to the brim with courageous, caring, innovative, socially conscious and dedicated individuals.  At any given moment, someone rises, motivated by their passion and experiences to make a change. 

For the past several weeks I've been on a quest in my survivorship to regain physical as well as mental strength. Yes, I've been trekking to my local gym sweating it out on the the treadmill and reengaging in light free weights,  but I needed something more than just the anonymous existence on the elliptical machine.  I needed to unwind, refocus and connect with my inner self and others, who were seeking something similar.  For the past year, I along with thousands of other breast cancer survivors, have had to find a way back to some semblance of their former selves, reaching deep down to find the energy.    I believe this journey would be just a little bit harder if it weren't for the foresight of some cool organizations whose mission it is to promote and provide wellness and a overall healthier lifestyle. Hopefully some of you will use this post as a springboard to research and find wellness opportunities in your communities and take advantage of them. 

Here's a quick look at two of the experiences I've had and how it went. 

1st Up:  You Thrive Foundation

After doing a little internet research on what kind of wellness was being offered in the NYC area for breast cancer survivors, I came across You Can Thrive.  Founded 2005 by breast cancer survivor Luana DeAngelis, You Can Thrive provides a host of integrative services, some of which include acupuncture, reiki, sound and sonic therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, advocacy and nutritional resources.   The real beauty of You Can Thrive is their commitment and ability to provide assistance and treatment for symptoms regardless of income.

I had a great time participating in their Spring into Sound Health event held on May 1st.  I participated in invigorating and meditative hour long QiGong session (QiGong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality and martial arts training). In addition I was treated to a 1/2 relaxing Thai Massage in a ultra soothing environment (filled with the calming sounds of light taps on gongs, tuning forks and bowls).


I was so relaxed that if I had not already scheduled a previous fundraising engagement, I would have stayed to check out the acupuncture, sound bath and have a quick chat with a nutritionist.  Overall the experience left me relaxed, educated and feeling really good.  After leaving a donation and connecting with other survivors I got a sense that You Can Thrive Provides much needed services to the breast cancer survivorship community.  I totally recommend them!  For more information on You Can Thrive, please click on the link.


Up Next:  Athleta

My little sister turned me on to the sports apparel company Athleta.  Now your probably wondering, outside of cute clothing, how does this apply to wellness.  Welp, in Athleta NYC provides free courses.  That's right, if you download the Mind Body App you can partake in some cool classes.  I had audacity to take a fit class with the Gotham City Cheerleaders (the unofficial cheer gals for the NY Football Giants).  I laughed, cheered, danced, shook and jogged my way thru a dance class with some novice 1st timers and a slew of enthusiastic veterans.  For those who have no interest in trying to keep up with some ultra fit cheerleaders, Athleta provides an array of yoga, sculpting, Pilates, dance and inspirational classes.  Just make sure to check in with your doctor and get a clearance before taking any of the above mentioned classes.

For more information about the Mind Body App (useful for scheduling and arranging classes) please click on the link below.

Last but not least:  Mindful Yoga in Harlem

I had the wonderful opportunity to sample one of my neighborhoods newest gems, Mindful Yoga.  Part of a team Mindful Harlem is a community center that serves as a hub for all residents and guests interested in mindfulness and the support to practice an awakened life.  Well, I did just that with an therapeutic session with Mindful's yoga leader Sherah Sydney.  Enthusiastic and easy to talk to Sherah had a really nice aura and listened carefully as I explained my physical setbacks and what my short term goals were.  Not only did Sherah encourage me to keep going and not lay and and roll over (as it's so easy to do) but come by and experience her classes and continue to build confidence, flexibility and strength.   In addition the yoga sessions are low cost.  Mindful Harlem also has other classes that include stress reduction and meditation. 

For more information about Mindful Yoga in Harlem, please click on the link below: