This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Smith Center Movement Facilitators & 2Unstoppable

Gentle Yoga in the Gallery

Join us and get to know our incredible partner 2Unstoppable and Smith Center’s dedicated team of movement/exercise program facilitators.

 

Our team of experts will share how to cope with low motivation, how to increase your stamina and strength (especially during and after your cancer treatment) and how to take the next step and explore trying something new in a safe, comfortable and non-competitive environment. Learn how to implement a regular exercise program – one that meets you and your body where it is today.


Smith Center Recurring Movement Programs: 

  • Qigong
    • Bi-Monthly on Mondays, 7-8pm with Kevin
  • Chair Yoga
    • Weekly on Tuesdays, 12-1pm with Beth
  • Gentle PM Yoga
    • Weekly on Tuesdays, 6-7:15pm with Yael
  • Body Groove
    • Weekly on Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30pm with Johnnette
  • Gentle AM Yoga
    • Weekly on Thursdays, 10:15-11:30am with Kiersten

2Unstoppable Recurring Movement Programs: 

  • Yoga4Cancer
    • Monthly on Saturdays, 1:30-3pm
  • Virtual Meet-Up
    • Monthly on Sundays, 7-8pm
  • Walk-n-Talk
    • Monthly on Weekends
  • And More!
    • E.G. Squat Challenge, Zumba Gold, Upper Body Challenge

About 2Unstoppable

2Unstoppable is a non-profit organization founded by two women with a personal history of Breast Cancer and who realized the many benefits of staying active during and after treatment.  We now want to help other women on their cancer journeys experience a better quality of life and improved outcomes through exercise.

About Beth Lawrence, RYT500

Beth Lawrence Gentle Yoga Chair Yoga Instructor Smith Center

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

About Ilana Gamerman, RN, MSN

I am an avid exerciser for over 20 years.  Exercise helps me focus, clears my thoughts, and basically makes me feel good.  I guess that is why I am so committed to exercise and rely on it so much.  So, when diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it is no surprise that I turned to exercise to help me get through the difficult diagnosis phase all the way to post treatment.  Whether it was a walk or an easy class at the gym, moving made me feel better and more importantly gave me a sense of control. I know how difficult it is to summon the energy to “move” during this time and having supportive friends helped so much.  A better quality of life and outcomes through exercise is what I hope to help every person faced with a cancer diagnosis achieve.

Ilana Gamerman is a Registered Nurse with a Masters degree in Nursing Informatics.  Her combined passion for helping people and for exercise is what drives her motivation to help every woman diagnosed with cancer become unstoppable. Ilana’s co-founding of 2Unstoppable is driven by her dedication to fitness, healthcare and helping others. She lives in Vienna, VA with her husband and has three sons.  

About Johnnette Armstrong

Certified Personal Trainer, Herbalist, Pink Pilates instructor, Health Coach and a Groove Method Provider. I call myself a Wellness Advocate. I have worked in the fitness field for over 15 years and I currently offer classes at Hope Connections in MD, work with seniors, and offer one-on-one personal training.

After my own struggle with body image and self-esteem, I went on a journey to find out the healthy way to lose weight and feel better about myself. I discovered that there is no right way to wellness. We are all beautiful and unique individuals and over the years I have learned three important things for teaching and working with people:

  1. How to create a space where people feel good about themselves.
  2. The importance of accurate knowledge to take care of our bodies.
  3. And how to consistently move our bodies so that we feel good. 

After 15 years of working in this industry, I have found that there is more than one way to move our bodies. The most important thing is to find one that you enjoy. I am super excited to bring Groove Method to you. It’s a fun and simple way to move our bodies. The cool thing is, anyone can do it! 

My passion is helping people to create a wellness toolbox that works for the whole person. Thank you in advance for allowing me to share my passion with you!

About Kevin Mutschler, L.Ac., NCCAOM

Kevin Mutschler

Kevin is a board-certified acupuncturist (NCCAOM) and Qigong educator with over twenty-five years experience in healing arts practice, research and education, including work in medical anthropology, somatic therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Kevin has special interests in working with patients living with chronic illness, migraine, MS and cancer. He is a Smith Center fellow in Integrative Cancer Care Navigation and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

About Kiersten Gallagher, RYT200

Kiersten Gallagher, RYT 200 and Certified Herbalist has studied yoga for over 25 years. Over the last decade, Kiersten has developed yoga programs and has provided a place for healing in the cancer community, in underprivileged neighborhoods, for special needs children, for teens and adults with drug addiction and for those struggling with body image. Kiersten invites you on a journey of healing to help guide you to a place where yoga will make a real difference in your life.  Kiersten’s goal for you is that you feel better when you leave class- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, than you may have felt when you stepped through the door to begin your practice.

About Michelle Stravitz

When I was diagnosed in June 2015 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, fitness, in its various forms, had been in and out of my life since my 20’s. However, my oncologist was clear with me – move as much as you can throughout treatment to combat fatigue and anxiety. I took her words to heart, and I made fitness a part of my complementary treatment plan. Some days that meant walking with a friend or the dog, and on other days I found a gentle yoga class or an oncology exercise session. The benefits were definitive and numerous. Now that I am post-treatment, I recognize the extraordinary importance and impact of regular exercise for cancer patients and survivors. As a breast cancer survivor, I have made fitness a priority in my life, and I want to help every patient and survivor to do the same. Based on my own experience, and after reviewing a lot of research, I know that having someone to walk with, or just to encourage us to get moving, makes all the difference – and that’s why I am so committed to the mission of 2Unstoppable. Join our program and community and feel better!

Michelle Stravitz is a PCI-Certified Parent Coach, holds an MS from The GWU, and BS Engineering and BS Economics degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Founding 2Unstoppable brings together a wealth of experience and passion advising and serving on the boards of various non-profit organizations and running a small management consulting firm. Michelle is the CFO of Spectrum Management Consulting and is also a professional event coordinator. She has served as a peer supporter for women of all ages undergoing treatment for breast cancer, both informally and through organizations such as Sharsheret and Life With Cancer. She lives in Fairfax VA with her husband, four children, and one dog.

About Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RM/T, MS

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center

Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info: www.yaelflusberg.com

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kevin Mutschler

Grief Loss Mary Anne Cook Smith Center

This is an all levels introduction to the practice of Qigong. You will learn about the human energy system or subtle body. In the tradition of Qigong, we will learn practices to shape and sculpt this system for our highest good in 3 ways:

  • Purge or clear stagnant energy
  • Tone or nourish energy to replenish our internal resources
  • Regulate our energy system

This class will include discussion, movement and an energetic transmission and meditation.


Qigong will be hosted Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 7:00-8:00pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • May 10 & 24
  • June 14 & 28

About Kevin Mutschler, L.AC.

Kevin is a board-certified acupuncturist (NCCAOM) and Qigong educator with over twenty-five years experience in healing arts practice, research and education, including work in medical anthropology, somatic therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Kevin has special interests in working with patients living with chronic illness, migraine, MS and cancer. He is a Smith Center fellow in Integrative Cancer Care Navigation and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

This program is being offered to support Smith Center’s 25th Anniversary. Participants are encouraged to donate $25 (or whatever amount you can afford) to support our work.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register using the button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

Featuring Charles Leighton, Laura Pole, Lorraine Washington, Lucia Effros, Rick Steinberg, and Jim Wilner. Hosted by Lisa Simms Booth.

Smith Center 25th Anniversary Conversation Series

The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. In celebration of this momentous achievement, we are launching a series of special conversations. Across the course of the coming year, members of our Smith Center family will join us to reflect upon Smith Center’s roots, examine its present programs and impact, and imagine what the future may hold for us at Smith Center and the larger world of integrative healing.

Our next collection of conversations, focused on Smith Center’s Signature Programs, will begin on Monday, May 10th from 6 – 7:30 pm (Eastern Time). We are excited to welcome a few of our core retreat alumni and staff: Charles Leighton, Group Leader, Laura Pole, RN, Chef, Lorraine Washington, Alumni, Volunteer Staff, Lucia Effros, Alumni, Volunteer Staff, and Rick Steinberg, Alumni, “Viking Group” , and Jim Wilner, Alumni, “Viking Group.” The panel will be interviewed by Smith Center’s Executive Director, Lisa Simms Booth.

We hope you will join us for the conversations in this special series. Please feel free to circulate this announcement and share with others the details of this upcoming conversation.

Tickets for this event will be $25 and will help raise money for Smith Center’s 25th Anniversary Fund.


Smith Center’s 25th Anniversary Conversation Series will be hosted throughout 2021.

Selected Themes:

  • Visionary Leaders in Integrative Care
  • Smith Center’s Signature Programs
  • Participants’ Perspectives
  • Envisioning the Future

Tickets for each conversation will be $25.


Charles Leighton, LCSW

 

Laura Pole, RN, MSN

Laura Pole

Lucia Effros

Lorraine Washington

Rick Steinberg

Rick Steinberg

Jim Wilner

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kathleen O’Toole

There’s a reason that the ancient Celts celebrated Bealtaine (Beltane: May 1, or Mayday) which falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. For us in the northern hemisphere, early May ushers in our weeks of greatest light. Doors, windows, byres and livestock would be decorated with yellow May flowers. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush: a thorn bush or branch decorated with flowers, ribbons, bright shells and rushlights. Elsewhere in Europe: Maypoles and music brought people together.

 

In this 90-minute session, we’ll take time to notice and record the wonders of nature and light around us. Kathleen O’Toole, Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, MD will share some of her own and others’ “poems of attention” and invite participants to respond – words, short poems, sketches – and explore some writing practices to help us enter this season with greater attention, and intention. No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, and maybe a photo or sketch of something you’ve noticed this spring that gave you joy.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Kathleen O’Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays.

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 5 & 19
  • June 2, 16 & 30

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

Registration for this program is currently full. Please email carla@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines: Social Hour, where we will catch up as we reclaim art-making as a healing tool. Participants are welcome to work on their own creative projects as we socialize.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • May 5 (Social Hour)
  • May 19
  • June 2 (Social Hour)
  • June 16

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kelli M. Bethel, DPT, PT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

In this talk, we will explore what is yoga therapy and how it may benefit those undergoing cancer treatments, survivors, and their caregivers. We will discuss the MUIH student clinic and the opportunities to receive free yoga therapy through telehealth beginning in the summer of 2021 with our senior students.

Click here to download an information document on yoga therapy.


About Kelli M. Bethel, DPT, PT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500

Dr. Kelli M. Bethel, DPT, PT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is a practicing physical therapist with over 28 years of experience, a certified yoga therapist, and a registered, experienced 500-hour yoga instructor. Dr. Bethel is the Yoga Therapy Clinical Manager at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She has extensive experience as a physical therapist and yoga therapist, treating clients in the area of neurology and oncology. Dr. Bethel is involved in developing and implementing educational programs for providers, yoga therapists, and yoga teachers. Dr. Bethel has been working in the field of yoga therapy and integrative medicine since 2007.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Chef Kara Garrett

Chef Kara’s Tofu Scramble

Join Chef Kara for a fun morning of virtual cooking where she will demonstrate and guide you through cooking a plant-based, protein-packed brunch to start your day. We will make a vegan tofu scramble that can be customized to include any of your favorite veggies on hand. We will also prepare a chocolate-almond mug cake that is healthy and easy to prepare – you can even cook it in the microwave if you don’t want to heat up the oven!

Chef Kara will share tips on incorporating more plant-based proteins into your daily meals and answer any questions you have on ingredients or cooking techniques. Most importantly, we will join together to enjoy our brunch and discuss our kitchen challenges and successes.

This is an interactive class and you are welcome to simply watch for new ideas, or to choose which of the items you would like to prepare along with Chef Kara.


Menu Items:

  • Veggie Loaded Tofu Scramble
  • 15-minute Chocolate-Almond Cake

Note: The tofu scramble recipe will prepare 4 servings and the cake will be one serving. Recipes are easy to adapt to any serving size.

Note: Please have all ingredients and supplies out and ready to use before joining the class. Contact Chef Kara prior to class for any questions regarding ingredient or equipment substitutions.


Tofu Scramble Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Turmeric powder
  • Black pepper
  • Nutritional yeast (optional, but adds “eggy” flavor and vitamin B12)
  • Milk of choice
  • 2-3 vegetables of choice (Chef Kara will be using red bell pepper, broccoli, and
  • cherry tomatoes)
  • Optional serving choices: avocado, toast, tortilla, scallions, hot sauce

Chocolate Mug Cake Ingredients:

  • Almond Flour (or 1/3 cup almonds or pecans, ground in food processor/blender)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Maple syrup
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Milk of choice
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Optional garnish: chocolate chips, coconut flakes or chopped nuts

Kitchen supplies:

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Sauté pan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Ramekin or coffee mug (if using microwave)

About Chef Kara Garrett

Kara Garrett Cancer Support Program Coordinator

Kara is a health-supportive chef based in Washington, DC. Following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, she embraced the challenge of finding a balance between her foodie lifestyle and eating well with cancer. She has adopted a flexible diet plan that focuses on plant-based, sustainable whole foods, but does not restrict indulgences of things she loves. She is passionate about working with others to encourage healthier food choices that energize the body and the soul.

Kara graduated in August 2017 from the Chef Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and spent one month as the sous chef at The Ananda Ashram Yoga Society of New York in Monroe, NY. She is currently enrolled in the Developing Healthy Communities: Nutrition, Behavior, and Physical Activity graduate program at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.