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Yogi of the Month Julie Anderson

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

This month we have a very special Yogi of the month interview with our Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Julie Anderson. Find out when she started practicing yoga, her favourites poses and the benefits they provide plus some of her Iyengar Yoga book recommendations and lockdown discoveries.

Here is the transcript:

Jo: Welcome everyone to our yogi of the month interview and my name is Jo Mitchell and I am a teacher at Yoga on Tay and I'm very excited to introduce to you this month's interviewee which is Julie Anderson, the boss and senior teacher at Yoga on Tay and I'm very interested to hear her answers to our 'Yogi of the Month' questions. Welcome Julie!

Julie: Thank you and thank you kind of because this was a very unexpected turn of events when Marieke, Jo and I were discussing who should it be next and the tables turned!

Jo: Well I'm interested to hear so I'm going to get straight into it and ask you Julie when did you start yoga?

Julie: I started yoga in 1979 at the age of 15. There was a local class where I grew up in Balerno. The local class was in Currie the next village and my Mum clearly wanted to go but she didn't want to go herself so she took her two daughters along and that was the beginning.

Jo: What do you remember about that first class?

Julie: Now that's an interesting question because I realised that question was going to come having been part of the setting of the questions and you know really I cannot remember but I remember the feeling of thinking oh this is interesting and I can do it and I feel good for doing it and I want to go again and again and again.

Jo: Was that an Iyengar Yoga class that you went to?

Julie: No I didn't meet Iyengar yoga until four years later so by that time I was 19, so very much the teenager out and about in town and I would pass the Bruntisfield centre in Edinburgh. There would be this wooden hand-painted sign outside the front of the Iyengar studio and you know this man in Natarajasana I though that looks really authentic, that's traditional yoga oh maybe one day I'll go. It took me a while to summon up the courage because it looked like really proper and serious. I summoned up the courage and I never looked back, that was the yoga for me.

Jo: Do you remember anything about the first Iyengar yoga class that you were in at the Iyengar Yoga center in Edinburgh?

Julie: So I had a scientific background as I'd started a physiotherapy course and I went on to do biological sciences so I had, at that point, a basic education in human anatomy and physiology. In this yoga class and although it was an eastern tradition, it referenced exactly as the body functions and so it made complete sense for me. It was a meeting of East and West in the body so intellectually it satisfied me, it ticked the boxes but also physically because although you get people who are mind orientated intellectual maybe or the dreamer side of the mind. For me I'm an inner body person. I live in the body and through all these years of yoga I have got to mind but it was the initial connections and communications, I can turn it this way and it does that and I have to be get this alignment here. I had to start to think of it in a way that made sense but it felt great too.

Jo: What would you say yoga gives to you? What is it that makes you continue to practice?

Julie: Well I think it's just that journey, that exploration of body through the body to the mind, with the breath is an endless pursuit. It makes me feel good. This will come in a later question that maybe its not that easy to get to the mat, for all sorts of reasons but whenever you practice whether it's a five minute practice or a class practice or hours of practice, the absorption in the pursuit in the activity, it just enthrals me. Of course that enthusiasm doesn't come across quite so much because I've been doing it so long but the love of the yoga, the love of the practice is so much deeper now.

Jo: As a new teacher starting off it's quite difficult to communicate to a beginner the depth of the practice that's available, should you want to and it is a lifetime pursuit but it