Carmen is a yoga instructor, certified Functional Range Conditioning and Mobility specialist (FRCms), pelvic health enthusiast, and body and anatomy geek. She graduated from Dalhousie University from the School of Occupational Therapy (2000) and practiced internationally both in New Zealand, and London, UK.
As a child, Carmen was always very active in recreational and competitive team sports. It was not until university that she realised she preferred to act alone in her physical pursuits and took up long distance running, qualifying to run at a national competitive level. At that time in her life, running was her ‘yoga’- it took her away from her everyday, able to focus, and she felt as though she could float above the ground.
Things shifted when Carmen moved to London, UK in 2002 and began to recognise that running was only contributing to a frenzy of life that was happening around her- ‘hustle and bustle’ at every corner. It was feeding her own inner anxiety, keeping her nervous system in a heightened state of arousal- when it really needed to be dampened to create some inner calm. This is when Carmen began to explore yoga, during her first, of many trips, to India in 2002 with her sisters on a backpacking excursion. Here she tried ‘power yoga’, and her ego was blown out of the water, as she was asked to leave half way through and to return the following day. At this time she did not know or understand how yoga was practiced or taught. She did return the following day, and the next and next, albeit very sore with every step, but determined to understand more.
When Carmen returned to London, with new intrigue, she visited many yoga studios, experiencing Iyengar, vinyasa, flow, Jivamukti, Bikram, and was lucky to attend workshops with world renowned teachers such as: Danny Paradise, Shiva Rea, David Life, David Williams, Matthew Sweeney, John Scott, David Swenson, and Richard Freeman. It was not surprising, given her driven personality, that she settled on practicing ashtanga, a practice that follows the same sequence day in and day out, progressively becoming more demanding. She deepened her ashtanga study by training 200hr YTT with Brian Cooper in Edinburgh, Scotland (2007) and traveling to India to work with Lino Miele, and Rolf and Marcy Naukojat.
Carmen returned to her home roots of Halifax in 2009, continuing her ashtanga practice with Seth Daley, and Angie Birt. She then began to study with Hart Lazer (United Yoga Montreal) – in yoga therapeutics, and advanced teacher training. His approach to practice is more alignment based and was originally taught in the Iyengar system. It was a welcome change and opened her mind to move outside ‘the box’ of a pure ashtanga practice.
In the recent years, Carmen's life has taken major shifts- primarily becoming a wife and mother of three children under the age of 5. These wonderful additions to Carmen's life have greatly changed her physical practice as her body has not only changed, but she has greater emotional/ mental demands, and time constraints . Her interest in pelvic floor health, and how to take it into consideration when practicing became a huge interest for her. Carmen became certified as a Pelvic Floor Yoga Teacher ( 2017) through Leslie Howard (www.lesliehoward.com) and has studied with Shelly Prosko (www.physioyoga) to further her learning. around this part of our being that is seldom discussed in yoga. She now hosts pelvic floor and yoga workshops year round in the Nova Scotia area.
Carmen also focuses on integrating strength and mobility into her personal practice and teachings. She teaches regular group and private classes out of her own home studio.