Julie Norman, BS, ERYT/YACEP, CHC
Hi there, Thanks for visiting my site. This is where I share my story, the short version at least! I believe doing so is vital to get a sense of who I am and whether my work may be in alignment with your path. I just hope I get to learn at least as much about you sometime!
First and foremost, I’m a lover of life. It’s often difficult, downright painful even, yet overall I find it fascinating. I believe we’re all here on purpose, that we have a purpose, and that life will constantly lead us back to this truth if we do the hard work of healing. I’ve found yoga to be a fabulous guide for the journey. My passion lies in making the gifts of yoga accessible to all and easy to apply everywhere in life.
Though I wouldn’t formally begin studying yoga until 2002, many of its tenets were relvealed to me much earlier in surprising ways, the greatest of which was my connection to horses. That’s right-my first yoga teacher was a horse! Truly, following my heart to be immersed in nature with these highly intuitive beings taught me mindfulness, compassion, self-worth and emotional intelligence. These experiences (along with therapy) helped me heal through an eating disorder I had early in life. When I found “real” yoga later, it felt like home. I was amazed that a whole organized system already existed for much of what I had been doing.
Career wise, I originally wanted to be a marine biologist. I’m OBSESSED with sharks (I have two tattooed on my left forearm) and as a kid I wanted whales and ponies for pets even though we lived in the midwest. I eventually got the pony (actually a quite large horse), Patrick, which led me to stay local for college so I could continue my showjumping career. My sport and recovery led me to the field of nutrition. I received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Akron in 1998 and launched my own business Real Nutrition, LLC. For fifteen years my work was primarily nutrition-based with yoga becoming my focus over the past decade. As a registered dietitian, yoga teacher and health coach I’ve had the pleasure of serving the following organizations past and present:
- Akron Children’s Hospital: trauma-informed yoga facilitator in their adol mental health PHP
- ComPsych Corporate Wellness as a professional speaker/health educator
- The Summa Health System NIH research study on wellness
- Laurelwood Hospital and Counseling Center: full-time clinical dietitian
- Baldwin-Wallace College Health Services: community dietitian
- Jewish Family Services Association of Cleveland: community nutrition and yoga
- The Health Initiative Project serving the Akron Public Library: community wellness and yoga
- Vita-Mix Corp and SummaCare: corporate wellness programs
- New Beginnings Eating Disorders Center: nutrition therapy, yoga, support group facilitator
- Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (formerly The Emily Program): nutrition therapy and yoga specialist
- Wellness Works for You Corporate Wellness Programs: corporate wellness consulting
- Laurel Lake Retirement Community: community fitness and yoga programing
- Hope Meadows Foundation: equine specialist and yoga specialist
I completed my 200-hour teacher training in 2009 with Harriet “Bhumi” Russell who lived at Kripalu for eight years when it was still an ashram. She focused strongly on the spiritual teachings in our training which I appreciated and find not all teachers receive. Later I sought more education through multiple workshops/trainings with leaders Todd Norian, Seane Corn, Ana Forrest and MC Yogi. My own path and work with clients in recovery has led me to teach from a trauma-informed perspective. I’ve completed three specialized trainings in this area and plan to go on with this study. In 2017 I became a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider giving me the ability to support other teachers in their ongoing learning. I plan to complete my 300-hour training by age 50.
In 2010 I created Body Karma Healing inspired by my work in eating disorders treatment and the fact that body image issues rob millions of health, joy and creativity. This specialized yoga program enhances recovery efforts and life in general with what I call “Soul Skills” from yoga. These tools help clients realize deep and lasting body/food peace and experience the fullness of life they deserve. You can find my BKH course on the Udemy platform.
I’m a member of the Yoga Alliance, have blogged extensively for Recovery Warriors and have had the pleasure of being an expert speaker on two nationwide telesummits with Dr. Susan Albers of Eating Mindfully and Jessica Flint of True Warrior. In 2015, I published my first book Poems from the Path of Peace Vol. 1 and just recently Vol. 2 a collection of personal musings from my own healing journey coupled with fabulous nature photographs by Jim Lewis, Jr. and midwifed by celebrant, psychologist and publisher Kathleen Pichola. In fall 2021 I was a guest on Laurelee Rouke’s “It’s Not About The Food” podcast.
Karma yoga is by far my favorite activity. I adore sharing yoga in my community simply for the love of it. I’ve volunteered extensively over the last eight years with Stewart’s Caring Place Cancer Wellness Center , The Big Love Network and Free Akron Yoga. In 2018 I started teaching yoga to youth in crisis living in residential facilities through ShelterCare, an experience that’s so meaningful it’s difficult to describe. Most recently, I’ve started offering a monthly Yoga for Recovery at Hope United.
Finally, I live in Northeast, OH with my beloved hubby Dave. My daughter Elle and his two oldest kids are off college-ing which leaves us at home with Dave’s youngest high schooler Gabe. We share our lovely lake home with super cat Sir Hillary and our newest addition Anya, a lively german shorthaired pointer . Besides yoga, sharks and horses, I love music, (my favs being Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Johnson, No Doubt, Prince, PINK to name a few) dancing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, cooking and traveling (especially to Hawaii). Take me to sing karaoke and I’m your friend forever! I’m a kid at heart and I believe love deeply in the power of love. Ok, I think that’s it for now. Thanks for reading through to the end! I’d love to know your story and to explore the path of yoga with you through my on-line offerings, private coaching or in person. Feel free to connect anytime!