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.
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.
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.
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.
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.