Women On The Move
A Story of Healing, Heart, and Courage
The founder of Healing Hearts, Hansa is a meditation and yoga instructor and Director of Holistic Health & Wellness for United Senergy. It makes absolute sense that her yoga and meditation organization is called “Healing Hearts.”
A longtime health and wellness advocate, my journey is one in which love and strength turned physical and emotional challenges into personal fulfillment, where difficulties strengthened me, and where I resolved to build a rewarding career and give back to my community.
I share with students the strength and well-being that yoga and meditation can provide to those who open their hearts and minds to possibility.
A diagnosis of impending blindness
My journey began in grade school with a prognosis of future blindness. Arriving in the United States from Barbados as a teenager, I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), an inherited condition that slowly constricts vision. At present, there is no cure. I was told I would slowly go blind over the next several years.
As my vision continued to fail, I realized that now was the time to focus on my life passions – yoga and meditation. I left my job in business management and became a yoga instructor. Now I teach private and online classes and volunteer in the underserved community, sharing my knowledge of well-being.
If my eyes were healthy, I might never have made this leap to being an entrepreneur in the health and wellness field – and I love it!
Building a new life and career
After yoga training, I began teaching yoga to private and online clients. As a person who loves giving back, I volunteered to teach in community shelters, senior homes and public libraries.
Once I gained my yoga credentials and began teaching, I felt a shift. I became more at peace, and realized that because I couldn’t see, I was talking and listening more. It was affirming for me.
My yoga and meditation classes are now online – a popular choice among the busy, stressed working people who want to experience the benefits. Meditation lends itself to online instruction. People can absorb the deep breathing, sitting in stillness. They feel almost immediate benefits. I feel it is my time in life to teach – to pass capabilities on to others – to be generative.
Meditation has been a key part of my life for more than 30 years. In 2000 I had the good fortune of meeting Kundalini Maha Master Shri Anandi Ma who has been my spiritual guru even since. Prior to COVID-19, I frequently travel to yoga and meditation retreats where I get to soak in self-love and leave on a higher vibration.
Rising to new challenges
I’ve learned to meet the challenges of my condition with strength and purpose. I have joined a few Visually Impaired (VI) support groups and gain hope from the conversations, feedback and critical information, all of which help to guide my journey.
With COVID-19 restricting in-person activities, every Sunday I attend a virtual meditation that is truly a “spiritual retreat” with people from every corner of the world. This gathering keeps me grounded in hope and purpose during challenging times.
My day begins at 4:00 a.m. so I can prepare to treasure every hour of daylight and make the most of it. Dr. Ross, my low-vision specialist, helped me obtain needed devices such as a vision book, special binoculars, and a head lamp for walking my two dogs at night. (That proves a bit difficult as the lamp may not reveal every bump in the sidewalk and step protruding from an apartment building. So best to walk those beloved dogs during the day!)
I recently took my cane-training course to prepare for the time when I must use it. And it proves helpful now, even though I can see to walk about in daylight.
My life since this diagnosis has been about listening and learning. The slow loss of my sight has opened doors to a world I would never have experienced. I am grateful for these experiences and for the strong support of my friends and family.
I also serve as Director of Holistic Health & Wellness for United Senergy or “US,” a non-profit that focuses on reducing the economic, health, and technological disparities that plague our people, communities, nation, and world. The organization employs three approaches to these challenges: health-fitness, nutrition, and conquering the digital divide. It offers health-wellness workshops and pop-up conferences, yoga classes, cooking-nutrition courses, user-friendly technology instruction, and more. US is also a celebrated provider of high-quality natural fiber t-shirts and athletic wear. www.unitedsenergy.org
I plan to continue teaching, sharing and offering yoga and meditation classes to everyone everywhere. My goal is to help build a community of healers. I also plan to continue giving back to my community. It’s who I am. I enjoy teaching yoga and meditation to everyone from teenagers to senior citizens because of all the great benefits it offers.
As I continue my work in the community, I take it step by step, knowing how truly grateful and blessed I am for the opportunities to pay it forward. Those benefits outweigh by far the difficulties caused by my failing eyesight.
Connecting With Hansa
- Instagram: @hansaben21
- Header Image Hansa is practicing yoga in a red tank and black textured yoga pants.
- Beyond Sight Magazine Cover – Hansa is featured on the cover standing on a white beach with waves rolling in the background. She has on white wide-leg pants, a vibrant multi-colored jacket, with a coral cami. The masthead is teal with “Beyond Sight Magazine” in black text. The dot on the ‘i’ in ‘sight’ is the eye used for our 2020 Year of Vision Campaign (described HERE). There are 6 lines of text that say “Hansa Edwards A Tale of healing, heart, and courage.” In the bottom right corner is a teal circle with an illustration of Abby rollerblading. She has on a black crop tank top complete with her logo on the front with black shorts, and gray & teal roller blades. And of course, Abby wouldn’t be Abby without her signature explosive hairstyle, and “Women On The Move” is yellow text under the circle.
- Glamour Shot – Hansa is a gorgeous woman who is posing for the camera with a shaved head and wearing a black top with voluminous sleeves.
- Yoga Pose – a black and white photo of Hansa doing a split.
- Beach Locale – In this photo Hansa is standing with her arms stretched out on a wooden railing. Water and boats can be seen in the background. She appears tranquil with eyes closed and looks fabulous in a royal blue top with dolman sleeves and boat neck. Her pants are a colorful red, white, blue, flower print.