We all have those friends that inspire us. People who go through life doing what makes them happy. Chasing their dreams. Being their best self. For me, that's my friend Julianne Farrell. I'm lucky to call her a friend for the past five years.
Julianne is a former corporate catering director for multi-million-dollar companies who worked tirelessly for her clients and employers. That came at a price, however. Julianne worked herself to exhaustion. The type of tired where you can barely crawl out of your desk chair to make it home, only to go straight to bed. No dinner, no time with family, no time for yourself. We've all been there... it's not fun.
Julianne tried to get herself in a gym schedule, working out on the treadmill, lifting weights and taking classes - the works - but she wasn't finding any relief. That is, until she took her first yoga class. Yoga opened up a new world for her. A world of peace, mediation and fitness she found beneficial. From there, the rest is history.
Fast forward eight years - Julianne has worked hard to build her yoga resume. During seven of those years, Julianne was working full-time in her corporate job but also putting in several hours a day getting certified and building hours with yoga. All of that time and effort came to a happy turning point when Julianne was able to hand up her suits and close the catering contracts to focus her career on her passion... her joy... her happiness as a full-time yoga instructor.
Today, Julianne is teaching yoga full time and looking radiant as ever. An instructor at
Bare Feet Power Yoga, Julianne is living her passion to the extreme. She is an inspiration to me and many people I know, and she is a true testament to finding what makes you happy and going after it - even if it scares you!
I was able to spend some time with Julianne for a (beginner) yoga session a few weeks ago and to see her in her element was inspiring!
Julianne and I in 'Tree Pose'
Me doing my best not to topple over in the 'Triangle Pose'
Getting fancy with the 'Half Moon Pose'
We had fun with this one (attempted multiple times). Notice how she is perfectly in focus and I'm blurred and about to tumble like Humpty Dumpty's wall...
What I learned from working with Julianne is that it is not about doing the most difficult pose or holding it the longest. It's more about finding your center, balance and a place of peace when doing yoga. Being still or moving though poses slowly so that your body can become one with itself. In such a fast-paced world, it's important to slow down you give your body rest. Meditation is a great tool for that. Being still and quite for a period of time can do wonders for you physically and mentally. We ended our day with some sound therapy from a Tibetan bowl.
Bare Feet Power Yoga has two locations in Chicago, The Studio and The Loft. If you're in Chicago and looking for a place to practice yoga, check here first. I've been to several classes and they never disappoint!
Also, Julianne is available for private instruction. Her high-level credentials are below:
500 Hour Certified Yoga Instructor
8 Year Practicing
Specialties: Power Vinyasa and Yin Yoga
Reiki Energy Healing
Yoga Personal Training