Tired of exercises that were made for someone else’s body, despite your best efforts? Frustrated with a traditional medical approach that isn’t meeting your needs, while you are trying your best to feel better?
Your body isn’t just mechanical parts. Your symptoms are signals from your body’s inner wisdom that is trying its best to tell you what it needs.
Together we can interpret those signals and get to the root of your issues. We’ll create an individualized program that meets your body’s needs. You’ll feel empowered when you are able to find practices that you enjoy rather than struggle with. Let's awaken your body’s ability to heal itself.
After nearly 30 years of teaching movement/exercise and 15 years of clinical practice as a doctor of physical therapy I created Inner Awakening to support clients on their inner journey to healing.
I have lived this journey as a patient, clinician, dancer, personal trainer, pilates instructor, yoga therapist and person living with invisible disability. My path revealed an underlying connective tissue disorder that affects every system of the body. Living with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome has made me a better therapist, educator and health coach, because I had to find ways to cope– for myself and for the clients I serve. A a result, I’ve become a specialist in:
- Hypermobility and EDS
- Autonomic dysfunction/dysautonomia and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- Intracranial hypertension and hypotension (CSF leaks)
- Abdominopelvic therapy, the pelvic floor and core
- Joint instability, stabilization and proprioception
- Chronic pain and stiffness
- Hands-on therapies and self-applied techniques to improve pain and ease of motion
- Balance, stability, vestibular and sensory integrationTrauma-informed practice
- Mindful movement-based strategies individualized for each client’s unique and evolving needs, even when complex or misunderstood medical conditions are present
- Person-centered, evidence-informed, biopsychosocialspiritual practice
I am currently researching vagal nerve stimulation at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and I look forward to exploring how you can:
- Stimulate your vagal/parasympathetic system to awaken your body’s capacity to rest, digest, restore and recover
- Understand your body’s signals so that you can take informed action to meet your body’s needs
- Feel confident in your ability to access resources and support that you need to optimize your health
Read more below in Our services, which include physical and yoga therapy, individualized therapeutic exercise, group workshops, online video library for at-home self-paced practice, online health consults and coaching to awaken your inner guide that will help you adapt to whatever challenges you are facing.
Additional services include:
-Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra
-Tempromandibular disorder (TMD) or jaw pain management
-Pre/postnatal yoga or pelvic rehabilitation
-Advanced joint mobilization techniques for pain management and/or mobility
Looking forward to empowering your inner coach with a mindful and movement-inspired practice that works for you!
All the best,
Dr. Catherine Lewan
- Mobility and hypermobility
- Pain Management and pain neuroscience education
- Pelvic Floor, pelvis and spine
- Pre and post-natal peripartum care
- Trauma and post-traumatic stress
- Autonomic regulation and polyvagal theory applications
- POTS and Long-COVID POTS
- Mindfulness, yoga, Pilates, adaptive therapeutic exercise
- Physical therapy and pelvic physical therapy for women, men, trans and non-binary folks
- Individual Health Coaching
- Health Coaching Groups (TBA- contact me to get on the wait list)
- Online libraries and subscriptions for therapeutic exercise and education (coming soon)
- Individual yoga therapy and group therapeutic yoga workshops
- Professional education for therapists, healthcare and fitness professionals
- Advocacy for underserved or misunderstood populations
Dr. Catherine Lewan is very knowledgeable about EDS/POTS, and is always furthering her education on the subject. This makes her a wonderful physical therapist and an excellent problem solver for patients like myself. She teaches me so much about being hypermobile, no other physician has been able to help me like she has. I am better able to manage my symptoms now. I am so thankful for Dr. Catherine.
Catherine kept the material fun to learn throughout the whole day! She is an impressive presenter! The whole course was well organized and had great handouts.
– Anna L
“This was a great course, I think all therapists should attend. It is time for more focused attention to incontinence (and associated fall risk) in SNF/LTC and outpatient populations. I am so grateful I was able to attend and will be able to work this into our current rehab programs. “
Catherine is very engaging, passionate about getting her message across, and has a good sense of humor. Her course was fun and useful.
This instructor is great! I will be taking more courses with her. She has the ability to communicate information in an interesting manner. I think this is the best instructor I have ever taken a (continuing education) class with!
– Janet L
I took a course from you a couple years ago about using pilates/yoga with geriatric patients. You presented the material in a smooth, understandable, and engaging way. I was just getting into yoga at the time, and you helped spur me onward into that wonderful realm. I am currently going over, again, the workbook from that course. Just wanted you to know that you helped to re-energize an old physical therapist’s practice of his profession, and continue to influence in a very positive way the outcomes of all my patient interactions. I offer you my sincere gratitude.
Catherine and her class (the environment she creates) are great examples of warmth and competence in action. Catherine is open, kind, gracious, generous, smart and very good at what she does.
I worked with Catherine when I broke my collar bone. She treated me for the muscles and movement around the break, but also helped me recover areas of strength that I had neglected because I was protecting the area around my collar bone. She helped me discover that I wasn’t using my back muscles properly to carry my baby. Her method incorporated pilates, yoga asana and strengthening exercises in addition to manual therapy. I was very worried about returning to yoga and never thought I would be able to do down-dog again. She helped me feel confident in my body again.
As a 60-year-old, I want to keep my body strong and moving freely for many years to come. The core work I’ve done as a student in Cat’s class has changed my body, made me stronger, increased my body awareness, and reduced my back pain. She brings a sparkly energy and creative approach to every class, and always seems to find a great balance between work hard and feel good. When I needed to do a round of physical therapy, it was great to be able to see Cat, a highly trained and caring physical therapist that already knew my body, and could keep an eye on me in class once my PT was over.
I have worked with Catherine after each of my vaginal births, and also during one of my pregnancies. Her knowledge of the body’s systems is unparalleled. Each time I met with Catherine, I had multiple new tools and realizations about myself to work with on my own. She helped me heal from a mild bladder prolapse and reduce my diastasis recti to a subclinical level. I refer patients to Catherine on a weekly basis because I know she will have some ideas and skills to impart to just about anyone imaginable! Thank you, Catherine!
– Lela Beem, studio owner Grateful Yoga of Evanston, co-founder of The Amala School of Prenatal Yoga
Excellent speaker with a nice balance of lecture, lab, and shared case scenarios.
If you are looking for a solid, intense workout lead by a positive, passionate, and totally well-informed instructor, you need to attend Catherine Lewan’s classes. As a dedicated yoga student of Catherine’s for over 5 years, I can attest she has positively changed my life. She shows you the way to think about your body in a different perspective and provides the instructions on how to make it better. She has variety in each class, gives excellent queues, hands-on adjustments (at your discretion), and insightful thoughts to help you with truly understanding the practice of yoga. Best of all, she loves life and it shows.