This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stop and take a breath

May 11, 2020

by Ilana Beigel, MA, CCC-SLP, RYT, yoga educator and life coach, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts

Watch Ilana’s recorded webinar, “Yoga and Mindfulness for Calm, Connection and Compassion During COVID-19.”

Now more than ever, you might find yourself experiencing more anxiety, more worry and more stress. The breath is a portable self-care tool that is always available to help you reduce and relieve these feelings. It can be a doorway to mindfulness—defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.”

This simple exercise can relieve anxiety and help you to feel more calm:

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose.
  • Part your lips and exhale from the mouth with a gentle sigh.
  • Do that two more times.
  • Deep breaths in, long breaths out.

Once you have completed this breathing cycle, take a moment to assess its effect. How do you feel? What do you notice? Do you feel a bit more calm and at ease in your body?

The practices of mindfulness and yoga (both on and off the mat) are incredibly supportive for helping to cultivate and maintain calm, connection and compassion, which we could all use a bit more of these days.

These simple, accessible tools and practices can have profound effects.

Mindfulness and yoga have supported me through BRCA diagnosis, decisions, surgeries (and more surgeries) and the aftermaths of living with increased risk of hereditary cancer. I have a deep passion to share these tools with others, which I am lucky to do through my teaching, coaching and professional work. I am thrilled to now share these tools with you.

To complement the Yoga and mindfulness webinar, I am offering a list of resources for online yoga and meditation, as well as links to books and authors that might be of interest.

I hope you find something that will inspire you to explore further. I would love to hear from you and know how this topic and information resonates with you (or not!).

And just for good measure, take one more full breath in through the nose, and then let it out with a gentle sigh. Repeat as often as necessary.

Online resources for yoga and meditation:

Yoga With Adrienne

Do Yoga With Me



Insight Timer




One Degree Revolution

Kripalu Yoga

Living Your Yoga

(and others by Judith Hanson Lasater)

The Yamas & Niyamas

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

When Things Fall Apart

(and others by Pema Chödrön)

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