Many say yoga is about finding YOUR practice, not about competing with others or even competing with yourself. Yoga is about how you’re feeling at any certain time and practicing in a way that serves you in that moment. And Julia Edmonds’ classes are no different.

“When you’re doing yoga, you wish you could do other poses, but it’s about breaking down barriers that we have learned and not comparing ourselves to others. It’s about realizing you are good enough in this moment as you are,” she said.

Julia didn’t start out very accepting of herself in the moment, she has learned the skill of acceptance through her practice and through teaching others.

“I wanted to bring that safe space to other people,” she said. “Yoga was a vehicle that lead me to recovery. It helped me embrace myself physically and embrace my body for what it is. Not for what it isn’t,” she said.

Julia first found yoga through her therapist’s recommendation when she was seeking recovery from disordered eating after graduating college. “I wasn’t a fan at first, but I kept doing it. My instructor was a plus-size yoga instructor and was very open and welcoming,” she said.

After continuing the practice and embracing her body, Julia decided to teach others and maybe help them embrace themselves as well. “If you had told me in college that I was going to be a yoga teacher, I would have laughed. It was not my path in college,” she said.

Now, Julia teaches classes at Bleubird Studio where she offers different variation of poses for all levels. “I am so thankful that Jane came into my life and allowed me to present a yoga practice that resonated with me,” she said. “Jane came up with the name EveryBODY and was willing to let me offer a class that was accepting of all bodies,” Julia said. “It’s hard to find a yoga class that does that.”

Through her classes, Julia strives for overall health, but a health that is unique to each individual. “You can strive for health at any size,” she said. “Health is holistic and there are different aspects to health that you can strive for and grow!”

Julia loves yoga because of the intuitiveness of the practice and all that is can do for the human body. “My classes are about responding to what your body needs. It’s a journey and I am still on it myself. I want to help bring that vehicle to others to help them be happy and embrace their bodies,” she said.

Not only does Julia teach joyful movement, but she also offers breathing exercises. “They can be super powerful and can be shown to affect your central nervous system,” she said. “If I am feeling overwhelmed, I take one or two minutes to do a breathing exercise and it usually calms me down.”

With the current global situation, Julia is reminded that trauma comes in many different forms and people deal with trauma in many different ways. “Some people want to wash it away. It is OK to notice trauma, it is OK to have thoughts of doubt and fear,” she said. “Take a few minutes everyday and sit with what you are feeling. Just sit there and breathe. Sometimes just taking that small amount of time in a day to notice your inhale… to notice your exhale… and sit with what you’re feeling,” she said.

Julia hopes her skills and passion to help others will ease the stress and anxiety some may be feeling. “It takes a ton of bravery and I understand that everyone wants to run away from it, but it was take a minute to breathe into it, it can help relieve a lot of tension in our bodies,” she said.

Julia currently uses the Calm app for her own meditation practices when she is feeling stressed or overwhelmed. “We are human. The whole point is to be kind to ourselves. I believe in ahimsa which is non violence towards all living things, but I take that as being kind to myself and others. No judgement,” she said.

Offering breathing exercises online, Julia hopes to help people through isolation. “Some days, I know I need it. And sometimes, it’s just laying there and meditating. It is your practice. It’s all about what you want to get out of it,” she said.