Yoga is such an integral part of my life since 1986 that I sometimes have to reflect on how important it has been over the years, so here goes!
In 1986 I tumbled into a Yoga Teacher Training workshop with the Sivananda Yoga Center on Paradise Island, Bahamas because I wanted to spent a month in the tropics during February. I had no idea how profound a change it would make in my life.
I had just started to explore meditation and during those meditations I often had a quick glimpse of a wise looking bald man arise in my consciousness. It wasn’t something I questioned, just figured I was imagining this. When I got to Paradise Island, the person who came to pick me up on a dock in Nassau was helping me unload my things and I noticed a wall painted with a very large picture of the same bald man that had appeared in my meditations. I quickly asked the person who lived at the ashram “Who is that in the painting?”. They replied, “don’t you know Swami Sivananda?” And I had to admit I did not…and I said to myself, well you got me here didn’t you to the man I was just now being formally introduced to on that dock.
From that moment on I understood that I had been guided to learn yoga and to begin a very different life based on the principles I learned during that month.
I have been teaching yoga since I left with my certificate and am SO grateful for how much my health is good, my outlook on life is good and the incredible students I have had the privilege to teach.
My yoga classes have evolved over the years so much that when someone asks me what style of yoga I teach I chuckle and say “julieyoga”. Most importantly I focus on the very basics of yoga. Yoga is Sanskrit for “to Yoke” and the three things that are yoked together are the breathing, the mind, and the body. Unless you are engaging all three parts you are not really getting the most out of what yoga has to offer.
The most important thing I have observed in my own practice and watching my students is that our cultural focus on competition really hinders us from sinking into the powerful wisdom of yoga. It is so subtle that you may overlook how you are competitive with yourself and miss the deep place you can go when you just flow with the breathing bringing your mind and body along without judgement.
The classes I teach at the Reiki Center are focused on this aspect of yoga. I lead classes that all levels can participate in. So drop in on a Wednesday morning at 10 am and pay what you can for an hour or so of mindful yoga.