About Holistic Yoga & Julia
Holistic Yoga and Holistic Somatics
Yoga and Somatics – Suitable for Every Body
Thank you for your curiosity about the practices of Holistic Yoga. This type of yoga is really about creating comfort, strength, ease and health in your mind, body and soul. It’s a great joy to share these adaptable, enjoyable practices with everyone who comes to class, regardless of their age, health or flexibility.
People start yoga practice for various different reasons. I was initially drawn to yoga as a teenager as it helped to relieve the pain in my shoulders, neck and lower back. It also helped with my nervousness and anxiety. Through over fifteen years of teaching yoga, I’ve found it to be a useful support for most people. It’s certainly worth having a try to see if it helps you to feel more at ease in your self.
Movement, Breath and Relaxation for Supporting A Happier, Healthier Life
Yoga gave me the tools to build up strength and confidence in myself on all levels. It’s been such a help to me that I can’t help but want to share this knowledge with others who are working with the same challenges. All it takes is a little regular, enjoyable practice to make a vast difference.
It’s Your Body – Tailoring Your Practice for Your Individual Needs
Each of us is an individual with a unique history, constitution and coping strategies. As such, in class I offer different choices and ways of accessing the postures (without disrupting the flow of the class) so that you are free to pick what suits you best at the time.
Honouring and Listening to Your Body
This way of moving and relaxing is essentially about learning how to be responsive to your body. Our society has a “no pain = no gain” attitude. This creates the belief that if we strive to achieve and push harder we will get to where we want to be. This is an untruth. You will not get out of stress or pain by over riding it, you will either push the stress elsewhere or increase the stress. Holistic Yoga and Holistic Somatics teaches you a different way.
Yoga or Somatics – the Choice is Yours!
Essentially, this type of yoga offer us an opportunity to dialogue with the body. Some days you will need a stronger practice, some days a quieter, slower practice will be what is required. I offer two types of classes Holistic Yoga and Holistic Somatics in the general timetable, that you can drop in to the according to how you feel.
Holistic Yoga will pick up your energy and lift your mood. It is a stimulating, strengthening and empowering. Holistic yoga is gentle by modern yoga standards, it’s similar to Hatha Yoga. We do not do repetitive vinyasa (lots of down dogs and planks, looped together) we don’t do inversions (headstands or full shoulder stand). It is not a sweaty practice. This is yoga method informed by modern concepts in anatomy such as Anatomy Trains, Anatomy in Motion and Functional Movement.
Holistic Somatics is ideal if you feel tired, achey or need a more restful practice, similar to yin style yoga but with more movement and muscle engagement and release. It is based on a mixture of Hanna Somatics practices and gentle therapeutic yoga. We focus on neuromuscular education, which means we improve the sensory – motor communication between the brain and the body. This two way process involves us listening to the body in detail and learning how to use muscles in a balanced an harmonious way. It’s very relaxing.
My Journey with Yoga
My first yoga class was at sixth form college in 1988. From then on yoga became a life-long practice. I practised at home avidly with the help of Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. I also had a Lynn Marshall Yoga record (yes a yoga LP!) which I discovered in a charity shop. Apparently, Lynn did a lot to spread the word about yoga in the 1970s. She had a programme on ITV, which I missed, unfortunately, I was probably watching Scooby Doo instead!
I continued my regular practice of yoga throughout my teens and twenties. Yoga became my main support for creating comfort in my body and mind. However, it didn’t occur to me to become a yoga teacher until my early thirties. By this time I had developed a keen interest in natural health therapies. I was deeply inspired by naturopathy, which enabled me to recover completely from chronic asthma and bronchitis.
Consequently, this led me to work full-time in the Haelan Centre, a whole food store and complementary health clinic. However, I couldn’t decide on which complementary therapy to study and practice full time. Finally, one day it dawned on me that yoga is my therapy.
In 2003 I took the 3-year training with the Inner Yoga Trust with Jenny Beeken. Aged 31, I was the youngest person on the course. As many of my fellow yogis were also working with stiffness, pain and ailments I learnt to teach yoga in a way that way that was very sensitive and adaptable to each individual’s needs. Through self-reflection and group work (which felt like group therapy at times) we developed the capacity to teach yoga in it’s widest sense. The Inner Yoga Teacher Training is accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga, which demands the highest standard in yoga teacher training.
Yoga and Somatic Movement Studies
- Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, Heather Mason, Minded Institute October 2020
- One Week Intensive and Ongoing Training Anatomy In Motion, Gary Ward, October 2018
- Sleep Recovery, Lisa Sanfilippo, Minded Institute January 2017
- Pregnancy, Post Natal and Mums and Bubs Training, Ana Davis, Bliss Baby, November 2015
- Hanna Somatic Coach – Level I and II, Tanya Fitzpatrick, Align Somatics, August 2015,
- Teaching Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, Alison Trewhela, YHLB Institute, August 2013
- Yoga Nidra Teacher Training – Uma and Nirlipta Dinsmore-Tuli, Total Yoga Nidra, November 2013
- Meditation Teacher’s Certificate Swami Saradananda (British Yoga Teachers’ Association), June 2010
- Yoga as Therapy Intensive Teacher Training “Understanding and Addressing the Sources of Pain” (Doug Keller in association with Yoga Campus), December 2009
- Yoga Therapy Advanced Modules – Cardio Vascular System; Respiratory System; Teaching Yoga to People with Cancer; Musculoskeletal Problems. Yoga Campus, September 2008 – November 2009
- Yoga Therapy Foundation Course, Yoga Biomedical Trust, June 2008
Other Related Training
The above list is not the whole story. I regularly attend numerous classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training courses. In addition, the following courses influence my approach to teaching yoga:
- ITEC course in Massage, Anatomy and Physiology
- Holistic Lifestyle Coach training with the CHEK Institute
- Ainsworth’s Level Two Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner
- Reiki Level I and II