Name: Joanne Fanny Barry
Age: 55 years
Occupation: Writer, yoga teacher and entrepreneur
Where are you from and where are you based? I was born in Boston in Massachusetts in the US where I grew up and lived for most of my life until I landed in Tulum in Mexico in 2004.
What are you working on? I am finishing a memoir of my years here in Tulum (“The Map of Life and Beauty” which will be available in November with Blue Heron Bookworks) and building a yoga studio called Tribal that will open in December.
Tell us more? This is a project I have been anticipating. I am an engineer by training and while working in the field my dream was to open a yoga studio. A few days after I was certified to teach, I was operated on for breast cancer. The following medical treatments put my dream on hold but saved my life. Now twelve years later I am making my dream come true.
My memoir tells the story of how I managed to find and love Tulum and what a big adventure it was as a single woman constructing three rustic houses in an isolated, super macho area. Over the course of several years, multiple cons, hardships, miracles and wonders, I built a life for myself outside the corporate realm and inside my heart. Five cancer survivors visited me to renew their spirit and each one found something different. I recently sold the houses to finance my yoga studio since really, yoga was the thing that saved me here. It fed me physically and emotionally and socially in times when I was more alone than I had ever been. It still does and is my sanctuary.
What inspires you in this? The belief that if each person can find peace within himself or herself, we can find peace in the world.
What have you learned from your work? That anything is possible.
Your relationship to yoga and does it in any way influence your work? Yoga is my life and my work and my vacation. It influences my energy and therefore everything I do.
Where do you go to find peace? I go to the water – the sea or the cenotes or the lagoons – on my bicycle and I breathe heavily.
Find out more on Joanne Fanny Barry on her website.
Photos by the talented and acclaimed photographer Pia Ulin divides her time between her studio in Brooklyn, New York, and her family in Sweden. Pia gained a reputation early in her career using only daylight, giving her images a warm and natural touch often associated with a Scandinavian aesthetic. She has worked with a variety of international interior publications, including Dwell, Kinfolk, Martha Stewart and Elle Decoration. Last year she published the book ”Colorful” with Lotta Agaton.