We are all healing from some past hurt or loss, but it doesn’t mean we are broken. Our past struggles, traumas or health issues don’t have to be a life sentence. I believe we have the power to free ourselves from the shackles that limit our joy and fulfillment. While it is widely accepted that mindfulness is necessary to shape the body, I assert that the body is one of the most powerful alchemic tools for shaping the mind.
As a practitioner in the health industry for two decades, my approach is to combine holistic personal training with tension and trauma healing to help my clients gain strength, mobility and energy. Through personal and professional exploration, I know that you can cultivate a deeply felt sense of resilience and agency to realize freedom in your life.
As the founder of Urbanfitt, I have helped more than 1000 clients improve emotional and nervous system regulation, positively shift neuroplasticity and release somatized stress and trauma. Through my revolutionary coaching sessions and workshops, I will ensure that you not only feel better, but truly realize your full potential for contentment and happiness. I am an experienced and illuminating speaker, widely consulted media expert and internationally recognized author. I am available for personal, group and corporate training as well as speaking engagements worldwide.
Personal health is a political matter, extending beyond our own flesh and bones and into the way we build community, engage in culture and express our highest self in relationship to others. Individuals can learn to advocate for their own health and wellbeing, first, amid conflicting private responsibilities and paternalistic, overstressed health care systems. In my practice, I choose integrity, congruency and wholeheartedness over profit.
I offer mindful movement and tension release workshops at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. As a member of the Breathe Network, an organization connecting sexual violence survivors with trauma informed healing arts practitioners, I am committed to bringing the most recent research based healing interventions to those who need it most.
I have had the privilege to sit on the committees for both “Enabling Minds” (Canadian Mental Health Association), as well as with the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation. I volunteered my time at Fife House, an organization that provides secure and affordable housing and support to those living with HIV. I also have offered complimentary classes for women during and after breast cancer treatment and have provided numerous wellbeing empowerment workshops for marginalized women in Toronto.
I started my journey in the fitness and wellness world by training as a group fitness instructor at nineteen, then attended a professional personal training program at Ryerson University in 1999, became certified through CPTN and CPFLA, completed an ACE certification in Lifestyle and Weight Management, CanFit Pro Pre and Post Natal Fitness, studied with and dove into Charles Poliquin's strength coaching, completed Fascial Stretch Therapy Mat certification and introduction to Cranial Sacral Therapy with Robert Harris, earned all my Reiki Levels, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, 120hr Tensegrity Therapy and 200hr Yoga Teacher Training with Diane Bruni, a year long program at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture studying the biopsychosocial impact of torture, ELDOA Level One, and recently completed Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level One. Then, add on an obsession with researching and implementing the most recent research in trauma recovery and the body.
I was a highly sensitive child born into a family with a history of alcohol abuse, mental illness and suicide, and learned early on that trauma has intergenerational impacts that leave an imprint on our neurobiology and our hearts. In my teens I turned to binge drinking on weekends, and fell into a cycle of over exercise and food restriction. This pattern of self-abuse was my way of trying to look and feel ‘normal’ on the outside, to seek validation and attention from those around me, and manage the turmoil I was feeling on the inside. In my 20’s I developed a rare and life threatening auto-immune disease resulting in various symptoms of chronic inflammation throughout my earlier life. As the gravity of my condition sank in, I decided it was time to let go of past expectations, explore who I was, and start living life on my own terms.
I am in my groove when connecting with clients and bearing witness to their evolution, healing and growth. Having spent the last twenty years being curious about wellness and trauma, I have learned how to move from surviving to thriving, while exploring many paths to healing along the way. Through the work I do with others, I have been on this remarkable journey of self-explorative healing as well. I am grateful to have found my purpose; sharing my personal learning and voracious appetite for researching the most effective body based interventions for trauma and mental health.
My other true passion is for travel, something that I share with my daughter. Together we explore new destinations, with mom teaching child how to navigate the world so she can spread her own wings one day. My daughter is the most important part of my life, and so I am constantly deepening my understanding of what it means to be "good enough mother". As this was something that generations of trauma took from my childhood, my own healing work is centered on ending the cycle of intergenerational trauma and doing right by the next.
My “but why not?” zest for life led me to horseback riding with the goal of jumping soon. I have a healthy addiction with buying interesting toys for my studio; particularly repurposing unconventional items for nervous system regulation. I welcome clients to stop in to give their psoas a shake. I might even show you how to play the nose flute; something I incorporated into a comedy sketch and created a whole character around this instrument. When I am not riding, shaking or making others laugh, you can find this dignified culture vulture out and about experiencing some of the best of Toronto art and performance.