I learned to adapt Yulia’s self-care and attention techniques into my daily routine, taking notice and being more aware of my body and its messages.
Yulia has created a unique space for women to explore their connection with their physical selves, possibly connecting spiritually and certainly in community with other women. My experience may be unusual in that, at the age of 48, I had never tried yoga. After decades of devotion to family, my profession and then an academic career — something was clearly missing. I was living entirely in my brain, completely disconnected from my body. I went to the yoga circle with the intention to discover and begin to connect with my body. I laughed with the other women in the first meeting that sexual vulnerability would be “the last frontier” after having *fixed* everything else in my life. We all laughed together after following Yulia’s guidance and suggestions.
Some of Yulia’s techniques surprised me. I won’t divulge them here because that’s part of the joy of discovery but she uses a variety of sensory techniques and is very present to the flow and mood/energy of the group, welcoming and encouraging us all. Although my boisterously late arrival could have been intrusive on the first and second weeks, Yulia acknowledged and welcomed my playful, rebellious nature, laughing with me while annointing my forehead with rose oil. The group dynamic was fully participatory and interactive while also individually reflective and quiet.
The eight weeks were a transformative period of flow for me. I learned to adapt Yulia’s self-care and attention techniques into my daily routine, taking notice and being more aware of my body and its messages. It’s so easy to live in the mind, particularly when we are preoccupied (as mothers and lovers and friends) with the needs and desires of others. This yoga circle reminded me *how* to prioritize myself, not just as a mantra but by taking the time to really tune in. I remember one moment in the second-to-last week when Yulia was instructing us to flex our toes and shift weight around on the perched ball of our foot. It was so interesting. I realized I had never explored that simple sensation before. What an easy way to direct attention and focus on bodily sensation.
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