Today we’d like to introduce you to Tina Derusha.
Hi Tina, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
The heart of my business (r)evolution began with a breast cancer diagnosis in October 2015, when I was 42. At the time, I was running a portrait photography studio and event production company specializing in fashion and community-focused events. Cancer shook me to my foundation, upturning everything I knew to be true.
My business came to a screeching halt while I navigated surgeries and treatment options. It forced me to reconcile the unhealthy relationship I’d created with my work-life balance. I’d not been respecting my physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental boundaries which meant I had to learn to trust my inner voice as I realigned with my core values.
In the summer of 2019, a friend invited me to join a group breathwork experience at a local wellness collective. My first experience was profound; it set me on a course that would change my life trajectory. Breathwork was the missing piece of the puzzle in my wellness journey, and it sparked a fire in my belly to make a difference. I vowed to become certified in breathwork to be able to share life-changing benefits with others.
My business, Luna Zen, was founded in June 2020. As a breathwork facilitator, meditative storyteller, and mindfulness author, I focus on somatic practices and immersive processes that help transform life experiences into meaningful expressions and connections. My ethos has become my life’s work – to help people heal, find balance, and harness flow.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’ve had to overcome the most significant challenges primarily due to the pandemic.
My training shifted to online learning as the world shut down and travel became restricted. The upswing is that I became part of a global community of facilitators who meet online regularly to support and help one another grow in their craft. I was able to stay laser-focused on getting my certifications without the typical day-to-day distractions.
Over the last year, I’ve been able to complete advanced in-person training in New Mexico and California – having the opportunity to reconnect with many of the facilitators I met online. It’s been deeply gratifying to have this incredible network of people in my life.
Navigating technology was also a major hurdle. During the pandemic, I had to learn the best tools for connecting and facilitating in an online space that felt inviting and safe for breathwork experiences. I use the virtual space now to serve more people and build strong connections as a regular part of my offering.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I’m certified in an energetic two-stage Pranayama breath taught by the master healer David Elliott. I have additional certifications as a YogaBody Breath Coach, Flexibility and Strength Coach, Restorative Yoga Teacher, and Usui Reiki Healer. I hold an AFA in Photography from Grand Rapids Community College.
I practice what I preach (and teach). I have a daily meditation, breathwork, and yoga practice. I spend much of my free time learning different breathing techniques to help expand my knowledge and repertoire of skills. I love researching the “why” of breathwork; understanding neuroscience is essential and has helped me deepen my understanding of the practice.
In 1:1 sessions, I particularly enjoy teaching creatives and entrepreneurs how to use breathing techniques to get into a state of flow so that they can amplify their creativity. I do some of my best facilitation work in a group dynamic. You’ll often find me offering sessions in collaboration with other practitioners, healers, and facilitators who teach complementary modalities to help expand the breath experience. I’m on the roster of instructors for several wellness retreats this year and in 2023.
My signature offer is a group experience for four people on the evening of the full moon each month: it includes a cacao ceremony paired with a breathwork journey, followed by an aura portrait by the light of the moon. The breath experience helps move and transform stuck energy in the body supported by the power of the moon cycle. The power of an aura portrait lies in the ability to shift perceptions of how we show up as energetic beings – it’s an opportunity for people to see themselves with fresh eyes.
I’ve recently co-authored and published a mindfulness flipbook for children, Once Upon a Breath… In a Magical Forest. It’s an interactive flipbook that teaches kids to build sequences of breathing exercises, meditations, and affirmations. My business partner lives in the UK and runs the European branch of our publishing company, Flip & Flow, while I manage US distribution and sales. Junior Magazine has shortlisted our flipbook for an award in the category of Best Designed/Illustrated Book For Children.
The creative spirit is innate in everyone; we just need a little energetic finessing from time to time to help unleash it. Breath is the leverage point – a somatic tool – to access that creativity. My greatest strength is weaving narratives that help people expand beyond what they think they’re capable of in their lives.
What does success mean to you?
You cannot buy success; you must earn it. Emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being is a practice. It’s an act of radical self-care where you show up for yourself every day.
- Private 1:1 – $119
- Full Moon Breathwork + Aura Portrait – $149
- Flipbook – $34.99
- Website: https://www.breathelunazen.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tina.derusha/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breathelunazen/
- Other: Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/show/4IPn3aXWGkOgTl0tnEBfWk?si=3fed05db2476422f
Clara Carminger (Social by Clara)