In a few lines, going beneath the surface, who is Drew Bathory?
I'm a curious and passionate gender queer movement educator, community activator and artist. A humxn being practicing showing up to co-create life with a sense of authenticity, vibrancy and care.
Tell us a little about ELMNT and how it came to life?
ELMNT grew out of a personal passion for movement + community rooted in deeper knowledge, self-actualization, empowerment and play. After working for a number of the top studios in MTL, I started to recognize that I didn't feel safe or aligned with the management/owners in many of the spaces I was working for. I had the privilege to take a risk and open what was once known as Element Yoga Montréal, a community focused yoga space in Pointe St Charles. After a few years there, my dear friend (and co-founder of ELMNT) Natalie had moved back from Berlin and we started working together and sharing ideas. Nat and I shared so many ideas about the expansive nature of movement practice, as well as a passion/geekiness for studying the science of movement (philosophy, anatomy and physiology). After working together at EYM, we recognized we shared a passion for music, dance and playfulness that ignited a shared vision of redefining what a wellness studio could look/feel like. We then partnered up and co-created ELMNT Studio that brought Spin, HIIT and Strength Training into the mix and now 4 years later, here we are having opened up our 2nd studio just 3 weeks prior to the pandemic hitting.
We all have our highs and lows, what do you practice in order to keep yourself grounded?
My practice has changed so much over the years as I tend to dive deep into various modalities or techniques to truly understand them. I feel now that I've found a healthy balance. To keep myself grounded, I practice my most long-standing practice which is very slow, supported Restorative/Therapeutic Yoga and Self-massage work to help tone my nervous system and realign my joints for optimal movement/expression in my body. Slowing down for me is medicine, and heals so much of my conditioning.
“We all have so much to share, and I believe, if we all do our parts in healing our minds and embodying our bodies, we can shift so much within our society and relations in significant and essential ways.”
What is one thing that you’d like to see normalize by the end of the day and why?
I would love to see the normalization of people acknowledging their ignorance. Specifically around how they hold biases and then committing to unlearning oppressive mindsets that the white supremacist, capitalistic patriarchy has conditioned us to have. Now, wouldn't that be amaaaazing?! We all have so much to share, and I believe, if we all do our parts in healing our minds and embodying our bodies, we can shift so much within our society and relations in significant and essential ways.
What does dropping in mean to you and how would you explain that to someone who has never heard that term before.
Dropping in, to me, means cutting through the surface layers of information and expanding our awareness to the vast wisdom of our bodies, and hearts. To me it's a state of wonder and receptivity that allows us to feel more clearly who we truly are and how we're connected.
I notice you like to dance. What does that feel/do for you?
Dancing for me is the ultimate freedom. It's a joyful state of curiosity, playfulness and connectivity. I love how rhythm, music, lyrics and melody can shift our energy both individually, and collectively. There's such a powerful remembering that can happen when we trust our instincts and let our bodies express spontaneously. To be seen in that, to feel through all that and to share in that movement is healing, important and necessary for me.