An accomplished cross-country skier in his youth, Swiss Virgo Julien came upon the spiritual path in early 2002 after lots of adventure in his early 20s. He travelled extensively throughout Central and South America while enrolled in university, and spent a good amount of his time exploring our amazing planet, immersing himself in unknown cultures and meeting its peoples and ways of lives.
In February, 2001, a life-changing and near-fatal accident on a small paradise island in Brazil kindled his interest in the mysteries and spiritual traditions of the East. He soon embarked on his first trip to Asia, where he did his first meditation retreat at a Thai forest monastery. A few months later Julien found himself in Swami Vivekananda Saraswati's First Level Intensive Course at Agama Yoga in Rishikesh, which radically revolutionized his outlook on life. The Truths set forth by this passionate teacher deeply touched him, and a feeling that "this was it" began to unfold.
However, he did not drop out all at once. He returned to Switzerland for another year to earn his Master's degree in Finance and Economics from the University of St. Gallen (HSG). He wrote his Master's thesis on the dollarization of developing countries, with special reference to the Latin American experience, and was awarded a prize for the best thesis of the year.
In early 2004, Julien moved to tropical Koh Phangan, Thailand, and committed himself fully to Agama, his practice, and a continuous striving for Yogic realization. He also became a filmmaker, producing and co-directing Through the Eastern Gate, a poetic documentary about three young Westerners searching for meaning in modern times; the film has so far screened at 11 film festivals on four continents, and was picked up by Alive Mind Media/Lorber HT Digital for DVD distribution in late 2008.
In 2008, Julien conceived and initiated the Phangan Film Festival (PFF) – an annual open-air event bringing high-quality independent films from around the world to the beautiful island of Phangan. Following PFF's success, Julien co-created the annual Dharamsala Film Festival (DFF) in 2011. Since 2009, Julien has also been involved in an earthen house building and permaculture adventure in the hills above Sri Thanu village where Agama Yoga is headquartered.
Julien has experienced the transformational power of the Yoga system first-hand and wishes to share this treasure with others. He has informed his own background in traditional Yoga with intense study of numerous experts and rare sources, as well as his own deep and committed practice. Julien has been teaching in Europe and Southeast Asia for the better part of the last decade, most notably at the Agama Yoga Thailand headquarters where he serves as a senior resident teacher. He is grateful for the inspiration, guidance, and support that he continues to receive from members of the Agama family. When off the island, he facilitates transformational workshops and Yoga retreats around the globe, creating a sacred space for his practical knowledge and experiential wisdom to overflow onto others.
"The greatest gifts one can give to the outward world lie within. To reach them, you have to go there."