When I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1993 to get away from the cold, live at the beach

and work in the film industry I would have never imagined that I would end up with a career as a

Yoga Therapist. After 10 fun-filled, amazing years in television and film production at Fox Studios,

ABC Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Magic and various other post and visual effects houses, I

decided to start my own photography business.  I specialized in lifestyle, candid portraits of children

and families at the beach, playground or their homes.  I loved my new career even more than the first

one as this job enabled flexibility in my schedule and the ability to visit my sister and her children 

frequently.  I built a photography business not only in LA but in several cities on the east coast & in

the mid-west as well. Along the way I added another passion of mine and became a children’s soccer

coach, which led me to my next discovery children’s yoga.  I began my personal yoga practice in

2000 as I discovered it helped me with many emotional life challenges.  I had no idea how it worked

but I knew that I felt better when I practiced.  I participated in a few children’s yoga teacher trainings as I found that as much as I LOVED teaching soccer to preschoolers,

I was feeling worn out & felt that it was time for change.  In 2008, I experienced the loss of my brother, Jeffrey, which moved my practice to a deeper level.  In response

to this loss, I felt an inner calling to spend as much time as possible teaching yoga to children.  He loved children and I felt by working with children and teaching them

self-confidence and body awareness in a fun, nurturing non-competitive environment that I was more connected to him.   I also thought how amazing it would have been

 I had learned yoga as a child rather than in my 30’s.  So I set out to teach as many children as I could.                                                                                                                                                             Then I began to teach “parent & me” classes I would get asked by the parents what to do for their                                                                                                                                                                       injuries.  I had not completed a 200-hour teacher training certification as I NEVER planned to teach                                                                                                                                                                 adults but realized perhaps it was time to enroll in deeper studies to help these parents as well as my                                                                                                                                                               own practice.  I had the fortunate opportunity to study with Michelle Mazur in her yurt with five                                                                                                                                                                       other incredible women.  This intimate group allowed for an in-depth teacher training experience,                                                                                                                                                                     which emphasized yoga therapy.   It was at the end of the 8-month training in March that life as I                                                                                                                                                                       knew it would be never be the same. On Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 1:15pm I received a call that                                                                                                                                                                       would forever change my life.   About a month earlier I found a lump below my armpit and since I was                                                                                                                                                             sick at the time assumed it was an enlarged lymph node.  My doctor sent me for an ultrasound, which                                                                                                                                                             turned  into a biopsy and a week later I received “the call”. All of a sudden my life moved into slow                                                                                                                                                                     motion and stayed that way for what seemed like a lifetime. Cancer in MY body..?  How could that be?  

I was one of the healthiest people I knew.  I exercised, ate healthy, no alcohol, smoking, etc.  I was a kids’ yoga instructor for God’s sake!  Through journaling I found moments of peace knowing deeply that there must be a reason and that if I was patient enough it would be revealed.    In April 2011, I had a lumpectomy and found out that it was Stage 1 and a slow growing tumor that would best be treated by radiation and Tamoxifen. I realized that I needed some other healing modalities so I googled “yoga and breast cancer” and came across a yoga retreat for Women Cancer Survivors that has since given my life new meaning & purpose.  I attended the retreat one month after my surgery and although I was still in shock and disbelief about my cancer I somehow came

up with the idea that perhaps teaching survivors/thrivers was the next step in my life.  

I found out that the teacher, Tari Prinster and 10-year survivor, held trainings on the east coast.

In addition to completing the yoga for cancer training, I returned to school and received my

Yoga Therapy 800 hour certification from Loyola Marymount University over the next 3 years.

 None of this was ever in my game plan but neither was cancer.   I am a Yoga Therapist, currently

teaching survivors in small group classes as well as privately on a weekly basis throughout

Los Angeles.  I am also now one of the teachers for The Foundation for Living Beauty, the

 organization that provided me with an amazing retreat when I needed it.  They offer free 

retreats and a variety of yoga and other classes for women going through cancer.  On one of

their retreats I discovered a healing modality called TRE ® (Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises)

and decided to enroll in that certification program as well and am now TRE® Provider.  This

modality is a wonderful compliment to yoga therapy, as it empowers individuals to discover their own healing abilities.  I have never found my life to be so fulfilled and rewarding.  I am grateful that I was open to the possibility that there was a reason for my diagnosis and that I was able to find it quickly.  So grateful for each day that I wake-up and continue to heal and keep my body, mind, spirit healthy & that I am able share the healing gifts that were given to me with those who come into my life.

Sharon Holly - My Story

HEALING BREATH


YOGA THERAPY

Yoga Therapist & TRE® Provider