About29 April 2021 2021-11-25 10:39
Hi, I’m Steve Beattie the founder and lead instructor at Breathing in Nature. I followed the expected path through life: Did well in high school, went to university, got a job. I did everything I was supposed to do.
But I was miserable…
I always longed for something more. There were moments in my life where I had clarity and purpose, driving for something greater. But I always fell back on the mundane, the average. For me to move forward in my life was going to require me to go into the darkness, but I was too scared.
In 2010 I started studying Fascial Stretch Therapy which led to a paradigm shift in how I saw the human body. It was no longer a mechanical system of muscles and bones, but instead an interconnected vessel not only for our physical being, but also our emotions, our histories, experiences, relationships, traumas and spiritual connections.
The fear of confronting the darkness inside of me led to disease. And led to the darkest moments of my life lying in a hospital bed thinking I was going to die. Your body whispers before it screams. It was in this time of darkness and despair that I discovered the power of my breath.
In 2013, I started on the path of becoming a certified Wim Hof instructor to heal my physical ailments. Little did I know, my body was screaming loud and clear. Combining breath and cold exposure allowed me to heal my physical body and thaught me to shudder my emotional body. It was in an ice bath when I broke down (and through) and cried for the first time in 32 years.
Connecting with the breath is the gateway to reclaiming our health. Physical, emotional, and spiritual. For years I worked with people who were suffering from chronic pain. Like me, they had gone through many forms of physical therapy to ‘heal’ a physical injury, but they never looked at the ‘why?’
We have been trained to ignore the emotional distress – the ‘ordinary’ stress and anxiety – of everyday living. We have been trained to hide our emotions. Serious psychic injuries are buried deep within our minds and bodies. Hidden in the shadow.
Further exploration of breathwork in combination with plant medicines led me towards spiritual awakening and healing. The healing of the body, led to the healing of the mind, which ultimately led to the healing of my spirit.
Before I got into the health and fitness world I was a wilderness guide. The wilderness was always a place for me to find myself. I knew it was a special place and working in the city I felt the absence of it. I wanted to take my clients to the woods to find themselves too and in 2015 I founded Breathing in Nature.
In 2020 I met my soulmate, my spirit mate, my lover and my partner. Together we are on this adventure aiming to heal our relationship wounds through breath work, plant medicines, massage, partner yoga, tantric sexuality and open and honest communication.
Want to connect with me?
Hi, I’m Nici! Steve’s partner in life and work. I started my healing journey in 2010 when a lower back injury left me devastated with chronic pain. It was the pain that awoke me to the reality that I hadn’t been taking very good care of myself.
Like most of us, I was sitting and staring at a computer screen way too much. I had very little insight into my body, my inner life and how those were connected.
Trying to heal my body led me to the ancient practice of yoga. Trust me, I tried a lot of different things, saw all sorts of specialists and experts, but doing yoga was the only thing that gave me some relief and made me feel like I was actually taking charge of my health and recovery.
I practiced on my own for a long time before I found a home at The House of Yoga (HOYO) here in Toronto in 2014, the only Ganja yoga studio in the city. Classes were hours long (Friday night’s cannabis-assisted class would go on for 5 hours!), the focus was not just on postures but also on breathwork and meditation, the space was beautiful and so were the people in the community. I practiced, studied and taught at HOYO until its closing in 2018. Here, I had the chance to experiment and explore a variety of plant medicines combined with my practice and ceremony. I also learned the invaluable, healing skill of Thai Yoga massage. As my body became stronger, so did my mind. I was less anxious, more confident, calm and simply able to be myself. My asthma disappeared after a lifetime of having to use an inhaler.
Oh, I’m also a trained social worker, and took the academic route from 2012-2017. My motivation has always been to work with people in a loving, genuine and helpful manner, but in reality I was mostly put off, disappointed and shocked by the coercion, medicalization, bureaucracy, phoniness and focus on pathology in this field. I often felt I was doing more harm than good. That said, I have done lots of work with community organizations that are invaluable to folks who are struggling and have met the most amazing helpers, healers and mentors.
I gave birth to my daughter in 2019 and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had learned about the Wim Hof method through my yoga training but could never imagine myself in the cold. Like most, I had been conditioned since childhood that the cold was bad, dangerous and would make me sick. After birthing for 12 hours in a tub in my living room, I figured that I could handle a cold shower. I was right!
Once I started going into the cold, I was hooked. I loved the energy and invigorating feelings I would get, and after a few months of daily cold showers and breath work, I started to notice a whole array of unexpected side effects, like perfect hair and skin and a newfound inner strength and calm.
After House of Yoga closed I deeply missed my practice community and being a new Mom was often a lonely experience. I joined the Wim Hof Toronto group on Facebook and soon discovered Steve’s weekly meetup group down at the lake. I joined for the first time in December 2020 and knew right away I had found my people.
What I had not expected: I’d also meet the most amazing man. Steve and I connected intimately through our shared interests in body, mind and spirit work, our love for nature, for learning and teaching, and for adventure and exploration. And here we are, on the greatest adventure there is: love.
Want to connect with me?
To walk together on a path of healing and self-exploration of mind, body, spirit & heart.
Exploration: Adventure and seeking new experiences. Know thyself. Taking risks. Expanding boundaries. Sharing/guiding adventure with others. Playfulness, curiosity and childlike wonder. Confidence, bravery.
Community: It’s the relationships that heal. Friendships, strong authentic connections & lifelong bonds. Working together towards a greater good; partnership & collaboration. Being of service, helping/caring for others/earth. Love, warmth, compassion and genuineness. Listening.
Teaching and Learning: To learn from and teach others the way….Guide. Eldership. Mentoring. Creating a safe space to explore inwards and outwards, grow and make mistakes. Wisdom – Application of knowledge. The more I learn the less I know. Critical and sceptical but open-minded.
Spirituality: Connection to nature. Meaning. Connection to something ‘else’. Healing. Ceremony, rituals and plant medicines. Appreciation of beauty. Greater consciousness. Being vs doing. Soul touching. Interconnectedness. Life purpose. Gratitude.