Monthly Sadhana – May

By Jessica Baker RN, BSN, E-RYT 500, YTRX

 

Simply, yogic tradition defines Sadhana as a daily spiritual practice. Here, we will define it further as a practice to which we engage to enhance our well-being. This practice encourages us to devote time in the day directly to ourselves. There is no secret amount of time that is better than any other. You may choose to practice a 3-minute Sadhana one day and a 1-hour Sadhana the next. What is important, is that you are consistent in giving time to yourself each day. That is the real beauty here… it’s all in what you choose!

The practice focus will change with each month, providing nourishment for the mind, body, and soul.

 

In celebration of May, this month’s practice will be: BLOOM.

 

Each of the following categories offers practices for BLOOM. You can choose to practice one at a time or choose a favorite combination. There is no right or wrong. This is YOUR practice!

 

Movement:  Butterfly Pose – Stimulate and Stretch

  • From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together, close to your pelvis, allowing your knees to fall out to the sides. (The legs appear to resemble butterfly wings)
  • Ground your sitting bones and lengthen your spine.
  • Hold onto the outsides of your feet and press the soles of your feet towards each other. You may also place your hands under your feet for added support.
  • If your body allows it, fold forward from the hips, keeping your spine long. Or choose to stay in a neutral seated pose.
  • Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
  • Release your fold, lengthen your spine to come back to a seated position.
  • Gently bounce your legs up and down (like a butterfly fluttering their wings).
  • Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

 

Meditation:  I am willing to let go of anything that is unhelpful, and I am ready to discover what makes me bloom.

Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported and both feet flat on the ground. Hands resting in your lap. Breathing gently, close your eyes.

As an alternative position: Lay flat on your back on a comfortable surface with your knees bent and your feet planted. Maintain the natural curvature of your spine as you connect with the surface below you. Rest your hands on your abdomen. Breathing gently, close your eyes.

Continue breathing gently. Silently repeating “I am willing to let go of anything that is unhelpful, and I am ready to discover what makes me bloom.”

 

Breath: Pursed Lip Breath – A slow breathing technique to improve oxygenation in the lungs by removing stale air

  • Come to a comfortable seated position. Place a folded blanket under your seat to allow for greater ease as you elongate the spine.
  • Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth.
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose for a count of 3 seconds, keeping your mouth closed.
  • Purse your lips. Exhale slowly through the mouth for a count of 5 seconds keeping your lips pursed.
  • Make the exhalation slow and draw out the breath gradually.
  • Repeat this breath 3-5 times.

 

 Journal: Bloom – A state of beauty, freshness, and vigor

What image comes to mind when you read the word “bloom”? Describe this image paying attention to color, movement and texture.

What are you holding onto that you need to let go of at this moment? How would it feel to let it go?

List 5 things that inspire you today.

How have you chosen yourself recently? How will you choose yourself today?

 

Please feel free to comment on a practice focus you would like to explore in the coming months.

And remember, this practice is not about perfection. You are enough.

 

If you liked this post check out last month’s Sadhana!

If you would like to support The Foundation for Living Beauty and help provide vital wellness and support services free of charge to women with cancer you can become a monthly donor!

Learn more about Living Beauty’s programs and services here!

Simple Ways to Send Love to a Woman with Cancer this Valentine’s Day!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Foundation for Living Beauty! Today we are filled with so much love and gratitude for our Living Beauties as they allow us to be a part of their cancer journey helping them to explore wellness and connect with one another!

 

This Valentine’s Day there are so many ways to support a woman with cancer in your life. Often having to ask and organize help for themselves can be a straining task when they are in treatment. When a loved one offers their help or takes it upon themselves to tell a woman with cancer what they will do for her it takes the pressure off!

 

To help with this, we have compiled a list of ways you can support a woman with cancer in your life, suggested to us by Living Beauties!

 

  • Request a free wellness kit be sent to a woman with cancer! These kits are filled with an array of specially curated goodies to help her feel comfortable while in treatment. Please contact [email protected] to request a kit to be sent out to a woman with cancer.
  • Offer to walk her dog or take care of her pet for a few hours!
  • Go grocery shopping for her or pick up some home essentials she may need to stock up on.
  • Pick up or drop off her children from school or offer to drive them to after school activities.
  • Provide your driving services for any of her doctor’s appointments, to pick up medications or any other errands that she may need to run.

 

Making a woman with cancer feel loved on Valentine’s Day and every day is so important and we know this list will help you bring love and light to their life!

 

If you would like to make a donation to support women with cancer and the programs we provide click here!

Read About our Beauty of Change Fashion Show and Cocktail Party!

On October 26th The Foundation for Living Beauty held our Beauty of Change Fashion Show and Cocktail Party fundraising event! The event was in partnership with two amazing women-owned fashion brands, Everviolet which makes lingerie designed for women with cancer, and StyleEsteem, which makes beautiful turbans and headpieces. The stunning pieces from both of these brands were modeled at the event by our Living Beauties, the women with cancer that we serve!

 

 

It was a truly inspiring evening as guests heard the stories of two of our Living Beauties Ali Spuck and Erin Gershik, who is also our board chair! Watching our models strut their stuff on the runway in front of 100 people was so exciting and moving as we had watched their confidence grow tremendously from the morning rehearsal to the evening show! It was so exciting and moving to see the sisterhood they share with each other on their cancer journey and their courage when modeling the beautiful lingerie and turbans.

 

 

We are so grateful to all those who supported the event as well as our amazing sponsors City of Hope, UCLA Health, Thrive Causemetics, Printspot, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Lemon Drop Cookie Shop, and Exnihilo Paris. And a very special thank you to Kiera Kotler from Everviolet and Sonya Keshwani from StyleEsteem for partnering with Living Beauty and allowing us to feature their amazing fashions!

 

 

To learn more how to support The Foundation for Living Beauty and our mission to educate, uplift and empower women with cancer visit www.livingbeauty.org/get-involved/donate!

 

 

Meet Living Beauty Executive Director Nancy Davidson!

Nancy Davidson is the Foundation for Living Beauty’s Executive Director! We are so grateful for her commitment to growing the organization and expanding our reach to serve even more women!

Keep reading to hear from her about her time at Living Beauty!

 

Nancy (second from the left) with Living Beauties at our golf tournament!

Hi, I’m Nancy, the Executive Director of The Foundation for Living Beauty. I have spent more than 35 years in non-profit management, and I love what I do with Living Beauty! Once I met Amie Satchu and learned more about Living Beauty, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I have been with the organization since 2016, and we have grown and changed so much in that time! From around 300 women then to more than 1,400 women now, our programs and services have evolved to meet a growing and more geographically diverse sisterhood.

I love our Living Beauties. I love the fact that they are willing to share their journeys with us. I love the connection we have with them, and the changes I see in their lives as they experience wellness retreats, workshops, movement classes and sisterhood events. I’m proud that we are making a difference in their lives during such a challenging time, and that we are there to experience both the highs and lows with them and walk beside them.

Speaking of our Living Beauties, I am so excited about our upcoming Beauty of Change fashion show on October 26th! Our lovely beauties will model lingerie created for women with cancer by everviolet. Not only is it a beautiful event, but it is a self-affirming, confidence-building, amazing experience for women who are embracing their new normal after cancer. There’s never a dry eye in the house, and I love bringing this experience to our women and to our supporters!

I’m so grateful to be with Living Beauty, and with the amazing team of women who make everything possible. Indyra, Ariana, Mariella and Jade are the best, and together, we are creating magic!

Living Beauty Celebrates International Day of Yoga!

June 21st is International Day of Yoga and it also happens to be the Summer Solstice! The Summer Solstice happens every year when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt towards the sun and it marks the start of summer.  It is the longest day of the year and in many cultures throughout history, it is seen as a day of celebration often marked with festivals and rituals. It is known to represent the transition from action to nourishment and the journey from darkness to light. Because of the extra sunlight, the solstice is associated with nourishment, fertility, and sensuality. This time of year, we are more connected with nature and each other! It is a great time to come together with others, enjoy the local fresh foods that are in season and connect with your body.

 

Considering the International Day of Yoga falls on the Summer Solstice, a yoga practice is the perfect way to celebrate the change in season and get more in tune with your body! The International Day of Yoga was officially recognized by The United Nations in 2014 and was created to raise awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Yoga can increase strength, flexibility and balance which helps reduce pain and inflammation in the body. It reduces stress, improves sleep and increases your energy overall improving your mental resilience. When the proposal to create a day celebrating Yoga was introduced to the United Nations by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, he stated, “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”

 

 

The Foundation for Living Beauty brings yoga to the women we serve all year round because of its amazing physical and mental health benefits. This year we are celebrating International Yoga Day together with a day retreat! Led by the wonderful Yoga Therapist and Living Beauty Sharon Holly, our International Day of Yoga Day Retreat is bringing together Living Beauties in Santa Monica to spend the day practicing yoga, mindfulness and meditation to help them on their cancer journey. Sharon Holly is certified in yoga4cancer, a yoga practice specifically designed to address the physical and mental side effects of cancer and its treatment on our bodies. This day of yoga will allow Living Beauties to practice self-care, learn tools to heal their bodies and minds, and connect with one another.

 

 

We are so grateful to be able to spend the International Day of Yoga and the Summer Solstice with our Living Beauties! Don’t forget to spend time this summer nourishing your body, enjoying nature and connecting with others!

 

If you are a woman with cancer and would like to participate in programs like our International Day of Yoga Day Retreat click here to become a Living Beauty!

 

Read more about yoga4cancer on our here!

 

 

 

 

Living Beauty Debuts a Brand-New Overnight Retreat!

Last week, twenty-two Living Beauties gathered at the beautiful UCLA Lake Arrowhead retreat center for our first-ever Elemental Overnight Retreat led by the amazing Kristin Dwan! The retreat was specially designed by Kristin and Indyra, Living Beauty’s program director, to take Living Beauties on a journey through the five elements exploring their healing powers. What is even more special about this collaboration is that Kristin is a Living Beauty herself and while attending a retreat at Lake Arrowhead in 2022, her and Indyra were inspired to create the Elemental Retreat. Six months later the seed of an idea that they planted at that retreat came to fruition and the rest is history!

 

Kristin leading Living Beauties in a workshop about our inner child and how our conscious mind is formed as a child.

 

The retreat was created around the 5 elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. Each element has specific qualities that can be harnessed to help anyone on their journey through life and more specifically for our Living Beauties their healing journey after cancer. At the retreat, we used Earth to ground our intentions, Water to cleanse and feel them, Air to dream and clear your mind, Fire to activate and Spirit to connect and level up your healing intentions.

 

Each of these candles represents an element. Kristin used them to call in the elements during our practice. The candles surrounding the elements represent a Living Beauty and her intention for the retreat.

 

Everyone Living Beauty created a seed (or intention) for the retreat that they spent the 3 days focusing on bringing into existence. Kristin helped guide them through this process by leading Living Beauties in hypnotic journeys, breath work, reiki, healing time in nature, a bonfire to cut cords with worries and create a clean slate, and deep connection and sharing time with each other.

 

After the retreat one Living Beauty stated, “I have a new sense of self. I feel lighter than I did when I first got here. I am extremely overwhelmed with love and acceptance. This is exactly what my heart needed.”

 

We are so grateful to Kristin for bringing her expertise in Hypnotherapy, Reiki and navigating the elements to The Foundation for Living Beauty! You can learn more about her practice and get in contact with her by visiting www.thehealingwoods.com. As always Indyra created and executed an amazing retreat and we can’t wait for the next one!

 

 

If you are a woman with cancer, click here to learn more about how to become a Living Beauty and participate in retreats like this one! To donate to The Foundation for Living Beauty and help provide more programs like these to women with cancer please visit www.livingbeauty.org/get-involved/donate/.

 

 

 

Meet Living Beauty Program Director Indyra Flores!

Indyra Flores is the Foundation for Living Beauty’s Program Director! Her role at the foundation is to create and execute all of the amazing holistic wellness programs we offer to women with cancer. We are so grateful for her dedication and the incredible work she does!

Keep reading to hear from her about her job as Program Director for Living Beauty!

Hello Living Beauty Community!

I am the program director here at this amazing organization that supports women with cancer through holistic programming. I am so fortunate to be a part of creating the experiences that make up what Living Beauty is about. My background in psychology, energy work and body work helps me see the healing process as a holistic experience; one that addresses the body, mind and spirit. I also use a trauma-informed approach when creating programs for Living Beauty; keeping in mind the taxing experience of cancer treatment. I believe that ultimately, the healing journey is the path where we remember the connection we have to our Selves. There are so many ways to find that, and I am so grateful for the knowledgeable facilitators that join our Living Beauty family to help guide you there.

I enjoy what I do so much! I love helping people find the tools they need to heal, find the connection with each other and themselves.

I am entering my 10th year here at this wonderful organization. I look forward to serving you for many more!

~Indyra

Announcing Our New Living Beauty Marketplace!

The Foundation for Living Beauty is so excited to announce the official launch of our Living Beauty Marketplace! You can now shop the collection of amazing goodies here and all net proceeds from your purchase go directly to providing holistic wellness programs and support services to women with cancer!

 

The Foundation for Living Beauty aims to educate, uplift and empower women with cancer and cancer survivors. Proceeds from your purchase on our marketplace help to further our mission and reach even more women who need the support we provide. The goal of our marketplace is to feature women-owned brands and provide products that are designed for women with cancer in mind.

 

Our marketplace includes lots of exciting items such as Living Beauty branded clothing, tote bags, hot drink cups,  water bottles and more!

 

 

We also have specially curated items on our marketplace from our sponsors. You can purchase items from Everviolet, a woman-owned lingerie company that creates products specifically designed for women with cancer. You can purchase The Untamed Elemental Oracle Set, a beautiful oracle deck created by artist Tasya van Ree who is a generous supporter of The Foundation for Living Beauty. We also have jewelry from Lee Brevard available for purchase designed by a Living Beauty highlighting the lotus flower that is on our logo!

We are so grateful for your support and happy shopping!

 

You can shop the Living Beauty marketplace and learn more about the brands featured in this post by visiting www.livingbeauty.shop.

 

Board Spotlight: Beauty Expert Holly Moore!

 

We are so excited to highlight Holly Moore who has been a member of The Foundation for Living Beauty Board of Directors since 2018!

Holly Moore is currently the Vice Chair of The Foundation for Living Beauty Board. Her public health background, specifically in relation to women with cancer, and her expertise in the beauty and skincare industry have been an extremely valuable addition to Living Beauty!

As an organization for women with cancer, we know the side effects that certain cancer treatments, like radiation, can have on the skin, including sensitivity, redness and even burns. We also know the potential negative impact that certain chemicals and ingredients can have on our bodies whether we are ingesting them in food or absorbing them through skincare. Holly’s background helps the foundation connect with different skincare and beauty brands that share our understanding of the importance of self-care through beauty products as a form of wellness, and the desire to cater to the unique needs of an immunocompromised population such as women with cancer. Recently, Holly was featured in an online publication in Oprah Daily called “What ‘Clean Beauty’ Means Now.” You can read the article here.

 

Holly at an event with our corporate sponsor Stella McCartney.

 

We asked Holly a few questions about her role with Living Beauty and her amazing contributions to the beauty industry. Keep reading to learn more!

 

What made you want to be a part of the Living Beauty board?

While studying for my Master’s in Public Health in 2011, I took a class on women’s health policy, and I dedicated most of my class research to understanding the socioeconomic impacts of cancer on women in the United States. I was fortunate to have a supportive professor who encouraged me to map the policy landscape of this disease by analyzing what support networks and research groups existed, along with their missions. During this mapping process, I noticed a significant gap in groups that focused on the emotional and social well-being of women going through the experience of cancer. Specifically, organizations that sought to empower through education as a way of uplifting women.

 

Flash forward seven years; I had the privilege of meeting Nancy Davidson, Executive Director of The Foundation for Living Beauty. When Nancy walked me through the mission and vision for Living Beauty, I couldn’t help but feel that this was the missing organization I had been searching for. I immediately volunteered my time and any resources I could share. Several conversations later, Nancy invited me to join the Board in 2018, and I’ve been honored to support Living Beauty ever since. In 2023, I’m proud to have been appointed Vice Chair of the Board.

 

How has the “clean” beauty industry changed in the past few years since you started The Ingredientist, and what makes you excited about the future of the beauty and skincare industry?

Regarding industry change, the short answer is: it’s complicated! I started in the entrepreneurial and “indie” beauty sector, but I don’t tend to associate with the term “clean” anymore. That’s not to say that I look down on it nor underestimate the power of claiming “clean” as a movement, but as a conscious and science-backed concept, it’s misused and diluted as it’s gone mainstream. I wish that weren’t the case because it ruins the original intention behind “clean” for everyone, which at a minimum, is to signal to consumers that the formulas are vetted against environmental health touchpoints for safety.

 

From a regulatory perspective, there is no universal legal definition of “clean,” so it is entirely up to the brand’s interpretation of the term, which can breed consumer confusion from company to company. From an ethical perspective, the term is sadly often utilized by brands in a marketing act called “greenwashing,” or when “clean” formulation, standards, and sustainability claims are false or misleading.

 

The Ingredientist is a science-driven branding and product development consultancy. I embody the equivalent of a Director of Product Development for multiple brands. When it comes to vetting a new client match, rather than rely on the term “clean” to determine alignment, we go beyond to look at the “business ingredients” of the brand ranging from their mission, vision, supply chain, products, marketing, and education. Across the brand’s “business ingredients,” we look for a commitment to progressive principles, which determine quality, ethical, and sustainability standards.

 

All this is to emphasize why it’s so important to have brands rooted in cosmetic science. I ensure that the science is authentically communicated across the “business ingredients”, in particular when it comes to product positioning, marketing, and education. Founders, executives, chemists, and marketers can speak different languages, so translation across stakeholders becomes a key priority for me to get everyone aligned.

 

I’m most excited about technology in beauty and its implications for ingredient sustainability and skincare solutions for various conditions. Microbiome research is a keen area of interest for me, and I think we will see some serious innovation happening there in the next few years. I’m hopeful for this research mainly for promising solutions related to caring for immunocompromised skin, which can be the case for many people going through the experience of cancer.

 

Can you tell us about your involvement with facial spa, Cheeks + Co., and the inspiration behind the face serum you created called Tidalshift?

Cheeks + Co, a modern facial spa in Pasadena, CA (with more locations coming in 2023 and 2024), is redefining the spa experience by encouraging each client to reclaim “a space for you.”

 

Cheeks + Co is the first public-facing product development partnership for The Ingredientist. So I’m thrilled to talk openly about the immensity of work that went into the branding, product formulation design, and ingredients chosen. Over 16 months leading up to the launch in December 2022, I worked directly with the Founder, Tina Uzzardi, to conceptualize the skincare brand and create a product pipeline that physically embodies the spa’s mission and gives people the tools to further self-care at home through skincare.

 

Before I jump into the product, I want to touch on the inspiration behind the brand. When Tina and I landed on the concept, it was an “aha” moment! We kept returning to what it means in a modern scenario for our skin to face the elements daily, especially in a rapidly changing world as far as climate is concerned. Themes of strength, resilience, adaptability, and momentum were constantly on our minds. Then we zeroed in on the extreme biodiversity of California as a way to illustrate the variety of elements we can weather in quick succession (plus, Tina is a California native). Within two hours in California, you can go from below sea level in a hot, arid desert to freezing conditions at over 6700 ft elevation in the mountains. Tidalshift, the debut product, was realized in understanding how climate fluctuations and environmental stressors affect the skin. #facetheelements is the brand hashtag for that reason. Plus, each product in the line will have assigned geo-coordinates as a fun discovery moment that leads to an iconic place in California that inspired the product creation.

 

Tidalshift, inspired by McWay Falls in Big Sur, is an ocean-blue, skin-strengthening serum that provides foundational benefits for all. It works by helping to fortify the skin barrier function and delivering an intense protective panel of antioxidants that help to safeguard against stressors. Tidalshift replenishes the dermal reservoir with ceramides, amino acids, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids. Lastly, it replaces three types of serums (hydrating, antioxidant, and brightening) by combining them into one incredible super-serum through advanced formulation. Tidalshift is designed for the momentum of modern life and having the skin strength to weather it. It’s got a beautiful, uplifting scent called “Lavender by the ocean.”

 

We are so grateful for Holly and her commitment to Living Beauty! You can learn more about her work by visiting www.theingredientist.com.

Thrive Causemetics Named a New Product After Our Original Living Beauty Joni!

The Founder of The Foundation for Living Beauty, Amie Satchu, and her mom Joni.

 

Thrive Causemetics has launched a product named after our Original Living Beauty, Joni!

We are so incredibly excited to announce that Thrive Causemetics has launched a new shade of their Infinite Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick and named it after Joni, our original Living Beauty and the beautiful mom of our founder Amie Satchu! Amie was inspired to start The Foundation for Living Beauty as a way to help Joni on her journey with Multiple Myeloma. The Foundation was created to give women with cancer access to free wellness and support services that would improve their quality of life after a cancer diagnosis.

 

Thrive Infinite Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick in the shade Joni, a beautiful shimmery blue.

 

Thrive Causemetics was founded by CEO Karissa Bodnar and is a brand that is passionate about empowering communities. Through their Bigger Than Beauty™ program, Thrive partners with nonprofits and for every product purchased, they donate to help communities thrive. They are a generous supporter of the Foundation for Living Beauty providing free products to our Living Beauties, helping to improve the quality of life of hundreds of women with cancer!

We are so excited to be able to honor our guiding light, Joni, in this way!

 

 

In 2005, Amie Satchu honored her mother Joni’s journey with Multiple Myeloma by creating the Foundation for Living Beauty. The “Original Living Beauty” Joni was the kind of person whose spirit radiated love and acceptance. She made everyone feel like she was your best friend. With her mother as the driving force, The Foundation for Living Beauty was born and Amie’s mission to provide emotional and physical support to women with cancer became her central focus and passion.

Although the Foundation’s original intent was to focus on “look good, feel good” events, it rapidly became much more, meeting the complex emotional and physical needs of women cancer patients, called “Living Beauties.” Living Beauty was born out of a need to find community and holistic wellness programs that weren’t available at the time. What started out as a small sisterhood that created healing energy for one another, has since grown and transformed into over 150 wellness events a year, serving over 1200 women. The essence of our programs has remained to this day: that the power of community and addressing the mind, body and spirit are an essential part of the healing journey.

Through Joni’s personal journey, a social worker herself, the organization has learned the value and importance of creating a strong support system for the women it serves and understands how that support can impact their quality of life and health outcomes.

Joni’s graceful and vibrant spirit transcends time. Her legacy lives on in the magic that is The Foundation for Living Beauty. We are honored to celebrate her and each and every Living Beauty!

 

Living Beauty Founder Amie testing out the new product!

 

When asked about Joni, Amie shared the love, light and legacy that her mom left with The Foundation for Living Beauty.

“Those who have met my mother know what kind of outrageously beautiful soul she is. Through her 8-year cancer journey, she inspired us all by transforming her pain and suffering into hope. She inspired a community of women to let light filter in through the cracks of the darkness of a cancer diagnosis.

The Foundation for Living Beauty took shape by responding to her need and longing for quality of life in the physically and emotionally exhausting cancer journey. With the advancement of cancer treatments, more women are left struggling to understand how to live with the taxing effects long term. I have great pride that my mother’s legacy is the guiding light that allows Living Beauty to educate, uplift and inspire these women to thrive and heal along their cancer journey. It is also this guiding light that leads our Living Beauties out of the emotional isolation of cancer and into each other’s supportive and nurturing arms.

Mommy, thank you for the gift you have left us. Your spirit will always shine on as our eternal Living Beauty.”

–Amie Satchu

You can purchase the Infinite Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick™ in the shade Joni here!

You can learn more about how to support The Foundation for Living Beauty and the vital work we do to support women with cancer here.