Julie Peters On The Power of Narrative In Daily Life & Practice
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of getting on the phone and chatting with Vancouver yoga teacher Julie Peters. Julie is one of my favourite teachers and one whose voice I deeply respect and value in the greater yoga community that I am part of. In our conversation I specifically spoke to her regarding her relationship to Indian mythology and the topic of deity practice, as I wanted to include her teachings as a resource in my Sacred Story: Online Mythology Immersion. I first discovered Julie’s work through an article she wrote on a Tantric goddess known as Akhilandesvari. This article was hugely popular, and for good reason, as it so beautifully brought to life a goddess who stands for our experience of always being in flux, and yet Julie shared the teachings that this goddess can offer us in a way that anyone could relate to. As I was already deeply in love with the mythological traditions coming out of India at the time that I found this article, I was understandably thrilled to discover that Julie was living just down the road from me in Vancouver. Since then I have made every effort I can to take part in programs that she offers, and read anything that she publishes. For in addition to being a yoga teacher Julie is also a spoken word poet who holds a Masters Degree in Canadian Poetry, the co-owner of a community based studio in East Vancouver, and a prolific writer. I have taken part in her Teaching as Storytelling training and her fabulous Yoga for Feminists workshops and came away from both inspired by the conversation she encourages.
In our chat yesterday Julie talked about her own love of myth and story, sparked at a young age, and her perspective on why weaving story and the practice of teaching yoga together make so much sense. She also reflects on her personal experiences of working with specific goddesses, and how they support her in navigating the reality of life and all of its complex relationships. I think this is one of the key things that I took away from what Julie shared, how the incredibly vast pantheon of Indian gods and goddesses truly does offer an archetype or a metaphor for all aspects of our embodied experience. And how the mythic themes contained within the stories can offer us understanding, and even empowerment, when navigating difficult choices or facing challenging situations.
Julie also very honestly shared her perspective on practice and the idea of a daily sadhana, which I deeply appreciated. Be sure to listen to the recording to hear her share how she approaches practice and makes use of the many tools she has been given from her teachers in a way that nourishes her as an individual. Those of you who know me, know that having a personal relationship to practice is an important part of what I teach, as is the understanding that life (and practice) are subject to cycles of change. I believe this understanding is fundamental to maintaining the intimacy with practice that keeps it alive in our lives, while also being fluid in our response to life, and Julie speaks to this very understanding so clearly.
You can listen to our conversation using this link here. And to find out more about Julie, or take part in one of her many great offerings be sure to check out her studio website at Ocean and Crow Yoga.