My name is Julia Romano. I am a Certified Yoga Therapist (M.S., Yoga Therapy, 2015; C-IAYT, 2016) and am trained in clinical psychology (M.Psy. 2013) and conflict management (M.A, 2011). I am on the faculty with the Maryland University of Integrative Health's Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy program and work as yoga therapist with patients in Howard County General Hospital's general admissions.
I view the work of yoga as both a “being” and a “doing”: as the enlightened state, as well as the process of clearing the shadows. While yoga is popularly a physical practice, my relationship to it extends beyond the physical, and deep into the breath, energetic, and psycho-emotional aspects of being human.
My belief in yoga as therapy stems from my own experience of its rehabilitative properties; traditional physical therapies having proved unproductive following reconstructive ankle surgery, I turned to yoga and gained not only the ability to again walk and run with ease, but also a profound acceptance for the inevitable times in life when we falter.
As a yoga therapist, I work with clients to co-create treatments that serve whatever ails in body, and mind. When the mind feels too crowded a space to re-write dysfunctional patterns of self-talk and perception, the body offers a clear, well lit, adjacent space to do the work. And when the body is holding and tensing, it's often reflecting a conscious, or unconscious dis-ease in the mind. When mind and body are understood as essentially connected, cognitive and somatic processes become powerful partners in the process of healing of every layer of being.
Ultimately, the work of yoga as therapy is the unravelling of dysfunctional physical and mental patterns in the interest of cultivating compassionate presence with what is.
My group teaching is grounded in the belief that this practice, ultimately, has little to do with the pose. Yoga is a process of continual refinement: poses are not achieved, but rather joyfully explored. I offer variations for every practitioner, from injured, to beginner, to “advanced,” although I believe that there is no such thing as a “better” yogi, only a more conscious practitioner–and anyone, regardless of physical prowess, can practice with awareness. Such regular practice helps cultivate strength, flexibility, peace of mind through acceptance, and comfort in, difficult positions–qualities that the practitioner can take off the mat and into daily life.
Indeed, I believe the eight limbs of yoga, of which the physical practice of asana is only one, are ultimately a tool; asana is a conduit for what is essentially a practice of the mind. A complete practice of yoga is a means by which the suffering-inducing patterns of the mind can be untangled and rewoven in ways that better serve the ultimate goal: union with the joyfully self-accepting higher Self. As a guide in this blessed practice, it's my role to help you create the internal space so that that process of seeking - and finding - becomes possible.
My therapeutic work is underpinned by a decade of taking, training in, and teaching the physical practice of yoga asana. As a twice over 500-hour certified hatha and vinyasa flow instructor, my teaching focuses on coordinating breath with practical movement, transforming yoga asana into powerful meditation. While my group classes range from the soft and meditative to the challenging and fiery, all are grounded in accessible, practical movements, and above all, in the cultivation of breath-linking awareness.
In both my physical and meditative instruction, I integrate the variety of styles in which I've trained, including Ashtanga yoga (Saraswati Jois, 2009), Hatha yoga (Bharath Shetty, March 2010 and December 2013), Dharma yoga (Dharma Mittra, June 2012), Budokon yoga (Cameron Shayne, November 2012), and Power Yoga (Bryan Kest, August 2013).