Only in sharing our experiences to they become meaningful
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, 2016, which was especially confusing and surprising for me as I'd devoted a great degree of my energy and focus in life to staying healthy, with exercise, diet, and further lifestyle choices.
It can happen to anyone, as I’d heard during the gala benefit dinners I’d organised in support of breast cancer for my job in events management, I just didn’t think it would be me. Since 2004 I’d spent a total of 4 years in India running a yoga retreat in Goa and studying with my yoga teacher in Mysore, have had a daily yoga practice, and a mainly vegan and organic diet.
After a mastectomy, a subsequent infection and emergency surgery in Crete, followed by 2 other surgeries I was very traumatised. I had declined chemo, radiation and Tamoxifen, as the benefit in my case, I didn’t feel was enough to balance the side effects, and focused on my emotional healing.
Saucha has developed during the journey to find meaning during this time as well as to keep motivation and positivity through and the long recovery and adaptation involved. It was born, first, from a strong concern over the chemicals in regular and even perceived 'quality' skincare products, and then inspired by my experience with the holistic guiding principles found in traditional Yoga.
As part of my emotional healing I was looking for a way to find my own voice and strengthen the links to my creative channel and find my true calling. I had always wanted to make natural soap and my husband Adam found a course 10 minutes from our home, so I signed up, this is where I learned about and experienced the incredible benefits of natural oils and clays.
Adam, a yoga teacher himself, started selling a few as tester soaps to his yoga students and the feedback was so positive that I was encouraged to carry on. The whole journey, and seeing the enjoyment of the original products made as gifts for friends, was the start and cause of my journey to healing.
While I was going through this process, one of my yoga friends suggested I try the Breast Cancer Haven, where I experienced warmth and care in the form of aromatherapy massage and life coaching. It was during these sessions that I firmed up my desire to share and also give something back to those who helped me so much through this healing process and I chose to donate a portion of proceeds to Breast Cancer Haven.
I also wanted to share with something aligned with my yoga practice, as it had helped me so much on all levels during the whole process. Odanadi is a charity based in Mysore, the home of our yoga school, and is supported by many of the Ashtanga practitioners who spend time there. It is a safe house for victims of human trafficking and they teach and develop skills for the children and adults to be able to support themselves, including yoga. Yoga Stops Traffick is based in the UK and directly benefits this charity so was a natural fit.
What has started with handmade soaps we have plans to increase our range which will always be heavily influenced by the demands and ethos of our yoga lifestyle. We live by the principles on which we base Saucha, pure care and thought about ourselves and others and the impact of our choices in the short time we live on this planet.
When not soaping we are found in the kitchen preparing food for us, our helpers, and anyone who else cares to join. You can see more information on Adam, his teaching schedule and Ashtanga yoga here Keen on Yoga