Banka has spent much of her life as a seeker, student, and spiritual practitioner. At the young age of 13, Banka first started meditating. Her teacher at that time was her mother, Sheila. Buddhism has been an important element of Banka’s study and practice. She lived at Tassajara Monastery and Green Dragon Temple where she practiced a strict discipline of Zen Buddhist meditation, chanting, and silence. In 1994 Banka received ordination (Jukai) from her teacher Reb Tenshin Anderson. She then went to France to study with Thich Nhat Hanh, and in 1995 received the 5 Precepts Ordination. India called to Banka, and she had the great fortune to go on a pilgrimage and study with HH the Dalai Lama, receiving White Tara Empowerment in 1997. Since that time Banka has studied yoga intently, receiving many certifications along the way and bringing a wealth of experience and understanding of yoga into her teaching. In 2003 Banka completed her ﬁrst teacher training at Kalani with Kathy Elder. Her second yoga teacher training, in 2007, was in the Sivananda method. Also in 2007 Banka completed her third teacher training in Jivamukti Yoga. And her fourth teacher training came in 2015 in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Banka became an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher in 2015. Healthy, peaceful lifestyle and nutritious diet has also been a focus and force of study for Banka. She is certified in the Kushi Macrobiotic Healing Lifestyle and has spent time studying and learning at the Ann Wigmore Institute and the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. Banka has also spent long periods of her life devoted to direct action campaigns to liberate animals, defend forests, anti-nuke, and indigenous rights. Banka is grateful for her teachers, Shri Sharon Gannon and Shri David Life, co-founders of Jivamukti Yoga. Banka has spent 5 weeks since 2008, studying, living with and taking care of her teachers in New York.
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Are you intrigued by yoga? Are you interested not only in the physical practices of yoga, but also by the philosophy and history? Do you want to learn more and go to a deeper level with your yoga practice? Perhaps you have been a practitioner for many years, but never seem to quench your “yoga thirst”? If any of those statements apply to you, then you share something in common with Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, Julie Kirkpatrick, who is also searching for deeper meaning of life through a deeper understanding of yoga and how it can help modern people live a meaningful life in troubling times. The founders of the Jivamukti Yoga method, Sharon Gannon and David Life, granted Julie the Advanced Jivamukti Yoga Teacher certification in 2005. David Life is Julie's brother, so the method has been accessible to her since its inception in 1986. Julie has been and continues to be a student of the method and a seeker of understanding of yoga, since that time. She completed her 300 hr. training in 2003, and her 800 hr. training in 2004. Her association with Jivamukti Yoga has allowed her to teach classes, workshops, and retreats abroad in Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey, Canada, and Vietnam, as well as in the United States in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Ohio. Julie brings to her yoga classes a wide range of experience, having taught a variety of class styles including open, basic, vinyasa, prenatal, children’s yoga, and restorative classes. She strives to bring together practitioners through a sense of community with each other, for really, there is nothing more valuable in yoga then coming together as a community of spiritually minded truth seekers, which happens every time we gather together to practice yoga. Julie strives to uphold this vision. Before focusing full time on teaching yoga, Julie worked in public education, visual arts, and community gardening. She was an activist for fair housing and community garden preservation on the Lower East Side of New York City, where she has lived with her children Jules and Alex Febre since 1981.
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