Liz Maynard, yoga and movement instructor, meditation leader
Liz Maynard began her exploration of movement and spirituality in earnest as part of her process of healing from the emotional and physical challenges of graduate school. She studied art history at Tufts University and University of Chicago, and received her PhD from McGill University in 2014. After years of chronic pain and developing sciatica during the last stages of writing her dissertation, she completed the Forrest Yoga teacher training and found a new direction in her passion for pedagogy and embodiment. Her initial foray into an intentionally mindful spirituality, however, was through an Institute of Jewish Spirituality weeklong silent meditation retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, Norman Fischer, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg and Rabbi Jeff Roth in 2013. Never having practiced meditation prior to that experience, she was inevitably changed by the profundity of the week, and she has since attended Vipassana and mindfulness retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, and integrates meditation and intentionally mindful movement into her yoga practice and teaching. Through this lens of Jewish wisdom, she weaves a meditation and yoga practice that brings together the myriad teachings that have brought her emotional, physical, and spiritual relief.
Her academic interests include representations of the body and embodiment, and the sympathetic impact of engaging with depictions of trauma. Of particular interest is her consideration of mindfulness and meditation as potential forms of methodology, for a more ethical and sustainable mode of critical engagement. These days she spends her time in pursuit of the marriage of her academic expertise and curiosities and her passion for wisdom based in embodied practices. She is a yoga teacher and practices CranioSacral Therapy. Liz also works for the Focusing Institute and is presently in training to become a Focusing facilitator.