About Me ~ Marlis Moldenhauer
My name is Marlis "Mazzie" Moldenhauer, teacher of Svaroopa® Yoga and founder of Innova Yoga.
I am a Milwaukee native. At the young age of 8 I began my life journey using my body to express myself through ballet. Just 8 years later, while still in high school at West Allis Central High School, I became a professional dancer with the newly formed Milwaukee Ballet Company founded by Roberta Rehberg Boorse. I performed in the Milwaukee Ballet's productions of Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, La Fille Mal Garde and Jigs and Reels.
Traveling to New York City on a partial ballet scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School (aka American Ballet Center), I also studied with Maggie Black. During this time I was hired as a supernumerary in the NYC run of The Stuttgart Ballet's production of Romeo & Juliet at the Metropolitan Opera House.
In addition to professional dancing, I have taught, choreographed and performed for many charity benefit dances and participated in ballroom dancing.
The life of a dancer, like a professional athlete, takes its toll on the body and mind and I sought out therapies to provide relief and relaxation. I found massage to be a wonderfully relaxing and soothing form of therapy and decided to become a massage practitioner with the goal to use this skill to bring relief to my colleagues, friends and clients. My work in massage laid the foundation for my transition into a new form of body work.
During special studies at the Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing in San Diego I was introduced to a different form of therapy, Trager® Psycho Physical Integration. This form of therapy uses compression, elongation and natural and passive body movement to release deep-seated physical and mental patterns, facilitates deep relaxation, increased physical mobility, and mental clarity. A few years later, after completion of additional formal study, I attained the credential of Certified Trager® Practitioner in the areas of Psycho Physical Integration & Mentastics including somatic therapy and movement education. I then added Trager® Psychophysical Integration to my growing list of body and mind services. I gained my Masters Certificate in Spiritual Psychology from Transformations Inc. in Milwaukee in 1995.
I further studied dance at the Stone-Camryn Ballet School in Chicago and performed in the American Ballet Theater's run of Swan Lake in Chicago. I went on to attain my Inter Arts Degree in Dance, Theatre & Art at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and then revisited Chicago to join the Ben Masi Ballet Company and study jazz at the Lou Conte Dance Studio.
I continued my professional dance and theater career in many exotic venues around the world including Cairo-Egypt, Limmisol-Cypress, Muenster-Germany, and Baghdad-Iraq. In Nassau-Bahamas at the Bahamas Rhythm Theatre I danced a lead duet as "Maria" in a West Side Story with Robert Bain as Tony. With a special career highlight performing in another duet as the featured actress in the syndicated TV show, Fatuta, in Cairo, Egypt with the famous Egyptian actor Samir Ghanam. Cross-trained in many forms of dance and theater, I took my skills to the high seas and performed for the Rhapsody Cruise ship's Alaska-Van Couver, Canada tour in their Paquet Line traveling through the Panama Canal from Nassau-Bahamas.
In 1998 I became a Reiki Master. This practice of stress reduction and relaxation promotes healing administered through the "laying of hands" elevated my massage techniques and also became a beautiful compliment to my ever-growing portfolio.
I have continued to teach my first love, ballet and dance, over my 35-year career. This love of dance and wish to combine both movement and mind and body healing led me to become a Kripalu DansKinetics® teacher (now called YogaDance) and I co-founded a program "Get High on Dance" where participants enjoyed expressing themselves with free formed movement to different styles of music.
Yoga therapy and instruction was an obvious "fit" to my growing body and mind services and love for teaching. I have studied, practiced and taught Svaroopa® Yoga as a Registered Yoga Teacher for the past 6 years; having accumulated over 500 hours of training time acknowledged by Yoga Alliance.
There are many forms of Hatha Yoga and after careful consideration, and meeting the founder of Svaroopa® Yoga, Rama Berch, now Swami Nirmalanda Saraswati, at the Indian Lakes Yoga Conference, I made the decision to specialize in Svaroopa® Yoga. I am convinced this unique style of yoga that incorporates traditional yoga poses with supportive propping and alignment allows the yogi to achieve a higher level of relaxation and awareness. This, in turn, produces phenomenal release and accelerates the body's ability to heal and achieve a state of well-being far beyond any other form of yoga.
After hundreds of hours of in-depth study, I have achieved certification through Svaroopa® Yoga as both a Certified Svaroopa® Yoga Teacher (CSYT) and an Embodyment® Yoga Therapist (a one-on-one form of Svaroopa®Yoga).
In addition to ballroom dance, I also enjoy using the harmonium to play meditation music and I employ the science of essential oils to enhance my daily life.
I am proud of my academic accomplishments and 29 years of practical experience in providing specialized body and mind services. I am always excited to discuss how my innovative approaches are an important supplement to an overall wellness program!
I truly have a passion for my work and, today, I continue to use my body/mind services to express myself and assist my clients along their personal journey of physical healing and well-being. I am continually inspired along my path by witnessing the improved quality of life I help my clients achieve!
Certified Svaroopa® Yoga Teacher (CSYT), and Embodyment® Yoga Therapist from Svaroopa® Yoga. Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT/ 500) from Yoga Alliance.