An Interview With Bala Yoga
Julia Piazza will be leading a 30-Hour Birth Wisdom Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training at Bala Yoga Kirkland this April. During this training Julia will share her wisdom and insight on the physiology of pregnancy, remedies for common pregnancy ailments, asanas to build strength, and more! Below you will learn more about Julia and her school of Birth Wisdom Yoga. It is easy to see just how much love and passion she has to offer!
Early Bird Pricing for this training ends March 1st! Learn more about the upcoming Birth Wisdom Prenatal Teacher Training here.
Home town: Santa Rosa, CA Years teaching Yoga: 8 Years as a labor and birth Doula: 17 Other trainings or services I offer:
Pelvic Floor Yoga Remedy Retreat Days for WomenPrenatal Retreat Day Workshops for MomsBirth Partner and “Dudela” WorkshopsPrenatal Yoga Classes with Birth Wisdom Yoga Certified Teachers
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
How did you come to the yoga practice? I began practicing yoga in 1994 at a “Sacred Flow Time” Yoga class on campus at UC Davis. The instructor was a beautiful, open-hearted woman who had us sit in a women’s circle in order of our cycles. We would then share, journal and practice yoga poses that supported the female cycle. It was a beautiful circle of women validating, supporting and lifting up one another. I had never felt anything like it. She would remind us to “stay juicy” and honor what we needed in regards to every part of our minds and bodies. The breath and stillness in those classes helped me stay connected to my inner wisdom, while each asana opened up my body in a way that felt very nurturing and grounding. Having grown up as a competitive ice skater and then coaching for 10 years after, this was a whole new world on many levels! I knew then that someday, I wanted to create the same type of space for women in my community.
How did Birth Wisdom Yoga come to be? Working as a labor and birth doula, I began to see that women who had positive birth experiences often had certain qualities that they drew on in labor, and then again later in mothering. I began taking notes and sharing these “birth wisdoms” with the families I was working with. Breathe, Surrender and the Collective Sisterhood of Mothering are three examples of these “wisdoms.” While sharing these with doula families and seeing the power they had to guide women into their unique birthing power, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into prenatal yoga classes. Desiring to create a prenatal yoga class that would enable me to “doula” women throughout their births, while safely guiding them through Vinyasa Yoga Flows to prepare their bodies for whatever their “adventure of birth” would be, became my intention.
What does the “healing power of birth” for women mean? A positive birth experience has the power to heal and empower women mentally, physically and spiritually. There is a strength that a woman must tap into in order to birth her baby, no matter what her labor looks like. It is a place she has never fully drawn on before, and the memory of that feeling will stay with her for the rest of her life. It’s a letting go of who she thought she was and the “rebirth” of who she will become as she mothers her child. This primal power is something many women do not experience in everyday life, which is what led me to writing my book Birth Wisdom Yoga Remedies and Journal to guide women into taking their birthing gifts from the labor room and into every area of their lives.
What is your biggest inspiration for sharing Birth Wisdom Yoga at Bala Yoga? Sharing Birth Wisdom Yoga with my fellow teachers is a beautiful unfolding of empowering women to empower each other. Practicing the Birth Wisdom Yoga Flows, sharing in a daily women’s circle while journaling with the prompts in Birth Wisdom Yoga Remedies and Journal, has become a life changing experience for many of the teachers in my trainings. Witnessing each student gain clarity on their unique intuition and wisdom, while simultaneously understanding how to empower women to “own their births” is my favorite place to be. What does “owning her birth” mean? It means mom is informed and supported by the people around her. She knows what she needs and she does it. She asks questions, and makes informed decisions with her partner if interventions are presented to them. It doesn’t always mean she has a natural birth, but rather, that she feels she understood every part of her labor and advocated for what she felt was best for her family.
Advice for women who are beginning their journey of motherhood: I often share with women that are at the beginning of their journey of motherhood that they will find everything they need to birth and mother their babies in their ability to find stillness and breath. By practicing prenatal yoga, meditation and creating space to journal and reflect, women can feel what is good for them in each moment of pregnancy and then take the “pearls” of those practices into their births. It is very powerful!