I have been steeped in the world of Yoga and Personal Development as I held the space for 20 years as the founder and director of Healing Waters, Center for Yoga, Health and Mindful Living, an award winning Yoga Studio in WNY located on 11 beautiful acres by Cazenovia creek from 1997 to 2017.
At Healing Waters I taught multiple weekly classes as a Yoga and Meditation teacher, facilitated and designed stress reduction courses, managed a large circle of Yoga Teacher and ran a thriving Yoga and Wellness Center with all it’s tribulations and rewards. Also during that time I directed and taught 9 month certification trainings for Hatha Yoga Instructors.
I am originally from Europe where I grew up in an Italian-German family in Rome, Italy. Before entering the world of Yoga I studied Media and Anthropology (HFF, Munich; University of Rome, La Sapienza) conducted anthropological studies in Ethiopia and New Mexico and worked as a Journalist and Television producer and spent much of my twenties living in different places including Munich, London and New York. I moved to Western New York in 1995 when I married my husband, who at the time was living in a remote family dairy farm in a 150 year old converted barn in Cattaragus county. That is where we lived for 15 years together with our son Tazio originally from Cambodia, with a strong connection to the cycle of a working farm and to the cycles of nature whilst I was commuting to my Yoga studio in East Aurora. In 2011 we made East Aurora our main residence maintaining our barn as my husband’s work place for his Farm shop and White Cow Dairy operation. Around the same time, during a trip to the heartland of Mexico, we discovered a strong connection to the land, people and culture of central Mexico and are now spending a few months of each year there whilst maintaining Western New York as our main base and workplace.
After selling Healing Waters in 2017 my work emphasis shifted to my coaching practice (I see coaching clients in Buffalo and East Aurora) and to advocate for the need of contemplative practices and spaces in environments such as schools, offices and hospitals. I feel strongly motivated, engaged and committed in cultivating and offering contemplative practices and spaces to counterpoint the fast, extroverted and distracted qualities of our current culture.
I work with groups in the classes and circles offered through MaLa Contemplative Space, (a company I founded in 2013, www.MaLaSpace.com) and as a Contemplative Educator and Advocate for Erie County and Roswell Park.
I also work together with the MaLa faculty doing research in contemplative practices and their effects and designing effective contemplative programs. Together with my colleagues I have a created a 100 hr training program for Contemplative Facilitators that is based on the foundational elements of Mindfulness, Yoga and Integral Theory. Our first group of contemplative facilitators graduated in the summer of 2017.
The discovery that I am a highly sensitive person (HSP), and that the particular way that my nervous system is wired requires a strong attention to stress management, was life changing and motivates me to reach out and work with this population. About 20% of the general population is considered to be an HSP.
My training and inspiration comes from the modalities I studied in depth over the last two decades: Raja Yoga, Yin Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation, Continuum and Tibetan & Taoist Teachings. A background and professional training in Yoga Instruction: Sivananda International Yoga organization: Woodbourne Ashram, NY; 200hrs (1992) and Val Morin Ashram, Quebec (500hrs), Psychosynthesis (Institute of Psychosynthesis, London 1995), Yoga Therapy (Stockbridge MA, 1998), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Kabatt-Zinn and Santarelli, Omega 2005), Integral Coaching (ICC, Ottawa 2014), are the backbone of my work. I am deeply grateful for the teachings of the Yoga, the Tao Te Ching and Tibetan Buddhism which continue to guide me in my personal practice and for my wonderful Teachers: Fausto Maria Dorelli, Emiie Conrad, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and the many other teachers that I encounter every day. I am thankful for the work of Dr. Orin and Maria Hill regarding the “Highly Sensitive Person” and I am inspired by the work of Charles Eisenstein, whose main book title says it all: “The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”
“Felicitas teaches with much thought and has allowed me to grow as an individual and has given me the tools to continue to nurture that growth.”
“Given that I have started ‘a new chapter’ in my life and a very challenging one due to my father’s death, the Mindfulness Stress Reduction classes couldn’t have come at a better time. Over the course of the next few weeks and months I will be looking to keep myself more aware of how I can improve and make my life full again. These classes have inspired me to do just that! Thank you for your time and believing each one of us can make a positive impact not only with ourselves but those around us.”
“I have experienced Felicitas for the last 20 years in her role as Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Studio director, Leader in the Yoga community and as my co- teacher in the Yoga Teacher Training course. The depth and commitment to her own practice and her teaching have been a model to me as how to mindfully ” walk the walk.” In consistently creating a a safe, inspiring and supportive space at Healing Waters she has provided a refuge in this complex and challenging world for which I and many others are deeply grateful for.”K. Gernold
“For is not impermanence the very fragrance of our days.” Rainer Maria Rilke