Tari Prinster is a New York based yoga teacher, author and now film personality. As a ten-year breast cancer survivor she attributes that very survival to the practice of yoga with her inspirational story featured in the new film Yogawoman. As someone that has battled and succeeded in facing the sometimes devastating obstacles placed in her way she now shares her experience, helping other woman to overcome breast cancer and face their own challenges through yoga. Positive Luxury spoke to Tari and attended the London premier of Yogawoman- this is her positive life…

It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lives and yet when Tari was diagnosed with the disease she describes how it felt like, “a punch in the stomach”. After all it is the news that everyone dreads and the ‘c’ word remains, for most people, synonymous with invasive treatments and facing-up-to our very mortality. It wasn’t the disease that initially spurred Tari on to practice yoga however, the root of that decision she places firmly in one word, “vanity”.

“I was driving down the street and saw my reflection in the windscreen. Like my mother before me I felt that I was developing a hunch, I looked shrunken and I just thought, ‘I have to do something about that.’ I tried the gym and running but it wasn’t doing it so I thought I would try yoga and it succeeded where the others failed.”

Of course vanity soon became secondary and Tari realised that in her fight with cancer yoga was giving her a strength of being, a peace and a fitness that made the struggle easier. Simply she says, “Cancer steals your breath away, yoga gives it back.”

Now a survivor for over ten years, Tari has become an inspirational figure and found purpose in helping others. Tari started a class at the OM Yoga Centre in New York City for cancer sufferers and cancer survivors that has grown from a few women to being attended by thousands every year. “I find that some of the woman battling cancer have gone to the wrong place and had a bad experience with yoga. They are, after all, dealing with a possibly fatal disease. There is a certain way they need to be touched and they need to feel a sense of community and a sense of understanding.” In Tari’s class women are free to discuss their trials and their jubilations and, as she says, “leave their wigs at the door.” For so many women it has become a liberating experience, helping them to find well-being during the most turbulent times of their lives.

Tari’s powerful story is now featured in the groundbreaking new documentary film, Yogawoman, which examines the place of yoga in the lives of over 50 exceptional women. In it Tari speaks candidly about her own experiences, but as opposed to focusing on the negative, is a shining beacon of vitality and energy on the screen, offering hope to women who are going through, have gone through or may yet go through, the fight she herself has faced.

When asked who inspires her most, the answer seems obvious, “It’s not a person, yoga inspires me.” In person Tari herself is vivacious, witty and possessed of a youthfulness, both in energy and looks. Her charm and positive outlook are infectious and her valiance in so openly sharing her experiences and in willingly dedicating her time to helping others is a true inspiration.