Movement is therapy. My motto—move your body, move your mind, move your heart—comes from my own experience with the transformative power of movement and being in and, having a healthy relationship with your body.
In 2015 I opened MuseMovement Studio, to support and grow a community of movers, teachers and students who are committed to mindful movement, growth, laughter, music and body education.
I have lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was four. There were times when my mobility was restricted and I felt deep frustration as my body could not keep up with my vivid imagination. With regular pilates and yoga practice, my body and my relationship to it completely changed. I found inner strength and confidence in both body and brain and found that the two could be great pals. I now live without pain and have the freedom of dynamic movement.
I am a perceptive and empathetic teacher. I work with people at their own place and pace while gently pushing and inspiring them to grow in movement. I understand that every body is unique in its promise and possibilities and my teaching is flexible and tailored to the specific needs and goals of each of my clients.
A self-professed anatomy nerd, I love sharing my knowledge and am always building on my expertise. My deep and intuitive understanding of the human body informs all of my modalities of teaching. I help empower people in movement by educating them about the beauty and functionality of their bodies. I am acutely attentive to form and alignment, while being creative with movement and always maintaining flow.
Originally trained at Stott Pilates, I also have a Therapeutic Pilates Certification from the Pilates Process and my 200- hour Yoga Certification from Vikasa Yoga in Thailand. I always continue to take courses and workshops to keep current with evolving pilates and yoga practice. I am grateful to all of the amazing teachers I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with but I learn most from my students, their feedback and my observations of what works for them.
I teach group classes in yoga, pilates (mat and reformer); one-on- one private sessions with clients looking to get fit or to recover from injury; run workshops; and also train teachers. I bring my love of movement, instructional skills and attention to form and safety to each of these activities along with a body positive attitude, compassion, humour, and always a little bit of edge pushing.
Amanda is passionate about movement. A dancer her whole life, she first started yoga and Pilates in 2000 at university. A graduate of the Simon Fraser University Dance Program with a minor in Kinesiology, yoga and Pilates was a way to help maintain the health of her body and a place to go to when injury occurred. Amanda recieved her yoga teacher training from Yyoga in Vancouver, and her mat Pilates and reformer teacher training here in Toronto at Body Harmonics. She brings a wealth of knowledge to all her classes, her love of anatomy, biomechanics, and movement patterning shines through. Her curiosity and creativity drives her to keep updating her skills and knowledge of the body. However most of her learning comes from her practitioners. Their commitment inspires and challenges her to seek new ways of connecting them to their bodies and empowering them through movement no matter their ability.
Movement and anatomy have been a central force in Leslie’s life since she was a child, both in personal and academic pursuits. She began teaching Pilates over ten years ago after completing an intensive, year long training at Stott Pilates. Since then, she has completed specialized trainings at Body Harmonics in Pre/Post Natal Pilates, Post Rehabilitation Protocols for Knee/Hip/Shoulder and Gait Analysis Training.
Leslie graduated from the YogaSpace teacher training program in 2006 and furthered her Yoga education with trainings in Yoga for Children and Yoga for People with Special Needs. While training at Yogaspace she was recruited as an exercise consultant for Physiotherapy clinic where she taught healthy and efficient movement techniques and provided safe and preventative exercises in a rehabilitative setting.
Leslie has completed a 2 year intensive physiotherapy program that would enable her to work directly alongside physiotherapists and Osteopaths. Here she gained an in depth knowledge of human anatomy, musculoskeletal conditions, neurological rehabilitation and cardio respiratory rehab. Since graduating, she has been applying her unique skill set in hospitals, outpatient clinics and schools for children with disabilities, providing individuals in traditional clinical settings with a multifaceted, holistic approach to healing.
Leslie created and taught her first Core Yoga Teacher Training in 2006 with graduates successfully teaching throughout the Toronto area since. She has also been on the Yogaspace Teacher Training Faculty since 2011. Her experience and expertise as a movement therapist and educator combined with her easy going teaching style provide her with the ability to do what she loves most with an ease and joy that is infectious.
Leslie is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of both practicing and teaching Yoga and Pilates and tries to translate that joy through each class and training she leads.
Tyler found yoga in his early twenties, experimenting through this authentic art form and therapeutic practice for healing, redirection and reconstruction of the self. Through adopting a diverse appetite for more than one movement modality, inspired by the biomechanics of the body, the work of Tom Myers and Katy Bowman (anatomy talk will be on the menu during each class) Workshops with Jozef Frucek & Linda Kapetanea creators of Fighting Monkey and Frey Faust and the research of Axis Syllabus has encouraged a focus on developing an adaptive approach, using creativity to nourish the individual’s path towards having a movement practice. Tyler is a graduate of Breath’s 300 hour teacher training program, and is certified in yin/restorative yoga and received a Pilates certificate through East to West Yoga & Pilates. He has also volunteered with SKETCH in the movement studio, taught Kids Yoga workshops, and developed Yoga for Cyclists.
Tyler’s classes merge functional moment with playful flow, core strengthening and deep concentration. He leads challenging and highly original sequences with his own blend of humour, real talk and good natured encouragement.
Alexa has been fascinated by how we challenge our bodies through movement since childhood. She began exploring the mind-body connection of how we ask ourselves to move; first with competitive highland dancing in her teens, and later as a professional violinist. Alexa initially turned to pilates in 2008 to help with several violin-related injuries and was amazed at how pilates not only aided with her repetitive strain issues, but also enhanced and complimented her violin playing.
Since completing her mat certification at MuseMovement in June 2018, Alexa has continued to be inspired by all aspects of teaching pilates; be it anatomy, sequencing, breath work or indulging her love of reading with Pilates related books. She's super excited to continue her reformer training at Muse in Fall 2018. Of the many ways in which the Muse Method training changed her life, perhaps the most significant is the use of movement in building self-confidence and the re-discovery of imaginative and creative play and how it can transform our daily lives.
Alexa works extensively with musicians, helping them to incorporate practical movements towards their professional demands. She is passionate about translating the moves and exercises we do in the studio into our everyday lives. She loves infusing her classes with practical information and creative flow sequences, perhaps a holdover from her many years as a classical musician!
Faren started her love of movement from the age of just three years old. She went on to dance for 18 years, where she was first introduced to Pilates to strengthen her dance practice. Her love of movement then lead her to complete the full comprehensive STOTT Pilates course in Toronto, where she then taught and managed a boutique studio for 3 years. She became interested in Yoga, and decided to move to Australia, completed her 200hr Yoga Certification, and fell in love with the Yoga philosophy, which was a perfect compliment to her Pilates training. Faren then spent 2 years at a Melbourne boutique fitness studio and began teaching Barre, which combined her Pilates expertise and dance technique with fun, upbeat music. She went on travelling to Germany and France, where she taught a variety of Pilates, Barre, and Yoga classes to people from all over the world. Her goal is to continue sharing her love of movement and positive energy, anatomical knowledge and technical skills to create dynamic, functional classes for anyone and everyone.
Ali first fell in love with both the spiritual and physical practice of yoga and completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali with Hana Lukac of Mula Yoga. In her continuing education In continuing her education, she took great interest in anatomy and alignment through movement, bringing her to continue with her Pilates Mat Teacher Training at Mindful Movement Centre here in Toronto. With the desire to help others connect with their deeper selves, Aley seeks to bring mindfulness and balance in her teaching through the integration of core and flow.
Betsy is a firm believer that in order to experience the greatest freedom in our bodies, we need to start with a solid foundation. A recovering Type A personality, movement for Betsy had always been about competition, pushing harder and faster. She found a fitting niche in distance running, despite the fact that every single season there was another injury to contend with. After repeated recommendations from her physiotherapist, she begrudgingly found her way into her first yoga class, desperate to “fix” all of her aches and pains. She never expected to fall in love with the practice.
After years as a dedicated student, in 2014 Betsy completed a 300-hour teacher training in Bali with Pranashama Yoga. She has since gone on to complete additional trainings in Pre- and Post-Natal, Yin, Restorative, and Hot Yoga. In a quest to add more strength and control to her practice, Betsy found her way to Pilates. She completed the inaugural MuseMovement 200-hour Mat training in June 2018, and is looking forward to the Muse Reformer training in fall 2018.
Betsy’s absolute favourite way to practice and to teach is to blend the two modalities, combining containment with absolute freedom of expression. Her goal in every class is to leave you feeling challenged, empowered, and more at home in your body.
Trained and educated at Body Harmonics, Alwynn Taylor is a certified Pilates Instructor. Alwynn possesses a love of movement that she incorporates into her classes-a passion she developed at an early age through studies in the performing arts. Alwynn's knowledge of movement stems from a background in teaching professional tennis, nationally and internationally.
Alwynn has embraced the practice of Pilates for the intrinsic mind-body connection, the graceful nature of the work and the challenging exercises that the classical repertoire is built upon. Whether it's in a group class setting, a corporate environment or a private session, Alwynn's style of teaching is focused, patient and intuitive with a contemporary approach. Her personal philosophy is to consistently challenge oneself in unique ways that go beyond the physical, culminating in a mind-body synergy that builds strength and overall wellness.
Charise Mariel Garcia loves Pilates. So much so that she decided to take her years of practice one step further, and become certified as an instructor.
Trained at Body Harmonics, Charise grew a fascination with and an understanding of how the body works and began to see movement in a whole new light. She loves sharing how cool this all is with her students and geeks out when they appreciate (and feel) how awesome Pilates is.
Her enthusiasm for the practice is infectious and her sneaky hard approach will have an hour go by quickly while leaving you feeling strong and supple all around.
This former fashion editor and publicist was born and raised in Toronto. She is an alumnus of Havergal College, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from McGill University.
Charise also loves to travel, eat/drink, and spend quality time with her husband, two stepdaughters, their dog Cooper Jellybean, as well as family and friends.