Healing After the Loss of a Loved One – Yoga, Art and More with Mourning Sun

Mourning Sun is coming to the DC area for this two day grief workshop. Open to all adults over the age of 18 who have experienced the death of a loved one, our goal is to share time, space and resources to help you keep moving forward. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, we will provide guidance for individual healing within a group setting. It might sound intimidating, but our philosophy is to do whatever works best for you – that’s why we offer such a wide range of options. Activities will include yoga, art, writing, hiking, group discussions, and time to read from our travel library. You can work within your comfort zone, or try something new. None of these tools are exclusive to Mourning Sun; we specifically want to introduce you to healing activities that you can continue on your own (or with other groups) even after the weekend has ended.

Please note that this workshop is not designed to replace therapy. We know that two days is not enough time to cover all of the complicated aspects of a life, relationship, and lost future. What we do offer is the chance to focus on your journey with the support of our wonderful founding team. Your loss may be recent or years passed, but we ask that only applicants mourning the death of a loved one register. While there are many other forms of grief, this shared experience between participants can make for meaningful connections and healing that truly enhance the workshop overall.

Date, Time and Location

Saturday and Sunday, 10/19 and 10/20,  12:30–6pm in Silver Spring

Registration Options

REGISTER $260 / $220 early bird by 10/1/ $195 for Willow Street members!

Alexandra Kroot

Following in her father’s footsteps, Alexandra has a strong interest in financial health, and has taken on the role of Mourning Sun Chief Financial Officer. She currently works as an analyst at an investment company, and is studying to become a Certified Financial Planner – a process that takes several years. Given her personal experience, she plans to focus on estate planning so that she can help others who are sick or have experienced loss. She wants to take away as much stress from an already stressful situation as possible. Once certified, she plans to offer consultations at Mourning Sun events.

In additional to acting as CFO, Alexandra helps bring the perspective to Mourning Sun that no two grief experiences are the same. As sisters, she and Rachael both lost their parents in 2016. However, their responses to the loss were very individual. Alexandra noticed that diet and weight gain became an additional struggle – both physically and emotionally. After years of healthy eating, meetings with nutritionists, and in depth research, she wants to share her journey in the hopes of helping others. A focal point of her discussions will be “The Happiness Diet: Good Mood Food” – along with recipes you can take home to your own kitchen.

Rachel Simon

Rachel is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who offers therapy, sexuality education, and consulting to youth, parents, families, educational faculty, professional organizations, and health professionals. She received both Masters degrees from Widener University, and received her BA in Psychology and LGBT Studies from the University of Maryland.

Rachel has provided training and consultation on gender, sexuality, child development, and clinical issues for groups and conferences in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and D.C. She currently runs her private psychotherapy practice in Philadelphia, specializing in queer and transgender youth and young adults. Rachel is the author of the upcoming sexuality education book for children, The Big Talk: An LGBTQ Inclusive Book About Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families.

Rachel offered her services as a clinical social worker for the first Mourning Sun retreat. Her natural compassion made a tremendous impact on the overall experience. It is part of her practice to enrich and empower the existing resilience in clients, and she brings that strength to group sessions on grief as well. We are thrilled to have her as a part of the founding team.

Sarah Mayhew

Sarah completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher training at Gogo Guru in Ellicott City, MD, and her Prenatal Yoga Teacher training at Charm City Yoga/YogaWorks in Baltimore. She brings her improvisational theater, music, and dance background to the table to help her students realize and embrace their grace, face challenges with a sense of adventure and humor, and focus their active, creative minds.

She encourages her students to make time in their day for themselves, for introspection, and for cultivating their practice on and off of their mats. Ever the yoga student herself, she has taken coursework in Yoga for the Classroom and training in Thai Yoga Massage and Bodywork. In addition, she is working on her Yoga for All certification, which focuses on teaching yoga so that is it approachable and adaptable for all experience levels and diverse body types.

Beyond the yoga studio, Sarah is a middle-school ESOL teacher. She has experience teaching therapeutic crisis coping methods, restorative circles, social skills, and character-building classes in private, alternative, and public schools. Educating the whole person is extremely important to her, and translates into her yoga classes as well.

Lauren Schlenger

Lauren facilitates the visual art process to support growth, develop self-awareness, and promote self-expression. As an artist, Lauren understands the innately calming and therapeutic benefits creating art can provide. As an art therapist, Lauren aims to provide a safe environment for reflection, expression, and connection, with a focus on accessing personal strengths and building self-compassion. Lauren earned her master’s degree in art therapy from The George Washington University and currently works as a Resident in Counseling at Sunstone Counseling in Alexandria, VA.

While she frequently works with children and adolescents, she has had the privilege of facilitating the creative process with a wide variety of individuals through Mindfulness and Creativity workshops, therapeutic artmaking sessions for military families, and grief-focused sessions. When making her own art, Lauren primarily uses paint and photography, with a focus on slowing down to appreciate small moments.