It's not linear . . .
Kolam chalk drawing, Chennai, India
When the structure of discipline works, it begins to dissolve.
~ Erich Schiffmann
When I took Erich Schiffmann's Freedom Yoga teacher training with him in Venice, California in 2014 I was strongly attached to a rigid ashtanga style in my practice and teaching. Erich's approach shifted me very quickly and profoundly. I discovered I could venture outside of strict linear, hierarchical structures if they didn't feel right for me. I paid closer attention to my body's relationship with the poses, sequences, and intensity of practice.
I began to slow down and linger in the pauses, where I found curiosity, playfulness, and freedom.
I have since studied TKV Desikachar-based yoga therapy extensively in Canada and India, as well as certified in healing forms of yoga, including restorative, pain care, and trauma-sensitive and have taught these modalities for several years.
I also enjoy participating in other forms of movement such as free-form dance. All of these and a continuously expanding sense of curiosity have led me to follow my instincts to explore widely, listen deeply to felt sense, and develop and deepen inner trust -- as a student, teacher, and therapist.
I bow in reverence to my many esteemed teachers and their sources and I do not strictly adhere to a specific lineage or follow a guru.
I studied mantra and pranayama at Yoga Raksanam in Chennai, India with beautiful Radha Sridhar. Her joy is seriously contagious.
In addition to teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops, I teach studio classes and yoga therapy in small groups (see Essential Low Back Program). In those and in private sessions, I offer physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual approaches, depending on each student's desires or needs.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in depth psychology and creative writing from Antioch University Seattle with extensive coursework in world religions, creation and grail mythologies, epistemology, and creativity. During this time I explored the creative process through art, writing, and transpersonal studies and was fortunate enough to attend events with my classes featuring such great human beings as Stephen Hawking, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Post-grad training and experience includes wholistic expressive / play therapy, hypnotherapy, and counselling. I have several years clinical experience as a counsellor and expressive play therapist in multi-disciplinary health and wellness settings, with a focus on anxiety, depression, grief, and addictions.
Life has shown me many times over that it is not straightforward or linear in nature, but infinitely dimensional and rich.
For the last 30 years or so I have worked primarily as an editor, journalist, and graphic designer, with a few side-trips along the way. You can see more, including work and volunteer experience, on my LinkedIn profile.
I was primary editor on Marion (Mugs) McConnell's highly acclaimed book, Letters From The Yoga Masters, published by North Atlantic Books in 2016. Click on the image of the book cover to learn more about this unique contribution to the written history and present-day understanding and practice of yoga's eight limbs.
Training & teachers
Demonstrating pranayama with Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani in 2018, Sorrento, BC
18 + years of dedicated yoga practice
9 + years teaching / training
Langara College 250-hour yoga teacher training program, Vancouver, BC, 2010-'11
Ashtanga Primary Series Yoga Teacher Training, David Swenson, Victoria, BC, 2012
200-hour yoga teacher training program, SOYA*, and 300-hour SOYA upgrade to RYT 500, Mugs McConnell, Penticton and Vancouver, BC 2013-'14
Freedom Yoga Teacher Training with Erich Schiffmann, Venice, CA, 2014
Back Mitra spinal release foundation training, Vancouver, BC, 2014
Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, Swan, The Path, Vancouver, BC, 2015
Freedom Yoga with Erich Schiffman, SOYA annual retreat, Sorrento, BC, 2015
Mugs McConnell & Jools, 2013, Water Valley, Alberta
Jools, Erich Schiffmann, & Mugs McConnell, 2014, Venice, California
Anatomy Trains for Movement Therapists, Sherry Leigh Iwaschuk, KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Integration), Vancouver, BC, 2016
Overcome Pain Gentle Yoga, Neil Pearson, Qualicum Beach, BC, 2016
Core Training - Yoga Outreach, Trauma-sensitive Yoga teacher training, Vancouver, BC, 2016
Essential Yoga Therapy Low Back Care Program, Robin Rothenberg, Fall City, WA, 2016
Experiential Anatomy, Judith Lasater, Vancouver, BC, 2016
Yoga, Fascia, & the New Anatomy, Robin Rothenberg & Tom Myers, YogaU (online study, live webinars), 2016
Yoga Therapeutic Wisdom, Doug Keller, SOYA annual retreat, Sorrento, BC, 2017
The Chakras, Vayus, Nada Yoga, Yoga Therapy with Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, SOYA annual retreat, Sorrento, BC, 2018
I have also learned a great deal in multiple workshops with Gioia Irwin, Sylvain Brochu, and Leila Stuart.
*SOYA = South Okanagan Yoga Academy
Recent / Ongoing
Chennai, India with some of the wonderful women from around the world in Yoga Therapy International's 2017-'19 cohort
Yoga Therapy International
IAYT-accredited 2-year program
Completion June 2019
Term 1 - 380 hours
June - December 2017
Vancouver, BC (complete):
- Studies with Maggie Reigh (Founding Director, YTI), Neil Pearson, Mary-Jo Fetterly, Todd Caldecott, Jaisri Lambert, Tianne Allen, Jane Courtney, and others
- Practicum, documentation, and supervision, private yoga therapy
Term 2 - 201 hours
January 8 & February 19, 2018
Yoga Raksanam, Chennai, India and Vancouver, BC (complete):
- Advanced yoga philosophy, asana, pranayama, mantra, and yoga therapy study and clinical internship with TKV Desikachar-trained teachers DV Sridhar, Radha Sridhar, and Viji Vasu
- Private and small group yoga therapy practicum
Volunteer teaching - trauma-sensitive yoga classes in social service settings (Yoga Outreach)
Women's Place, Surrey, BC - 2016
First United, DTES, Vancouver, BC - 2017
Crabtree Corner, DTES, Vancouver, BC - 2018
- Yoga Alliance E-RYT500, YACEP (continuing education provider)
- Member, International Association of Yoga Therapists
- Red Cross certified (current)
Emergency First Aid / CPR / AED
All content except as noted © Julie (Jools) Andrés 2011 - 2019