A Short Story Behind The Name

Pronounciation: sahs leenah.

Origin: Hindi/Sanskrit.

Meaning: To breathe.

Our breath reveals to us and reflects our here-and-now self, giving us a sense of how we may be doing or feeling in a given moment.

Our breath is the very essence of being alive.

When I first began practicing yoga, I became aware of two significant, missing practices necessary for me to stay more grounded and connected to my full self — noticing my breath and simply remembering to breathe. When my focus on my breath faded, my sense of presence went with it. Thankfully, through yoga, therapy, and prayer I have been able to cultivate a deeper regard for and awareness of my breathing.

I became so intrigued by the fact that yoga was a part of teaching me to intentionally breathe that I traveled to different parts of India—a place with deep yoga roots—to learn more. 

Towards the middle of my trip in India, I ended up getting a terrible cold that had me laying low for a few days. On one of those days, I decided to go outside for a little sun and fresh air and met a woman drawing with henna. I decided to sit at her table so she could draw on my hand and arm and we began chatting. We shared our life experiences, beliefs we had, things we enjoyed, health, politics, and what wellness meant to each of us. At times I was doing more of the listening and as I listened to her, I sipped on some steaming hot ginger tea and looked down at the henna she was drawing on my skin. I was really interested in her story, her past, her family, being a woman in India, her home remedies, dreams, and just her. She lived a lot of life and I could feel her deep soul and wisdom from her experiences. I felt so held and tended to by her I forgot I wasn’t feeling well.

Somewhere in that conversation, while we were discussing the importance of wellness and the practice of breathing, she shared the Hindi words “saans lena”. I asked her to repeat the words because I thought they sounded so beautiful. I felt that I had heard sacred, nurturing words that needed to be gifted to others that I had held onto those words since then.

When the time came for me to launch a therapeutic private practice, I knew the name would be Saans Lena (even knowing it would take some of us a few tries to correctly pronounce it). I did think of other names and asked others their thoughts on the names, but I kept coming back to Saans Lena.

So, here I am. Saans Lena Therapy has been birthed— a name conceived on my wellness journey and given to me in a moment of my own healing. And here you are at Saans Lena Therapy. A place that is to be a space of nurturing, sacred healing, honoring of our stories, honesty, generational change, and collective wellness because after all, our healing is and always will be interconnected.

May the words “saans lena” be a nurturing, healing gift to you, as they were to me. May we remember to honor and respect the Hindi language that has gifted us those words. And may you remember to breathe…and come back to yourself—the divine, sacred you.

— Ruby