ABOUT OUR DIRECTOR
In 2006, Katy Bowman, MS, a biomechanical scientist, offered the first ever Restorative Exercise™ Specialist certification. It was the first time she would be teaching others this seemingly revolutionary way of looking at the human body and determining why in our society so many people’s bodies aren’t working as they should. As a society, we are exercising more, yet becoming more unhealthy- more overweight with more pain and more disease. When you observe the body in such an objective way as to view it like the machine it is, it becomes very clear when points of the body are out of alignment and why joints are degenerating and vital organs are failing.
Our Director, Breena Maggio, was fortunate to have been a part of that first-ever Whole Body Alignment Training for the Restorative Exercise™ Specialist (RES) designation and has been teaching others the Science of Alignment ever since. She has now deepened her education and is on the RES-Master Teacher track. Throughout her 14 years in the fitness industry, Breena has served as a fitness program director, group exercise instructor, and personal trainer. In addition to her Restorative Exercise™ (RE) training, Breena is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, and has a B.A. in Biological Sciences from UC Santa Barbara.
When Katy moved the Institute online and decided to close the exercise studio and Earth shoe store, Breena jumped at the chance to take over and continue to provide this unique and innovative education to Ventura county residents. In January of 2011, she opened the Body Education Alignment Center for Health, or the B.E.A.C.H., offering a fun, energetic, and community-based educational wellness facility, following closely in Katy’s footsteps, continuing to provide the same level of education and service that people have come to expect when they walk through our doors.
“With a background of mind/body education and philosophy, coupled with my fitness training, I was searching for the missing piece or missing connection. I have found that there is so much misinformation, contradictory information, and misunderstanding in the fitness world. Katy has put all the disconnected pieces together and I knew immediately that she had the answers I had been seeking. In the process of learning Restorative Exercise™, I have learned what incredible things my body can do and how much power I- and each one of us- have to make life-transforming changes in our bodies, which in turn transforms our lives. It’s actually quite simple, and I love to blow people’s minds when they hear it for the first time!”
At the B.E.A.C.H., we have the distinction that every one of our Restorative Exercise Specialists (RES) on staff is (or is in process of becoming) a RES Master Teacher. This means that each one of us has chosen to become more fluent in the language of Whole Body Alignment by immersing ourselves deeper into the training. Just like learning a new language, a few years in high school or college does not mean you are suddenly fluent. It is no different with the Science of Alignment. It is a paradigm shift for most of us and with time and diligent practice, it eventually becomes a part of you- you become fluent in “Whole Body Alignment”. Master Teachers are those practitioners who have chosen to “live in the country” for a few years and become fluent enough to teach others from that perspective.
It is with passion that we share the simplicity of the 25 Points of Alignment. Although this information is truly applicable to (and should be known by) every single human being, from young children to seniors to athletes, many people come to us because they are already in pain. We have the unique opportunity to teach them that through alignment, they can regain control of their health and that it’s never too late to make positive changes and drastically improve their overall wellness.
After getting her AA in English, Ann began a long career as a Court Reporter. Many hours of sitting began to take its toll. She says, “I’ve always enjoyed an active lifestyle; hiking, tennis, waterskiing, snow-skiing, and it has caused me pain and discomfort in the past. Since learning about Restorative Exercise™ and diligently following the program, I’ve been relatively pain-free. It’s wonderful. I decided to take the very first training program Katy Bowman offered, and I’ve been helping people find their best body mechanics since then either by leading group classes or training clients individually. Life and learning needs to be fun, so I try to keep my clients laughing all the way to health!!”
In addition to teaching Restorative Exercise™ (RE) principles at the B.E.A.C.H., Tim is also the anatomy instructor at KALI Institute for Massage and Somatic Therapy. He has over 500 hours of massage education in various techniques and 11 years of teaching massage and beginning anatomy.
20 years of practicing massage has demonstrated both its value and limits as a therapeutic tool. 60 or 90 minutes of bodywork can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and reduce stress, all worthwhile, useful goals. These beneficial outcomes are, however, often temporary. Building on the bodywork, getting to the root of one’s problems is, in Tim’s opinion and experience, what makes RE so effective. His clients now have the tools/exercises to maintain the positive changes made during their massage sessions. They are actively engaged on a full time basis in their own healthcare. After 40 months of intense personal practice as well as feedback from students and clients, he states with confidence that RE is of real and substantial benefit. Often, dramatic results occur from small, simple changes in alignment.
“I strive to maintain a healthy mind and body through the practice and application of Restorative Exercise™ to all my activities. The things most important to me are: living an examined life, practicing what I “preach”, and to be of service to all, especially my family and friends.”
Theresa discovered the science of and practice of biomechanics and alignment following the recommendation of her massage therapist. With a basic understanding of the human machine and a strong desire to live a long and active life, Theresa now incorporates alignment practice into all aspects of her life because it feels right! Theresa is fully committed to helping people who are in pain, no matter the cause, and believes whole body alignment is THE missing piece of the wellness puzzle. Theresa is eager to teach people how to improve alignment and unwind habitual and detrimental patterns of movement through acceptance of our bodies, improved strength and flexibility, and the relaxation response. Theresa holds a BA and PhD in biology. In her spare time, she loves gardening, walking, cooking, and enjoying nature.
Susan is a Ventura County native and has taken full advantage of the area’s many outdoor opportunities. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Studies from UCSB and continued her formal studies at Cal Lutheran University by taking graduate level courses in education. She taught high school mathematics before earning her certification as a Pilates Instructor. She has worked in the fitness industry in this capacity since 2004.
“The seemingly divergent paths of my past have now converged through the philosophy of Restorative Exercise™. I am now drawing on my lifelong passions for science, teaching, and athletics to help others discover the confidence and joy of healthy movement.”
From a young age Michael Kaffel has been interested in holistic health and alternative medicine. He has come to rely on the alignment theories of Restorative Exercise™ in his own practice because of its simple concepts and effective prescriptions. It is his belief that the information being taught at the B.E.A.C.H. can dramatically change everyone’s life and improve everyone’s health.
Taylor earned a B.S. in Movement and Exercise Science from Westmont College and shortly after became certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She went on to work with a local Physical Therapist developing exercise programs for patients and giving private exercise instruction. At the time, she had a very active lifestyle and enjoyed running, hiking, taekwondo, and working out at the gym. A few years ago, she was faced with a debilitating illness and was no longer able to do the activities she loved due to muscle pain, fatigue, and weakness. She found that her methods of exercise were doing more harm than good, so she began to look for an alternative.
“When I finally found Restorative Exercise™, I could hardly walk a lap around my neighborhood. I had seen A LOT of different types of exercise and therapy and was skeptical to say the least. It wasn’t until I took the RES training program that I realized I had found the piece that was missing in all my previous exercise beliefs and movement practices. I was shocked that I had never heard these principles and that they are not more widely understood in the health/fitness world. It revolutionized my understanding of the human body and has helped restore my health. I am now relatively pain free, have increased my strength and stamina, and have begun to start hiking again! I’m excited to now be in a place where I get to help others restore their health through understanding alignment and practicing correct movement.”
In 1997 Zan completed the Sivananda Yoga Teacher 200 hour Training course in Neyyar Dam, India. Upon returning, she studied with Erich Schiffmann, Scott Blossom, Paul Grilley, Judi Flannery, Judith Loftus, and Steve Dwelley. Zan has taught over 12,000 documented yoga classes in the past 13 years, and embraced a rather immense change in teaching style and outlook after completing the Restorative Exercise Specialist training under the tutelage of Katy Bowman. The hybrid of yoga and Restorative Exercise™ has been a successful and enjoyable endeavor.
Cindy is a 1993 graduate of Santa Barbara School of Massage, where she received the basic skill in Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Shiatsu techniques. These techniques offered a beginning level of personal growth and training. In continuing her interest in different types of body work, she experienced the John Barnes “Myofascial Release Approach”. After receiving great results in her own body, she realized the value of this work and wanted to share it with others. It was through this work that she reconnected to her own healing body and discovered that we all have this healing ability within. Continuing on her path to be of service and help empower others in their own bodies, she was introduced to Restorative Exercise. In May of 2011, she graduated from the Restorative Exercise Institute as a Certified Personal Trainer-Restorative Exercise Specialist.
“I now have more tools to help clients heal and live in a more aligned mind/body and spirit. I have found that combining Restorative Exercise both on and off the massage table helps one deepen into their connective tissue in a more relaxed and subtle way. Combing Restorative Exercise Science with my Massage Therapy/Myofascial Release knowledge was the missing link for me in my practice.“
Donna Relles, a registered nurse with 30 years of experience, has found her niche as a Restorative Exercise Specialist at the B.E.A.C.H., specializing in promoting Women’s Health. Donna’s expertise as a Registered Nurse in Women’s and Children’s Health combined with her experience as a Nurse Manager, Client Advocate and Perinatal/Lactation Educator offers an expression that utilizes her experiences and passions for the betterment of others.
Donna is a gifted teacher who possesses the ability to transfer her vast body of knowledge on to her students/clients with warmth and encouragement. Donna herself is a product of the healing agents of Restorative Exercise™. As a result, her lifelong goal to contribute to the concept of healing and overall healthy living is being realized in her current efforts here in Ventura as she enjoys everything this small beach community has to offer, especially the people who reside here.
“The first time I heard Katy (Katy Bowman, Scientist, creator of Restorative Exercise™) speak I thought, ‘finally, someone was giving a voice to what I knew was missing from my thirty years of health care experience’. Both my patients and I had experienced firsthand, the frustration of only treating the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. Restorative Exercise™ gives us the tools necessary to take ownership of our health preventing and correcting many of the ailments that we share as a culture.”
The B.E.A.C.H. Official Photographer