An Interview with Tamera Anderson-Hanna

If you’ve been following along lately, you may have noticed I have a lot of exciting projects on deck! I published an eBook called How To Quit Drinking with Carly from Miracles are Brewing and we hosted a 7-day online challenge called 1 Week No Drink. We also started our online recovery coaching course The Bloom Club.

Today I’m happy to report that I’ve also partnered with Tamera Anderson-Hanna in putting together a workshop for the month of September here in Florida. September is Recovery Month and we will be celebrating it in South Florida by hosting a workshop called Mindful Thinking for Recovery.

If you remember back a few months I posted a survey on my Facebook page asking for your input. I wanted to know what kind of workshop my readers be interested in, what prices would fit your budget, and what topics you’d be interested in hearing about.

Our workshop will be a one-day 7-hour event that will include meditation, yoga, journaling, storytelling, and topics like how to incorporate mindful thinking into your own recovery along with tests methods for lifestyle balance.

Drawing from the answers I received from you, we created our workshop which is set for September 17th.

Now, I want to introduce you to my collaborator in this endeavor, a woman who approached me with a ton of great ideas, an impressive resume and who has cloaked me in kindness since the day we virtually met!

Tamera Anderson-Hanna, LMHC, CAP, CRC, RYT incorporates principles of counseling and stress management into the yoga, themes, and workshops to help clients learn to better manage and cope with life while finding balance and an overall state of wellness.  Tamera has over 20 years of experience working in addiction and mental health counseling.  Her 200-hour yoga training was completed with Terri Cooper, Founder of Connection Coalition and Owner of 305 Yoga. Private teacher training was done with Jennifer Pansa and she trained with Joe Barnett in Yin Yoga and Nikki Myers for Y12SR. Tamera is registered with Yoga Alliance. She has also partnered with Balance Yoga Therapy Owner Tricia Ptak to offer yoga retreats which begin in 2018. You can find Tamera at the Miami Alper JCC as a substitute teacher. In 2017, she received a scholarship by Lululemon to train with Tari Prinster in Yoga for Cancer. Tamera is a freelance writer for Cure Today Magazine. Tamera offers Corporate and Personal/Private Yoga and Life Coaching. She has worked privately with clients, large conferences, and local businesses.       

I'm pleased to introduce to you, Tamera Anderson-Hanna.

1. Tamera, tell me about how you found my work and what made you message me?

I observed on Facebook that you have helpful topics and resources for individuals living in recovery and we both have common individuals we follow.  It was inspiring to learn you live in Florida and you promote topics in recovery and encourage individuals to find the path that works for them.  This can range from traditional programs to newer and less traditional approaches to recovery.  I feel it's important not to judge the path a person takes, but to honor and support the courage a person has to find recovery.

2. When did you start practicing yoga and why?

I began Yoga in 2004 after the birth of my second child. It initially began with a vain interest to get back into shape. I later learned there were many benefits in addition to physical wellness and I now value the benefits of mindfulness and the guidance it can support and provide during challenging times in life. Learning to breathe properly is really the first step once a person realizes there is more than just the outward physical benefits. If you read material such as Living Your Yoga, Yoga and the Twelve-Step Path, Recovery 2.0, and many others you learn there is much more you can benefit from. Yoga can be a great guide to living.

3. How did addiction and recovery become an interest of yours?

My cousin was killed by a drunk driver while getting off the school bus when I was about 9 years old. It was tragic for our family and it was the first death I experienced.  I recall in college applying for a scholarship with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and sharing my story of loss.  I didn’t get the scholarship, but in place of it, I decided I would never drink and drive and try to help rather than judge. I later found in college it was easy to get caught up in copious amounts of drinking at parties. I was a college cheerleader and I was close friends with many of the people who threw the major parties. After observing my own drinking increasing and getting out of hand following my freshman year I became involved in a peer support group to keep myself and my studies on track.  It worked for me and I am grateful it existed.  I would like to think I had a positive influence on others who also wanted to learn to tone things down.  

4. How do you incorporate yoga and recovery together when you teach?

I follow the guidelines of Y12SR, but even just learning to breathe and following principles of mindfulness are extremely helpful. I also don’t teach people to follow me as an expert or any type of guru. I merely offer the practice and serve as a guide in which others can have a voice and CHOICES. I will be restarting some Y12SR groups in Miami and I encourage the meetings to be created by the community as a guide to topics and the meetings. I just ensure the yoga practice remains safe and supportive.

5. Can you speak about your own recovery from Cancer and how yoga helped?

Cancer, the diagnosis, and the initial fear of dying were quite terrifying. I became a teacher while undergoing surgeries and procedures for the first five months of my diagnosis. Procedures lasted all of 2015, but the supportive breath work and meditation helped me cope one day and one moment at a time. There were times I couldn’t bathe or dress myself. All I had was my mind, the ability to cope, and my breath. I am now a contributing writer for Cure Today Magazine and try to write from a perspective which offers hope, inspiration, and personal empowerment. 

6. How does mindfulness play into your teaching and coaching?

I am very supportive of personal affirmations and opening all sessions with supportive breath work. I also try to teach people not to judge their emotions but to observe and come back to the moment. We often experience anxiety due to things that may never happen but we allow it to take up space in our mind. I love to teach people how to move past fear and be in the moment. It is something we will address in the workshop.  Depression takes shape when we dwell on the past. The feeling can then impact larger things like making choices in life for fear of failure or being afraid to move on. Figure out what is holding you back and develop goals to move forward. A vision is great, but goals are what help you move in a new direction.

7. What made you want to do a workshop centered around mindfulness in recovery?

It's all about the skills a person can learn to empower themselves. With them, you can sustain recovery and vibe higher with life in general. Breath work and how to think more rationally can be powerful in recovery.

8. What is your favorite part of working with people in recovery?

Wow. Seeing someone move on to help others because they have found their own recovery.  If nothing else, to watch them keep helping themselves.

9. What do you do in your free time when you aren’t working or teaching yoga?

Watersports, other forms of exercise, learning new hobbies, cooking, finding something adventurous to enjoy such as trying a new food or restaurant, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy supporting community programs and local fundraisers.  I am currently trying to work on having my own program where I work with local police officers who mentor at-risk youth. This might be starting soon and I would teach officers how to meditate along with their assigned youth peer. This way kids are taught basic skills their mentor can reinforce and practice with them. I am not sure I will ever be someone who ever truly retires!

10. Is there anything else you want my readers to know about you?

I hope I can continue to learn from others. We are all teachers and students in this adventure called life. Make mistakes, makes choices, and seek to learn from all of it! I am extremely grateful to some of my former students, mentors, and even cancer, for what I have learned.

Thank you Tamera for sharing about yourself and your life!