To me yoga is a science that applies philosophy, physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to help the practitioner of yoga arrive at a state of 'ok-ness' and inner freedom.
This is my driving force as a teacher- to lead students to the recognition and belief that more moments of peace are possible, and any thing is possible.
In my 20's I became the definition of someone who had lost perspective. My mind was veiled with emotional trauma. I was a grim 103lbs and each day I castigated myself for not being able to lose more weight. I was in a morbid trance of not seeing clearly, and yoga saved my life.
I grew up in the suburbs outside of Detroit. In high school I began sitting silently. Every morning I sat with my eyes closed, tuned in to my thoughts, my breath, and then headed off to the anxious jungle of judgement and strive for popularity. I had no idea why I had this new ritual, and I certainly was not about to share my secret, assuredly uncool, behavior; however, these short spurts of meditation made me feel empowered and centered.
I graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S in Nutrition, and headed to California to complete my last year of schooling with a residency in Dietetics. At the time I was an avid runner. My roommate had a yoga DVD. I tried it and after only one DVD practice my running was enhanced with marked lightness and ease- I was hooked!
After California, close to 13 years ago, I moved to NYC. I became the Director of Nutrition and Wellness at one of New Yorks' largest HIV/AIDS non-profits. I avidly practiced yoga at Jivamukti and was a loyal Sharon Gannon student. My professional work with immunocompromised individuals exposed me to the power of continued application of alternative modalities- acupuncture, macrobiotics, herbs, meditation/yoga. I watched immune systems become fortified and more stable through the manipulation of energies and mentality. My curiosity piqued and passionately I wanted to learn more, After all, I too was sick- I still sat paralyzed at each meal with an all-consuming fear cemented inside.
I scouted yoga teacher training programs and in doing so I took a Yogaworks class. After that one YogaWorks class I realized that I experienced moments of freedom from my addictive thoughts about weight, food, and exercise. The Yogaworks method required me to focus on safe alignment of each posture while connecting breath to each movement or action. Swiftly, this method began to shift my thoughts from shame and darkness to curiosity and possibility. I started to feel 'ok.'
In 2005 I completed a YogaWorks 500hr Teacher Training and passed YogaWorks' teacher certification and began directing their NutritionWorks program.
It's been 15 years since I began practicing yoga. For 8 years I have been teaching full-time in NYC and around the globe. I am a senior teacher at Yogaworks NYC teaching classes, 200hr and 500hr teacher trainings and workshops both locally and nationally. I've led NYC's Bryant Park summer yoga classes, and have been featured in Time Out New York, New Living, sheknows.com, and breatherepeat.com.
I am forever a student and I thank wholeheartedly my most influential teachers who have no idea how much their dedicated teaching has kept me afloat and continuously led me to the ever present peace within- Jenny Aurthur, Carrie Owerko, Jodie Rufty and Sharon Ganon.
I've been healed from anorexia for 10 years now.
I am dedicated to changing paradigms of right and wrong, beauty and unsightly, acceptance and denial.
"Julie's classes are a microcosm of the polarities we experience, and the balance we strive for in yoga and in life. A balance between spirituality and science, challenge and surrender, poetry and logic, and between tradition and innovation."
"Julie's teaching style is authentic: as attuned for safe alignment as it is for philosophical depth and emotional discovery. She seamlessly balances Western pragmatism with the integration of Eastern philosophies. Julie provides a compassionate environment for safe and challenging exploration."