M - Th 9 am - 5 pm, Fr 10 am - 1:30 pm Sat/Sun CLOSED

503-223-8157

6840 S. Macadam Ave. Portland, OR 97219

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Meet the Instructors

Paxson Yoga Center / Meet the Instructors
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JULIE GUDMESTAD, PT, E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Therapist

Founder, Yoga Instructor

Julie has devoted her career of 40+ years to helping people ease pain and live their best lives through the integration of physical therapy and yoga. She founded and directed Gudmestad Yoga, making yoga classes and individual therapy sessions available to people of all ages and abilities. The studio has now become Paxson Yoga Center, and Julie continues to be involved by teaching classes and guiding the ongoing evolution of the studio.<br /> Julie teaches intermediate level classes; levels 3-4, 4 and 5 and travels across the US and internationally teaching workshops. She also teaches the Anatomy Awareness in Asana week-long workshop in Portland each August.<br /> It all began when Julie started taking yoga in high school, back in the 1960’s. She began teaching a class while studying at Reed College, and went on to achieve Iyengar certification in 1988. As her students reported that yoga helped resolve various pain problems, Julie enrolled in physical therapy school, and became licensed in 1977. Now mostly retired from seeing patients, her career included work with orthopedic and sports injuries, as well as chronic pain and stress-related problems.<br /> Julie has shared her knowledge in workshops throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, as well as writing the “Anatomy of a Yogi” column for Yoga Journal magazine for several years. She has taught her methods and healing philosophy in countless teacher trainings, and every year teaches a 5-day Anatomy Awareness in Asana intensive here in Portland, attended by teachers and students alike.<br /> Committed to making the healing benefits of yoga accessible to all, Julie’s philosophy is deeply embedded in the studio classes. If a class moves too quickly, students may get frustrated and quit without ever receiving the healing benefits of practice. She prefers that students take progressive steps, starting with gentle poses in a beginning class. It is Julie's belief that the ability to slow down and stay present is an important aspect of healing, and that yoga encourages a mindful state that can heal people emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically.

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Beth Paxson, LMT, E-RYT 500

Owner, Yoga Instructor

Beth is a licensed massage therapist with a focus in Western structure/function and Eastern movement arts. A committed athlete, Beth has studied Iyengar yoga with Julie Gudmestad since the late 1990s, learning how to integrate yoga into her athletic training program.</p> <p>Beth teaches all levels of classes including the Athletes classes. Her massage training and a love of anatomy shine through her teaching.</p> <p>Beth was first introduced to Julie in 1997 when she began experiencing pain in her feet. As an athlete, Beth had always incorporated stretching into her training regimen, but had never practiced yoga. After Julie helped Beth successfully overcome her injury, Beth wanted to become more involved in the practice of yoga. She began taking classes with Julie, subsequently joining Julie's teaching program as a way to take her yoga practice to a deeper level.</p> <p>A former Olympic Nordic skier with a passion for movement, athletics and the outdoors, Beth enjoys coaching and teaching technical skills in her sport whenever the opportunity arises. Currently an avid runner, cyclist and skier, Beth blends her athletic/artistic background and knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology and bodywork with her yoga teaching, helping her students to develop and integrate keen body awareness into their daily lives and activities.

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Betsy Allen, PT

Yoga Instructor

Betsy has been devoted to yoga since taking her first yoga class at Lewis & Clark College in 1971. She graduated from the University of New Mexico Physical Therapy program in 1987, writing her thesis on ``Integrating Yoga with Traditional Physical Therapy.`` She still enjoys promoting the benefits of yoga thirty plus years later.</p> <p>Betsy teaches levels 2, 3 and 3-4 classes, inspiring and educating her students with her love of the anatomy of the body, enhancing their knowledge about the body and their practice.</p> <p>Betsy inspires students to ``make friends with your body`` – respect it and find comfort, strength and ease living in it. There is an emphasis on the importance of breath to physical, emotional and spiritual health. She regularly teaches ``Healthy Breathing`` workshops to both students and yoga teachers. She also enjoys teaching workshops such as Yoga for: insomnia, headaches, gardeners, dragon boaters, the overly flexible, for healthy shoulders, and strong core. Betsy was the readers choice for ``Best Yoga Teacher for Beginners`` in the Portland area when the Oregoniana/Oregon Live.com did polling in 2012.</p> <p>Betsy's Physical Therapy practice specializes in the treatment of chronic pain. She develops and monitors individualized home exercise programs for her patients. To a great extent they are based on the asana/breathing of yoga. She also incorporates the teachings of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the use of kinesiotape, foam rollers, Theraband and physioballs into her treatment approach. As a trained biofeedback therapist, she teaches stress/anxiety management and last, but not least, she uses manual therapy – specifically craniosacral, myofascial and trigger point therapy to help her patients find comfort and relief from symptoms.

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Laila Deardorff, MSPT, Iyengar Certified

Yoga Instructor

Laila believes that Iyengar yoga with its roots in alignment, coupled with yoga's emphasis on breath work and relaxation, truly allows the body, mind and soul to transform. Her Physical Therapy training becomes evident in her teaching and as a bonus students learn more about their anatomy.</p> <p>Laila teaches levels 2, 3, 3-4 and 4 classes. Her approach is athletic yet, supportive, encouraging students to be both strong and flexible. Her sequencing is very well thought-out.</p> <p>Laila was guided to Julie Gudmestad while rehabilitating a chronic low back injury. After spending two years mentoring with Julie, Laila adopted Julie's approach to healing by integrating this style of yoga with her physical therapy. Laila has been teaching yoga since 2002. Wanting to learn more she became a Certified Iyengar Instructor in 2014. With a teaching style that is relaxed and supportive, Laila merges her knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics with specific yoga poses, creating an effective atmosphere for change and healing.</p> <p>Laila received her Master's degree in physical therapy from Pacific University in 1998. Prior to this career change, Laila enjoyed all the stresses and postural faults a CPA in corporate America could experience. A former competitive U of O swimmer, Laila also enjoys biking, skiing, rock climbing, and just being in the great outdoors. She is married to a Norwegian and has a grown daughter. She travels annually to Norway to visit her family.

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DeeAnn Dougherty, PT

Yoga Instructor

DeeAnn is a Physical Therapist. She began studying yoga with Julie in 1989, and teaching at Gudmestad Yoga in 2000. The flexibility, strength and balance work in yoga has helped her achieve her athletic goals, as well as helping her manage the inevitable changes that occur as an athlete ages. She wishes to impart to her students a greater sense of body awareness, assisting them in reaching their personal goals, athletic or otherwise.</p> <p>DeeAnn teaches a level 2 class that would also be considered as an Athlete’s 1-2 class. Her teaching is rich with her knowledge of anatomy. She is methodical, measured and supportive. She shares her wisdom with her students.</p> <p>DeeAnn grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where at age 13 she began her athletic career as a competitive distance runner. She received her BS degree in Physical Therapy from Mankato State University, and a certificate in Physical Therapy (PT) from the Mayo School of Health-Related Sciences in 1981. As an Orthopedic Specialist certified by the American Physical Therapy Association and a Certified Manual Physical Therapist through the North American Institute of Manual Therapy, DeeAnn currently specializes in the biomechanical evaluation and treatment of distance runners. She is also a USA Track & Field Level II Long Distance Running Coach, with a coaching certification from the Road Runners Club of America.

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Lori Valdez

Zumba Instructor

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Lori Valdez

Zumba Instructor

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