Drawn to the City: Triton Tunis-Mitchell, the physio

Based at Active Bodies Physiotherapy on Halifax Street, Triton Tunis-Mitchell isn’t the type of person to be contained by a job title: his work encompasses multiple disciplines including yoga teacher, business manager, physical performer and coach.

A member of Cirkidz from the age of five, Tunis-Mitchell honed his skills as an acrobat at the circus school. With the human body his instrument, Tunis-Mitchell became fascinated with its mechanics and this led him to study physiotherapy at the University of South Australia. Rather than feeling he had to choose one path, Tunis-Mitchell believes that the “things you do with passion can flow and influence other elements of your life”. So he studied science while training as a physical performer.

In 2009, he co-founded the acclaimed circus and theatre company Gravity & Other Myths, which has travelled the globe with hit shows such as A Simple Space and Backbone.

“Touring and living out of a suitcase as a performer is exciting,” Tunis-Mitchell says. But he started to ask himself, “Where is my actual community, how can I bring all these interests under one umbrella and create a shared home and place?” The answer came with setting up the Adelaide branch of the yoga centre Power Living in 2016, which he did with his partner and follow yoga teacher Tessa Leon.

Together, they wanted to create a place that was a hub for the wellbeing and health community. It is a unique studio as it incorporates the practice of physiotherapy within the yoga studio. And you can hear this in the language Tunis-Mitchell uses during his yoga classes; there is a continual flow between the philosophy of yoga and a precise understanding of muscles and the science behind movement. “Language is how you understand the world”, he says. “If you change the language, can you change the pain?”

Power Living offers yoga classes and physiotherapy to a diverse range of practitioners, but the studio comes particularly alive during the Fringe, as the studio offers free classes for all performers.

One of the most important objectives of his studio is to “get people educated and excited about their health, and getting them to be an active participant in that”. His approach to physio is not a clinical quick fix; he wants to “shift people’s lifestyles and their awareness, looking at the whole character and factors such as stress management”.

Tunis-Mitchell believes there isn’t a set way of doing things, and greatly enjoys the flow between his job titles and disciplines. “You are constantly correcting, constantly reconsidering our pathways and our actions,” he says. Performance led him to science, and arts management gave him the skills to set up his own businesses within the field of health.

Leo Greenfield is a freelance illustrator.
leogreenfield.com

activebodiesphysiotherapy.com.au

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