Featured Faculty: Bernadette Fiocca

Have you ever thought about going back to school but remember not feeling like you were really good at being a student? It is common for adults to recall their time in High School without the warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Often school, and learning, were painful processes, and thinking about going to school again can be daunting or bring up old memories full of fear and inadequacy. Here at Finger Lakes School of Massage we pride ourselves on individualized education, within the parameters of high standards. We are able to hold these high expectations because we teach our students about HOW they learn.

Mindful Journey Yoga 200hr RYTT at FLSM Ithaca in February 2018

FLSM’s Mindful Journey Yoga is an approach to yoga that incorporates meditation, asana and mindfulness skills while holding space for the transformative journey of life. Through holistic education which honors scientific and intuitive approaches to healing, creating a culture that invites exquisite care of self and others, and doing so in an atmosphere of joy, abundance, compassion, curiosity, and respect, Mindful Journey Yoga will give students the gift of transformational self study. Mindful Journey Yoga incorporates both ancient wisdom and modern methods. The roots of our school derive inspiration and guidance from traditional and modern teachings on mindfulness. We offer a 200 hours training built around yoga and meditation, right on the convenient Ithaca Commons, held over 6 intensive weekends.

School As Self Care

Dante’s words recall a time in my life when I felt that I simply could not see a path forward. I felt lost and fearful. I lacked purposefulness. Not that I was depressed or in despair, I was just simply not feeling fulfilled. I woke up every day to the mountains of laundry, grocery lists and a house full of children’s toys and sounds. I loved and cherished my three little people, however, I no longer felt like motherhood was my entire story. I was tired, depleted and disappointed. Furthermore, I worried that once all of my children were in school, I would be sad and lonely. I already had begun to notice that when they were at preschool or a friends house, I literally did not know what to do with myself. I felt alone and lost. I needed time to focus on myself so that I could be present with my children without resentment or exhaustion. Everyone’s solution and helpful advice, was “self care.”


It is a myth, this American experience of fierce individualism, with an end goal of independence. Society behaves as if we should strive to reach independence in this lifetime and that it is a true measure of greatness; independent thinkers, independently wealthy, independently owned and operated. We even measure children’s growth by milestones of independence. The truth is that no one is ever truly independent, this focus on “the self” causes suffering. The expectation of being self-sufficient, not ever met, is often a source of frustration and resentment. If we changed our thinking towards interdependence we are so much more likely to have reasonable expectations of each other and society. We learn to lean on each other in order to move forward.

Student Spotlight: Jessika Bernthon

Jessika is a student in the Full-Time Summer Program at the Finger Lakes School of Massage Ithaca campus. She was chosen as the November Student of the Month due to her motivation and hard work and joyful presence.