Teacher of the Month: Julie Paddock

It feels natural to celebrate Julie as our teacher of the month for May, as it was back in May of 2014 that she graduated from our teacher training and we could see that she had a lot to offer as a teacher. She has been sharing her love for yoga with the Breathe community ever since. Her Flow Basics on Thursdays 9:30-10:30am are a great way to start your day! We’ve been lucky to spend time with Julie outside of the studio, and we wanted to share how awesome she is with the community!! Here are some fun facts about Julie.

How did you start practicing yoga? What was your early yoga experience like?
I was introduced to yoga in the early ‘90s, when a friend suggested a video (VHS tape) of Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden. They were the superstars of yoga at the time, and their practices were simple, sweet and offered a much needed respite from the chaos in my life at that time. Almost immediately, my practice became a place of refuge — an opportunity to check-in, recharge and relax.

When did you get a sense that yoga was different, not just a way to be physical? 
To me yoga is a physical practice, and that’s okay because it’s impossible to separate the physical body from the mind and spirit. It’s different for everyone, but yoga facilitates integration for the whole-being in each person’s own time and way, and that is much deeper than the superficiality of muscles and bones.

What is your favorite yoga pose and what is your least favorite yoga pose? And why? 
Favorite yoga pose: A restorative backbend over blocks. This is such a great pose to counter the forward momentum of life and the burdens that we tend to gather as we move through time. 

Least favorite: I don’t really have one — as in a shape I don’t like to try. But, any pose that I rush into or approach mindlessly — that’s my least favorite pose.

In what way does your yoga practice most impact your daily life?
Yoga allows me to feel grateful. I practice everyday with appreciation for my health, love, and connection to everything around me. As the practice itself is a mirror to what’s inside, yoga is a gateway for me to interact in the world with more health, love and connection. What you do to others, you do to yourself. What you do to yourself, you do to others. Yoga shows us that it’s all the same.

This month at Breathe we are focusing on the second niyama, santosha, contentment. How do you experience/practice santosha on your yoga mat, in your teaching, and in daily life? 
I struggle with wanting more, with perceived failures and negative self talk. Yoga is helpful in allowing me to quiet that noise and let go of striving. On my mat and in my teaching, the beauty of syncing movement with breath is one of the most effective ways to land in the here and now—where those worries cannot exist. Santosha is the re-recognition that everything I need, I already have. Inhale, exhale, repeat.

What is a fun fact about you that not many people know?
I make many of my own clothes. I learned to sew several years ago by watching YouTube tutorials. The process of sewing is a creative outlet for me and a way to remember the work that goes in to making even a simple t-shirt— a process easily overlooked in today’s fast moving world.

Tell us something about teaching at Breathe.
I’m proud to say that I did my teacher training at Breathe and it’s been a privilege to teach here since 2015. Breathe is a beautiful space and I cherish the wonderful relationships I’ve made with so many people inside the walls of Breathe. ❤️