Yoga Bio

Yoga Bio

I completed my Yoga Alliance 200-hour yoga teacher training program at Yoga Lounge and Barre in Hudson, Ohio, on May 16, 2020. I currently teach Power Vinyasa Flow and Gentle Flow.

I started practicing yoga several years ago at various local gyms and with home videos. However, I began to take my practice seriously when I discovered Yoga Lounge and Barre a few years ago. That’s when I felt the mind-body connection and ultimately, when I fell in love with the practice. Before practicing at a yoga studio, I just thought yoga was something to do to help stretch out my sore muscles after running, power lifting, or taking a high-energy cardio class. I always felt like I needed to develop more strength physically, but never gave much thought to my mental state until I practiced at Yoga Lounge and Barre. Not only do I feel empowered, stronger, and calmer during yoga, but I feel blissful and completely happy and relaxed afterward. I hope my students can feel the same after taking my online yoga classes. I want my students to walk away knowing that “the power lies within.”

As a person who suffers from Scoliosis, I am particularly interested in studying more about how yoga benefits people who suffer from various back problems and improving spine alignment.

I have a day job working at Crate & Barrel in Customer Service and as a Furniture Design and Sales Consultant. In my free time, I like to write. (I have a blog called Coffee with Julz.) I also enjoy biking with my husband, Chris, through the Metroparks system in Northeast Ohio; reading (usually with a glass of wine); traveling; and hanging out with family, friends, and our two cats, Izzy and Belle.

For further information about the yoga classes that I offer or for private lessons, please visit my Facebook page, “Awake Yoga.” You can also message me through Facebook or Twitter.

Can Habits Make You Happy?

Can Habits Make You Happy?

Today, I sat down to meditate by listening to my favorite podcast, “Meditative Story”. This episode was titled, “There’s No One Way,” by Gretchen Rubin. She discusses how habits create happiness. Of course, it depends on what kind of habits I create, but the bottom line is, if something works for me, it does not always mean that it will work for everyone else. There is no one right way to become happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative. We each have to know ourselves. I can relate to a lot of what Gretchen is saying, when she says, “outer order contributes to inner calm.” For example, I always become instantly happier when I tidy up my house. My favorite thing to do is purge clutter! (Yes, my husband is very annoyed by this habit.)

But why is there still a lot of inner clutter despite the outer order in my house?

It’s obvious to me that habits help make life happier–not perfect, but happier. When I’m busy, I don’t have to think about how our world is suddenly turned upside down. Perhaps that’s why I am constantly sticking to my habits and constantly running around the house to keep it neat and tidy. My husband is the complete opposite. My constant picking up of stuff around the house annoys him, yet seeing a clean house makes me happy.

I can identify with how Gretchen points out that one way we express love to others is by trying to tightly control everything around and inside us. Thus, I try to control my surroundings. I have recently realized that is why accepting what is happening, instead of controlling it, is so hard for me.

Gretchen points out, “A central tension in a happy life is that we want both to accept ourselves and expect more from ourselves. Only we can decide what we can accept from ourselves and what we can expect more of from ourselves. And what that means–no one can decide that for you.”

So how do I calm my monkey mind during these crazy times? How do I relax my struggle, my burnout and find some sort of way to be present? How do I decide what I can accept from myself and what I can expect more of from myself?

Meditation allows my mind to roam free and let it all go. By creating a daily habit to meditate each day, I can invite my body, heart, and mind to relax and be free. I can watch, instead of trying to obtain the impossible goal of controlling what is happening all around us. Noticing why and how my mind is not free will help me to get better at letting go and deciding what I am willing to accept and what I can expect more of from myself.

Can I still improve by letting go, even though I meditate daily? Of course I can!

I will continue the daily habits that help me feel in control, like cleaning up around the house, working out, cooking, and taking care of my plants, while also keeping up with new habits that help me relax and let go, such as my daily meditation, yoga, getting outside more, reading, and maybe a glass of wine or two at night for good measure! We are all in this together, and finding new ways to adapt and survive is vital!

Please share how you are adapting and if you have found any habits that have helped you to be happy during the Coronavirus!

If you would like to listen to Meditative Story, There’s No One Way, by Gretchen Rubin, you can click on the link below:

https://meditativestory.com /gretchen-rubin/

Finding our True Selves

Finding our True Selves

To say that we are to know our true selves is an understatement. It is imperative to find our true selves and to live authentically. Can you honestly say you know who you are? Can you honestly say you are living your most authentic life?

There is a disconnect between what we believe to be “authentic” or “honest”. Sometimes we can argue that we speak honestly and tell the truth to anyone even if it is hurtful. But, hey! At least we are living our truth, right?! There is a fine line between being honest with others and being honest with ourselves. We can let our egos tell us that we are living honestly by going around and blurting out anything that comes to mind as “honest”, but if we were to pause and reflect, is that really how we feel or is that our ego trying to pull us in a direction towards an unbalanced behavior pattern that hurts others for the sake of making ourselves or our ego feel better about who we are? Ego often masks itself in different threads. We try to justify our behavior because we can’t face our true selves anymore. We look in the mirror and don’t recognize who we are.

Living an authentic life is being honest with how we feel, how we connect with others, how we can be better humans and most of all how we can be better to ourselves. If we don’t take time to reflect or calm the mind or listen to our heart, how can we be calm and live our best truest version of ourselves? It’s a constant struggle and I for one, am not always living my authentic self, but I am trying. Studying ourselves is not linear. It’s circular and ongoing. This journey is never ending. We are all at different levels living our truths on this journey, but remember we are all in this journey together.

Leading with our heart is a good way to start. After all, God is love. Therefore, God lives in all of us if we allow it. If we open our hearts and open our minds, we can explore and identify what it means to try to live our truths. If we live our truth, then we become God ourselves. That is not to be confused with ego. Remember, love is God. God can mean anything to anyone. God can mean the sunrise or sunset. God can mean pure bliss. God can mean forgiveness or strength. God can mean being honest with yourself, because you love yourself enough to take time to reflect and calm your mind. I observe others and if I don’t quite understand where they are coming from or why they choose to cause harm to others, I have to remind myself that they are on a different level of finding their truth. There is love somewhere deep inside of everyone. We just have to look harder for it in some more than others. After all, we are all trying to live our best lives. Sometimes our ego just speaks louder than our hearts.