Registration has now closed for
our workshop in Vancouver, BC

April 5 – 7, 2024


Note: To register, you must complete the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up course prior to the workshop date or have participated in SmartBody SmartMind™️ (SBSM).


What is Up & Down? 


Up & Down is a movement workshop that teaches you how to connect with yourself, others and the space around you in a profound and joyful way. When you join us you'll learn how to break free from familiar patterns of stress and tension through the art and science of movement.


A Typical Day


A typical workshop day begins with a playful movement warm-up that brings us into an open state to learn. From here we spend the day in deep exploration, experimentation, and engagement with self and others through our movement principles and practices. Over the course of the day we reflect, integrate, and invite discussion and sharing of personal experience.

Listen to a past participant's experience below


"After many years of teaching we’ve found that no one ever wants to leave at the end of an Up & Down Day! This is a testament to creating a learning environment that is fun, transformative, and safe.  

When you change how you move you change how you live."

Irene Lyon & Elia Mrak


Our Principles









Participant Stories


What Up & Down Participants Have To Say


Senior Intern at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine Clinic, Integrated Body Psychotherapy (Student), Vancouver, BC 

I attended Irene and Elia's 2017 Up and Down workshop in Vancouver. My intention was to increase my body-mind awareness to access healing, regeneration and to increase flexibility (in a non-traditional definition of this word).

I felt held and supported throughout the weekend by Irene, Elia and all of the other participants. Irene's depth and wisdom guided me into my own flow of curiosity, grace and awareness. Elia's creative and intuitive presence allowed me to stop judging my authentic movement and embrace my innate intelligence and express it via movement.

Below is a journal entry of mine after the first day of the workshop:

"I feel open, ease and lightness, I have more space and capacity within my body and mind, I feel okay with the okay & okay with the not okay."

I was able to integrate the teachings from the weekend into a daily movement ritual that I still perform almost every day. The workshop acted as the rain drop that has rippled me into an ever expanding world of embodiment, which I had no visceral or experiential understanding of before the Up and Down workshop.


Online Business Support Manager Ontario, Canada

I have to say that I have tried meditation a few times and never really had a whole lot of success quieting the mind, but THIS sort of movement and flow I've discovered at the workshop, seems WAY more meditative to me. I am not focusing on anything but just being with myself.

I just wanted to really express my gratitude for the Up & Down Workshop - for being there, for experiencing it firsthand, but more importantly for challenging my body, opening my mind and body to new possibilities, and really gaining trust in the strength within that body & mind.

The day after traveling home from the workshop, I could still feeling the stretch in my upper back and glutes from our practices, and wanted more of that. So I downloaded some inspiring music and did my own practice based on some of my faves from the workshop and just flowed with the music naturally. It woke me up and grounded me to start the day.

I have to say that I have tried meditation a few times and never really had a whole lot of success quieting the mind, but THIS sort of movement and flow I've discovered at the workshop, seems WAY more meditative to me. I am not focusing on anything but just being with myself.

So thank you Irene and Elia! Thank you for the weekend. Thank you for the fun, the learning, the curiosity...THANK YOU. The world needs more of you both.


Creator - Writer - Performer Los Angeles, California

Get drunk in your movement." The words spoken to us at the Up & Down Workshop this year. Clearly, I enjoyed this exercise.

I just have to say this workshop was so incredibly transformative! I learned many subtle and powerful ways to shift the way I move not only in exercise but in every day life.

I felt like I left with an entirely new relationship to my body and how it moves with the world around me. So If you want to learn how to save yourself from some unnecessary body pain for a life of body wealth and longevity, and go deep into the connection of your body/mind while expanding your movement practice, I highly recommend checking out Up & Down Workshop taught by Irene and Elia. I am so grateful that I was able to attend, and I feel inspired to share this magic with all of you!


Flow ease, effortlessness and fluidity.

Discover how to move and groove your body with greater resiliency (don’t worry, no contortionist yoga poses or fancy dance moves required!).

Fun smiles, belly laughs and play.

Learning and playing in groups is medicine, yet as adults we rarely find time for this. Experience the joy of connection with others who share a similar passion for health, healing and happiness. 

Freedom move you. sense you. be you.

Develop the self-knowledge to break through old habits and set a new tone for living life that is free from inhibition and toxic limiting beliefs.

Function skillful, savvy and solid.

You’ll discover the secrets of functional skeletal alignment that has nothing to do with core strength and endless boring strengthening exercises. Tap into your organic movement intelligence so you can create your own movement routines that’ll help you stay strong.




#1 What kind of fitness level will I need to have?

This workshop will be highly movement-based.

We ask that you have the capacity to get down onto the floor without needing any aid from a wall, or a chair, or cane. You can be shaky and off balance, that's NOT a problem, we'll work on that! But we want to ensure you have enough functional and aerobic capacity to get onto the floor solo, and return back to standing solo.

We also ask that you have the capacity to lie down comfortably in all positions (on your back, side-lying, on your front) for a lengthy period of time (30 - 45 minutes).

#2 Why is completing the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up course a requirement?

Note: It is a requirement that you have completed the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up course prior to the workshop date or have participated in SmartBody SmartMind™ (SBSM).

Due to the nature of the advanced methods of Feldenkraisian learning and high level group work (this includes touch and partner work) and social engagement for three days in a row, we need to ensure all participants have the capacity to work through theory and practical neurosensory exercises within, at the minimum, the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up course.

This workshop IS for you if you meet the above requirement and are looking to improve your existing self-regulation capacity in the good company of other like-minded folks who are ready to dive in, play, and do some deep learning at all levels.

#3 What To Expect

Due to the nature of the Up & Down work, our teaching and progressions are based on the individuals in attendance and the group dynamics, but this simple itinerary will give you an idea about how the day will flow.

Each day will go something like

  • Plan to arrive for 9:45 am (settle, chit-chat, personal time)
  • Morning segment runs from 10am-12:30pm
  • Lunch break: 12:30pm-2:15pm
  • Afternoon segment: 2:30pm-4:30pm

We strongly recommend that you be IN Vancouver the day before the workshop begins. 

In all our years holding workshops and events we've found that it's not beneficial for you to rush into a workshop and rush out without having any time to soak up the new surroundings and integrate the time (and money) you've invested in yourself. 

We also recommend planning NO TRAVEL the night after the workshop, so you keep the transformation your body and mind has experienced during the workshop.

We suggest that you avoid sitting in a car and driving (or flying) for 5 hours after spending three days moving, grooving and learning. When you give yourself the time for arriving before and added integration afterwards you'll deepen your learning experience in so many ways.

For those who live in Vancouver and surrounding areas, we recommend the same.

Schedule your night before the workshop to be open and free of stress and allow for plenty of travel time to the venue during the workshop. After the workshop ends, have your time open for YOU so you can also integrate and let the workshop sink in.

#4 What kind of interaction will I have with Irene and Elia? What happens if I have a trauma release during the workshop?

Irene and Elia will be the teachers for this three-day workshop and their teaching is always directed to the group. At times, they might offer some personalized support when needed that is movement-based to individual participants. Often they'll demonstrate on those who'd like to be a demo participant to help the group understand and visualize a tricky movement pattern.

If a participant experiences a trauma release during the workshop, they do not go into trauma processing with that participant. It is up to the participant to ensure they have enough regulation and capacity to be with what might arise during this workshop.

Irene and Elia will not be available for personal consultation or private sessions during this workshop or outside of workshop hours.

#5 Am I responsible for my own meals?

Yes, you are responsible for your own meals.

As the workshop will be held at The Nest in Granville Island, you will have access to a variety of restaurants and a Public Market. Click here for more information.

Click here for a map and listing of places to eat.

Light refreshments (organic dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc.) will be provided during class breaks.

#6 I'm new to Vancouver

You are responsible for your own  accommodations and travel arrangements.

Where should I sleep?

There are many hotels in the greater Vancouver area which are only a Google search away. A few are situated close to The Nest (Granville Island area) and are a short Aquabus ride away. Here is a link to a few hotels situated near Granville Island by Trip Advisor. We'd suggest securing accommodation sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

Note, there is a hotel in Granville Island, promptly named the Granville Island Hotel, and it is within walking distance to our workshop space.

Airbnb and VRBO are also good resources for finding affordable housing.

Note: Airbnb may no longer be an option in Vancouver in 2024. Please check their website to confirm when considering accommodations planning.

Getting around in Vancouver


There are parking spaces available located in and around Granville Island. Click here for a short description on parking costs.

Note, the Aquabus  does stop directly at Granville Island.


From YVR.


Our primary light rail transportation system in Vancouver is called Skytrain. It can get you to major areas of the city and suburbs. And it connects from Vancouver International Airport to central Vancouver and downtown.

Skytrain Schedule



Note: We now have Uber in Vancouver

What's there to do in Vancouver?


The best suggestion for sightseeing in Vancouver is to Google it, and see what pulls your attention and interest. We have a few art galleries, one of the main ones is at UBC, The Museum of Anthropology. Local Beaches: Kitsilano Beach, English Bay, Spanish Banks, Wreck Beach (Notice: Wreck beach is a clothing optional beach).

Click here for a helpful resource to assist you in exploring the different  neighborhoods within Vancouver.

Best Views of Vancouver CityScape

Grouse Mountain: You take a gondola to a local ski area. Bar and restaurant and walking trails are up on top. If you have a car, you can drive up to Cypress Mountain and sit at the look-out for a city view.

Foodie Districts

Vancouver's food scene is definitely on the up and up. Asian and Indian cuisine is stellar here, as is our classic West coast fare (seafood and fish), not to mention good old Irish/English comfort food in the many pubs.


Parks are everywhere, especially on the North Shore which is North Vancouver and West Vancouver. Lynn Headwaters is a great park to walk and hike in. Busy on the weekends, but worth it. For the avid hikers, Grouse Mountain is famous for its steep "Grouse Grind" hike. Only for those with fairly medium to expert fitness levels. The trails near UBC in Pacific Spirit Regional Park are vast and easy with gentle inclines. Deep Cove is a lovely spot to visit for kayak rentals and to experience a cozy little seaside village. Ambleside is a trendier area with a seawall that looks to the South and towards Vancouver. Dundarave is even quieter, more retirement energy :). Stanley park is Vancouver's version of Central Park. There's a walking path that circles the park, and trails within the park.

Mountain and Alpine Viewing

Head to Whistler for a day or overnight excursion and take the Whistler gondola up the ski hill into the high alpine. You can sightsee on top and have a beer and a burger, or both.

Ocean and Island Life

Vancouver Island is a 90-minute ferry ride away from the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen (about 45 minutes outside of Vancouver). From there you can sightsee in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (it's very British over there), or drive up island to Long Beach and Tofino (where the surfers hang out). Saltspring Island (you must access it via Vancouver Island) is known for its artisanal goods, cheese especially, and its quintessential island/hippie feel. The Sunshine Coast is another popular destination, which is technically mainland BC., but it has the small town, island feel. You need to take a ferry to access this part of the mainland.

So many more!!

#7 What is Granville Island?

Granville Island

Granville Island is Vancouver's premier artistic and cultural hub, located in an urban, waterfront location and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage.

The charm of Granville Island lies in its unexpected mix of uses.  The famous Public Market is home to more than 50 independent food purveyors and contributes to the Island's appeal as a renowned culinary destination. In the Net Loft Shops and in the Artisan District, many of Canada's best artists and designers can be found. Granville Island is home to many cultural venues and hosts numerous performing arts and cultural festivals year-round.

Click here for a map of Granville Island.

#8 What do I need to bring when attending the workshop?

For Class:

  • A water bottle.
  • Pen and paper/notebook/journal for taking notes and documenting your experiences (remember: you'll be creating your own movement practice this weekend!)


Dressing in layers is recommended! Comfortable clothing that you can move in that isn't too baggy and isn't too tight. (Good old cotton is the best fabric for this work. Tight stretchy yoga clothing limits your pelvic, hip, and spinal movement, and it is NOT recommended for this kind of workshop).

MOST IMPORTANTLY DON'T FORGET: Your enthusiasm and desire to learn, your laughter and love of movement.

#9 What is the application process?

As spaces are limited, registration is available by application only with membership & completion of the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up being a prerequisite. Those that have participated in SmartBody SmartMind™️ meet this requirement.

After submitting your application, we will aim to get back to you within 7 working days of receiving your application. Note, our offices will be closed between December 23 - January 2, 2024 and you will not receive a personal response during that period.

Please note, the workshop has limited spots available. Successful applicants will be offered a spot on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those that are accepted, we ask that you finalize your registration within 4 days of being informed to secure your spot. Please be sure to watch your email Inbox.

#10 What is the refund policy?

No refunds will be offered for this workshop, unless in the sole discretion of the Company, a qualified exemption applies.

Please understand there is a high demand for our Up & Down Live classes, and we limit class size. Once you have enrolled, your spot in class is secure.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For out of town guests, we recommend that participants purchase travel/trip insurance in the unlikely event that we need to cancel the workshop due to unforeseen circumstances.

Listen to what Elia and Irene have to say about their work  

Irene Lyon

Irene Lyon, MSC. and nervous system expert, teaches people around the world how to work with the nervous system to transform trauma, heal body and mind, and live full, creative lives. To date, her online programs and classes have reached over 9,500 people in over 90 countries.

Irene has a Master’s Degree in Biomedical and Health Science and also has a knack for making complex info easy for ALL of us to understand and apply to our lives. She has extensively studied and practices the works of Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais, Peter Levine (founder of Somatic Experiencing) and Kathy Kain (founder of Somatic Practice).

Irene spends her free time eating delicious food, hiking in the mountains or walking along the Pacific Ocean in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.

She regularly appears on podcasts and online summits teaching all things nervous system health, healing trauma and neuroplasticity.


Elia Mrak

Elia is dedicated to the belief that everyone can dance, everyone deserves joy, and everyone can heal. He loves to play, loves music, and loves a good laugh.

Elia is a trauma-informed and nervous system educator trained and certified in the fields of Dance, Body-Mind-Centering, and Qigong, and uses the integration of these practices to create safe spaces for individuals and communities worldwide.

Elia met Irene Lyon over a decade ago while teaching a class called “Breakdancing for non-Breakdancers”. Inspired to join forces and collaborate together, they built a workshop called Up & Down.

Elia is proud of this work, and excited to continue sharing it with the world.

Upcoming Workshop

3-Day workshop

April 5 - 7, 2024, Vancouver, BC. Canada

Registration has now closed


Note: To register, you must complete the 21 Day Nervous System Tune-Up course prior to the workshop date or have participated in SmartBody SmartMind™️ (SBSM).

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