Spotlight on… Julee Yew-Crijns

1. Describe your yoga journey. Why; who; how?

In 1999, I was advised to do some yoga to help with my back & knee pain sustained from a sports injury.  I was 27, so was a late starter to yoga.  At the time, yoga was starting to boom but it looked very different from the current climate.  I remember someone asking me what yoga I was doing and when I asked the teacher, she looked confused!  But it was not long after that I found Ashtanga yoga and that was when I got really hooked.  In 2007, encouraged by my teachers & friends, I did my first teacher training in Singapore.  In 2009, I met Shiva Rea and she literally changed my entire practice & life!  I was already starting to explore Vinyasa Yoga but it was not until I studied with her and learnt the philosophy of the lineage and of Prana Vinyasa (her signature style) that I stopped all other practices and committed myself to the flow.  I continued to study other schools of yoga but my studies have since been committed to Vinyasa Yoga.

2. Which is your favourite class to teach?

I love them all equally!

3. What’s your favourite pose?

Pincha Mayurasana (forearm balance).

4. What do you bring to your class that makes it’s unique?

Every class has its own flavour spiced by the students.  My delivery is the same in each class but it feels different every time because everyone makes it so.  This is what I love so much about teaching.  So I think the uniqueness comes from the students and not from me.

5. How often do you practice?

Most days, I spend around 30-40 minutes doing practice.  Some days less, some days more.  But I do something every day.

6.  You’re also reaching out and teaching teachers in your Vinyasa Immersion Course – how do you find that?

One of the things I look forward to in my teaching schedule is the Vinyasa Immersion Course. It is something that I have cooked over many years and only started offering last year when I felt it was ready and good to go. It is my baby and so it is my heart and soul work.

But besides sharing everything I know about the system and practice, I am also keen to share the profession so during the course we put equal attention into honing teaching skills.  The last two groups have been amazing and it has been a secret joy for me to watch them grow their classes.

7. Top tip for a mindful practice?

When you start to feel a change in your emotion—anger, frustration, excitement, disappointment, etc… stop.  Divert your attention to your breath for a moment.  It would have shortened.  Take a few moments to deepen and lengthen your breath.  Then come back to the matter.

8. What would your advice be to beginners?

You are only a beginner once.  It is a time of wonder!  You are feeling so much, discovering new feelings in your body, trying some funky things that make you giggle, discovering you have some super powers indeed!  It is not that practice gets boring.  This feeling never stops but you will have to dig deeper.  Right now, as a beginner, you have to do little to feel a lot of crazy magic!  Enjoy it and don’t rush to be “there”.

9. How do your workshops/courses enhance students’ practice?

Workshops and courses give us a chance to really break down and share the work that we are not able to give in one hit during a class.

10. How do you relax at the end of the day?

Netflix! Or watching repeats of Family Guy & American Dad!  Maybe there is wine too.

Julee Yew-Crijns has got a couple of exciting workshops coming up at Red Hot Yoga – an Assisting & Adjusting workshop in July and Vinyasa Teacher Training in May.  Click on the workshop titles for more details and to book your place.


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