Rebel Human was founded by Jenny Arrington and Tait Medina, Ph.D. out of the shared desire to help people live a more connected, compassionate, creative, and joy-filled life.
Like most good things, Rebel Human is a work of both sustained effort and serendipity. After decades in the health and wellbeing field—Tait as an academic researcher, Jenny as a teacher, and both as ever evolving works in progress—these two came together quite by chance.
Rebel Human is the product of many of their shared interests, values, and expertise: A background in the neurosicence of contemplative practices; experience in evidence-based, holistic, and action-oriented approaches to mental health and wellbeing; and a willingness to share openly and honestly about their own personal struggles, which they see as foundational to their work.
Tait Medina, Ph.D.
Tait received her Ph.D. in sociology with an emphasis in medical sociology, social psychology, and statistics from Indiana University. Her research has focused primarily on cross-cultural and cross-temporal conceptualizations of health, illness, and healing and the impact these have on subjective and objective experiences of distress. At the core of her research is the principal insight that health, illness, and healing cannot be simply regarded as an individual or biological phenomenon. Context and culture matter and there are many lenses, not just a medical lens, through which to view health, illness, and healing.
Tait taught for a number of years at the University of Michigan and later worked as a senior research scientist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Psychiatry, American Journal of Public Health, and American Journal of Sociology.
Prior to attending graduate school, Tait enjoyed a successful career as a professional ballet dancer. At fifteen she was hired by the First National Touring Company of The Phantom of The Opera as one of its original members and then later performed with the Broadway company.
Throughout her time as a ballet dancer, student, professor, researcher, and new mom Tait turned to the practice of meditation (in all its many forms) to remain mentally sharp, physically resilient, and emotionally balanced and to create space for joy, gratitude, compassion, connection, and forgiveness. In 2016 Tait realized another dream by opening a float therapy studio outside of Chicago, IL called Oto Float. Floating, also known as floatation reduced environmental stimulation therapy, is something she has practiced regularly since the age of sixteen. And in 2019 she co-founded Rebel Human.
Co-Founder of Rebel Human and Wellness Advisor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Jenny Arrington believes that obstacles aren’t in our way, they are the way. After a decades long struggle with clinical depression and an eating disorder, it was a combination of somatic therapy, asana, meditation, and Kundalini Yoga that finally gave her the ability to process past trauma, forgive, and heal. It was through these challenges and the healing that Jenny found her calling as a teacher.
Trained under Harvard neuroscientist, Dr. Srini Pillay, Jenny integrates the ancient tools of yoga, meditation, and ritual with the modern science of neurocoaching to help her students unlock their inner wisdom, connect with their instincts, and overcome their limiting fears.
Jenny works with all populations and ages, including private executive coaching. She has been featured in publications including US News & World Report, Chicago Tribune, Shape, and Chicago Magazine to name a few. And her first book, The Kundalini Yoga Posture Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Teaching and Practicing the Postures, is launching this summer.
Jenny is a master at making connections between the wisdom in ancient practices and recent findings within the fields of neuroscience and acoustical physics. Her students like to say that she teaches only those things that either have been proven through thousands of years of practice or have been peer-reviewed. She is also known for her ability to explain esoteric concepts such as the infinite, the spirit, and energy in ways that make sense in our real life and are not too “woo woo.”
When Jenny is not teaching and developing educational programming you might find her on the high-wire or the flying trapeze at a circus and performing arts school whose board she chairs because as she likes to say, “I try to do something that scares me at least once every day.”