‘May we live like the lotus, at ease in muddy water’
~ Zen Proverb
'No mud, no luotus' -Thich Nhat Hanh
I am a licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher and Somatic Experiencing practitioner located in Chicago, Illinois. I specialize in trauma informed and restorative applications of yoga and bodywork In each session or class I share, my hope is to support clients and students as they strengthen personal agency over their body. As a teacher and bodyworker, I believe my main responsibility is to act as a guide to help others connect with their own inherent wisdom.
In all of my sessions you can expect to:
- get curious about the messages and language of your powerful and intelligent body
- work deeply with gratitude and intention
- explore meditation and visualization practices
- cultivate a sense of wholeness, peace and connection
My Yoga background: I took my first yoga class when I was in college. After about 10 years of casual practice (at one point I lived above a yoga studio and was STILL a fair-weather student!) I deepened my studies practicing a classical style of yoga from the Krishnamacharya lineage. While in Allahabad, India with The Himalayan Institute in 2013, I was initiated into the Sri Vidya tradition. I continue to draw inspiration from the Sri Vidya lineage's approach to yoga and life - in short, the practice of yoga is meant to be woven into all we do. Yoga becomes life, life becomes our yoga. My trauma informed practice was jump started and nourished by teacher and founder of Yoga to Transform Trauma, Catherine Ashton. Other teachers who have made a lasting impression on me are Erin Cowan, Gary Kraftsow and Judith Lasater. My yoga nidra teachers and inspirations include Mia Park & Uma Dinsmore Tuli.
My Bodywork Background: I have always been intrigued with the power of therapeutic, healing touch. In 2007, this love for bodywork eventually brought me to The Soma Institute in Chicago. At Soma I studied Clinical Massage, Swedish Massage, Myofascial techniques & Lymphatic Drainage. My main teachers during my time at Soma were Mike Hovi and Kelly Fowler. Kelly's love for Lomilomi was a massive influence on a portion of the training we received from her, and a massive influence on my foundation, personal style and approach to massage.
In 2011 I traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study Thai Massage at The Sunshine School and with Ohm Rinraya of Omsala. I also have experience with Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage and Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage and I have studied and trained others on body-based approaches to supporting folks with trauma and PTSD. I am the practitioner I am because of all I have learned throughout the years. I may not work directly with all the modalities I have studied, but they still influence and inspire me and have brought me to where I am today.
My Yoga & Bodywork Today: From all that I have learned and continue to learn, I create personalized and unique sessions that are both powerful and effective. I am continuously fascinated with the impact the nervous system can have on how we feel in our bodies. My work focuses on utilizing mindful breath work, skillful touch, movement, inquiry & relaxation as tools to reduce physical pain and support a more grounded and present bodily experience. My massage work is based in the philosophy that the most effective bodywork is not overly deep, nor is it aggressive or painful. This mindset and philosophy also applies to yoga. What I do is best suited for anyone looking to feel more connected and grounded within their body, and folx hoping to reduce the physical effects of stress, anxiety & trauma.
As of 2020, I am a member of the student cohort in the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute 3 year professional program. The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE™ approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. I have completed year one of the program under the guidance of Dave Berger and Ariel Giarretto. I integrate Somatic Experiencing® principles & techniques into my classes and sessions.
For over a decade I have been developing my skills and deepening my knowledge. I've worked with a wide range of clients in a variety of settings from 5 star spas and hotels, to yoga studios. In each session I hold grounding and tranquil space for my clients. I wholeheartedly believe this kind of support helps to facilitate comfort and relaxation, vital forces for initiating deep, lasting healing.
I am also a continuing education provider for The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). I teach trauma-informed bodywork to licensed massage therapists and bodyworkers.
I am currently a level 1 Reiki Practitioner. I have studied with Reiki Master and Teacher, Jeanne Steen. Incorporating Reiki into my daily life has been a profoundly transformative experience.
I hope to work with you soon!