We have had full and deep journeys. We come from multi-disciplinary fields including elementary/secondary/post-secondary education, community education and skill building, theatre, inter- disciplinary visual art/design + music, school sports coaching, non-profits, community organizing, freelance, long-term mind-body spiritual practitioners-students, healing arts, and entrepreneurs.
SOMA has been seeding, rooting, and growing for many years. Over the past 4 years, it was envisioned and is being cultivated from our individual life experiences and journeys with and through the traumatic impacts of family addiction, co-dependency, poverty-economic instability, family disabilities, structural- societal oppression, spiritual disconnection/soul loss, geographic migration, negative body image/relationship, conventional medical systems that were not supporting our holistic health and wellness, and other sources of trauma and suffering that leave people feeling isolated, disconnected, and separated from their whole selves.
Our combined 32 years of being relentlessly dedicated to our own intentional healing journeys continues to be the strong foundation of our work and has helped develop our unique approach to the practices we share. Our tree of knowledge includes formal academic training and research. It also extends beyond the academic realm into traditional initiations, deep intuitive connection with the ancient wisdom of our ancestors, Earth medicine, and spirit guidance. A deep bow to ancient wisdom and traditions with a keen awareness of how to tailor to 21st century needs.
We see ourselves as part of an ecosystem of support and we know that everyone has gifts to share with others. We are excited to continue to develop communities that are built on genuine mutual respect, humility, compassion, and abundance, rather than competition, extraction, scarcity, and ego. We have prepared deeply in order to connect, collaborate, support, and build with you.
meLisa (Jet) moore (co-founder/co-director) is an integrative health and wellness practitioner, youth and adult community worker, writer, multi-disciplinary designer/artist and sacred sound musician. Her work is rooted in the intersectionality of traditional healing practices, spirituality, Transpersonal + Buddhist Psychology, alternative education models, design-STEM, social entrepreneurship, and racial-economic equity-justice. She loves designing-engineering creative systems and structures of support for individual and community healing.
Her root Tibetan master teachers, Mother Earth, her partner, former classroom students, along with many amazing others, have been invaluable supports in her journey and development. This along with her deeply lived 41 years has helped to develop her intuitive practice and process and she is deeply grateful. She has been a meditation, mindfulness-vipassana, and Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since 2001. Her journey from growing up in an orphanage, foster families, and early entry into adulthood from a young age, has helped to mold her practice, connection, and dedication to a lifelong journey of personal transformation, health, wellness, and healing for herself and others. In recent years, she engaged in an in-depth 3 year “urban retreat”, dedicating her time, work, and energy to deepening her spiritual practice along with designing/developing/facilitating community development + social justice programs and helping to support youth + adults in spiritual development and healing processes. She has studied and trained with teachers in Energy Work through coursework and study at the Transformational Arts College. Studied with other master teachers for obtaining Reiki Level (1 +2), Chi work development with Master Hung, Shiatsu/Body Work apprenticeship with a Master teacher/practitioner, and Peruvian Curandero apprenticeship within Pachakuti Mesa Tradition, along with long-term practice, study, and personal research combining Transpersonal Psychology + Buddhist Psychology through 16 years of practice and study. For the past 11 years, her root Buddhist-Buddhist Psychology teachers are H. E. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and in the past year and half, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Her community and creative work in the form of 12 years of Science/Math classroom teaching, community, conference, and organizational workshops, design-entrepreneurship, multi-disciplinary art have taken her to various places in North America-Turtle Island, Europe, and India.
Jet is author of Love Notes to Everyone: Healing Contemplation for Deeper Living, Loving, and Liberation and children’s book Adventures of Bun Bun: Design, Play, Meditate.
She loves to support others in a variety of modalities and forms and continues to learn from and pay tribute to her African/Turtle Island Indigenous/Cherokee ancestors
nisha ahuja (co-founder/co-director) shares Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga, Reiki and Attmic Energy Healing and is also a theatre creator, voice actor, playwright, singer/songwriter, and art, wellness,
and equity educator/facilitator, having shared these offerings across Canada, the USA the Netherlands, and India. She is dedicated to dissolving the boundaries between art, traditional/ancient medicines, spirituality, and human equity, and believes that art and healing practices are revolutionary and fundamental to our collective liberation.
nisha extends immense gratitude to the many teachers and guides through her journey. nisha has been studying yoga and meditation since she was a child and more intensively since 1999. Her journey into sharing holistic yoga and energy work sprouted from there, studying alongside teachers in Yogic/Attmic Energy Healing and Reiki (Master Level). Time and again nisha was brought back to her ancestral connection to Ayurvedic Medicine becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Therapist graduating from the Centre for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing (CAISH). nisha is known in Toronto, Canada for sharing her Self-Healing Through Yoga Series several times a year, co- manifesting the Ayu-Yog Meditation Retreat For Women and Trans Indigenous Peoples and Peoples of Colour (with Sairupa Krishnamurti), having been a facilitator/member of Brown Girls Yoga Collective , and her summer series of Yoga in Dufferin Grove Park, as well as across North America for workshops on wellness, spirituality, theatre, racial equity, and addressing cultural appropriation in schools, colleges, universities, and rural and urban communities. Alongside other yoga facilitators in Bending Towards Justice, as well as with main collaborator/SOMA co-founder, M. Jet Feather, who has contributed to nisha’s personal spiritual journey immensely, nisha continues to bring these offerings to spaces across North America.
As an artist there have been many highlights including being an actor with the National Arts Centre Resident Acting Company, creation residencies at Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, Cahoots Theatre, Tejal Shah’s The Balacao (Goa, India), and Pattio Taller (Puerto Rico). As published playwright her plays include Yoga Cannibal, Un-Settling (Canadian Theatre Review, January 2016), and Cycle of a Sari (excerpt in Refractions: Solo, Playwright Canada Press, 2014), and 30 People Watching co-written with Amelia Sargisson (ReView: an anthology of plays committed to social justice, Autumn 2016). nisha continues to regularly shares her voice as a voiceover actor and as a singer/songwriter and therapeutic sacred sound offerings.
nisha is passionate about supporting others in their journeys with wellness, working with trauma, and connecting to their innate wholeness.