** Editor’s Note: Stop and Breathe moved to 1341 W Fullerton Ave Suite 333, Chicago ***
Welcome to Mompreneur Monday, where we introduce you to Mom-Based businesses in Lake County.
Today we meet Susan Ginsberg, founder of Stop and Breathe ®, a program that offers guided breathing and relaxation techniques to both individuals and organizations.
Susan uses her background as a certified educator and yoga instructor to bring serenity and balance to those dealing with stress and who may feel intimidated or unable to undertake the physical rigors of yoga. According to Susan, “Really what I’m doing is taking the most beneficial aspects of the breathing teachings of yoga, which are very simplistic. It’s basic teachings that are really great to be accessed by the average person who wouldn’t go into a yoga studio.”
Susan’s journey in creating the Stop and Breathe® program began when she was a hospital volunteer. While already a successful yoga instructor, she discovered she could implement the breathing techniques used in yoga to help people going through the stress of cancer treatment and surgery. “I did not have any intention of creating this whole business. I literally was happy teaching yoga.” Still the positive results of Susan’s sessions could not be ignored. “I’d leave people’s rooms who were under so much stress and see them almost asleep. The nurses would show me how their blood pressure went from super high to low after I did a session with them. I’d hear from the nurses and the patients how much it was making a difference and I thought, ‘You know I kind of think I should really expand on this.'”
Being just one woman, Susan knew that to really have an impact she had to share her techniques with others. As a result, she has now certified hundreds of people in administering the Stop and Breathe® program using the training manual she created. A project that was tirelessly developed over a year’s worth of many late nights until 2 am.
That kind of dedication is easy to muster when you love your work. “This is just the best job in the world. To be able to take someone who’s in that critical, stressed out moment in life and give them a little bit of peace and comfort – that’s why I do what I do.” A Type A personality doesn’t hurt either, but after many years of practicing yoga, Susan happily calls herself a Type A-.
While Susan’s techniques have helped the critically ill in a medical setting, her program has been used by corporations and individuals as well. Most recently, she did a session at a weekend seminar for an organization of 700 people.
These corporate sessions do benefit the workplace, but the benefits have a ripple effect as well. “If I’m teaching a corporate class they might feel more balanced that day but they might be different to their families at home. When you take someone who is feeling really overwhelmed, stressful and negative and you try to create a positive outlook and teach them to have healthier techniques it affects the people around them.”
When it comes to families, as a mother of two young adults herself, Susan holds a special place in her heart for parents and caregivers. “I know what it’s like being a mom raising kids and the importance of nurturing yourself. How can you pour from a vessel when it’s empty? So I believe in filling that vessel… taking care of ourselves so that we can be more effective parents. When we overlook ourselves we become depleted and burned out.”
Having had the opportunity to experience a Stop and Breathe session with Susan myself, I can attest to the restorative value of literally, taking time to stop and breathe. Guided by the soothing voice of Susan, in the comfortable confines of her home studio, with the scent of lavender hanging in the air, I was transported. I found a calm space between sleep and wakefulness. As a mother of two young children, I am either doing something for someone else or running through my mind all the things I have yet to do. With Susan’s help I was able to stop, focus on my breath, and be in the moment. I walked away from the session feeling rejuvenated – as though I had a day at the spa. I didn’t want to leave! Yet throughout the day, when I found myself feeling stressed, I was able to recall the belly breathing Susan taught me. That simple act of concentrating on my breath was able to bring me back into balance.
Stop and Breathe Home Studio, Riverwoods, IL – Photo Courtesy of Susan Ginsberg
While I don’t have a high-stress corporate job, and I am thankfully not a hospital patient, as a Stay-At-Home Mom I found real value in Susan’s work. She gets us moms because she is one. “I’ve stumbled along the way (being a mother) and recognizing, ‘Hey I better take good care of myself because this parenting thing takes a lot of work!’ Let’s not minimize it, let’s work together, support each other, and do what we can to nurture ourselves as mothers.”
Stop and Breathe® would like to offer Little Lake County readers a chance to nurture yourself. Now through August 31st, when you book an individual Stop and Breathe® session, you will receive $25 off your fee by mentioning “Little Lake County.” This offer is available to new clients only.
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.
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