Anne Pitman smiling with two pairs of glasses on

Anne Pitman M.Sc., C-IAYT, E-YRT500, Pain Care Certified

Somatic Roots

Anne has her masters in Kinesiology and has been a keen curator of movement inquiry, guiding people through for over 40 years, in weekly classes, workshops and one-on-one yoga therapy sessions. She is the Director of the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy, in Ottawa, Canada; a 800 hr + school, marrying traditional wisdom and evidence-based yoga practice, in response to human suffering and life-altering events. The school is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Anne teaches regularly in Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapy programs, from a Scaravelli-yoga-inspired (“infinite time and no ambition”), body-centred, trauma-aware, generous listening perspective. Extensive studies in somatic therapies (Feldenkrais, BodyMind-Centering, Trager, Continuum etc), affirm her devotion to the body’s intelligence and the subtle work with patterns, functionality, agency and play. Her interest is in deep listening and whole body nourishment through an exploration of responsive breath and accessible movement. Anne is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, teaching Mindful Aging and exploring the function of eldership in an age-phobic culture. She has recently published a book (with co-author Leigh Leibel): Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum.

HOME PRACTICES
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“Return to your body, embody your life”

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A little bird sitting on a branch on a snowy day

Yoga Therapy and Cancer

Passionate about yoga therapy as a unique and essential addition to evidenced based complementary health care, Anne speaks, publishes and advocates internationally. As an in-clinic Yoga Therapist at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, she sees people from diagnosis, and throughout the cancer care continuum, working with the inevitable shock, cancer related PTSD, anxiety, fear, fatigue, side effects of treatment, and fear of recurrence, through compassionate inquiry and yoga practice. On the CHI research team, she has designed various cancer studies, offering practices to regulate the autonomic nervous system, exploring PTSD and heart rate variability, all with a view to supporting ongoing health. At the OICC, she crafts and facilitates heart-centered educational groups; Head Start for Those Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer and Inspire Now!, for Lung Cancer Support, helping those facing cancer (each with a unwelcome "full-time job", starting with a flurry of tests and decision making) express deep feelings and fears, receive support from each other, learn the work of complementary cancer care, and pause in slow reflection and gentle yoga practice. On-line retreats for those finishing treatments reflect an earned skilfulness, a practiced willingness to be informed by time-in with cancer and a cultivation of a wonder-based practice to freshly embody their life, now, breath by breath. Her new book, Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum, highlights integrative and compassionate care, worldwide.

Feeling More

In private practice at Bad Dog Studio, Anne’s work (in collaboration with a client’s health care team), encompasses depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, injury and complex pain. She is a passionate advocate, supporting holistic integrative mental health care in the Capital region. Her extensive study of the intelligence of the autonomic nervous system, and the deep recognition of human connection through co-regulation towards self-regulation, are the foundation of this work. For those working in healthcare, emotional exhaustion and distancing (symptoms of burnout) is met with understanding, acknowledgment and nourishing self-care. Slow, subtle, interoceptive practice is a safe-making doorway towards embodiment. Home practices and meditations are freely given on the Practices page.

Bowing to Grief and Beauty

The past decade has turned Anne toward work in compassionate support of grief and dying. As an ongoing scholar at the Orphan Wisdom School, Anne explores embodied grief in yoga practice and the possibility of befriending death while living well. One-on-one, she helps clients embody wonder, questioning how we might practice our shared human-making responsibilities and allow a brokenheartedness to kindle a willingness to see both joy and sorrow, whilst sharpening our skills in beauty-making. An ancestral interest in textile handwork (spinning, knitting, weaving and felting) weave breath to practice. Year-long meditation practices (A Year to Breathe) help us to know our embodied death-phobia, with both a gentleness and a determination to see our part in the mysterious and poetic web of life. For those coming to their dying time, Anne accompanies them, best she can, breathing and moving unto their last days, to die well.

Anne stretching on the ground