Early Roots

Julianne Rice C-IAYT Yoga, B.S. Dance, certified yoga therapist and instructor, retreat facilitator, inspirational leader, dancer and dance educator.


I was born and raised in Naugatuck, Connecticut and moved to California in 1983, via New York and Colorado, on a spiritual and artistic quest. A friend invited me to check out the Bay Area. I jumped on the invitation because I was struggling to find my next right career steps. I knew that three organizations in the Bay Area looked promising — The Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (CSE), the Recreation Center for the Handicapped, and the Body and Soul Dance company. I moved. I quickly became an integral part of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, interviewed at the Recreation Center for the Handicapped and got in touch with the Body and Soul Dance Company.

To this day I remain an integral part of CSE. Its offerings are based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi. I became intrigued with his example of living a life of Love and became immersed in what he taught, a way of life and spiritual practice called Kriya Yoga. I began a life long journey of learning about and practicing Kriya Yoga when I met and began studying with Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian at the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment and ended up teaching hatha yoga in the CSE community for 25 years. During those years I also served on their board of directors and on the faculty of Joyce Anue’s YES Yoga Teacher Training. After a break of a few years, I returned to teaching yoga within the CSE community, whose spiritual support was and is pivotal in my life. I believe that the joy, freedom, contentment and vitality that I now experience on a daily basis are directly related to and rooted in the Kriya Yoga practices that I have learned and applied to my life. Students have kindly shared that my teaching style has a dimension and depth that radiates gentleness, joy and authenticity. 

Experience and Training

Shortly after agreeing to substitute teach a hatha yoga class for Yogacharya O’Brian in 1984, in the basement of a tiny white church in Los Gatos, I got bit by the yoga bug. I began practicing, training extensively and teaching soon after that, continuing to teach to this day. I am enamoured by the philosophy and physicality of this amazing, ancient system of self and spiritual awareness and transformation.

Since that time in 1984, I have studied many different styles of hatha yoga. As a result, my teaching style is eclectic yet grounded, and reflects my background in Kriya Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga of Baba Hari Das, Ashtanga Yoga of Pattabhi Jois, Integral Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Dance.

My teaching experience through the past 3+ decades has included time at CSE, the Oracle Corporation, Stanford Research International (SRI), Stanford University, the Harker School, Yoga is Youthfulness, Willow Glen Yoga, Los Gatos Park and Recreation, Corporate Power Camp Retreats, American Musical Theater, and various local gyms, corporations, and schools in the Bay Area.

I am a certified yoga therapist, (C-IAYT), through the International Association of Yoga Therapy. In my yoga therapy practice I use yoga and mindfulness practices to support my clients to achieve the best quality of life possible. I am also a facilitator of a system of improvisational self-expression called InterPlay.

From 2003 through 2018 and beginning again in 2021 I have been leading yoga retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains at the Quaker Retreat Center and the Land of Medicine Buddha. I also have been the yoga instructor at Judy Stakee Singer Songwriter Retreats at the Sequoia Retreat Center in Ben Lomond, California.

I have written two teaching manuals for leading teacher trainings in a program I developed called Yoga ‘n Play. It is a method of yoga, exercise, and bonding for moms and/or dads and their new babies. It blends the heart, philosophy, and practice of yoga and InterPlay. I am currently working on a book called Reflections on the Heart of Yoga and have written a booklet of the same name.

My Approach to Teaching

Hatha yoga is a system of practices known traditionally to be one of the best methods to clear the mind and balance the energy channels in preparation for meditation. It is also a wonderful system unto itself if one is not (yet) interested in meditation. The physical focus of hatha yoga balances and supports the mental and spiritual focus of the Kriya Yoga lifestyle and practices. In today's world, “hatha yoga” refers to all styles of yoga involving traditional postures and cleansing practices. It is an umbrella term. Hatha yoga is sometimes mistaken for being an “easier, gentler yoga", because it often rests in between poses.


My approach includes addressing the whole person, attending to each person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I aim to have my classes challenge and nourish the body, mind and spirit. As an eternal seeker and student of life, I am ever continuing to research, practice and create. I hope we will have the chance to meet some day!

adjusting childs pose

Current Offerings

Online Yoga Classes I am offering group and one on one sessions from my home to yours supporting all in maintaining and deepening your yoga practice.

One on One Yoga Therapy Sessions in my home studio in Aptos, CA and/or online

In Person Group Retreats  I offer group retreats (often together with Cathy Hutton, Calvin Darling and Divya Zucccaro) at the Land of Medicine Buddha and at the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment.

Custom Retreats  I also offer custom retreats for individuals, couples, and families.

To support your home practice, my guided hatha yoga instructional audio CD called Gentle Yoga for Every Body can be found on iTunes and CD Baby. Follow me on personal Facebook page and my yoga business page on Facebook. and Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. And, you can enjoy a Regain Calm meditation here.


A seasoned yoga practitioner, yoga therapist, yoga instructor, and retreat facilitator, I am a lifelong dancer and lover of all things dance, theater, and music. I am an avid participant and certified facilitator of a popular system of Expressive Arts Improvisation called InterPlay. I live with my husband, Stu, in Aptos, California and am delighted to be able to walk to the beach almost every day, work in the garden, and enjoy lots of good music, friends and family, healthy delicious food and lots of laughter.

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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