I have been practicing meditation and yoga since 1996, sitting and moving with teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist, Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar streams. Along the way I’ve been certified as a yoga therapist and an Ayurvedic consultant, and has maintained a private practice in Toronto since 2008. From 2008 through 2012 I co-directed Yoga Festival Toronto and Yoga Community Toronto, non-profit activist organizations dedicated to promoting open dialogue and accessibility. During that same period he studied jyotiśhāstra in a small oral-culture setting at the Vidya Institute in Toronto. I currently facilitates programming for yoga trainings internationally, focusing on yoga philosophy, meditation, Ayurveda, and the social psychology of practice. In all subject areas, I encourage students to explore how yoga practice can resist the psychic and material dominance of neoliberalism, and the quickening pace of environmental destruction.
I’m the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Of Threads of Yoga: a remix of Patanjali’s Sutras with commentary and reverie, scholar Mark Singleton writes: “I don’t know of any reading of the yoga sutras as wildly creative, as impassioned and as earnest as this. it engages Patanjali and the reader in an urgent, electrified conversation that weaves philosophy, symbolist poetry, psychoanalysis and cultural history. There’s a kind of delight and freshness in this book that is very rare in writing on yoga, and especially rare in writing on the yoga sutras. This is a Patanjali for postmoderns, less a translation than a startlingly relevant report on our current condition, through the prism of this ancient text.”
Of the forthcoming What Are We Actually Doing in Asana?, Buddhist teacher and author Michael Stone writes: “Matthew Remski’s WAWADIA research digs beneath the statistics of yoga injuries to examine the stories we tell ourselves about our bodies, perfection, inadequacy and freedom. We all know that repetitive strain or too much flexibility creates the conditions for injury. But what we haven’t brought to light yet are the consequences of the narratives we tell ourselves—how they set us up for physical trouble in practice and how they influence the way we go through life. This research will help you pay attention to the strange unconscious intentions that get all mixed up in a life-long practice, so you can clear out unhelpful motivations and follow through on what’s truly good for you.”
As a Ayurvedic consultant, I try to hold space for people as they integrate the shadows of flesh and heart. In the background of any meeting, I stay aware of whatever experience I’ve gained through ayurveda, yoga therapy, and yoga philosophy. Often, these disciplines provide useful lines of inquiry and protocols. But I try to be careful to not let what I think I know encroach upon the person, their unique growth, or mine. I try to hold my tools lightly, because they change.
I live in Toronto with my partner Alix Bemrose and our son Jacob.
I have wanted to help people heal my whole life, and I’ve been an anatomy junkie since childhood. With a biology and health psychology focus in university, teaching anatomy in the lab while at the University of Victoria, leading functional fitness, yoga and TRX classes while also working in recreation and health, I have come to believe the body has what it needs to heal inside. I believe that it is our awareness that opens the doorway to move towards healing. I teach from the inside out, considering not just the physical, but ALL the aspects that affect how we are in our flesh and psyche.
This holistic style provides you with a stable footing to grow; a solid platform to learn how to feel so you can build your movement practice (yoga or otherwise) into something strong, steady and supple.
My relationship with Yoga was born in 2000, as I was looking for rehabilitation support to help heal from a serious lower back injury. As practice became consistent, my back began to heal, and I could feel a greater connection in my body and my breath.
It was through learning Yoga Philosophy that I began to look deeper into many areas of my life, when I recognized that yoga had a much larger place for me off of my mat! It was here that yoga really became my life practice: self-reflecting, journaling, studying, meditating, practicing and living consciously became part of my daily ritual. I felt an internal awareness inside that was being illuminated through these practices, and I feel inspired every day to help others discover it too.
With this inspiration, I immediately enrolled in my first teacher training program upon completion of my degree in 2006. I began studying under Jennifer Pritchard, completing a 250 hour, Yoga Alliance certified program through the Ashtanga Yoga Shala. I began teaching immediately at various studios throughout the city of Victoria, as well as with the University of Victoria and the Victoria Police Department.
My study and practice has only deepened since my initial training, and I have been inspired by learning from many instructors, including: Jeff & Harmony Lichty, Maria Garre, Sadie Nardini, Margot McKinnon, and Madhuri Phillips. In 2009, I began studying with internationally renowned Yoga Therapist, Susi Hately, and in August 2014, I completed training to receive my Yoga Therapy Certification through Functional Synergy’s internationally accredited school. In addition, I have also completed Levels 1 and 2 in Rhythmic Movement Training, a movement based reflex integration program connecting the primitive brain to how we move our bodies.
I recently completed two years of study with Deborah Adele in Samkhya Yoga Philosophy and Mind study, and have completed multiple courses in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga. I am passionate about natural healing; and I have a special interest in working with those with auto-immune diseases, as I have vast experience and resources from my own journey living with Ankylosing Spondilitis.
Paula has been blessed with being able to do the work she loves since she first discovered the complementary wellness path in the mid-1990's. She stumbled into yoga in 1995 as a means to stave off the crippling effects of working at a desk. In yoga, she discovered a practice which seemed surprisingly familiar and she fell into the lifestyle of the enthusiastic yoga student. She was strongly encouraged by her teachers to enter the Yoga Association of Alberta Teacher Training Program. With a little push, Paula dove in. 1997 marked the beginning of her initial training, and she has eagerly pursued deeper and deeper teachings which she shared with students around Central Alberta.
The year 2000 provided Paula with her 300 hour Hatha Yoga Certification and the beginning of her training as a Registered Massage Therapist. In massage school, she discovered the joy of understanding the body. She was also struck very deeply by the connections between yoga and anatomy/physiology. And so, Paula became an instructor of Yoga and Anatomy. As time progressed, Paula received her Intermediate Teacher status, providing her the qualifications to aid in the training of Hatha Yoga Teachers. In 2015, she was awarded her Senior Teacher status recognizing over 20 years of Hatha Yoga practice and over 10 years of certification. She now mentors students in the YAA Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program.
Paula has always felt Yoga chose her... not the other way around. As part of her experience, she received a wide variety of students with challenging health concerns. This seemed to be by design as well. Since Yoga Therapy was not commonly taught in Alberta when Paula was learning about it, she had to dig into her wellness studies, specialized yoga trainings, and her own inner knowing to find practices to help her students. More than one person has confided that the teaching Paula shared was life-saving.
Along the way, Paula studied and became certified in Iridology and Advanced Level Aromatherapy. She pursued studies in Ayurveda through the AYU Academy, through the American Institute of Vedic Studies (with Dr. David Frawley), through the Ayurvedic Institute (with Dr. Vasant Lad), and with Vedic Priestess, Andrea Olivera. She was initiated into Mantra by her teacher, Namadeva Acharya. And she continues to study all aspects of health and well-being.
Paula owns and operates Hidden Messages for the Body, Mind, Heart, & Soul wellness clinic in Red Deer, AB. She is teaches for and volunteers with the not-for-profit Yoga Alliance of Red Deer (YARD) studio and is currently on the wholistic health team for the Central Alberta Pain Rehabilitation Institute (CAPRI) as the Yoga Therapist.
Ever grateful to her teachers along the way, particularly Maya Margo Balog, Grace Little, Namadeva Acharya, Dr. Vasant Lad, and Dr. David Frawley (amongst many too numerous to name), Paula endeavors to share the light of knowledge that she has been inspired to carry with as many people as she can.