Leonor "Leo" Mowry owns Village Yoga in Toronto, teaching private and group classes, and specializing in helping people relieve chronic pain with therapeutic yoga. She is the host of A Brand New Day, Rogers TV's empowering yoga-inspired TV show. Leo also co-authored "Advancing Your Yoga Practice: The Art of Slowing Down", the fifth book in the world-renowned Anatomy and Asana therapeutic yoga series. In 2009, she released her first cd of guided relaxations, entitled The Voice of Relaxation, Volume 1. She is a certified Reiki Master, the Yoga Director for the Toronto Trails Festival and Ontario Walks, a 2-time lululemon ambassador and an ongoing contributor of expertise and articles for various tv shows, web sites, and publications.
"You have a body, you have a mind, you have a spirit...all need to be nurtured."
Leo cherishes the nurture of body, mind, and spirit every day of her life. She learned her lessons the hard way. Growing up, Leo was plagued by physical and emotional pain: severe anxiety, depression, bulimia, and migraines. Compounded by an extremely dysfunctional family life, she explains, "I was the most messed up kid in school."
Today Leo enjoys good health and an overall sense of well-being; a life that she once thought an impossible dream. Her transformation began in 1996 when she uncovered a new way of being through Taoism. In practicing Taoism and consciously applying its timeless, simple wisdom to both her way of thinking and behaving, Leo immediately and increasingly noticed positive changes and a growing sense of meaning and calm in her life. Two years later, she took her first yoga class and experienced a sense of inner peace and present-moment-awareness unlike anything she had ever felt before. She knew that she had found yet another important practice in which to cultivate the qualities of compassion, simplicity and patience that she was growing to revere. Gradually, Leo became less anxious, more confident, and better able to handle life and relationships.
In 2001, driven by a desire to deepen her knowledge, Leo left the corporate world to attend Don and Amba Stapleton's Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher Training at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. She learned about all aspects of yoga and perhaps most importantly, how to authentically teach classes from her own experience. She also studied yoga philosophy and confirmed what she had long suspected: yoga philosophy and her much-loved, relied-upon Taoism were almost exactly the same.
Leo was determined to direct her new life values into her vocation and has never looked back. With her passion for yoga, and her ongoing commitment to personal growth, she enjoys, lives and teaches a balanced, fulfilled and happy life.
"Practicing yoga and Eastern philosophy has taught me how to be; how to manage my mind, and overcome mental and physical pain," says Leo, "Best of all, I learned to uncover the joy and connection that lie within us all. I know that if I can do it, anybody can. I teach them how."