Spotlight On… Julie Fastiggi
1. Why did you become a yoga instructor?
Easy! To share my love of yoga and in particular work with runners as I know first hand just how beneficial it is for us! Being a running coach too I can offer more to my athletes.
2. What is your favourite pose/exercise?
Oooooh, I have lots! Plank (yes, really!!) – such a great pose for full body strength and easy to modify. Really love Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) and playing with Bakasana (crow) too.
3. How often do you practise?
It really varies depending on any extra classes I cover, usually I hope for 3-5 classes a week at the studio plus a little at home. This doesn’t always happen as I wish!
4. How long have you been an instructor?
I qualified from RHY’s first year of Teacher Training in March 2016 and have been teaching regularly since. As a licensed running coach I have been teaching yoga for runners for several years already.
5.What is your go-to snack after your practice?
Bananas, I am a bit of a monkey! More recently taking a big liking to the mint Bounce balls too, mmmmm. If I’m having a naughty day it may well be CAKE ;o) (Yes, I am human!!!)
6. How do you motivate yourself to get on your mat?
I rarely need to find motivation, yoga is a huge part of my life. I know how much better I feel after a practice so that is incentive enough. If I miss a few days I really notice it. As an endurance runner I need the yoga to keep me in good check too and it keeps my mind happy on run rest days when I get itchy feet!
7. Top tip for Downward Dog?
Start strong with the hands and forearms as you push the ground away, feel that strength ripple back into the body. Really utilise the upper back muscles, shoulder blades draw together and down the back. A good bend in the knees frees up a lot of space here too.
8. What would your advice be to beginners?
Go easy in the early days, my motto is “slow start, strong finish.” Treat a class (especially Red Hots) as an endurance event and adopt a sustainable pace/effort level at the start which will greatly help you get to the end confidently and more comfortably. Keep the breath with you, if it starts to ‘run away’ ease back or rest, recapture it then carry on.
9. Why did you decide to bring your Beginner Yoga Course to RHY?
While observing the class when teaching I frequently spot students whose postures I want to refine. As much as I give cues sometimes these are not heard, especially by new(er), less experienced students. A course offers the time to pause and break down postures without disturbing the pace of a regular class. By getting the basics right at this early point in the student’s yoga journey their experience in class is enhanced and injuries that can be triggered by bad form are reduced.
10. Where is your favourite travel destination?
Mojacar, Spain is the one place I have returned to for 6 consecutive years to run at a week’s training camp where I also teach yoga for runners. I go to run in the sun and have always had fabulous weather there so a happy fave for me!
Looking to try yoga for the first time or want to brush up on the basics? Join Julie Fastiggi at her forthcoming Beginner Yoga Course – click here for details.
Julie teaches and occasionally covers a variety of classes at RHY including Yin, Red Hot, RHY Glow, Bottle Rocket & Anusara. Find her schedule for this week here.