5Q Interview with Julianna Winer
1. Tell me about your personal journey with yoga. Why is it important to you?
When I was 4 years old I was diagnosed with Scoliosis. I wore a back brace for nearly 3 years before asking my parents about other options and luckily there was a spine stapling procedure that was new in the field of spine curvature correction. So, at 7 years old, I told my parents that I wanted it done. I flew out to Philadelphia where 6 staples were placed internally alongside my spine. Ever since then, I have had freedom in movement, and this is where I found dance and fell in love. But still, something was off. I was still in pain, especially in the winter months, that is until I found yoga. Yoga has not only rid me of physical pain but emotional pain too. After practicing, yoga connects me to Earth and its inhabitants on a deeply spiritual level. Yoga has, is, and continues to be, the reason I am here. I am here to learn the medicine and share it with others. And I continue to be humbled to share my journey and heal others in the process.
2. When did you first begin teaching yoga? What made you transition into a leadership position?
I recently received my RYT-200 hour from Shawna Schenk in early August. My dad, a native of San Diego, forwarded me the link to her training back in January, and ever since then, I saved up from working retail. I didn’t know if I was ready to be a teacher, but I knew that I wanted to learn more about the practice and become more knowledgeable. Little did I know that her training would drastically change the direction of my life. Now, having left my retail job, I teach dance and yoga to young women. Through my YouTube channel, I also plan to teach movement and breath work so I can share the message with the masses. I have always felt in my soul that I was meant to help others, whether it be from a leadership position or a peer position.
3. What makes your classes unique?
My classes are unique because of my ethnicity and sexuality. Growing up in the Bay Area, I have seen firsthand, how disadvantaged people, particularly the youth are affected by their identity. I am Jewish, and therefore represent a people who have been persecuted against. I also identify as queer and therefore represent the LGBTQ community. In my classes I am open about my fluid and intersectional identity and therefore know how to hold space for people, particularly those whose lives are difficult outside the studio. I hold space for every walk of life and being only 20 years old, the youth can relate and feel comfortable in the space because I am somewhat of a peer to them.
4. How does music benefit your guidance in a yoga class?
Music sets the tone for the kind of class I am teaching. Whether it be a fast-paced Vinyasa or a slow meditative Hatha. Having danced for over 10 years, I have seen first hand how music can affect the space, the teacher, and the students. I use music as an incredible tool to hold space and set the tone for the class. Music holds a very important role in the studio because without it the silence between questions would assuringly make the space uncomfortable to some who are new to yoga. By incorporating all kinds of music, my students are able to fully invest in the practice and let go of all other wandering thoughts before stepping onto the mat.
5. Tell me about your next event and where we can follow you online.
Being a full-time Communications student, my education is my number one priority and takes up much of my time. Alongside school, I intern for the UCSF Women’s Health Center and have recently stepped into the role of Treasurer for the Meditation Club on campus. So, unfortunately outside of the studio once a week, I am not teaching publicly, unless I am doing private lessons.
But, you can follow me on:
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