Welcome to “Talks with Teachers”, our occasional feature where we get up close and personal with our teaching staff. Today, we are talking with Julie McKune who teaches at The Yoga Centre on Mondays @ 12p, Tuesdays @ 6p, Wednesdays @ 10:45a and Saturdays @ 10:15a. Julie joined our teaching staff last Fall but she is not new on the scene. As a long-time Tennis and Fitness Centre member and avid tennis player, she is a familiar face to many. Having grown up here in Oak Park, her sense of community is very strong. Her teaching style reflects her warmth and genuine interest in every student.
TYC: How would you describe your teaching style?
JM: My classes trend towards a gentle, slow flow style. My 200-hr training was in the Vinyasa style and my 500-hr advanced teacher training has a therapeutic focus, so my teaching includes elements from both. I love to incorporate mindfulness work using quotes or short meditations.
TYC: How were you first introduced to yoga?
JM: My sister introduced me to yoga 12 years ago while vacationing on Cape Cod. The first class I ever took was a Bikrim class.
TYC: When did you first become a teacher and why?
JM: Back when I first started practicing, I fell in love with the variety of physical challenge and purification that heated vinyasa offers. I was drawn to further study yoga because I wanted to deepen my own practice and learn how to share my experience with others. I completed my first teacher training program in 2013.
TYC: What are the top three things you’d like your students to learn from your classes?
JM: First and foremost, I hope my students learn how important it is to listen to their bodies. The mind/body connection is amazing and we can learn so much from the messages that our bodies are trying to send us! The second thing is to enjoy the time on your mat. And third, breath work (pranayama).
TYC: What do you love about the community of students at The Yoga Centre? JM: I love the community nature of the studio and the energy of the students. Everyone is very welcoming and kind. It feels like a special place.
TYC: What else would you like The Yoga Centre community to know about you? JM: I’m a community and family gal; Oak park is home. As for my teaching, I’m always open to suggestions. I learn so much from the students.