Julia started taking hot yoga classes in 2008 to melt off the baby weight after the birth of her daughter. She lucked out and clicked with her first yoga teacher. Soon she started taking 2 classes a week, then 3 to 4 classes a week at a couple of studios in Chicago. Before she knew it, she was adjusting her schedule around her yoga classes. As her path unfolded, she signed up for her first yoga workshop with Chuck Miller. His inspiring workshop planted the seed of becoming a yoga teacher.
Julia completed a 14 month teacher training program at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago under the direction of Daren Friesen. She enjoyed digging deeper beyond the physical practice and exploring philosophy, breathwork, meditation, and Ayurveda with Daren and his faculty including Rich Logan, Ingrid Yang, Laura Henke, and Blanca Aviles. During the training, Julia also served as a workshop manager at Moksha Yoga Center. Through this amazing opportunity, she experienced over 1000 hours of workshops from a variety of inspirational master teachers such as Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, Christina Sells, Seane Corn, Saul David Raye and many more.
For part of Moksha’s training, she developed and wrote her thesis project about community outreach through yoga. This is where she discovered her passion for community service.
Julia passionately believes in spreading awareness about the benefits of yoga through community service. She is a co-founder of YogaCare and Socially Engaged Yoga Network (SEYN). Both organizations reach out to communities through the vehicle of yoga.
YogaCare provides affordable access to yoga in underserved communities. They improve individual and community health by providing low-cost therapeutic tools to manage stress, pain, and chronic diseases in collaboration with community health centers. They empower community members to develop healthy lifestyles, building healthier communities.
SEYN is a new organization dedicated to supporting yoga teachers, community organizations, and other stakeholders committed to sharing the benefits of yoga with underserved communities in the Chicagoland area.
While assisting in the development of these organizations, Julia maintains her connection to Moksha Yoga Center by serving on the management team as support in operations and customer service.
In addition, Julia studies and practices from the lineage of Krishnamacharya, under the influence of Iyengar and Desikachar. She currently serves on the Apprentice Faculty at Yoga Circle directed by Gabriel Halpern where she continually develops her craft for teaching therapeutic yoga. She applies what she learns by teaching free classes at CommunityHealth: Yoga for Pain Relief in Englewood and Yoga for Low Back Pain in West Town. Within these classes, you can find yourself decompressing from the stress and pressure of daily life, exercising your body and mind, connecting to your breath, and playfully exploring where you are at in the moment.
Some of her additional training includes Prenatal Yoga (with Lela Beem and Cassie Rodgers from Amala School of Prenatal Yoga,) Yoga for Kids and Families (with MIra Binzen from Global Family Yoga,) and Yoga for Cancer Survivors (with Ingrid Yang.) She enjoys experiencing a variety of styles and continually learning more. Recently her curiosity has guided her to explore Buddhism and insight meditation at a Vipassana retreat. The experience blew her mind and opened up perspective. She intends to continue training and exploring mindfulness meditation and share what she has learned along the way. She hopes to plant seeds of curiosity that can help peel away layers of false beliefs as her teachers have pointed the light for her.