“The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to diversify, to think on their feet and ultimately to change. At The Yoga House we work as a collective – a group of highly trained teachers who work on an individual level with their clients in one shared space. Clearly, this has had to be rethought over the last year.
In March last year, I was immediately struck by the universal expression of fear and anxiety and immediately offered a free meditation session to the local Tunbridge Wells community as a small contribution to the local effort to help out those who were struggling. I was astounded by the response and by the number of people who attended the online session from all walks of life and all ages. I began to run more sessions based on meditation and breathing techniques aimed at helping people to sleep, to process events, to deal with the trauma of what we were dealing with globally and found that this is where my talents really lie – in sharing these teachings.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that meditation and breathing and relaxation techniques can be employed not just to de-stress and calm down but also to empower, transform, boost confidence and to help steer people to their best life to achieve their goals.
Meditation, Yoga Nidra and breathing work has long been a passion of mine but over the past year I have realised it is my purpose to teach these techniques to others. In January I started my first four week daily ‘learn to meditate’ course daily which has been really popular and from the feedback I’ve received it’s clear that this is the path forward for me. I now have a fantastic course to share with people and an outlet for all my studying, learning and practice over the last 8 years. It was only when I started sharing this every day that I realised how much knowledge I had gained and how much I had to share.
The Yoga House will be back as a collective of teachers and a wide range of physical yoga classes but with a whole new teaching arm of meditation and Yoga Nidra for everyone and every ‘body’. These are techniques that can be truly life changing and life affirming.
I believe I will also carry on teaching online as well as live. I’ve noticed that people are really receptive to meditation when they are in their home environment and are really relaxed. It’s also a time saver for them as they don’t have to get in the car and get somewhere to relax only to get stressed again on the drive home.
I’ve always wanted to be someone who helped others in a meaningful way – I think I’ve finally found my calling.”
Julia Maitland – January 2021
“I started Yoga when I was really small, about 5 years old in the local community hall. My grandmother got me into yoga, she must have been one of the first western ladies to study yoga, as yoga only came to the Western world really in the 1960’s. I always loved it.
Then, when I was about 13, I was diagnosed type 1 diabetic, I also had really bad asthma. You lose control of your body when you are diagnosed with lifelong chronic conditions like these, it was awful! I subsequently developed panic attacks and claustrophobia as a teenager and at the same time my Dad was working in the City and after the Black Friday stock market crash around about the same time, he was under immense pressure and became physically ill through stress, so much so that his blood chemistry changed which was due to the stress.
My Dad found us this old guy, who was a Doctor, but he called himself a hypnotherapist and he worked with breathing – he completely cured both of us! I had a real link with him, he was much older, a bit like a grandfather figure, unfortunately he died when I was pregnant with my son. The strange story is that – one night I woke up after having a nightmare where I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was going to die! The next morning, I thought about him, I gave my Dad a call and asked if he had heard from him, my Dad told me he had a phone call from his wife, and he had died that night! What he hadn’t told us was that as a youth, he suffered from TB and as a result, only had the use of half a lung, so he survived to the age of 85 – simply by mastering his breath. He was my first yoga guru (although he would have laughed at the idea of being called that).
I studied philosophy at university, I’ve always been interested in it and I’ve always wanted to help people. After that I started a degree in psychotherapy – it really wasn’t for me, not hands on enough. Then after having two children, I realised – actually I love yoga, I had always done it, but only for myself, so I thought it would be a perfect combination. It combats stress, it works a lot with breathing, it has a vast body of philosophy and wisdom and at a basic level it just helps people. I did my teacher training and as we were building our house, I thought; you know what, if I build a studio, people will come – so that’s what I did! I have a USP where I have a collection of teachers that use the studio, they take their own bookings and I don’t take any money from them apart from the room hire. It makes it really nice here, with a great atmosphere that helps the teachers and makes it extra nice for their clients”
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Julia started practicing yoga as a child in her local draughty community hall on a hand towel and has always found herself being drawn back to yoga over the years – although she now prefers to use the mats in her beautiful yoga studio! Julia completed her yoga teacher training at Yogacampus at The Life Centre in Islington, London and is a Yoga Alliance qualified teacher.