Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Landes.
Hannah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I became a bodyworker after years of listlessness and sedentary living. After graduating college with a degree in a field I felt no real passion for and working in a position that fulfilled the training of that degree but was in no way personally fulfilling, I had a quarter life crisis and gave up that life track to walk dogs and flounder in a state of shame and disappointment.
It was during that period of instability that I received my first real massage, and upon the discovery of what it felt like to be physically at peace in my body, I realized that my emotional turmoil felt (at least temporarily) stayed as well. In the wake of that experience, I decided to pursue practicing yoga, recognizing it as a way to internalize physical stability and in doing so, cultivating emotional and psychological wellbeing as well. After a year or so of practicing yoga, I recognized it as a path I wanted to pursue with all my energy and would one day teach it myself. So I enrolled in massage school to learn more about anatomy, physiology, therapeutic touch, and ultimately how to serve others in the same capacity that had so fundamentally changed my life’s priorities.
I have now taught yoga and offered massage for the past 3 years. I work at JP Centre Yoga, one of the best studios in the Boston area (in my opinion) and I work for myself as a therapist in conjunction with an excellent chiropractor in Brookline, Dr. Zev London. More recently I have begun studies in Ashtanga yoga, which has given me a sturdier foundation from which to teach, and Orthopedic and Shiatsu massage which have given me a more well-rounded view of how to assess and treat a body. Every day I am grateful for my yoga practice, my desire and ability to do the work that I do and to be the person that those practices have helped me evolve into.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes and no. Arriving at this career choice involved turning my back on the previous 4 years of (expensive) schooling, temporarily confusing and disappointing my family, and confronting many doubts I felt about my own self-worth and capabilities. The same time period of my life that lead me to massage and yoga simultaneously lead me towards a very enthusiastic social network, wherein self-restraint and discipline were extremely hard to maintain, and yet felt equally important to finding meaning in my life.
Ultimately it has taken my commitment to my career path that has finally made me realize that compulsive socializing was not a replacement for life’s purpose and to pursue discipline and dedication to my mission had to happen at the expense of the fun I loved so much. I have lost friends, I have lost partners, I have lost jobs, all to make space for the service I give to myself and through me that I give to other people. It has been worth every painful loss, every sacrifice of time, energy, money, friendship, love, and effort in order to accomplish this feeling of purpose.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Hannah Landes, LMT – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a one-person business. I work for myself as a massage therapist and private yoga instructor and specialize in massage that integrates orthopedic, myofascial, deep tissue and other forms of Western table massage modalities with principles from yoga, Thai massage and most recently Shiatsu techniques. I want to be able to help people with the stuff they cannot do on their own through massage, and then arm them with tools that they can administer to themselves independently. I have spearheaded many hospitality offerings at local music festivals working on performing artists and staff, which has created and fortified a professional relationship with a client in LA who flies me out to California once or twice a year to receive treatment.
That has to be one of the biggest compliments I think I can receive for my bodywork. But every time I treat a client on a consistent basis, every time I help someone resolve chronic or acute pain, anytime I can help someone understand the mechanisms of their body better, I feel pride in my work. As for the group yoga classes that I lead, I like to leave people feeling challenged, safe, healthy and satisfied. I want someone to leave the room knowing a little more about what and why they are moving in this fashion in the first place. Every time I see a body moving with more internal intelligence and alignment based off of my words and touch, I feel as though I have done my job well.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Oh man… a few major plans on the horizon. In two days I leave for my first silent meditation retreat. Ten days of sitting with myself (and of course other people sitting with themselves) with no distractions, outlets, or compulsions. I am nervous because though I feel like I have come a long way in terms of self-worth and appreciation, it took a lot of self-hatred in those quiet moments of solitude in order to get there. And while I hope that is not the feeling lurking underneath all the distractions of my daily life, I won’t truly know for myself until I get to this space and have nowhere to go but inside and nothing to do but listen and accept.
When I come back from the retreat I will be teaching my first, albeit small, massage workshop. While I have taught a few self-massage/self-care workshops in the past, this will be my first attempt to teach people how to touch others in a therapeutic way. The workshop will be on Thai Massage on December 31st at JP Centre Yoga and will add a new element to my attempts to empower people to take care of themselves and those around them through physical well being. Massage allows me to care for others, yoga allows me to verbalize to others how to care for themselves, and this workshop feels like a powerful next step in helping others care for the people they touch. In some ways, it is a culmination of all the work I have done thus far.
Come February I am leaving for my first ever long-term vacation. I am going to Thailand for a few months with my romantic partner, an extremely skilled yogi and massage therapist in his own right, where we will study Thai massage and whatever other healing modalities that we can absorb while we travel. It is both exciting and nerve-wracking to leave everything I have built up so far, but I am leaving my business and my clients in the hands of an incredible Shiatsu practitioner who I know will take good care of them. Beyond that, I don’t know what the future will hold. For the time being, I plan to return to my business and my life here at the end of the trip, and I hope that the skills I bring back with me will amplify the work I am capable of doing.
- $100 per 60 minute session either bodywork, yoga, or a combination therein
- $150 per 90 minute session either bodywork, yoga, or a combination therein
- $450 for a 5 pack of 60 minute sessions
- $650 for a 5 pack of 90 minute sessions
- Address: 1842 Beacon Street
Suite 205 Brookline, MA 02445
- Website: www.hannahlandeslmt.com
- Phone: (617) 997-6414
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @hanlandes
Travis Alex Photography, Monica Justesen Photography, Derek Pashupa Goodwin Photography