Joelle Kelly, the founder and director of Lu Jong ~ New York, is a certified Tibetan Movement Teacher and Educator. She can be found actively building upon her own skills in addition to making available a variety of lectures, classes and trainings around the world.
"Ever since I can remember I have been curious about the self-healing practices of my Native and Eastern heritages. As a second generation, born and raised New Yorker, I grew up thinking it was completely normal to go to Chinatown to get medicinal herbs, run up to Spanish Harlem for exotic fruits like mangos and avocados (bear with me, the 60's were a different time) and practice yoga and meditation way before The Beatles made it 'cool'.
"I was fortunate to grow up traveling around the world from the age of six months. Both of my parents worked in the airline business and were avid, open-minded explorers, which combined quite nicely with my mom's archeology degrees for the historical contexts of the places we would visit.
"As a result, I have experienced and observed many cultures, further cementing my deep respect for, and belief in, the benefits of maintaining a strong and healthy body in as gentle and non-invasive a manner as possible.
"I followed a similar path with focused studies in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics & Romance Languages, at New York University, all under the guise of thinking I was a political science student and would end up in Business or Law school. Hah!
"I actually ended up in the world of bespoke and custom clothing. An opportunity presented itself to learn the Old World trade of crafting unique, luxury garments, a time honored ancient practice ... brought forward to the modern world to include the use of science and technology (yes, some sewing machines will be infinitely more efficient than hand sewing).
"This was my first adult experience with the direct oral transmission of a lineage of knowledge, from Master to student and so on, to preserve the integrity of the art of custom clothing where traditional academic studies simply do not exist. This method appealed strongly to me and also taught me the value of honoring a connection with my mentor.
"Another aspect that I came to appreciate was that there really isn't anything 'new' under the sun. Ancient crafts and traditions have invaluable information and the appearance of simplicity bears no relation to the value of the item and content.
"I found myself fascinated with the creative process and possibilities, especially the transformative effects of my work as they came to life!
"Soon after I had a chance to take a workshop with Tulku Lobsang on one of his North American visits and have been practicing ever since.
"Under the direct tutelage of Tulku Lobsang, my introduction to the Lu Jong practice years ago was both exciting and inspiring. Calm and focused. Gentle yet powerful. These were some of my first impressions!
"My studies continued to deepen in Lu Jong and widened to include other practices, in short time I was selected as one of the first couple of teachers, and even fewer educators, to help share and grow the Lu Jong and Tog Chod communities in North America."