Heather Stang is a thanatologist, mindfulness speaker, and author of Mindfulness & Grief: With Guided Meditations To Calm Your Mind & Restore Your Spirit. Her focus on teaching others to use mindfulness-based techniques to reduce stress, cope with grief, and cultivate personal growth is inspired by her own journey of love, loss and posttraumatic growth. She is best known for using present moment awareness to relieve suffering, cope with and eventually reengage with life after loss. She offers online grief support and grief coaching using mindfulness-based practices and principles of yoga therapy.
Young Leader Finds Mindfulness
Heather discovered yoga and mindfulness while she was the CEO of a web development company and diagnosed with a stress-related illness. She had just won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for a small, established business when she received her diagnosis. A thoughtful nurse practitioner steered her toward yoga, which was transformational.
The contemplative practices opened her heart, and inspired her to live a life in service to others. Not long after, Heather became a suicide/crisis hotline call specialist in honor of her uncle who died by suicide when Heather was a child, and in service to all people who are suffering. She sold her business and followed her new calling.
Heather relied on her mindfulness training to maintain a calm and compassionate attitude both on the job and at home after difficult shifts. Additionally, Heather volunteered as a trainer and call specialist on the New Orleans hotline just weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region, and was a research assistant for a NIMH funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Research Project. This experience inspired her to pursue a Masters in Thanatology (Death, Dying & Bereavement Expert) from Hood College which she earned in 2010.
Creation of Mindfulness & Grief
Struck by the parallels between mindfulness, yoga, and contemporary theories of grief, which focuses on the individual’s direct experience of loss and the benefits of meaning making and posttraumatic growth, Heather developed a “Yoga for Grief” course, an 8 week program uniting yoga, meditation, journaling, expressive arts and death education. Today, that course is captured in Mindfulness & Grief, and is offered by yoga, meditation, and grief professionals in North America in a variety of venues.
Heather is a public and keynote speaker, presenting for organizations such as the highly regarded military family survivor organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, LiveOnNY Organ Donation Network, Association of Death Education and Counseling, and the Maryland Library Association.
In addition to her book Mindfulness & Grief, Heather contributed three chapters to the bestselling volume Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment & Intervention (Neimeyer, 2015), including Yoga for Grief, Compassion & Lovingkindness Meditation, and Relaxation Response.
Heather lives in Western Maryland with her husband, and is the founder of the Frederick Meditation Center where she is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and mindfulness meditation instructor. Contact Heather for speaking engagements and appearances by calling 240-397-8080, or fill out the contact form.