Johanna Wise (Owner):
Johanna Wise is a 500-hr Kripalu Yoga Teacher, licensed massage therapist, Phoenix Rising yoga therapy practitioner, and certified AcroYoga teacher. She has been practicing bodywork since 2003 and teaching yoga since 2005.
Johanna has studied numerous yoga modalities and lineages, offering classes in therapeutic yoga, vinyasa, partner work, restorative, yin, and pre-natal. Johanna also has extensive bodywork training, offering therapeutic and deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, Positional Therapy, Thai Massage, Prenatal Massage, Myofascial Release, Reflexology, Reiki, Integrated Energy Therapy, Polarity, Aromatherapy and ayurvedic bodywork.
Johanna's work grows out of the profound impact bodywork and yoga have had on her own life. Her intention is to use these practices to help her clients and students experience deep peace, radiant energy, and a joyful, open heart.
In addition to her private practice, Johanna teaches at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and Yoga Great Barrington. She is the primary teacher and director of Berkshire AcroYoga, which works in conjunction with Sruti Yoga Center.
Johanna leads trainings for the Healing Arts staff at Kripalu Center on the Kripalu Approach to Bodywork, integrating yoga philosophy and bodywork for a form of bodywork that is a meditative, heart-opening practice for both giver and receiver.
Johanna is currently studying to become a yoga therapist.
When not practicing yoga or massage, Johanna can most often be found dancing, doing acroyoga, taking photographs, walking the Berkshire hills, and playing with her two cats (and assistant healers), Bodhi and Maitri.
Why Johanna pratices and teaches yoga:
In 2002, I walked into Blue Mud Yoga studio in Redlands, California, a 22-year old woman struggling with depression, food and body issues, and self-confidence. In the healing space of the studio, I found the guidance of kind, wise and compassionate teachers who shared a practice that transformed my life.
Yoga helped me befriend a mind and body I had been at war with. It helped me to develop a sense of safety and ease within myself. It allowed me to appreciate and love my body and mind, and discover that they are only part of who I am. It woke me up to the vastness and interconnectedness of my true self.
The more I practice, the more I realize how profound yoga is, and the more I want to share my gratitude for this practice with others.
Why Johanna practices and teaches AcroYoga:
Acroyoga brings together elements of all of the practices that have been most important to me throughout the various stages of my life - gymnastics, dance, yoga, massage/ therapeutic bodywork, and community building through conscious communication.
Like gymnastics and dance, acroyoga engages the practitioner in creativity and play, offers an experience of "flying" through the air, and attuning to the grace, strength and beauty of our human form. Acroyoga incorporates the mindfulness of yoga and the deeply healing experiences of trust, surrender and touch in massage and bodywork. At its core, acroyoga is a practice of community-building through collaboration, co-creation and conscious communication.
Why Johanna practices Bodywork:
As with yoga, I came to massage for my own healing. I experienced profound transformation as a result of receiving bodywork, and became hungry to learn more and share the power of massage with others.
Massage is a way we can release all the things that are not truly us- the stress and trauma of our lives that gets stuck in our tissues. When we release these things, there is an experience of "coming home" to the body. When we feel at home in our bodies, we experience greater ease, joy, openness and connection to others.
I do extremely deep and also subtle work that is centered around the practice of listening with my hands. I invite my clients to participate in their experience of receiving by using breath and intention to encourage the body to unwind and release deeply held stress and tension. I often feel as if I am doing a "deep cleaning" of the body in my work, as together we clear out physical and energetic blockages, so that the physical and energetic body is fluid and vibrant.
Gratitude to my teachers
I have had too many amazing teachers to mention them all, but I will name a few who have been particularly influential, and for whom I am deeply grateful: Coby Kozlowski, Shiva Rea, Arti Ross Kelso, Lee Albert, John Barnes, Yoganand Michael Carroll, Pema Chodron, Raghunath Cappo, Jason Nemer, Jenny Sauer-Klein, Sudhir Jonathan Foust, Kelly BIaser, Janet Stone, Sarah Powers, Todd Norian, and Jillian Pransky.