mission & STORY
Welcome! Coming to you from the intersections of style, mindfulness, yoga, art, and education, I am Sara Hiris.
To live, grow, change, create, and move is to be in a state of transition.
My mission is to support women through life's many layered transitions, joyfully, mindfully, artfully, and personally.
Through personal style consultations and private yoga sessions, both rooted in mindfulness, creativity and sustainability, it is my goal to support women in feeling connected to their true selves, so that they can go through life's continual transitions with courage, liveliness, wonder, creativity, compassion, and, of course, a joyful sense of personal style!
A few more thoughts: I have observed that most women, no matter their age, background, race, orientation, socio-economic status, work, family situation, etc., feel they occupy the spaces in-between--role-wise, body-wise, identity-wise, career-wise, family-wise, emotions-wise, style-wise, purpose-wise, activity-wise, creativity-wise, and other-wise.
I have noticed that this feeling of being in transition, or in-between, is at the surface of many women's sense of self, interactions, and daily ways of being in the world.
This makes sense--women's bodies are in a constant state of transition, which is only exacerbated by the pre- and postpartum states (I've given birth to two little beings) and menopause. Plus, most women juggle and balance multiple roles in the family, at work, at home, and in the community. Women are often simultaneously leaders, communicators, coordinators, problem solvers, managers, makers, supporters, cleaner-uppers, not to mention mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, wives, partners...and more!
Let's take a closer look at this idea of being in transition. Let's observe it, reflect upon it, get comfortable with it, and ultimately celebrate it! Let's grow, change, and move while looking and feeling like our true, courageous, curious, compassionate, and connected selves!
And if you'd like to read even more, below is my personal story, education, and background.
Before being of school age, art, nature, movement, books, and style were clearly my interests. I spent hours in the yard and around the neighborhood turning over stones to observe the roly-polies, frogs (my favorite!), salamanders, flowers and trees. I also spent hours drawing, playing soccer, reading, and mix-and-matching my clothes to make interesting combinations.
I can still see my little self daydreaming on the front porch. I had intentionally combined a striped shirt with some boy Bermuda shorts that had colorful boats on them. My older sister and her friend made fun of my outfit because of the mix of patterns. Little did they know that I was only about thirty years ahead of the trend! ;)
A childhood full of such activities may sound idyllic. It was the opposite. Without going into the dark details, I, along with my sister and brother, grew up in an extremely disturbing and depressing environment. Fortunately, I liked school. Also fortunately, I had these lifelines and touchstones of nature, art, books, and movement. These things, combined with a penchant for observation and reflection, have consistently been at the root of my interests and pursuits.
Hitting the fast forward button...With the help of a hefty scholarship and a mix of grants and loans, I earned a degree in Human Biology with a focus in Holistic Health from Stanford University. Through Stanford, I studied in Berlin, an arts mecca, and had the great fortune of interning at WEG DER MITTE (The Middle Way). WEG DER MITTE is at the forefront of what it means to live a healthy, integrated, and mindful life. It is also the home of Benefit Yoga® and the European College of Yoga and Therapy.
After college, I journeyed to Florence, Italy to connect with my Italian roots and focus on drawing and painting. Upon return to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, the masterful artist, Kathleen Flaherty, took me under her wing as an apprentice. During this time, I also studied Cellular Expansion--a gentle, hands on form of energy healing that resonates at the levels of the mind, body, and spirit. In between, I assisted the artist duo, Two Girls Working, on their artwork and book, TRAPPINGS. They ask women the question, What do you wear that makes you feel powerful? It is a reverberating question--maybe ponder it next time you get dressed!
Working with adults in the realms of holistic health prompted me to reflect on schools and education: How much richer could life be if we all had the opportunity to grow up and learn with mindfulness and self-awareness? I wanted to support schools in becoming holistic, creative, and mindful places to be, for both students and teachers. It has been my experience that creative exploration, holistic health, and learning are very much intertwined.
These ideas prompted me to earn a Master's with a focus in Arts in Education from Harvard University. While at Harvard, I worked on Artful Thinking at Project Zero, a leading research center that focuses on creativity, thinking, and learning.
Artful Thinking was developed as a framework for teachers to use art in their classrooms while also cultivating habits of mind, such as observing, questioning, and taking multiple perspectives--all practices that promote deep learning as well as mindfulness and self-awareness. I have been teaching Artful Thinking for over seven years and have integrated AT with mindful thinking and learning for groups, organizations, teachers and schools, undergraduate and graduate students. I worked at the University of Colorado Denver and the Colorado Department of Education, consulted with schools and arts and education organizations, and taught future teachers at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Throughout the many phases of my life and work, I have noticed how dress, surroundings, self-awareness, and movement influence one's sense of self and well-being. I fused these observations with practices of mindfulness, yoga, creativity and Artful Thinking. Through this fusion, a unique and thoughtful approach to personal style consulting organically rose to the surface. My approach supports you in finding your true and distinctive look, bringing health, beauty, and balance to the external realms of living, working, creating, and interacting in the world.
Coming back to Yoga, I first started to routinely practice and learn about Yoga, its many layers, applications, and practices, at WEG DER MITTE, almost twenty years ago. Since then, I have consistently practiced yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. I earned my Yoga Teacher Certification at Raja Center for Yoga Studies in Denver, CO. My approach to teaching yoga is connected to my approach to personal styling. It is mindful, artful, and personal. It is one-on-one or in small groups and rooted in self-reflection, observation, and the breath.
I'll leave the story here. Like all stories, it is continually evolving. Currently, my story is happening while living in Denver, Colorado with my husband, two young sons, and lovable mutt.