Part of my work is aimed at educating people on human biology and the physical forms of Thai Massage and another, larger dream of mine is to ensure that as a culture, we become more touch-literate.
I hope to dissolve the culturally ingrained habits that have been spread out of the fear of touch. Touch-aversion goes against our deepest biological needs and so it continues to take us further and further out of connection. I’m here to share education and teach skills in compassionate touch so that we can return to a far healthier state, and a far more interconnected community.
When I first started studying Thai massage, I observed some large gaps in education, and in the bigger picture of touch-literacy. In an effort to improve the standard of education, heighten the classroom experience, and ultimately drive positive change in the industry, I started writing the curriculum that we now call “Navina”.
When designing curriculum and teaching, I attempt to pass on as much detail, quality and intricacy as I possibly can whilst avoiding overwhelm. As we dig into the nuanced physical postures of Thai yoga therapy we also carefully navigate the conversation around touch, touch-aversion and trauma-informed spaces and practices in an effort to cultivate a safe and inclusive space.
In case you’re wondering about my own education, I have a BASc. in Human Biology, and numerous certifications in manual therapy through a Thai massage lens.
I’d love to meet you along this path!
Oh, how I Love Thai Massage! How it feels to receive and how it feels to give. It has opened my life to a world connected to my body in a way I have never experienced before.
I discovered Thai Massage through my interests in Yoga. I found it was a great complement to my practice and thought “Wow, I could do this, and it could be a great job some day!” I completed my certification with Lotus Palm. I was practicing Thai massage in between my aviation career and spent numerous hours in the classroom assisting my teachers here and at the Sunshine School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I felt like something was missing from my practice though – Navina filled in that gap. Fast-forward to today I’m a Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner and Educator with Navina®.
When you’re in class with me you will see I do my best to create an environment that is inclusive of all learning styles. If you don’t understand something I will show you or explain it a different way, use a visual aid, or liken it to a story I have from my years of experience in this modality and others that I have studied – Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation and Trauma informed practices. You may even hear a story or two about my flying days!
I will create a space of awareness, one that is open and safe for everyone. If you experience personal challenges, development, or releases while in class I want you to know that I will be there to fully support you. It is all welcomed!
My curious nature takes me to the books and online to explore my many questions – this helps me keep my skills and knowledge current. My passion, that can border on obsession, with the multi-faceted aspects of the mind and body feeds into my life on every level – you’ll see once you’re in my class, on my mat, or just chatting with me.
I can’t wait to connect with you. 🙂
I didn’t always have all the answers I was looking for. I still don’t 😉. But luckily, I know what I’m passionate about. I believe my purpose in life is to care for others through education. This extends to my family, my friends, current and past students, and those I haven’t met yet.
For many years I had many jobs simultaneously- to make ends meet, working long hours for little pay, battling depression and feeling hopeless.
I spent years dreaming of finding a career that would allow me to do all the things I love, to teach and share, to make a difference, to connect.
I’ll let you in on a secret I discovered. The world around us is a classroom! It’s full of opportunities and experiences to learn and grow and teach in countless directions. Fortunately I have had access to the outdoor classroom of Costa Rica since January 2016 where I studied to become a Thai Massage Practitioner at the Navina retreat centre. It is in this setting that I began a transformation. I learned about the power of compassionate touch, but also about life, humankind, and most of all the influence nature can have on a journey to self discovery. In 2017, I was able to join the Navina Education Team and begin to pass on my knowledge.
Since becoming a teacher of manual therapy, I like to encourage exploration with my students, and let them know that it’s okay to make a mistake while learning new concepts. When you’re in class, I’ll remind you to tap into your inner child, because it helps us to look at new ideas with that beginners lens.
In the last few years, I’ve also learned that life is a gift. What a pleasure to be able to share time and space with people who want to learn new skills to bring humanity closer together. My heart sings to be able to live my life authentically and share my personal and professional experiences with others to help them unlock their inner potential. I look forward to learning and growing with you!
Hey there, I’m Debra. I love what I do and I am blessed to have found Navina. My vision is to touch as many people as possible and ignite the passion for compassionate touch in others aligning with Navina’s vision.
After a 40-year career in the retail landscape, I explored the world of Yoga. With the resources I have amassed on this journey and continue to amass in yoga therapy studies plus Thai Yoga Therapy / Anatomy and physiology training, my toolbox has evolved and I am now able to help others feel better in their bodies by managing pathophysiologies.
I always look forward to providing fitness professionals with tools to enhance their one on one trainings and classes.
Encouraging Yoga and Thai Yoga therapy practitioners to channel their inner explorer to marry Thai Yoga Therapy postures with Yoga restorative asanas in order to enhance the experience is another exciting avenue for development and creativity.
I am fuelled by inquisitive minds to create experiences and to provide resources by exploring the body and its movements. I look forward to reaching more people in trainings to introduce them to our practice of Thai Yoga Therapy.