Journeying Toward Wholeness

JUN 2018

Greetings Yoga and T'ai Chi Students and Lovers of Breema and The Painting Journal!

Greetings Yoga and T'ai Chi Students and Lovers of Breema and The Painting Journal!

Joshua came to the Yoga class at RMSI two weeks ago with one foot bandaged from surgical work on a toe. His body was slow getting into poses, and by the middle of the class he was stretched out on his mat with arms above his head, resting. I sensed he had been in some pain, and wondered if the class had been a pretty uncomfortable experience for him. After Savasana when mats were being rolled up to put in the plastic can, I noticed his arms stretching slowly up over his head, and out of his mouth came these words; peace...what peace... I can't remember when I've felt this peaceful. His words hit me as I took into his smiling face. After all the years of practicing and teaching yoga I was thrown into the realization through this man's words, that I had been the recipient of that peace so many times, and had almost come to take it for granted. I don't know when the last time was that he experienced the feeling of peace, but I will always remember his newly found delight, and my newly found appreciation.

Amy Barnes and I were invited to attend the last session of Prison Yoga Project workshop at Big East Fork Retreat Center in Franklin TN on Sunday May 27th. We were to present the work we do in prison in teaching Yoga, Meditation, Self-Breema, Kirtan: chanting and singing. Around 25 folks attended from several states, some already teaching in prisons and detention centers, and working with the homeless, and others about to start. James Fox, yoga teacher and director of the project, has been teaching Yoga and meditation for 15 years at San Quentin in CA, and is also doing these workshops around the country to activate more interested folk to expand the yoga experience and practice for prisoners. His work is indeed inspirational in bringing this amazing life gift to those incarcerated in our country. It was wonderful for us to experience a lively and familiar connection with those we met, and especially James, who refers to Erich Schiffmann as one of his important teachers! Yeah!! For more info:

Yoga Classes:

9:30-10:55 Beginner Yoga @ Friends Meeting House 11:00-12:30 Intermediate Yoga Class @ Friends Meeting House6:00-7:30 Blended Yoga Class @ Friends Meeting House Wednesdays
2:15-3:45 RMSI Yoga Class
10:15-11:30 Beginner Yoga Class -
50 Forward Brentwood

T'ai Chi Classes
Tuesdays (7:15 @ Fidos) 8:00-9:00 am Dragon Park Thursdays 9:00-10:00 am 
50 Forward Brentwood

Breema Treatments are available Mondays, Tuesday Afternoons and Fridays. Please call 615-498-4090 to reserve appointment time.

I sent a copy of Tony Vick's book, Secrets From A prison Cell; A convict's eyewitness Accounts of the Dehumanizing Drama of Life Behind Bars, to the Breema Center. Tony had so absorbed the essence of Breema in the Yoga Class at RMSI, and had written a short piece on his experience with the Breema Principles. This was sent to them, and also resides on my website. It wasn't long after the book was sent, that I got an email from Roxanne who supports those of us teaching Self-Breema.

Dear Julie,


I feel that a handwritten letter would be more appropriate to 

express my gratitude for the book you sent us. For me, it was

a real gift to read it. Actually, it cracked my heart right open!


This is an area of life I'd not opened to before, and I'm so

happy to have some room in my heart for this topic, for

this part of life on planet earth.

I've passed it on to some of the other staff. It's so

gratifying to know that the message from the Breema

Center reached one man...and lifted him up to see the 

bigger picture in one moment of his life.

I'm really grateful for having read it – and blessings to

all of you working in this field of reform and bringing

lightness to the darkness of this planet.

Love, Roxanne

Dances of Universal Peace is happening Friday evening June 22nd, 7-9pm at Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Ave. N,. Nashville, 37209.

Dance Leader Douglas Stevenson; activist, artist, author, and musician, and a member of The Farm Community since 1973 says, I have been a musician pretty much all my life. By far the most fulfilling music I have ever played comes from leading group singing, chanting and dancing. It empowers each person to find their own voice and link our spirits in a shared vibration. The group singing and chanting moves to a new level with the added movements known as the Dances of Universal Peace. The synchronicity of movement creates unity and builds community, and fills the space in our hearts with joy and love, so needed in today's world. All are welcome to participate in this special event, and be a part of building our community through music, singing, and dancing!!! All beginners are especially welcome!!

Circle Dancing will take place 7-9pm Friday June 15th at Friends Meeting House, and the last Friday of the month ( June 29th) it's happening at Studio Mills in Kingston Springs!

Well Being Retreat Center in Tazewell TN is offering a free meditation Weekend, June 15-17. Finding Peace in a Busy Mind is a mostly silent retreat, and one I is only required to bring food for one meal. Contact Don @ 423-626-9000 or

Give us your T-shirts to the homelessThe plan for this drive is simple. Just drop your clean T-shirts off in the lobby of The Tennessean at 1100 Broadway during business hours (8-5pm) Monday thru Friday by June 12th, and we will take it form there. It is fine to drop off one or two shirts, or a box or sack full of shirts. Questions? Contact Ms. Cheap: 615-259-8282

It's a joy to savor the present weather with almost no humidity! Tennessee is in full bloom! Keep the love alive in you and let it roll out in unexpected places! Life is such an amazing venture!

Love and blessings to you all! Namaste,

“What we need is a gradual yet fundamental change in our orientation to life – toward a willingness to see, to learn, to just be with whatever we meet. Perhaps there is nothing more basic and essential than this willingness to just be. To simply be with our experience – even with the heaviness and darkness that surround our suffering – engenders a sense of lightness and heart. The willingness to learn from our disappointments and disillusionments is key. Pain we thought we could never
endure becomes approachable. As we cultivate our willingness to just be, we discover that everything is workable. Until we come to know what this means, we are cutting ourselves off from the openness, the connectedness, and the appreciation that are our human gifts. ~ Being Zen; Ezra Bayda 



Copyright ©2018 Julie Russell