I’d like to begin by thanking all of my teachers and friends who got me here in the first place. First and foremost: Patrick Creelman, Kristin Campbell, Paul Dallaghan and the teachers of Pure Yoga Hong Kong who I taught with (2005-2008) Ana Forrest and all my students since 2003. I’d also like to thank my inspiring professors during my time studying Kinesiology at McGill University. My degree actually came into good use! Growing up, I also learned the art of pedagogy by watching my schoolteacher parents and later my big sister. They’d come home slugging grocery baskets full of text books, eyes burning over late night report cards and sometimes heartbroken over kids who showed up with the same clothes and no lunch every day. My first teachers, my parents, they are my gurus.
To be straight up, yoga found me, I didn’t necessarily find it. I made fun of my first yoga teacher and through my teen years found most of what yoga professed…to be a load of bull. True story. I had NO clue what I was stepping into. Since 2000, after meeting my first true teacher, it has been a natural evolution, a slow simmer of a magnificent journey. The genuine positivity that vibrated off Patrick during my first class with him in 2000 seemed to affect everyone in the room. Whatever it was that he had, I knew I wanted to live the same way. What I learned was this level of energy wasn’t unique to just Patrick, it seemed that every teacher I encountered who was living in his/her passion lit up rooms and made everyone feel instantly at ease.
I have traveled the globe ever since, teaching trainings twice a year since 2010 in Nicaragua. It has been quite a journey between hard work. sweat, tears, doubt, acceleration and loving connections: from the Daintree Rainforest to the windy mountaintops of Spain. I know I’m a teacher because everything keeps aligning me back to this role even when I think I’ve failed. It is a “job” that arrived quietly at first – like an unexpected new love, I was nudged along, shy and steady to stand at the head of the class. I eventually came into my louder voice that turned out to be a true one for me. It is my wish for all those who study with me to feel the same: to feel whole and to feel heard.
- ERYT- 500 Certified Teacher (Yoga Alliance)
- Julia McCabe Yoga is now an official school registered with the Yoga Alliance, currently offering 200 and 300HR level trainings locally and internationally.
- B.Ed in Kinesiology, McGill University, Montreal
- Ana Forrest, Advanced Training
- Wanderlust Whistler 2012, 2013
“Define yoga… that’s a tough one. A bit cliché for a yoga website, but its gotta be done….
I could Wikipedia it, I could talk about “yoking” or search out what other yoga sites say and re-word something super flowery, however, I won’t do any of the above. Semantics limits my ability to define what yoga truly is, being that it is both subjective in nature and intangibly and energetically massive! So the below may seem trite, but I’ll do my best.
The practice of yoga is a deep recognition that Spirit
(a word that our world overuses, trademarks, shrugs at, deflects, loathes, monopolizes, institutionalizes, sells and abuses) actually just means Everyone. Everyone contains and builds Spirit through listening, creating, living behind kind eyes and words, riding waves, climbing peaks, thinking beyond convention and taking care of family and friends. Spirit is built through seeing yourself in all religions, skin colors, languages, cultures, heroes and villains. It doesn’t matter if you are a banker, esthetician, the Queen of England or the dude who cleans port-o-potties because it exists in all of us. It means using our physical bodies as a training base for our souls to get stronger in and ultimately to support our next great leap forward. Think Avatar but better. We are all Avatar’s, really. (Avatar: A manifestation of Shiva/Spirit/all other super yoga heroes in a human body). It means seeing love in the most unlikely of situations (i.e. stuck on the side of the highway with your least favorite person and having to hang out and connect with them until the tow truck arrives).
On teaching yoga: I visualize trekking along a continuum of mats,
like mala beads circumnavigating the base of a mountain, one by one, day-by-day and year-by-year. I teach with the hope to enliven mundane hearts, shake delusion from stagnant minds, release doubt from limited beliefs and help stretch armies of complacent limbs towards brilliance. It means listening to Gaia, our Earth, and helping her out from the mountains of plastic ignorance and mind-numbing consumption we have buried her beneath. It means recognizing that we all have a choice: to disconnect from old, limited beliefs that do nothing but create a maelstrom of continued disconnection, and to always, always, always choose the path of truth – no matter how hard it may be. Because truth’s sometimes bitter leaf has a strange way of revealing its sweet center over time.
Once you’re on the path to living your fullest life, mediocrity is not an option.
It means listening to that person in the room who is not being heard. It means having compassion for the aspects you deplore the most in yourself and having compassion and patience for the aspects that you deplore in others. It means celebrating on the mat, drinking wine, dancing until you’re 90, breaking bread, laughing daily, sleeping soundly, living courageously in the constant embrace of change and teaching/practicing without the pitfall of becoming overly austere or righteous (then the whole point is lost).