“Choosing a career as a yoga therapist was as much a professional choice as it is an answer to the call of my heart. Yoga as therapy offers the space in which mind and body can come into awesome symbiosis. The result: healing, for mind, body, and spirit.”
What drew you to your healing discipline at MUIH?
Choosing a career as a yoga therapist was as much a professional choice as it is an answer to the call of my heart. During my previous master’s degree studies in clinical psychology, I felt intuitively that my work was incomplete. I could not divorce the work of the mind from the work of the body. Yoga as therapy offers the space in which those two realms can come into awesome symbiosis. The result: healing, for mind, body, and spirit. There is no greater calling.
Why did you choose MUIH for your academic program?
In researching the program – in which I would become a member of the very first cohort – I was enlivened by the MUIH mission; I felt great resonance with my own personal mission as a therapist. MUIH demonstrated integrity, passion, and diligence in its shaping of the program: qualities I value in any practitioner, let alone a teacher of a practice. Additionally, I enjoyed the idea of being a pioneer, of taking part in the building of this essential profession’s very foundation.
Describe your path since graduating:
I have since formalized my private yoga therapy practice in Washington, DC: Empower Yoga Therapy. I regularly see clients in the yoga studio I own and operate. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to continue to teach yoga as therapy in a group context, as well as one on one. I can whole heartedly say: I am doing the work of my heart.
What have you accomplished that is a result of the education and skills you received here?
That yoga is therapeutic, inherently, does not make all who administer it “therapists.” I feel thoroughly trained to both teach, and continue to learn, as I develop as a therapist in this burgeoning, increasingly codified field. MUIH taught me how to be both a confident therapist-teacher, as well as a lifelong eager, willing student.
What has been your most exciting or fulfilling professional experience to date?
In the last few months, I’ve watched clients blossom. My heart sings when I watch a client, months ago full of self judgement and doubt, sit now with shoulders back, heart open, speaking of feelings of wholeness and self-acceptance. The work “works.” I have seen it in my own life, and now I get to see it in those I guide.
Are you achieving your professional goals?
Yes. And no. Yes in the sense that I’m seeing clients regularly, able to help, and in helping, feel gratified and validated. No, in the sense that there is so much more I’d like to do! I’d like to write a book, for example, but my time is so full with client work I haven’t had the chance to start! That silly thought aside, because of my own practice of yoga as therapy, I have trust that my path will unfold exactly as it should, and that I have the tools to work with whatever comes. This is the gift of yoga: compassionate, gratitude-filled, embodied acceptance of what is.
What would you like to do next, professionally speaking?
I’ll continue to build my practice, step by step. I’d like to share in more formal form the lessons gleamed from this experience, either as teacher or author. In the medium to longer term, I’d like to start a collective of mind-body practitioners. I’d love to have clients be able to show up and have a whole range of similarly intentioned practitioners there to help. What a blessed thing it is to be able to do this work, this life!
Julia Romano completed MUIH’s Master of Science in Yoga Therapy program in 2015. Visit her website at www.empoweryogatherapy.com