Background

biopicWelcome! I’m Elizabeth, acupuncturist, yoga teacher and integrative health writer.

After many years of teaching yoga in the Toronto area, I was inspired by my love of acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as the deep healing I’ve experienced in Yin Yoga classes, to begin studying traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in 2009.

I’m now registered with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) and offer acupuncture treatments that integrate the principles and practices of yoga with those of traditional Chinese medicine.

Here’s a little more about my background.

Yoga

Since completing the 360-hour teacher training program at The Yoga Studio in Toronto, Ontario in 2002, I’ve been teaching group Hatha yoga classes in a number of venues throughout Toronto, such as Moksha Hot Yoga, Mitra Hot Yoga, Redwood Hot Yoga, Hot Yoga Markham, Sports Clubnamaste-717079_1280s of Canada, Bally Total Fitness, and Fitness Connection.

Over the past 14 years I’ve continued my study of various aspects of yoga, including asana, philosophy, anatomy, meditation and pranayama. I’ve studied with teachers who share my interest in Yin Yoga, functional yoga, and women’s health. Susi Aldous Huxley’s anatomically-informed asana, Leslie Howard’s work with yoga for pelvic health, and most recently Toronto teacher Diane Bruni’s innovative approach to functional yoga are examples. But the focus of my personal practice and teaching has been Yin Yoga.

  • I first studied Yin with Paul Grilley in 2006 and began teaching it in Toronto that same year. In 2015, I was introduced to Tracey Soghrati’s approach to Yin Yoga that focuses on building myofascial health by balancing Yin with Yang practice. I continue to practice and teach Yin Yoga and deepen my understanding of this powerful practice.
  • In 2011 I received a continuing education certificate in Foundations of Applied Mindfulness Meditation at the University of Toronto. The practice of mindfulness is integral to my teaching; for me, the goal of yoga practice is to become more aware on every level – body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • I recently completed a yoga teacher training program lead by Toronto teacher Diane Bruni. This program focused on practicing and teaching yoga in a functional way, from an anatomically aware perspective. The emphasis is on preventing the overuse and stress injuries that are becoming common in the yoga community, and on staying flexible, strong and resilient as we age rather than succumbing to those all-too-common degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis and chronic back pain.

I welcome opportunities to share yoga with students of all ages and levels of experience, so please don’t hesitate to contact me to inquire about yoga classes!

Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture

Acupuncture_Doll_-_Close-up_of_AbdomenIn 2013, Chinese medicine became a government regulated health profession in Ontario. This means that practitioners of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are required to complete not only a thorough program of study (minimum 2200 hours, and at least 720 hours of supervised clinical practice) but also a rigorous series of registration examinations set out by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners & Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO).

I completed my program of study at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in 2014 and the regulatory exams in 2015, which qualifies me to practice as a registered (licensed) acupuncturist in the province of Ontario.

Integrative health writing

writing2In addition to teaching yoga and practicing acupuncture, I’m also a writer with a B.A. and M.A. in Language & Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo. After spending several years as a technical and business writer, in 2001 I decided to re-focus on subjects more meaningful to me. I write about yoga, Chinese medicine and other health and wellness topics at on my blog and other print and online locations.

Past publications include the well-regarded health guide Living Well with an Ostomy (re-printed in 2012) part of a series of health care guides giving voice to orphan health topics traditional publishers ignore due to controversy, stigma, rarity or perceived poor market.

More recently, my article Why I almost quit yoga after my first class was published by Elephant Journal, a popular online publication about health, wellness and spirituality.

A short list of other topics I’ve written about:

  • On the Road with an Ostomy – Abilities magazine, fall 2002
  • Self-care for Yoga Teachers – feature article for FOYTSpace fall, 2003
  • The Woman’s Book of Yoga & Health – book review for ascent magazine, summer 2003
  • Is Yoga For Everyone? – feature article for FOYTSpace, spring 2004
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