Gyana/Jnana Mudra- a gesture of knowledge and wisdom
Our bodies are the landscape of our lived experiences. When we move with awareness and curiosity, we start to explore and soften places where we hold resistance, excavate and release unexpressed emotions, and inspire creative flow. Moving with compassion and patience through whatever comes up, we begin to develop a more profound awareness of our emotions, more presence in our bodies, and a deeper connection to our inner world.
Soul-work entails connecting to our creativity, intuition, imagination, and authentic expression. It is an extrarational process in which we get to return to a child-like state of awe, wonder, and playfulness. Soul-work is also about remembrance. Through the study and contemplation of philosophical and spiritual texts, myths and stories, and the teaching of Nature, we gain insight into our true essence and the profound wisdom of our hearts.
Self-reflection allows us to identify our mental blocks, self-limiting beliefs, and assumptions. Once we become aware of our unconscious thought patterns, behaviours and habits, as well as cultural and systemic conditioning, we gain power over them. Introspection is also an opportunity for the meaning-making and integration of our lived experiences - a process that can lead to a clearer understanding of ourselves and our life's purpose.
Weaving wisdom of mind, body, spirit, and movement
Educator, Dancer, Interdisciplinary Scholar-Practitioner, Movement Facilitator
Since I was young, I loved to dance. Dancing was - and continues to be -my favourite form of self-expression. During the war in my native country of Yugoslavia (and the immigration which followed), dance was my refuge. It allowed me to express my feelings through movement and served as a gateway for healing, empowerment, and transformation. Fascinated by its power, I attended contemporary dance classes and was trained in the Graham Technique in high school. My dream was to pursue a career in Dance and Choreography studies as I was eager to explore the body’s capacity to express, communicate, and translate emotions into physical form. However, things didn’t work out that way. Instead of becoming a choreographer, my passion for learning led me to become a teacher.
Over the past 15 years, I taught in schools in South Korea and the Philippines, trained new language teachers and newcomers in Canada, and worked as an international student language instructor at the University of Toronto. Having the privilege to live on three continents and teach students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds allowed me to see the world through lenses different than my own. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I started questioning the meaning of our lived experiences and how they - along with the languages we speak, cultures and landscapes we are born in - shape the lens through which we see ourselves, the others, and the world. How do we use our experiences to transform ourselves, expand our perception, and transcend the scope of our limited understanding? I had many questions, but the more I searched for the answers, I only came up with more questions.
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"Jelena provided space for personal creativity as well as guided options so that everyone felt comfortable to experiment with embodied learning as they wished. [She] is a compassionate educator that meets people where they are to support them in gaining insight and transforming their experiences."
"I finally understand what yoga is."
"Jelena's energy, passion, and joy are contagious...as you look at Jelena, you immediately feel comfortable.
[She] is a fantastic guide and a leader, and I would recommend this session to all!"
“Perfect balance of movement and meditation, a powerfully intimate experience.”
"I felt so free, empowered, grounded, and really good about myself during Jelena's workshop. I find it was very effective in such a short time."
“This was a great opportunity as a beginner to explore the benefits of abstract movement in a safe and supportive space.”
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