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Facilitator Spotlight: Kitty Blincoe

Kitty Blincoe has a particularly unique perspective as a yoga facilitator for The Foundation for Living Beauty, because she herself is a cancer survivor. Fourteen years ago, Kitty was diagnosed with kidney cancer in the midst of a successful, fast-paced career as a fashion executive. After her oncologist recommended reiki, Kitty began to recognize the power of blending Eastern + Western modalities. She says that after discovering yoga and reiki, she left fashion with a drive to dive into wellness. “Learning to breathe + practice yoga taught me boundaries and self care,” she explains. “I refer to myself as a ‘recovering type A.’ But [if you have cancer], you can find a new normal, day by day.”

Kitty has attended yoga retreats with The Foundation for Living Beauty as both a participant and a facilitator – she now assists Tari Prinster, who was one of the first instructors to help Kitty “slow down.” Instructor Max Strom, whose mantra is “breathe to heal,”  also influenced Kitty’s journey and commitment to yoga. “It was the breathing that hooked me – it’s a tool in my toolbox.” Also in Kitty’s yoga toolbox? Remixed Beatles music, restorative yoga and sound baths.

After reflecting on her journey from the busy corporate world of New York’s fashion scene to a peaceful community in San Diego, Kitty professes: “I like to say that doctors saved my life, but yoga gave me a life worth living.” It’s this life in San Diego that she’s generously sharing with The Foundation for Living Beauty, working to help facilitate future yoga events in San Diego. “I’m happy to introduce the Foundation to my community in San Diego, because the people are so authentic. The foundation honors our craft, and honors us as people. They honor each and every woman and the facilitators alike! My experience has always been that the events attract a special group of women who come together for a place to unwind, heal, learn tools to cope and manage daily life after being touched by cancer. No drama, no politics, just pure love and sisterhood. A tribe connected by cancer, strengthened by each other. A way to have the important “support group” without it being a traditional support group. An studies have shown being a part of a support group increases chance of survival significantly. It is my honor to share Light with anyone who needs a little to brighten their day.”

You can learn more about Kitty at www.kittyblincoe.com, or visit her in person at Sanctuary Z, her Sleep, Stretch and Stress Management space in Carlsbad, CA. 

Wonderful Meditation Podcasts

When a busy week of work, travel or treatment feels overwhelming, it’s important to take a moment of peace for yourself. The Foundation for Living Beauty loves building grounding retreats for our women. Between those retreats, continue your moments of meditation and self-love with some of our favorite free podcasts. They all have different voices, perspectives and reflections, so you can find the best fit for your quiet moments!

If You Can’t Sleep:

Stin Hansen’s wonderful playlist (Fittingly entitled “ZZZZZZ….”) is an excellent choice for nights when it just feels tough to doze off. Stin gives gentle reminders that each project, worry or even joy has its own time and place. The calm music will also sweep you away into a good night of sleep. Download her podcast here.

If You’d Like A Beautiful Getaway or Love Nature: 

As one of our favorite meditation groups, the Meditation Society of Australia gives your moments of reflection and visualization an extra peaceful twist. Perfect for mornings or naps, their Cliff Visualization podcast brings you straight to the edge of a stunning Australian sunrise and leaves you feeling weightless. Download the podcast here.

If You Want to Take Yoga With You

If you’ve fallen in love with yoga, check out Yoga Download podcasts. Some are videos, and some are simply audio guides, but each podcast gives a variety of yoga poses for many purposes. Whether you’re a beginner or simply want to stretch, there is a wealth of free guidance! See their selections here.

If You’d Like a Quiet Moment to Focus on Breathing

Jesse and Jeane Stern have a variety of incredible podcasts, but their piece on Transformational Breathing can be done anywhere and is truly simple and grounding. Download the audio episode here.

Are there any other meditation focuses you’d like us to search out? We’re happy to help! Let us know which you enjoy, too!

A Moment With Tari Prinster of Yoga 4 Cancer

FFLB has been blessed with the skills and advice of Tari Prinster on multiple occasions, especially in yoga sessions on retreats with Living Beauties. A cancer survivor herself, Tari has been deemed a Selfless Service Leader by Yoga Journal. She graciously answered some of our questions about four basic poses to help patients center themselves and relieve some stresses and aches during treatment. Each pose is accompanied by an illustrated guide. Thank you for your amazing insights, Tari!

1. The Best Pose for activating the lymph and circulatory system to detox the body: Knock-Kneed Cactus. 

Tari emphasized the importance of restorative poses with action quality post-chemotherapy. 

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2. A good pose to manage middle back (thoracic) tension: Restorative Fish

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3. For Activating Digestion: Cat and Cow (Im. 1) ; For Calming Digestion: Restorative Cobbler (Im. 2)

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4. For Peace of Mind and Meditation: A Base Meditation Pose, And Tari’s Advice on Preparing.

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“Taking time to breathe can lead quite naturally into a moment of meditation. To begin, sit in dynamic stillness. You can also meditate lying down, standing, or walking, but a comfortable, upright seat is an ideal physical container to develop a wakeful, relaxed mental state…In meditation, we begin to tame our monkey mind, first my choosing a point of focus. Your focal point can be your breathing, a visualization, a mantra or a guided journey…No matter the state in which you find your mind, be kind to yourself.”

All of this article’s poses and illustrations can be found in Tari’s book, Yoga For Cancer. Add it to your collection for a daily dose of healing, exercise and spiritual wellness! 

Featured photo via Mantra Mag.

Need a mat, blanket or yoga blocks for your practice?

Tari Prinster and Yoga 4 Cancer

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We are so grateful to present a new series of tips for Living Beauties, their supporters and anyone wishing for a healthy lifestyle! Yoga is a very important experience at the Foundation for Living Beauty. Many of our retreats feature restorative yoga exercises, often led by yoga and cancer expert Tari Prinster. Tari will generously be helping us display some healing yoga poses on the blog.

In the midst of an incredibly athletic lifestyle, Tari was shocked to find herself diagnosed with cancer at age 56. On the road to recovery, she found that yoga gave her spiritual fulfillment while allowing release in her body. Tari recovered in 2003, but continues to share the gift of yoga with other cancer patients and survivors. She has earned a nomination for the Yoga Journal award of Good Karma. She sees both yoga and cancer as great teachers that introduce both the acceptance of uncertainty and the understanding of one’s self.

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For more about Tari and Y4C, check out this introduction video, as well as her website! We will be featuring more expertise from Tari, including healing pose ideas and meditation tips. Stay tuned!

Summer Solstice Yoga with Athleta and Rose City Yoga

A huge thank you to Athleta, Rose City Yoga and all of the awesome yogis that came out to celebrate the official start of summer! A beautiful sunny day made the perfect setting for some peaceful practice in the park. Raffle proceeds (from awesome yoga prizes!) went towards the Foundation for Living Beauty.

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Stay up to date on our future events by following us on Facebook and Instagram (@livingbeautyorg)! We love and deeply appreciate your support for our Living Beauties.