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About Me

Breath & Body Wellness

My story

My journey to becoming a massage therapist and Pilates teacher is one that had many twists and turns. It is the very fact that my journey was not direct that has made it so meaningful. What I share with you here is an important part of who I am now and how I came to be in this place in my life – for those of you who might be interested.

As a young adult, I worked in the office environment, which earned me a paycheck, but was ultimately unfulfilling. When the opportunity to return to school presented itself, I jumped. I found that I loved the study of ancient cultures, primarily those of the Greeks and Romans. I worked toward my Bachelor’s degree in Classics during which time I developed a deep appreciation for the Latin language. Surprising even myself, I continued my studies, earned a Master’s in Education, and became a Latin teacher. Having the opportunity to develop positive relationships with my students and be an influential part of their academic growth is still one of my life’s greatest joys.

When the time came for me to leave teaching so that I could move to Arizona to care for my elderly mother, I felt a loss of identity. While I was incredibly thankful for the ability to provide my mom with at home care, I suddenly felt afloat personally. Mom came to me one evening with the idea of massage therapy. We enjoyed a good laugh when I told her I had actually been thinking about the same thing! So to provide some balance and purpose for myself, I enrolled in the massage therapy program at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona. I thoroughly enjoyed this new challenge and the renewed sense of personal direction as well as the opportunity to provide my mother with added comfort through massage techniques geared toward her condition. I completed my massage training through SWIHA in 2016 and opened Breath & Body Wellness in 2017.

My love for learning must be strong because I returned to the classroom a few years later after I fell in love with Pilates and decided to become a certified teacher.  I completed my certification through Club Pilates in 2020 and have taught in several of their east valley studios.  I have thoroughly enjoyed expanding my knowledge base by taking continuing education classes through Balanced Body and other quality Pilates programs.  Collaboration with other instructors has also proven invaluable as a tool of learning and creativity.  When I realized that Pilates and massage compliment each other beautifully with a common focus on the unity and well-being of mind, body, & spirit, it just made perfect entrepreneurial sense to combine my skills within the business I had already build. And so, Breath & Body Wellness expanded as I added a Pilates studio to my love project.

My mother has since passed on from this life, but as my biggest champion, she would be thrilled with the happiness and success I have found in my personal journey and entrepreneurial endeavors. We never know where life’s path might lead, but I’m thankful to have found the courage to take the leap of faith that has lead me to where I am today.   I love what I do.  I love  seeing the smiling faces of my clients when they walk through my door.  And I love knowing that my mom would be so proud of me.

Tonya Curtis