I help people build strength + create freedom in their lives.
I am deeply humbled by the resilience + strength of the human body, mind + spirit.
Jessica Van Raay
movement aficionado, lover of water, mountain enthusiast, super nerd, heavy lifting-sprinting-yogi, philosophical ninja, graduate student, mom of twins and a toddler, wife
My name is Jes.
For the last 18 years, I have worked in the movement industry. I identify as a “movement coach” even though, admittedly, I know that does not sound like a real thing.
I’m technically a strength and conditioning specialist, pre- and postnatal coach, corrective exercise specialist, MovNat enthusiast, yoga teacher, Muay Thai instructor, indoor cycling instructor, and dance teacher. I have lived deep in each of these worlds and I have a heavy appreciation and affection for their theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. Among these methodologies, there are fascinating alignments and conflicts. However, whenever I work with an individual or a group, I get to borrow from each of these approaches to best honour the person/people in front of me.
And, because apparently I missed formal schooling ;), I'm back in grad school for an MA in Counselling Psychology to become a licensed psychotherapist.
I believe the mind and body are not just powerful, but inextricably connected. This is one of the ways our approach is unique - we do not sacrifice mental health for physical or vice versa; we nurture both. Health is a complex and nuanced concept that means different things to different people - and that's okay. However, one's "health" is never to be a purveyor of worth.
While we don't operate from a naïveté that these social messages do not affect us, our approach focuses on building our internal resources, resilience, and strength to manage (and challenge) these externalized values and beliefs. We embrace the innate and exquisite ebb-and-flow of our lives over each week, season, and year. Our minds, bodies, and lives thrive on account of their fluidity and continuous evolution.
This beauty is celebrated here.
You were born enough and continue to be enough.
Welcome to our community.
Are you interested in working together?
I "I came to Jess for coaching when I was really, really overwhelmed. I had this list of all these things I felt I had to do in order to get into shape. She broke it down and made me feel like I could reach my goals by doing one little thing at a time.... I went from feeling alone to feeling heard."
SAMMY R / Business Consultant
"Jess is smart but has a way of breaking down the material so that it’s highly digestible. I learned a lot but it never felt over my head."
SARA K / Student
"Jess is honest and relatable in her coaching."
JEN J / Stay-at-Home-Mom
"I worked with Jess for years. About 2 years in, once we had reached all these different levels, I asked her, "Why didn't we start here? And how did you not fire me with all my wild ideas and lack of motivation?" And she said, "I needed to meet you where you were, not where you were going to be." I think that sums up Jess as a coach."
MAUREEN S / Teacher