Julie Martin wants you to think outside the box, get off your mat, shake up the old dogmas and find the freedom to unfold into the beauty of a yoga practice that emerges from the inside.
With over 25 years of experience and an international following of students and teachers alike, Julie’s greatest aim is to inspire. Her particular passion for human movement means continual investigation of new anatomical approaches, working with natural movement, range of motion, integrated stability and letting go of some of the old asana myths in order to move with the body and not against it. The practice is always an inquiry, a somatic exploration of sensation, movement, and stillness.
15 years ago Julie set up Brahmani Yoga in Goa, India after teaching in Brighton, UK for over 8 years. The largest motivation for the yoga centre was to create a community that could join together each winter season and practice without judgment, learn to let everything evolve and be totally inclusive to all yogis. What grew out of that is an international reputation especially in training teachers to challenge the “norms” of the yoga world when they no longer work for us. Julie’s work as a teacher trainer leaves students inspired and empowered.
She encourages people to find their own pace, fluidity, and strength in a structure that is only a "suggestion". No longer asking people to get "into" a pose, but if stillness arises in a moment then space is given to pause, feel and sense.
For “Coming from a dance background and starting an asana practice to save my knees (which it did) I was initially so thankful for the practice. But as I moved over into the deeper world of yoga and teaching it (25 years ago) I was soon riddled with injuries. I had to rethink how this method that had initially "saved" my body was now the source of pain and injury and why everyone in the midst of it was so intent on a "right way" to do the practice. So I stepped away from the strict methodology (which lost me students in some cases) and worked on combining information from modern anatomy and fascia research, including some of my dance knowledge, with natural movement and letting people find their own alignment instead of forcing ideas of what anything should look like. me it's about allowing students to find a somatic practice that nurtures and heals the body and mind.”
For me it's about allowing students to find a somatic practice that nurtures and heals the body and mind.”
Your yoga practice should invite you into relationship with your self, your body, your mind and emotions. This is not Instagram yoga or circus skills class. This is moving through layers, feeling, experiencing and observing process, moving towards stillness, moving towards self.
Brahmani Principles and Vinyasa Flow Style
Julie Martin was raised a Vedantist and embraced asana later in life at 25. She learned that ultimately every practice, every scripture, every lineage was based on individuality, cultural aspects of the moment, opinion and perspective that are not necessarily useful or even meant for world wide consumption. What Brahmani Yoga represents is a result of years of very extensive research into the moving body, the relationship with the breath, the mind and the emotions. The resulting discovery has been that we need freedom to explore.
We need to question the accepted rules and dogmas of the current yoga practices. We need to dive deep into sensation, be curious and find freedom in movement. The practice is not in the asana but in the awareness! We need to look at different ranges of motion and have options for how we approach the practice. We need to look at more natural and primal movement as a basis in order to avoid injury. We need to allow the practice to give us a more intimate relationship with ourselves and LET GO of some of the gymnastic qualities that have become so popular in the yoga world today.
This is not to say we let go of challenges but work with integrated strength instead of brute force. We find mobility through spirals, waves and pulses instead of long held linear structures. Moving away from a practice that was designed on Indian men and embrace the bodies we have and nurture the practice that will last us a lifetime.
Using Julie’s philosophy on movement and stillness, Brahmani Yoga classes are created around shorter sequences that are repeated. Each repetition builds upon the last so that the body and mind moves through layers. Often the first round of a sequence is just a “visiting”, getting familiar with shapes and movements. As the sequence builds and layers the opportunity to build more intensity is available. Finding range of motion overrides the idea of stretching so that pulses, waves, spirals and natural movement help us find space and strength at the same time. Within these sequences “pauses” are introduced so that we embody our shapes, inviting stillness and listening to breath without the need to make a better shape or fix something about where we are, just notice.