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 long been a keen curator of movement inquiry, guiding people through fitness, dance and yoga, while following the rhythms and memory of the body and natural seasons, for over 35 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 service to life-altering events. The school is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Anne also teaches regularly in Yoga Teacher Training programs, from a Scaravelli-yoga- inspired (“infinite time and no ambition”) and body-centered, trauma-aware, generous listening perspective. Extensive studies in somatic therapies (Feldenkrais, BodyMind-Centering, Trager, Continuum etc), have re-affirmed her devotion to the body’s intelligence and the subtle work with patterns, functionality, agency and play. Her interest is in body nourishment through an exploration of responsive breath and movement.

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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, 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 research team, she has designed various cancer-research studies, with practices to regulate the autonomic nervous system, exploring PTSD and heart rate variability, with a view to supporting ongoing health. Additionally 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 (a full-time job, initially 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 their earned skilfulness, a practiced willingness to be informed by time-in with cancer and a cultivation of a wonder-based practice to embody their life, now, breath by breath.

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 founding member of the Ottawa Integrative Mental Health Collective, seeking to support holistic 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 healthcare clinicians, emotional exhaustion and distancing (symptoms of burnout) can be 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 her Practices page. Zoom sessions run daily.

Bowing to Grief and Beauty

The past decade has turned Anne toward work in 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 embodies wonder, questioning how we might carry our human-making responsibility and allow a brokenheartedness to kindle a willingness to see both joy and sorrow, while 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