Vanessa Bell

finesse.training.yoga@gmail.com
(647) 223-5573

vanessa.jpgPhilosophy

Vitality and youth are found in our ability to move and breathe well.  When we feel stable and at home in our own bodies, we discover confidence and ease.  These qualities become the foundation upon which we can build greater strength, flexibility and endurance – both physical and mental. 

Teaching in the fitness industry since 2003 and yoga since 2004, I work with the underlying belief that change is the one certainty in life.  The question is how we can use that fact to our advantage? 

Without attention, we are changed by our experiences and become the product of all that we endure.  With attention, cultivating awareness, we can guide change in a positive direction.  As we begin to shed inefficient habits of thinking and posturing, we become lighter, inside and out.

Method

We are built to move like panthers and monkeys and yet so many of us feel more akin to penguins or ducks – graceful under water, but wobbly and restricted on land.  To this end, my approach with every student is to assist them in uncovering and supporting their movement potential through practice and development of these fundamentals:

  • Spinal Mobilization & Elongation (decompression) – restoring the ability for our spine to perform and support the four primal movement patterns (flexion, extension, rotation and side bending) that enable smooth and agile movement

  • Core Integration of Breath & Support Function – strengthening of our core musculature to support the movements of our spine, head and limbs while establishing internal mobility for healthy breathing mechanics and optimal organ health and function

  • Balanced Muscle Tone – establishing “healthy tension” through strengthening and the release of unnecessary stiffness and holding

  • Re-Education of Fundamental Movement Patterns:
    • Walking
    • Getting up and down off the floor
    • Squatting and bending
    • Lifting, carrying and putting down an object
    • Pushing
    • Pulling

These patterns then lend themselves to:

  • Manipulating heavier/more cumbersome objects
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Athletics – sport/dance/martial arts

Modalities

  • Resistance Training – body weight, cables and free weights
  • Hatha Yoga – principles of alignment, breath work, postures & meditation
  • Restorative Yoga – tension release & nervous system balance using props and longer duration of resting in poses
  • Movement Education – awareness and understanding of biomechanics and co-ordination of joint function

Services

Personal Training - one-on-one training that includes a combination of modalities, designed with your individual needs, goals and preferences in mind.

Personal Program Design development of your own personal workout routine with access to your program online from any location, including descriptions and video clips of individual exercis, including descriptions and video clips of individual exercises.

Private Yoga:

  • One-on-One Instruction – Hatha and/or Restorative
  • Introduction of the practice to beginners to ease immersion into classes
  • Refining of the practice for intermediate to advanced practitioners
  • Personal Practice Design – development of a daily personal practice that fits into your life.  Find out how potent 15 minutes a day can be!

Certifications / Degree

  • Advanced 300 Hour Teacher Training – The Yoga Sanctuary 2008
  • Yoga Teacher Training – Maureen Rae’s Yoga Studio 2004
  • RYT 200 Yoga Alliance
  • Can Fit Pro Personal Trainer Specialist – updated yearly through continuing education
  • BA – Linguistics & Communication Studies

Current Studies

  • RTS – Resistance Training Specialist – advanced personal training
  • Yoga Teacher Training 750 Hour – Esther Myers Yoga Studio
  • Anatomy & Biomechanics of Singing & Speaking – independent study

Continuing Education

  • Yoga & Anatomy with Peter Blackaby (UK Osteopath) – 2010
  • Radiant Child Yoga - 2009
  • Bodyreading 101 – Postural Analysis with Thomas Myers – 2007
  • Issues in the Tissues with Thomas Myers – 2007
  • Injury Management for Fitness & Health Professionals with Terry Kane - 2004
  • Mind-Body Fusion Fitness Training – 2003

Testimonials

 Personal Training:

Vanessa is incredibly knowledgeable about health and fitness and is a great motivator.  As one who has endured many injuries over my lifetime, she has shown me how important posture and core strength are to avoid injury to myself.  By using an intelligent combination of stretches, body weight exercises and light free weights, her training is restoring my joint mobility and is reactivating unused/weaker muscles.

Vanessa uses the right adjustments for me that allow me to safely work at my maximum. She has been training me consistently for almost two years and has managed to motivate me with her energy, humour and encouragement every time we meet. It is never boring.

Uli – ongoing Personal Training client since June 2010

Vanessa is the architect of, and companion in, my journey to joyful longevity – I am 63. Who is she and what does she provide? A deep knowledge and understanding of the human body. Humour. Subtlety. Encouragement. Kindness. Amazing powers of observation and communication. Appreciation of your potential.

Roger – ongoing Personal Training client since December 2008

Vanessa has worked as my personal trainer twice a week for almost seven years. As A caring, intuitive professional, she has helped me to preserve my flexibility and to improve my posture and my overall physical well-being. She is unique because her positive energy always aims to work with your special needs each day that you see her. She is beautiful--inside and out!! She has also helped me grow spiritually and emotionally. She is "WOW"!!

Susan – ongoing Personal Training client since May 2005

Vanessa has allowed me to maintain my quality of life.  As an older person with several physical limitations Vanessa has worked with patience, humour and encouragement to help me build my strength, balance and endurance.

Christa – ongoing Personal Training client since October 2006

As someone who did not enter the world of fitness until my 50s, and having accumulated considerable pain and stiffness caused by a lifetime of scoliosis, my work with Vanessa these past 7 years (including the addition of weekly Restorative Yoga during the past 3 years) has enabled me to gain pain-free mobility that I had not thought was possible and also to quiet and focus my mind in the midst of a very demanding work life.

She is the consummate professional; dedicated, professional and absolutely passionate about what she does. In addition to being a skilled trainer, she has a broad range of interests and a wicked sense of humour that can lighten up an otherwise intense workout – each one different from the last.  She displays an impressive attention to detail, engaging 100% of herself with you for that hour. 

Brian – ongoing Personal Training client since May 2005 & Restorative Yoga since May 2009

I began working with Vanessa in an attempt to resolve pain issues I had been experiencing following a back injury.  She took her time to thoroughly assess my strengths, weaknesses, and the nature of my injury.  She designed an individualized program for me that included strengthening, stretching, and exercises to increase my range of motion.  She was receptive to my feedback, and was creative in her problem solving... approaching each new challenge I faced from a new and interesting angle.  Vanessa always managed to find the right balance between pushing me beyond my comfort zone, while still taking into account my limitations.  She was also able to recommend other excellent practitioners who have supplemented my work with her.  Vanessa is knowledgeable, intuitive, and fun to work with and I would recommend her to everyone!

Vee – short-term Training/Yoga & Personal Program Development

Yoga

I have been doing yoga for over 10 years and had quite a few instructors however I must say that yoga with Vanessa is exceptional! She is not only very knowledgeable about yoga, the body and biomechanics but also an excellent guide who brings warmth and a personal touch. Vanessa can tailor a class for every age or mixed ages and she has helped me to understand my own body and mind. She truly cares about each individual’s well-being, personal balance and growth.

She has told us/me many stories that have become my personal mottos (like the story with the pendulum and how, during our lives, we swing from one side to another and how yoga can help us find the balance). She has helped me set personal goals for emotional balance and for knowing and listening to my body. Last but not least she was an extraordinary help during my separation, teaching me mediation and breathing techniques to help me overcome the stress and anxiety. Thank you Vanessa! I love you!

Mirela – ongoing student since March 2009

It amazes me how at times of struggle, challenge and pain, the mind excels at wandering and your thoughts stir limitlessly.  I can attest that at several points in my life, it was the one-on-one Yoga sessions with Vanessa Bell that served as the roots of the rebooting my thoughts and the healing of my body.  By applying my learning from Vanessa's invaluable sessions, I gained greater confidence and comfort in treating challenging situations as opportunities to apply my Yoga in everyday life and to find gratitude and meaning in what is and not what could be.

Carole – occasional student

My main testimonial is that Vanessa Bell is a great instructor who has converted me to yoga and shown me it is not a waste of valuable work out time but instead a powerful tool for harnessing the breath to deal with life’s aggravations and trials.

Sylvia – ongoing student since December 2011