Our Mission

We are friends transforming lives neighborhood by neighborhood, person to person, and breath by breath through gentle and accessible self-care: Healing Touch, meditation, journaling, gentle yoga, Movement Intelligence & Feldenkrais Method, local food…gardening & gleaning.

When we set out together in 2010, we discerned this vision for ourselves and our community…

  • The people of Greater Cincinnati are among the healthiest and happiest people of the world.
  • College graduates and young adults skilled in the arts or in a trade choose to stay in Greater Cincinnati because they want their careers and families to thrive.
  • People from all over the world look to Cincinnati as a model for what their cities can become . . . a place for healing, growth, and happiness. And that healing and happiness in Greater Cincinnati spreads throughout the whole world.

We at VITALITY are so happy to be part of the transformation of our great town from the inside-out . . . by learning to trust our deepest, most authentic selves.

Our Story

A group of three determined to make Healing Touch affordable for all.

We gathered people from all walks of life who wanted to make a difference. We chose Healing Touch, yoga, journaling, meditation and recently added Movement Intelligence® & Feldenkrais Method®. These are all gentle, holistic modalities that can be learned easily and practiced by people in their own homes, with family and friends, often with very little equipment needed.

Through these self-care modalities, we invite growth with one person who shares it with another person and another person, and before you know it, there is a holistically-minded person in every home in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and all over the world who can share what they know and listen to and learn from one another’s experiences.

In a most important sense, then, it’s relationship that is vital. Perhaps these ‘modalities’ are simply ways of opening to one another, of being fully alive to one another . . . to see and hear and sense the wholeness — THE ALL — of one another.

VITALITY was founded in 2010 as a 501(c)3 charitable/educational organization.

For nearly 10 years, we rented a small space in Norwood, the center of Cincinnati.  As we adjust to COVID-19, we have moved nearly all of our programs online through Zoom.  All of our programs welcome everyone and are donation-based . . . from a handful of change to a check.

Our Graduates

Our graduates have shared yoga and Healing Touch-inspired meditations all over the world.

Since beginning VITALITY’s Yoga/Healing Touch Internship — which certifies 200-hour yoga teachers — our graduates have shared yoga and Healing Touch-inspired meditations all over the globe— even as far as South Africa!

Our Yoga/Healing Touch Intern-Graduates have shared their gifts in college yoga clubs, among high school faculty/staff, in recreation centers and gyms among all ages, in fields, at traditional yoga studios owned by themselves or friends, at businesses and research labs, in garden centers, in restaurants and tea houses, in parks, in food pantries, in churches and places of worship, in coffee shops, in community rooms, in food courts, in senior centers, in board rooms, in art galleries, among grade school & junior high faculty/staff, on farms, in barns, in fields, in prisons, in hospitals, in health centers, at resorts, in factories, in centers for the blind, in their own homes, in apartment community rooms, in recovery centers, at farmers markets, at breweries and bourbon distilleries, at food co-ops, at pre-schools, at orphanages, at homeless shelters, for hospital networks, in classrooms, at cancer recovery centers, in auditoria, at nature centers, in garages, in grocery stores . . . in just about any place you could imagine.

And what’s even better, these graduates create their own brands, their own versions of moving-breathing-resting that are not VITALITY’s brand. Graduates create small businesses to help themselves and their families thrive holistically and financially by meeting their class-participants where they are.

Some graduates share their holistic-gifts for a living, as full-time or part-time jobs; others volunteer as they are able; others share with family and friends as they feel most comfortable. Nearly all of our graduates offer at least some classes by donation (as we do at VITALITY) or on a sliding-scale.

Our Future

VITALITY hopes to have its own energy-self-sufficient building, retreat-house, and publishing center that will gather funds not only to keep VITALITY Cincinnati growing but will also provide seed-money & micro-lending for graduates and groups of people like VITALITY around the world committed to deepening the growth of humanity on this planet through:

  • organic community gardening and healthy-eating gatherings where relationship and ideas are born;
  • places for the study of gentle movement, meditation, contemplation, nonviolence’s cleverness . . . where people gather to imagine a new world, a citizenship of the world-over where we recognize our planetary intraconnectedness . . . where we might cleverly, nonviolently, joyfully, freely, responsibly, and abundantly live together on our earth for many more generations as we discover and live out our common human life together;
  • small communities that use earth-friendly energy-sources and seek the joy of self-sufficiency, minding the relationships between and among all that lives.

We welcome you to join us and share your gifts, especially the most important gift of your presence.

All Are Welcome at VITALITY!

VITALITY Cincinnati’s very foundation is built upon the belief and practice that every person is treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. VITALITY Cincinnati embraces all people and does not discriminate against anyone (trustees, members, volunteers, participants, interns, employees) because of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, disability, or age. It is also VITALITY Cincinnati’s policy to comply with all applicable national and local laws pertaining to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

Our Staff & Dedicated Volunteers

Our number one teacher is every single person who walks through the door at VITALITY!

Here’s are some friends and familiar faces you’ll see at VITALITY:

Cynthia Allen is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence, and a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory.  By day, she helps children and adults find easier ways to navigate life challenges and thrive.  By night, she is dreaming up new options for how we can all become more fully human through awareness, curiosity, elegance and action.  Her absolute favorite VITALITY program is Bones for Life! This work has changed her relationship to gravity in powerful ways.  www.futurelifenow.com

Stephanie Beck Borden & Peg Conway are VITALITY’s first Healing Touch students to complete certification!  They both help organize Healing Touch classes, practice groups, one-hour information classes, and outreach.

Richard Bollman, S.J. is former pastor of Bellarmine Parish and Director of programming at the Jesuit Center at Milford, Richard is currently a freelance retreat and spiritual director in Cincinnati.  He often leads worship at Bellarmine and with other communities in the archdiocese, and supports VITALITY out of long experience in the value of a holistic spirituality across denominational lines.  Richard’s writing is published in VITALITY’s first book, A New Setting of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and in his recently publsihed Selected Homilies. He is VITALITY’s newest member of the Board of Trustees.

Davi Brown is a graduate of VITALITY’s third Yoga/Healing Touch Internship who then went on to complete oodles of other yoga trainings in pranayama (breath-study) including Kundalini Yoga, which she often shares at VITALITY.

Helen Buswinka shares Healing Touch with VITALITY’s outreach programs, especially at Bond Hill Food Pantry. She and her family have been so inspired by Healing Touch’s powerful and easy-to-learn nature that they began the Buswinka Healing Touch Work-Scholarship Fund through VITALITY.

Penny Costilla savors journaling above all and puts that avocation into action by sharing with VITALITY.  She hosts some of the Inner Journey sessions.  “Understanding our inner motivations and intentions is accomplished by writing heart-felt thoughts then sharing our new awareness verbally. Everyone in the group is enriched by participating.”  And we are too by her kind presence!

Mary Duennes teaches VITALITY’s Healing Touch Level 1 & 2 classes and Capacitar offerings.  She recently retired as an outreach nurse (parish nurse) through Good Samaritan/TriHealth where she was a Florence Nightingale Nurse of the Year.  She has served on VITALITY’s Board since its inception.

Denise & Mike Eck offer “VITALITY Cincinnati invites you to open your eyes, mind and heart to being the best you can be though self care education.  My transformation began with yoga and meditation.  Healing Touch helped me deal with a serious ankle injury and subsequent surgery.  Journaling surprised me the most.  VITALITY helped me re’fire’ into the local, healthy, organic food movement.  See www.rootedinfood.com and join the action. It all would not have been possible without the loving support and encouragement of Denise, who took Healing Touch at VITALITY and offers it around Cincinnati.”  Mike serves on VITALITY’s Board of Trustees; Denise offered her decorating expertise to the VITALITY renovation in 2010.  Denise studied Healing Touch in VITALITY’s second ever class in 2011 and went on to help fortify the Healing Touch Ministry at Christ Church Glendale.

Sherry Joy is a graduate of VITALITY’s first-ever Advanced Yoga 300-hour Training & Bones for Life Basic Certification.  She has been teaching yoga in Cincinnati for decades and is a leader in the special and most important yoga niche of Restorative Yoga, which she offers to our interns and at special workshops at VITALITY.

Kevin Laskowski is a graduate of the VITALITY’s first-ever neighborhood-based Yoga/Healing Touch Internship in Walnut Hills.  Kevin has served on VITALITY’s Board of Trustees.

Allie & George Maggini, Sue & Jim Newman, and Susan & John Tew have been so inspired by Movement Intelligence & Feldenkrais Method that they began the Emmaus Work-Scholarship Fund through VITALITY to support sharing these wonderful, gentle modalities.

Melanie Moon is a graduate of VITALITY’s fifth class of Yoga/Healing Touch Interns, a very special group that came together in Walnut Hills.  She is rather famous, the face of AARP and a well-known teacher of gentle yoga, Silver Sneakers, fitness, meditation, and prayer all over Cincinnati.  She is also a VITALITY Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life graduate!

Becky Morrissey has shared Yoga Anatomy at VITALITY’s Yoga/Healing Touch Internships since 2011. She recently has offered EmbodiYoga classes and a 300-hour yoga certification at VITALITY.  Becky is a much-loved and much-sought after yoga teacher in Cincinnati and all over Ohio.

Sue Plummer has been connected with VITALITY since 2015 when our Yoga/Healing Touch Interns began offering their time and service in the Walnut Hills Gardens where Sue has been very active for many years.  Sue was hired in Dec 2019 to organize VITALITY’s gardening & gleaning opportunities, augmenting the incredible work she does with the Society of St. Andrew in gleaning local farms and sharing that produce with soup kitchens and food pantries.

Brian Shircliff is a long-time student and teacher of meditation in a thousand different guises:  tai chi, yoga, Zen & vipassana, teaching meditation and religion at St. Xavier High School for seventeen years, coaching golf & swimming for twelve years, Healing Touch, Movement Intelligence / Bones for Life, and now Feldenkrais Method.  He serves as VITALITY’s first Program Director.

Tonia Smith graduated from VITALITY’s 200 & 300-hour yoga trainings and assists so helpfully and wisely with VITALITY’s Yoga/Healing Touch Internship (200-hour yoga training).

Larry Wells shares Neuro Linguistic Programming through Future Life Now and is training a number of VITALITY friends to offer this powerful modality.

Carol T. Yeazell honored an instant of grace and insight that led her to join the founding group. “VITALITY opened up paths to yoga, Healing Touch and friendships which continue to bless me with growth and healing.”  She is one of VITALITY’s most dedicated volunteers!

And these Founding Members: Hank Burwinkel, Joyce & Tom Choquette, Margee Clarke, Martin Clarke of Creative Tile Concepts, Mary Hutten, Jack Lennon, Allie & George Maggini, Austin Muller, Jim Ollier, Chris Place, Micah Richey, Sue Saylors, Rob Thaler

And these Healing Touch Instructors:  Mary Duennes, Lynn Placek, Dan Snyder

And the Genius of Waters in the center of our downtown who watches over our city!