I was a young and enthusiastic 11-year old dancer when I was diagnosed with a ‘C’ curve scoliosis which required extreme Harrington Rod surgery, a year in a body cast, and the destruction of my dream to dance. But several years after her surgery, I found myself drawn back to dance realizing that it was essential to keep my back mobile and healthy, and was also an important way to express myself emotionally and artistically. For the past 20 years I have worked primarily as a teacher and choreographer, creating dance, interdisciplinary performance and film works. In 2009, I created and performed a solo piece TWiSTED, a dance-theatre performance that recounts my personal journey struggling to be a dancer with a twisted and fused spine.
After 21 years of living in discomfort with Harrington rods, I had them surgically removed. Through my rehabilitation, I developed a technique called 'Stretch for Scoliosis' to help alleviate discomfort from back pain. Drawing from my training in dance, this technique combines exercises from dance, yoga, pilates, massage, stretch, breathing and meditation. In Fall 2009, I started teaching this technique to the Vancouver scoliosis community. SInce then, I initiated the OUTREACH PROJECT for BACK CARE and SCOLiOSiS (TOPS) with the mandate to hold classes, workshops and events to educate, entertain and build community around the subject of back care and scoliosis in Vancouver and beyond.
Martha has trained intensively with acclaimed Yoga for Scoliosis and Senior Iyengar teacher Elise Browning Miller; Pilates for Scoliosis with Anita Seiz in Vancouver; Alignment and The Asymmetric Body with Senior Iyengar Teacher Karin Stephan in Cambridge, Mass; Yoga for Scoliosis and Harrington Rods with Alison West and Deborah Wolk at the Yoga Union for Backcare and Scoliosis in NYC; Yoga Pranala and Self-Healing techniques with Linda Madani at One World Retreats in Bali, Indonesia. Martha is currently studying with Louie Ettling at The Yoga Space in Vancouver and she recently completed her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training at Saltspring Yoga Centre.
For more information or private consultation, please contact Martha at