Heather Stang is a thanatologist, mindfulness speaker, and author of the grief book Mindfulness & Grief: With Guided Meditations To Calm Your Mind & Restore Your Spirit. Her focus on teaching others to use mindfulness-based techniques to reduce stress, cope with grief, and cultivate personal growth is inspired by her own journey of love, loss and posttraumatic growth. She is best known for using present moment awareness to relieve suffering, cope with and eventually reengage with life after loss. She offers online grief support and grief coaching using mindfulness-based practices and principles of yoga therapy.
Heather discovered yoga and mindfulness while she was the CEO of a web development company and diagnosed with a stress-related illness. These contemplative practices inspired her to live a life in service to others, and she became a suicide/crisis hotline call specialist in honor of her uncle who died by suicide when Heather was a child.
Heather relied on her mindfulness training to maintain a calm and compassionate attitude both on the job and at home after difficult shifts. Additionally, Heather volunteered as a trainer and call specialist on the New Orleans hotline just weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region, and was a research assistant for a NIMH funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Research Project. This experience inspired her to pursue a Masters in Thanatology (Death, Dying & Bereavement Expert) from Hood College which she earned in 2010.
Struck by the parallels between mindfulness, yoga, and contemporary theories of grief, which focuses on the individual’s direct experience of loss and the benefits of meaning making and posttraumatic growth, Heather developed a “Yoga for Grief” course, an 8 week program uniting yoga, meditation, journaling, expressive arts and death education. Today, that course is captured in her grief book, and is offered by yoga, meditation, and grief professionals in North America in a variety of venues.
Heather is a public and keynote speaker, presenting for organizations such as the highly regarded military family survivor organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, LiveOnNY Organ Donation Network, Association of Death Education and Counseling, Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth & Family Services, and the Maryland Library Association.
In addition to her book Mindfulness & Grief, Heather contributed three chapters to the bestselling volume Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment & Intervention (Neimeyer, 2015), including Yoga for Grief, Compassion & Lovingkindness Meditation, and Relaxation Response, and is a book reviewer for Death Studies.
Heather lives in Western Maryland with her husband, and is the founder of the Frederick Meditation Center where she is a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and mindfulness meditation instructor.
- Mindfulness & Grief: With Guided Meditations to Calm Your Mind & Restore Your Spirit - Inspired by contemporary grief research and ancient mindfulness techniques, Mindfulness & Grief is offered as an 8-week program and day-long retreat with over 35 meditation, yoga, journaling and expressive arts exercises.
- Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment and Intervention - Heather Stang contributed three chapters to the bestselling grief resource book Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment and Intervention (edited by Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D.). Mrs. Stang's offerings are the following chapters: Yoga for Grief, Compassion Meditation, and Relaxation Response.