FIT FEATURE: JULIET HEWITT
Written by: Eve Black, Fit Columbia Intern
Juliet Hewitt is a yoga instructor at City Yoga right here in downtown Columbia. She calls herself an “accidental” yoga teacher because yoga is not what she started out doing. One of her supervisors invited her to an instructor training workshop, and from that weekend on, she developed a passion for yoga. Juliet holds several certifications, but her most recent is Yoga Alliance, RYT-500. Juliet's classes are alignment-based yoga, as she herself uses it as therapy for her scoliosis.
Q&A with Our Fit Feature:
Have you found yoga to be the best form of exercise for your scoliosis? Are there any other forms of exercise that seem to benefit you?
The best form of exercise is the one that you do! I believe that statement is true for all people, whether or not you have scoliosis. My own exercise routine consists of aerobic exercise such as running, walking, and using an elliptical machine, as well as weight training, barre, and yoga. My yoga practice supports the other exercise I do by keeping my body flexible and pain-free as well as keeping me mindful and focused as I move.
What is your favorite thing about yoga?
A wise teacher told me that “Yoga is the practice of getting to know yourself better”. The goal of yoga is never the pose, but the way you practice the pose. I have never found another exercise that asks me to connect to my mind, my body, and my heart. And there is always another layer of yourself to learn about so it never gets old or boring.
What would you say to those who are unsure if yoga is for them?
I think one of the hardest things as adults we do is put ourselves out there and try something new, but this is how we grow. I would suggest making the leap and taking a yoga class. Before going, check to be sure to check that the teacher is RYT (registered yoga teacher) certified and read the class description to know what type of class you are taking. There are many styles of yoga.
Do most people who take your class have medical problems such as scoliosis?
No. I have students in my classes with a wide range of abilities between the ages of 12 and 70. Learning yoga with a focus on good alignment is good therapy, whether or not you have scoliosis or another muscular-skeletal issue. Some people attend my classes because they know how passionate I am about anatomy and making sure what I teach is both safe and effective. I want to empower my students to be students of their own bodies. I do teach private lessons to students who want individualized help tailoring their yoga practice. I am also now offering private wall yoga lessons at Fit Columbia. The wall is a wonderful tool for working with scoliosis and with back pain.
What is your favorite time of year and why?
I love the summer. In particular summer evenings when I can sit outside on my porch and watch the fireflies and listen to the cicadas.
Are you currently reading any good books?
A friend gave me “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins to read and it is pretty good. What I am really into though is podcasts. I love On Being, How to be Amazing, Modern Love, WhistleStop, and the Liberated Body. I always have several queued up to listen to when I am driving.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
Trader Joe’s Kettle Popped Popcorn Chips. They have chia seeds, flax, seeds, and quinoa. That’s healthy right? Even in a chip?
What is your favorite motivational quote?
"Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow!'"
~ The Talmud