Canyon Ranch professionals scour the globe for greater knowledge, new ideas, fresh perspective & ongoing renewal.
Long-time instructor Karen says she’s come to understand yoga better through recent trips to India, where she visited sacred sites and felt immersed in the culture and its people. “I came back feeling that I was truly practicing yoga,” Karen says.
She received advanced yoga instructor training at an ayurvedic resort where her days included meditation, hours of yoga, then lectures on related subjects. “The ayurvedic approach allows for an individualized yoga practice, based on body type or doshas.”
Karen draws continually from her spiritual journey. “As I teach, I can be right there looking at the statue of Shiva on the Ganges. I bring more compassion and appreciation to everything I do and to all my students.”
Lynne’s adventure began when she read an ad run by Teach for Friendship, an educational foundation that evaluates applications from professionals to teach in China. She wound up spending a month in Wuhan, teaching students at Huazhong University of Sciences and Technology about Western language, culture and traditions. Not speaking Mandarin, Lynne used a galaxy of teaching methods, from dance, games and yoga to making Halloween costumes.
Lynne says she’s learned at Canyon Ranch that meaningful interaction with others is essential to personal growth. "It's what creates the person we continue to become. At the Ranch, it’s not just about what I give to guests, but what they give to me. We learn from each experience, and I have more to offer now as a teacher and therapist."
Rob Hughes, MS
Rob was drawn to the acclaimed McKenzie Method – which is viewed as post-graduate training for physical therapists and doctors – because of its science-based approach to the relationship between pain and movement, and for its emphasis on self-treatment. "With this method, I can find a movement that helps resolve pain for the individual," Rob says. "McKenzie allows me to customize treatment."
Rob became a clinical exercise physiologist as the rigorous prerequisite to studying McKenzie, which has taken him around the U.S. and to New Zealand to work with Robin McKenzie. Six physicians, two chiropractors, and only two percent of physical therapists have earned McKenzie certification. Rob’s expertise makes him one of a kind, and Ranch guests report astounding results after working with him.
Sue Kagel, RN, BSN, CHTP/I, HNC
Mission: To explore the greater possibilities of Healing Touch and replenish her spiritual reservoir
Healing Touch is a powerful, rewarding form of energy healing – and it requires vast expenditures of energy, which must be replenished. At one time, Sue felt depleted and took three months for an at-home retreat, renewing her spirit through mindfulness, creativity, being in nature and loving animals and children. "Being social is connected to mind, body and spirit, too," Sue says. "Connections on a deeper level sustain us beyond the superficial."
Sue has also traveled to "refill her pitcher." In Peru, she connected with healers whose traditional views have much in common with Healing Touch. In Ecuador, she worked in the city, jungle and villages, demonstrating how Healing Touch can enhance wellness and family dynamics and help at-risk kids.
As president of Healing Touch International, Inc., Sue meets practitioners from around the world. She learns from everyone and keeps herself fortified daily to help others.
Nina Molin, MD
Mission: To offer the best of Western medicine combined with the most effective complementary approaches in an environment of compassion and support of individual uniqueness
Nina earned a degree in anthropology, traveled around Europe, and worked with a women’s self-help center before enrolling at Hunter College as a post-grad pre-med student, while also studying kinesiology. She graduated from State University of New York Stony Brook Medical School in 1991.
Nina also practices Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, and is affiliated with the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda. After an Ayurvedic conference in India, she said, “I realized how much fear and anger are a significant part of illness, and how much living a life of ‘ahimsa’ – non-harming – is the seed of health.”
Nina teaches yoga during Canyon Ranch Ayurveda weeks and participates in workshops around the country on religion, sexuality, spirituality, relationships and more. Her international travels also contribute to her work. “Everything I do and am – including being a mother – informs how I practice medicine.”
Mission: To hike and climb and bring back fresh enthusiasm and techniques
A former investment manager, Ed has been leading Canyon Ranch guests on outdoor trails in the Berkshires for the past 10 years. So, does he sit back and rest on vacation? Not a chance.
Ed and his wife go to Italy each fall to hike in the Apennines, and to Switzerland or the Rockies in winter for skiing. "I do it because it’s relaxing," he says. "Someone else is leading the way, and I’m not the responsible one for a change. I learn from other guides and from the experience of being guided."
Ed, who is 73, confesses to a fear of heights. "As I work through my own moments of trepidation, I become more sensitive to how some guests might feel." Hiking for pure pleasure changes Ed’s perspective. "I sometimes simply dawdle. I can wind up a mile behind on vacation, and that's just fine."