Julie Smerdon is literally sunshine and rainbows. Owner and yoga teacher at Brisbane CBD studio Shri Yoga, you'll rarely find her without a smile on her face and an inspiring story to tell. Whether it's how she found her own way to yoga, after years as a fitness instructor, or how she rebuilt her body after illness using this centuries old practice, this is one Brisbane yogi you'll want to know.
Julie moved to Australia with her Brisbane-native husband and immediately began a whirlwind tour of Queensland, teaching, giving seminars and running classes. But this constant state of transition wasn't giving Julie what she was looking for - a community of like minded people who loved yoga and who wanted to share their passion. Julie was discussing the problem with her husband one night when he turned to her and said "if you aren't finding what you're looking for, why don't you just create it?"
A lightbulb went on and Shri Yoga was born.
Julie found a studio, which she completely gutted and rebuilt, and launched her new business in the space of six weeks where she's created a place that brings together students from all levels and some of the world's most renowned yogis. And it's not just the people who bring a calming vibe - the wood floors and natural light make the studio the perfect place to achieve a higher state of consciousness.
Two years on, Julie is continuously inspired by her students. "One of my students has MS and has been able to stay medication free thanks to her dedication to her practise. It's been an honour to be a part of that journey".
When asked what she might be doing if not for yoga, Julie believes she was meant to teach. "My background is in English Literature so maybe teaching that - but I honestly can't see myself doing anything else!"
If you are keen to know what Julie's top tips are for centering yourself in 2012, take a peek at the video below where she tells us in her own words.
So where does a yogi get her java fix or stop for dinner with her family? Of course, we asked...
Favourite coffee spot? My favourite coffee shops are both hidden away on Burnett Lane - Brew has a great vibe and Bar Merlot do 'flip time' where you can win a coffee for free!
Favourite place for a drink? Anywhere in Southbank - I like to sit and people watch on Little Stanley St.
Favourite shopping destination? I'm not much of a shopper, but I do like the little boutiques that are popping up all over Brisbane - Edward and Adelaide St have a few great ones. I mostly buy yoga gear, so I'm often seen in Lululemon!
Favourite indulgence? Anything with chocolate in it!
Favourite restaurant? I love to eat out and my current favourite is Urbane or the 100 Acre Bar which is close to my house.
Where: Shri is located at 26 Burnett Lane in Brisbane's CBD.