About

Gwen McKenzie

Gwen McKenzie Photo CollageGwen has developed her Massage Therapy and Yoga & Pilates practice from her fascination with inner-fitness that inspires rejuvenation & revitalization. She is passionate about combining specific bodywork therapies with appropriate movement modalities to help clients optimize their wellbeing.

Fifteen years ago, Gwen opened The Body Garden Studio in Canmore, Alberta and, after 6 years, moved her business to Calgary, Alberta. She created a home based Massage Studio and she developed a Mobile Teaching business that takes her unique approach to Holistic therapies and teaches them out of select health and wellness studios in and around Calgary. Read More...

Gwen calls on her 20+ years of experience in Massage Therapy to help her develop and teach Pilates & Yoga classes, workshops or, work one on one with individuals, at all levels of movement experience.

She is an advocate for Holistic healing and recently has become very interested with Seasonal Living. It has inspired her to incorporate the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Therapies into her practice.
Gwen uses The Body Garden as a lifestyle and wellness resource. All Bookings are done online for Massage services, Pilates, Yoga, classes and workshops.

 

Massage

Gwen is a Registered Massage Therapist and has had a successful practice for over 20 years. She specializes in combining Deep Tissue Sports Massage with Therapeutic Myofascial Release and CranioSacral & Visceral Therapies. Thai Massage, Hot Stone Massage and Aromatherapy are additional ways she infuses variety into custom treatment sessions. Read More...

By using a specialized comprehensive assessment protocol, Gwen has been able to help clients with a range of injuries and dysfunctions including athletic injuries, post concussive syndrome, TMJ dysfunction, chronic stress symptoms and postural challenges. Clients experience improved range of movement, improved mood and energy levels, improved circulation and lymphatic flow, reduced muscle and joint soreness, and improved sleep.

 

Yoga

Gwen is a Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher and she has taught a variety of styles including Yoga for Athletes, Yoga Fusion, Back in Action and Therapeutic Yoga for over 15 years.

Gwen was profoundly inspired by Vanda Scaravelli’s work, explained in her book Awakening the Spine. This fluid style of Yoga teaches that its not the performance of the postures rather its the relationship you have with yourself - your breath, your spine and gravity while doing the postures. Working with gravity creates a freedom of energy in your body, awakening your inner intelligence, giving life to your spine and health and healing to your body. Read More...

“Movement is the song of the body… the body has its own song from which the movement arises spontaneously.” ~V.Scaravelli.

Gwen went on to study with Yogi’s of similar viewpoints, including Ester Myers & Donna Farhi.

While on a Surf & Yoga retreat Gwen was introduced to Yoga Nidra, a deep relaxation and guided meditation practice. It profoundly helped her develop mindful awareness, enhancing her intuition and creativity. Richard Miller’s Heart of Yoga Book & CD is a favorite. Gwen integrates Breath Therapy and BodyBall Therapy into her movement sessions creating an ease that encourages rest and relaxation.

 

Pilates

Gwen started to expand her work in 2009, to include Pilates. She noticed Massage clients who had a regular Pilates practice had extra muscle tone everywhere and were also pliable, their tissue had a hydrated texture and their posture was changing for the better. Gwen decided to try it for herself and was able to heal her own chroinic back pain, plus her quality of movement in Yoga, running and biking also improved.

Gwen began working with Dagmar Viberg of Equilibrium Pilates, in Calgary. Dagmar is a Master Trainer with Pilates Core Integration. Gwen liked her intuitive teaching and training style, which follows the lineage of Eve Gentry, one of Joseph Pilates original teachers.

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Eve’s philosophy was to “make the exercise fit the body and have the body and equipment move as though the equipment is an extension of the body, like a dance.”

Gwen completed her comprehensive Pilates Teacher training with Core Dynamics in 2011. She was certified under Michele Larsson, the owner, who developed Eve Gentry’s work into a world renowned Teacher Training Program after studying and working with Eve Gentry in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gwen continues to develop her Pilates through ongoing workshops with a variety of Master Trainers.

Gwen believes that Pilates done on the mat and specific Pilates equipment is instrumental to increasing range of movement and strengthening all aspects of the body. When combined with Yoga, Pilates dramatically improves overall joint health and flexibility.

 

 

 
BodyBall Therapy

Gwen has been studying Ball Therapies since 2005 and has taken classes in Yamuna Body Rolling; Yoga Therapy & Body Rolling; and TKM, Kathleen Keller’s Method of Therapeutic Ball Release. Gwen finds that the addition of BodyBall Therapy, Foam Rollers and Therapeutic Stretching empowers clients to take charge of their own wellbeing. Read More...

Decreasing tension and stress by releasing trigger points nourishes the fascia, internal organs and energy meridians, contributing to a strong, pliable body & mind that is able to relax, detox and recover. You will look, feel and move better!
Gwen integrates Breath Therapy and BodyBall Therapy into her movement sessions to create an ease and fluidity that helps you move with ease and grace.

 

 

Currently

Gwen lives in Calgary, AB, Canada with her family and dog. She is always taking interesting courses, spending her free time outside running her dog or gardening. Many great times are had with family, friends and colleauges. She enjoys hiking, biking, being in the mountains, loves the ocean, is taking Cello lessons again and probably will never retire because she loves what she does! Read More...

Gwen’s new passion is Seasonal Living. Gwen is currently enrolled in a program that incorporates the ancient wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine into specific movement practices, diet, meditation, breath awareness, colors and affirmations. The practice helps us better manage our personal energy, by honoring the different energy of each season and it’s natural rhythms and cycles. Stay Tuned…

Gwen has come to observe connections about how each season affects our mental, emotional, spiritual wellbeing in different ways. Gwen will be offering Seasonal Workshops to explore how we can work with the Energy of the Season to improve our mental, emotional, spiritual wellbeing and overall vitality.

 

 

Credentials
 
Massage

1990- Registered Massage Therapist
1991 – Reflexologist
1995 – BioKinesiology Training
1998 – Myofascial Training
2000 – Traditional Thai Massage
2004 – 2010 – CranioSacral & Visceral Therapies
2010 – Anatomy Trains
2013 – Hot Stone Therapy
2014 – Advanced Hot & Cold Stone Therapy

 
Yoga

1998 – Certified Yoga Instructor
1997 - 1999 - Ester Myers Yoga Training
1998 - Donna Farhi Yoga Training
2008 - Yoga & Surf Retreat, Costa, Rica


BodyBall Therapy

2005 – Yamuna Body Rolling
2012 – The Keller Method, Therapeutic Ball Techniques

2013 - The Keller Method, Anatomy Trains - Myofascial Workshop 

 

Pilates

2009 - 2011 – Core Dynamics Pilates Training
2010 – Pilates Core Integration

2014 - Currently studying : Energy in Season Teacher Training Program

(Movement modalities from Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine for Pilates and Yoga)