Hello there! I am pleased to join you as an official part of the 889 community.
My desire to learn and grow is incessant and with this, comes the need for renewal. Recently, I felt a strong surge for change in regard to where I would be offering my services come the fall. I have spent the past year brainstorming and honing in on what it is exactly that I offer, and in what form can I foresee these offerings manifesting and evolving. It only made logical sense as a next step, to seek communities that feel aligned in welcoming these offerings and supporting their evolution.
So how did this all begin? I found my passion for movement at a very young age. I started dancing when I was two and a half (you can see proof of this on my Instagram page @messinamovement). I worked for eight years as a professional performance artist and dance instructor and suffered a recurring dance-related injury. Near the end of this first career, Pilates was introduced to me as part of my rehab regime. Not only did I heal my injury, but I found a new way to approach movement that called for me to slow down, listen deeply to my body’s messaging, and to respond carefully.
Soon after experiencing the benefits of this style of movement practice, I decided that I wanted to share my newfound passion for mindful, conscious, movement in a way that could tangibly help others. I spent several years studying and teaching pilates before my drive to learn more propelled me on a four-month journey to India to study the spiritual practice of yoga. Yoga gave me a way to mindfully and consciously move and live, which was a natural progression to the mindful, conscious movement practice of Pilates. I started teaching yoga immediately after my studies in India were complete. I went on to teach Pilates and yoga classes in the city both publicly and privately.
Teaching was my new full-time “job” for at least five years until I eventually came to a new-found practice that opened me up to the world around me in a different, but again, complimentary way. I found Relational, Somatic, Psychotherapy or I guess you can say, it found me. I was teaching yoga as a part of the wellness team at an integrated clinic focused on mental health.
My work at the clinic inspired me to begin my studies in Psychotherapy of this nature, along with my colleagues, under the guidance of our teachers from California. This added an invaluable piece to my own personal healing journey and to my offering for others. I learned that all of my hard work in building capacity vertically (in my own personal container between my body, mind, and spirit) was only in preparation for a more integrated practice that is more focused on how I am being and feeling in the world, relationally.
In short, my practices became more colourful. I began this journey committed to a certain discipline and then as the need for change came through loud and clear in the form of injury, I opened up to a new movement regime. This worked very well for a while but eventually, it began to feel incomplete and so, I devoted myself to another specific practice rooted in ancient tradition. When those benefits began to stagnate, I dove into the psyche and relational work. I later took up running. I began to study tissue adaptation and what science is proving to be best for joint health and mobility.
In each and every attempt to find the right thing and the one way, I was faced with the same message: do something else. The signs became more and more clear. Variability is key! No ‘one thing’ can give you everything! You can’t just eat one food because its good for you and become healthy. You can’t just do that one same practice and get everything you need for your body to function optimally. That one mantra…That specific meditation technique…That book…
Mix it up. Change it up. Vary it up. You are a complex, ever-changing being. You are a colourful variety of beautiful stuff.
So, what exactly is my offering? It is a concoction of various practices. When I met with Signy at 889 to unpack what I truly wanted to offer to the 889 schedule, I said that I felt a strong desire to create an entirely new class that would allow for me (and any other teacher who might be interested) to have the opportunity for the common expectations around what a class is going to look like wiped clean. Turns out that when Kim McBean decided to return to 889 this summer she had the very same request!
So here it is folks, born of a strong need to mix things up, years of trying to figure out what I am most passionate about offering to others, paired with Signy’s open mind, and two other teachers who felt this kind of class is the right fit for them, 889 presents: “Mixed Movement!” A special thanks to Kim McBean who collaborated with me in creating this class and the description and to Adam Bolton who hopped on board, eager to change the name of one of his classes as it resonated with him so clearly.
We now have this incredibly diverse class to offer you three times a week, and hopefully more to come! All you need is an open mind, less expectation than you might be comfortable with, and trust (all in the imaginary back pocket of your yoga pants).