Local yogi Julia Clarke tops Amazon new release list
'Restorative Yoga for Beginners' available on Amazon and in the Bookworm of Edwards
“Restorative Yoga for Beginners” by Julia Clarke is atop the Amazon list of newly released books about yoga. Clarke is a Vail Valley local who has been teaching in the valley for 10 years and is the co-owner of Mountain Soul Yoga, opened in 2016.
“What I think is really great is this rise in interest in practices like restorative yoga, which are basically deep relaxation,” Clarke said on Tuesday, Dec. 17, the day the book was released. “There’s nothing Instagram-worthy about it — you’re not doing these really impressive things, and yet people are still taking note.”
The book is broken into two parts. The first part is an introduction to restorative yoga. It describing where it came from, and what makes it different from Vinyasa, or the style of yoga people typically picture. Part one also describes how it works on the nervous system and why deep relaxation is important, as well as practical things such as how to make props at home out of pillows and blankets so people don’t have to buy any yoga-specific props.
The second part lays out 36 different poses with illustrations on how to do them as well as benefits. Then it details 20 sequences, each with a different therapeutic focus, such as one for headaches and another for pregnancy, so that people can practice them at home.
“Julia is one of the most respected voices in the Colorado yoga community, if not the national yoga community,” said Kim Fuller, who teaches at Mountain Soul Yoga as well as Vail Athletic Club and co-owner of Colorado Yoga & Life Magazine. “It’s really exciting that one of our local yogis is representing this valley and putting her work out there.”
A ‘positive experience’
In June, publishing company Callisto Media reached out to Clarke because it saw a need for a book about restorative yoga for beginners.
“They had this concept for a restorative yoga book geared toward beginners,” Clarke said. “I guess their online algorithms brought them to me.”
While growing up with yoga, Clarke has also always been a writer. She received her undergraduate degree in journalism. When the publishing company reached out this summer, it was perfect timing for Clarke to pen her first book.
“I had just had knee surgery,” she said, “so I didn’t really have anything else to do. I wasn’t hiking all summer.”
Clarke has been leading restorative yoga teacher training in the valley for years, so she already had about 10,000 words of a training manual written. She is also a teaching assistant for a master’s program in Iowa.
“I felt like I kind of had a rough draft of teaching people what restorative yoga is, how it works and why it’s important,” she said. “So there was no stress. It was actually a really positive experience of writing about something that’s really important to me in a really practical, accessible way because anyone who’s never done yoga before can pick it up.”
While Clarke is a master of restorative yoga, she’s also well versed in Ayurveda yoga.
“The next book is definitely on Ayurveda, which is my other area of specialty,” she said, adding she has a master’s degree in the practice that is focused more on nutrition.
“I think what’s really important is it’s a practice that’s really accessible to almost everybody,” Clarke said.
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