Beneath exposed wood beams and sunlight filtering in through the windows, the Barn on 66 Williams Street on the East Side feels more like a rustic retreat than a workout space. Yoga mats are unfurled over vintage area rugs, and a small group of socially distanced participants are led by instructor Brenna Mavis Anderson through a blend of cardio, dance, and focused, fluid motion. But rather than shining a light on flaws or “problem areas”, the Agent Healing program is all about empowerment and cultivating awareness.
“Agent Healing was created to fill in the gaps that we have in the healing and wellness industries,” explains Anderson. “I saw lots of disparate parts and I wanted to bring them all together in one accessible format.” Anderson combines what she has found to be the most powerful tools and techniques for healing into a comprehensive workout flow that goes deeper than exercise. Along with unfettered movement to upbeat jams, sessions include stillness in meditation and guided self-inquiry. “The foundation of my methodology is part self-discovery and self-awareness, part using the body as an expression for trapped emotional energy, and part working with the brains’ neuroplasticity and our nervous system.”
Agent Healing is the culmination of Anderson’s own journey of post-traumatic growth and recovery. “I did not have adult protection or support most of my life and I found myself in a disembodied state of living,” she explains. “I did years of therapy and still could not clearly articulate why I was consciously anxious and hypervigilant. But something changed when I started going into my body, slowly, with attention and care.”
Tailored to busy people who may not have the time for in-depth coaching or curating self-care regimens, a month-long program of eight early-morning classes ensures focused consistency. Anderson describes the process as a journey of understanding your mental and physical patterns, and tuning into emotions and sensations that can be easy to ignore. “You’ll leave with a sense of empowerment,” says Anderson, “with a deeper connection to your intuition and yourself.”