FUNCTIONAL YOGA – INTEGRATIVE INDIVIDUALISED GROUP PRACTICE
Many people believe they can’t do yoga because they are not flexible enough. You don’t have to conform to the pose as there are many ways to modify each posture to best suit your body needs. In turn, this careful examination of postures will optimize all of yoga’s various health benefits. We need to know that all asanas are nature inspired. As little children, we unknowingly participated in doing lots of asana movements. What created physical limitations is living in a seating culture. While knowing this simple truth, it is very easy to use your natural body alignment to do the pose and avoid forceful movement.
We are aiming towards gaining confidence and knowledge about how to safely practice yoga. Learning to breathe correctly and bringing awareness towards inhaling and exhaling will add multiple benefits as the body is better oxygenated. Heightened body awareness can greatly improve how well you take care of yourself on the mat and in your day to day life.
With consistent practice, you will eliminate shoulders, hip and knee stiffness. You will become more aware of how you use your body. Your upper spine will feel more flexible, and your hips more opened. Also, you will start to notice where you hold emotional tension in your body. All this will lead to a series of benefits for different health conditions.
Style driven from: Hatha Yoga, Classical Yoga (Raja Yoga), Vinyasa Flow
Level: Beginners welcomed!
Equipment needed: comfortable clothes, water, mat
Time/ Location: See class schedule
I was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. It affected my motor skills mostly on my left side, which was the reason I started working with Maria a year ago one-on-one, twice a week. After 6 months I started Restorative group class and continued with twice a week one-on-one Yoga Therapy. This year at the beginning of January happily I started regular glasses 3 times a week.
Since I have started to have a routine I feel stronger on my left side of the body. The strength in my feet and balance improved greatly.
Maria has been a major player in this improvement. As soon as I was walking into the studio she knew what I needed to practice for that day. Some days I will feel so tired, but the goal for those days was just to make it to the studio, and Maria encouraged me to take it as a success. When I was feeling very tired I took Reflexology, after which I will always get a night of good deep sleep, and wake up rested. For the days I didn’t feel like doing anything, Maria we’ll talk to me and go through things I needed to talk, and express.
In other sessions, we do a combination of tension release, strength, breathing relaxation, and restorative yoga. This is how I started to enjoy Restorative Yoga practice, and it was the first group class I started to attend after 6 months of working one-on-one. After I continued with twice a week one-on-one and one group Restorative class.
The biggest discovery and help was that I learned Breathing exercises, and practiced. This makes a huge difference in not feeling tired all the time, as my breathing improved.
In total Yoga Therapy practice and now taking classes, made me mindful about my body and helped me to accept the weaknesses and work on the strength. Overall, I realized that without even noticing all my attitude towards my condition and life changed.
I am very thankful for all the support I have received from Maria and encourage everyone that struggles with MS to reach out for support. It is a life-changing experience!
I am writing on behalf of my brother Willy who has Cerebral Palsy.
His routine is a daily walk but his gait is uneven and due to Cerebral Palsy. His muscles can become quite tense, stiff and inflamed and maintaining his balance is always forefront in his mind.
Willy looks forward to attending his weekly sessions of yoga therapy with Maria. The goal of the weekly session is to focus on relaxing his muscles and thereby avoid or minimize injuries and soreness resulting from his walking routine. It is obvious to me that Maria enjoys working with my brother and that sentiment is very much reciprocated.
The sessions with Maria include breathing exercises for relaxation as well as breathing exercises accompanied by movement. Maria is also helping him with building core movement and balance. There is a noticeable improvement in his balance when moving up from and down to the floor. He moves with more ease and awareness now through an intermediate level of Sun Salutations movements. This is a milestone achievement for Willy who began yoga therapy one year ago with Maria. It reflects her patience and skill in building his confidence, body awareness and co-ordination step by step. Willy’s mobility has improved greatly, he does stretching movements in the studio with ease and familiarity.
If I can “speak” on behalf of my brother Willy, he would give her a BIG THUMBS UP!
I have been working construction for 20 years I haven't been too kind to my body in those years. After going to 3 different doctors and a chiropractor looking for a solution to my bulging disc in my neck; pinching a nerve and sending terrible pain down my left arm. I found Maria and made an appointment for a consultation. I explained to her what my issue was and she said: "come and we'll take care of the problem." Her fingers are like an x-ray. She got right to work. I found her to be very caring and hard-working. Then after 4 deep tissue-reflexology sessions, the pain reduced to minimal. Then after a couple of sessions of stretching with a few lessons on how to move and balance my body weight during work, when I forward bend or lift things up from the ground. I am feeling great! I take one class a week on Tuesdays and looking forward to learning yoga with Maria and how to maintain better overall body health.
I am extremely fortunate to have met Maria Mitea, the owner of Health Yoga. I was suffering for more than a year with lower back pain. Year-long work with physiotherapists resulted in mild improvement. After just three individual sessions with Maria and a month of classes, I am pain-free. I have much more energy during the day and I am sleeping so well. I continue with the classes because I know Maria’s expertise is adding so much to my overall enjoyment of life.
Great place to practice yoga. Maria is an excellent Yoga Therapist. I did a reflexology session. This was the first time I had done reflexology. I was experiencing numbness in the middle & index finger of my hand. Neither massage nor physiotherapy had helped much but after just one reflexology session there was a significant improvement.
The second session was to address a flair-up I had with plantar fasciitis. It was a combination of deep tissue massage and reflexology. After just one treatment the symptoms disappeared. Maria also gave me a number of stretches and exercises to do in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.
have been practicing with Maria for close to three years now. I have to hesitation recommending Maria's Health Yoga to anyone.
I would highly recommend Health Yoga.
I was referred to Maria by my partner after having second hip surgery. Most, if not all hip replacement recipients limp after surgery due to the muscles being cut & I was no exception. The three physiotherapy sessions allowed by OHIP were a good start in recovery but a far cry as to what was actually needed. Maria's assessed me & took over my recovery. Her attention to detail is second to none. She obviously has an engineering background & seems to understand all muscle & bone movements. This is beyond anything I have ever experienced. You would almost think she had X-ray vision to see how the muscles are moving & what is needed to strengthen the weaker ones. Within weeks; I was being told that I no longer limped & anyone who knows me, admit I have made a marked improvement. The woman is amazing in her chosen profession. Thank you, Maria; for a job very well done !!!
Maria was integral in my recovery and maintenance from a ruptured disk. She is the most qualified yogi I have met and carefully tailors the practice to client needs. Her classes are very accessible. You can be confident that you will avoid further injury and work towards health in her hands. Highly recommended.
After a hip replacement surgery I first visited Maria’s HealthYoga studio 2 1/2 months ago on the recommendation of a neighbour who had been successfully treated for a shoulder issue.
I used a cane to attend my first three sessions with Maria and since then have not needed it. Maria is thoroughly prepared for each session as we are working on improving the nerve network to activate and strengthen my leg muscle and improve my walking ability after hip replacement surgery.
I enjoy the gentle competent way Maria works with me and feel very fortunate to have found such an expert who is willing to share her knowledge and passion for overall health. She communicates calmly and clearly how the body works, is encouraging and nonjudgmental.
I feel very good about what I am doing toward full recovery.
I started to work with Maria last January to help relieve the stiffness and pain in my legs from Parkinson’s.
Maria is a caring and compassionate professional. She applies her deep knowledge of yoga therapy and reflexology to develop individualized programs and sessions to meet my needs. During the session, if it happens to have muscle cramps or nerve pain she is quick on helping me to ease the stiffness and pain. During sessions, Maria is encouraging and always positive about the resulting progress. I look forward to weekly sessions with Maria and come away calmer and with less pain.
I highly recommend Maria as a Yoga Therapist/ Reflexology, teacher, and therapist.
I had been struggling with severe neck and shoulder pain when my wife suggested I begin treatment with Maria. I booked 6 private one-on-one neck tissue-reflexology sessions with Maria which eased considerably the pain. Maria then transitioned me to one of her physio group classes where I am doing various exercises that zeroed neck and shoulders pain. While I believe my condition to be osteoarthritis, and therefore incurable, Maria has definitely understood how to keep me comfortable and manage my pain. She is very knowledgeable and I am grateful to be benefiting from her expertise.
Over a number of weeks last fall I noticed Maria’s studio sign and really felt HealthYoga was something from which I could benefit. I could not have been more right. My experience working with Maria one-on-one has been life-changing, both physically and emotionally. The physical rehabilitation of ancient injuries has afforded me greater mobility and increased circulation. I even regained feeling in my foot that was rendered numb after a back injury 30 years ago! I turned 70 last month and can’t help but wonder why I took so long to embrace yoga as a necessary element in my life. However, no regrets! I am fully committed to yoga with Maria as part of my new normal. I highly recommend Maria and HealthYoga. The benefits are tremendous for all ages!
I started to practice Yoga Therapy with Maria a few years ago for my flat feet pain and my knees. I have my right knee replaced.
Also, I have enjoyed Maria’s Chair Yoga classes for the last two years. Chair yoga can be adapted to accommodate any degree of disability.
Currently, I take one-on-one YT sessions to improve my feet, knee, hips, and spine mobility. For years I wasn't able to come down and stand up from the floor. In the last two sessions, I did it and practiced on the floor. I am happy with the progress I am doing.
Maria's confidence is contagious! I move now towards my goal with more ease. Her extensive study of yoga and her background as an engineer equip her well to teach many types of yoga. Maria’s gentle competent way has given me the confidence and ways to deal with my health issues.
Thanks for a great class today. Gail
I was referred to Maria by a neighbor. I met with her for treatment for my chronic Myofascial pain which had ramped up during late winter. We made an
instant connection. Maria is a very hands-on therapist who goes above and beyond.
She is very knowledgeable and goes about her treatment plan with a methodical
approach, working to make adjustments to the body to ease the pain. I also
received two reflexology treatments. I am so in awe of these treatments and the
total relaxation provided. I have never experienced such a feeling with any other
mode of treatment. I have no reservations about recommending Maria’s services.
In the ten weeks that I have known Maria from HealthYoga, my life has transformed completely. I was wheelchair shopping and discussing with Veterans Affairs about how I might make my home more wheelchair accessible. The daily pain from my joints and muscles was unbearable unless I took dangerous doses of a steroid called prednisone. The doctors had given me a diagnosis of Lupus but they were quick to admit that it was not likely Lupus but what was going on acted a lot like Lupus so that’s how they were treating it. It was unknown and it was killing me and they really seemed powerless to help.
I met with Maria after visiting her website and seeing that people with some similar problems had been helped by her. After our first meeting, I was surprised that she was confident that she could help me. I didn’t share her confidence. It had been a 20-year descent into constant pain and exhaustion. The doctors had largely just been trying to manage my pain at this point and I was pretty hopeless about any meaningful recovery. Maria had enough confidence for both of us and I am forever grateful for that.
Over a ten-week period she guided me back into contact with my body and feelings and with her help, I correctly identified the source of my major health woes and began a program that is leading to a full recovery. My life was small and full of pain and now, while I still work to undo the years of damage, I move relatively freely and have much-reduced pain. As I continue to learn and practice yoga with Maria, I continue to improve. I have complete faith that the path I am on with Health Yoga will lead to a complete recovery.
Thank you so much, Maria, you have changed my life for the better in so many ways.
Following a diagnosis of a torn shoulder ligament and unsuccessful visits to a physiotherapist, I attended Maria’s yoga ‘shoulder’ therapy sessions. Prior to seeing Maria, shoulder pain persisted for more than a year, so I wasn’t optimistic about a quick heal. After about 2-3 months with Maria’s guidance, my shoulder is now functioning at 100% to what it was. I plan to continue with Maria for continued shoulder health and maintenance and highly recommend Maria and Health Yoga to others!
I have also met with Maria for Personal Yoga Therapy. With guidance on gentle movements as well as natural healing advice from Maria, my knee is also functioning as it was prior to an injury.
Maria’s Restorative Yoga is healing as her other modalities. I enjoy attending as a 'Nana and grand-daughter outings’. I would encourage anyone to explore any or all of Maria’s offerings. Her knowledge, attention to detail and holistic approach will serve you well. Namaste.
"I met Maria over a year ago. During the course of that time, I’ve had a couple of signiﬁcant injuries including a pinched sciatic nerve. Maria’s understanding of human anatomy is extensive as is her ability to modify poses to suit the practitioner's needs. She adjusted movements to help strengthen muscles to decrease the possibility of reinjury. My posture has also improved signiﬁcantly since practicing with Maria. Maria has a gentle yet thorough approach to not only the physical aspects of yoga but also the spiritual and mental components. Her goal is to provide the best experience possible to both the brand new yogi or a yogi who has practiced for years. Because she has studied many styles of yoga, Maria is able to oﬀer guidance so you can decide which you want to pursue. On a personal note, I took breathing for granted before beginning yoga. I have learned how important it is when faced with situations that cause stress. Breathing can help lower your stress level if done a certain way. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have found such an expert who is so willing and able to share her knowledge and passion for yoga and overall health."
Health Yoga is for everyone! From beginners to longtime yogis, you will feel so at home here. Maria's approach is so open-minded and nonjudgemental. I always look forward to the next available session. She guides you on your own personal journey of self-care, both physically and mentally. She is so gifted at simplifying while strengthening. There is much love and light present at Health Yoga.
I have been working with Maria, a Yoga Therapist, for roughly 4 months and feel a positive difference with my Fibromyalgia pain.
Maria's dedication and ability to work with any level student makes her service relaxing, enjoyable and beneficial.
I would highly recommend Maria's service for anyone suffering from chronic pain and fatigue.
Thank you, Maria, for your continued support and job well done!
Maria is a wonderful yoga teacher. Her studio is a warm and welcoming space with yoga classes tailored for anyone. Maria has extensive knowledge about the yoga practice and the human body which makes her a very involved teacher during her classes. I have loved all of Maria’s yoga classes and have found her dedication to the love of yoga and her students truly inspirational. If you want to take your yoga practice to a new level come to Health Yoga. Maria is truly the best at what she does and I have never met a yoga teacher like her
I face sciatica and shoulder pain for a long time. I am from India visiting my son that leaves in Kingston. I was looking for a yoga place and came across Maria's Health Yoga. I joined and I am so glad that I did. I am in the right place with my sciatica and shoulder problems.
I feel rejuvenated after joining her classes; she gives personal attention to the problems. The therapeutic yoga she is providing is soothing and I am enjoying my stay with no aches and pains. Maria is a lovely person, a loving kind. I am glad I joined her classes.
I took Yoga Therapy for sciatica with Maria, and she suggested that I would benefit from a sciatica group class. Currently, I attend her Monday yoga for sciatica and I am thrilled with the results in just weeks. My pain has diminished greatly and I would highly recommend these classes to anyone who wants to experience a life without pain.
All too frequently aging brings with it decreases in range of motion and muscle stiffness. Maria’s HealthYoga practice helps her patients with both caring, compassionate, individual attention and specific group programs. She is a well-trained, hands-on practitioner, who listens to her patients and works towards
a patient’s overall well-being. If you support holistic care, visit Maria’s web page ‘Health Yoga’. Then book an appointment in her relaxing environment. You will be glad you did. Doris
When I first met Maria, it had been 5 months since double fracturing my spinal L4 vertebrae and I was in pain with very restricted movement due also to seized piriformis muscles and sciatic nerve strain.
Maria began working with me in one on one sessions 2 times a week. In each 90 minute session, Maria never left my side. Whether I was stretching, exercising or having REflexology deep-tissue treatments, Maria was “hands-on” with me at all times. She took great care in making sure I was benefiting from my therapy correctly and fully explained every step, what we were doing and why we were doing it. She also carefully planned out an exercise regime for me to do at home which I found extremely beneficial to my recovery. Many days I thought I wasn’t making progress and Maria always made me feel so reassured that recovery would come.
After 3 months, I have graduated from private sessions to Maria’s sciatica class. Mobility, pain, and flexibility have improved so much that I started this week working with Maria in a class setting. I have come to learn that my well-being deserves all that Maria has to offer. She is a special gift whom I am very grateful for. Jane Malcolm
5 stars are seriously not enough! Maria at Health Yoga deserves SO much more than that. The private classes are always challenging but light-hearted, motivational but grounding, introspective and simply just led by an amazing instructor. I cannot thank you enough Maria for opening up a whole new side of myself that I was not in tune with.
Rob Nelson - dealing with an autoimune condition Lupus,
18 Month Update.
After continued practice under the guidance of YT Maria, I have been able to expand my circle of activities. I had lost my ability to play the guitar but now I can experience that enjoyment again. This was more than a hobby for me as it acted as a type of therapy as well. Short hikes, long walk twice a day and swimming are back in my life. Long visits with my family that used to be impossible have become routine. My life improved very quickly in my early experience with Maria and Health Yoga and as time has worn on, it has been a slow but steady and profound sense of improvement and internal connection.
Maria is a healer. She saw what physiotherapists could not and found a way to connect me with the source of my physical problems so they could be addressed. True change and healing take time and effort and I am filled with gratitude daily that Maria is my guide. The skill, caring, and dedication that Maria has poured into my treatment has been nothing short of amazing and the results are proof of that.
Thank you for everything!
My partner and I had booked a partner yoga session with Maria and were treated with an extensive session full of reflection and gentle guidance. Maria has a very relaxing and soothing presence and is able to convey her vast knowledge in a fashion that integrates perfectly with each lesson. For the yoga lesson itself, the focus was on connecting with each other and one's boundaries and the soft exercises schooled the attention of each other and let us experience harmony. We left with a feeling of connection and calm. For everyone looking for a slow, introspective yoga session with their partner, this offer is highly recommendable.
Maria also offered a reflexology session in which she was treating hands and feet. Her feather-light touches were very soothing and relaxing. So relaxing indeed, that I even napped off for a bit. She also identified muscular problems and gave advice on how to treat these at home. After the reflexology session, my feet felt very light and it seemed like walking on clouds. I very much enjoyed the session and even more the feeling afterward!
Ph.D. Student at the Globalizing Minority Rights Project
Department of Philosophy
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Blayne Mackey - update after 3 years of practice with Maria
I have been practicing with Maria for close to three years now. I have no hesitation in recommending Maria's Health Yoga to anyone.
At the age of seventy-two, my life goal is to stay healthy and active in retirement.
I employ a number of tactics to do that including hiking, biking, golf, walking, yoga, physiotherapy, mediation strength training.
I find that Maria's weekly sessions keep me motivated and are a great adjunct to my home practice. Her weekly routines are varied. We are currently doing something called functional yoga. I find that it has increased both my strength and flexibility. She also includes integrative meditation with each session which is a nice distraction to all the stresses we face in our daily lives.
Rob Nelson- update on 27th of October, 2020,
dealing with an autoimune condition Lupus,
My Rheumatologist, Dr. Marie Clements-Baker, just gave me the wonderful news that my blood is showing the same improvements that the rest of my body is showing. My inflammatory factors went from over 30, which is extremely high, down to 3. Just 3. That’s almost normal. I am just overwhelmed with gratitude right now and wanted to share the good news with you. I am a real-world example of how effective you are as a Yoga Therapist. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Maria.
Maria Mitea embodies a real mind, body and spirit connection in her yoga practice. She generously shares her deep understanding of how the breath, body, and mind should flow together from the very basic to advanced yoga positions. Classes are varied and provide just the right level of challenge for a broad range of yoga practitioners. During a yoga class, she will quietly spend the time with each student to provide additional instruction and knowledgeably adjusting as needed with the appreciation that each person’s practice is their own. Maria weaves insightful yoga philosophy into each practice guiding the power of your thoughts to a place of quiet reflection and well-being. I come away from her classes with my body feeling limber, refreshed and my mind rested. I would highly recommend taking yoga classes from Maria, you will be glad you did!"
Ann E Roff
I am dealing with metatarsalgia. I went through orthotics and physiotherapy and nothing helped. An acquaintance of mine told me that after working with Maria for a number of sessions he’d experienced a significant improvement with a painful issue.
I’ve done quite a lot of yoga over the years, so I thought I had things covered. But as I’ve aged, my feet (little traitors!) have started to cause me excruciating pain. I felt desperate and scared that the simple act of walking could be taken away from me.
I decided to try Health Yoga, both yoga classes and Reflexology. Maria showed me exercises that were completely different from those given to me by the physiotherapists. Her exercises are really helpful. I have better control over the strength of my feet, which is a huge factor in how this painful condition will progress.
The depth of Maria’s understanding of the human body and how it works continues to astound me. During a yoga class she noticed my swollen ankles. This led to a discussion and practice of exercises to stimulate the lymphatic system. Now I can do these exercises at home, helping my lymphatic system to remove stagnating toxins.
I recommend Maria one hundred percent!