Q & A: Julia McDonald


How long have you been teaching yoga?  julia

About 3 years.

Why did you become a yoga teacher? Who and/or what are your biggest influences?

I had never thought about teaching yoga until my instructor suggested it. I had been practicing with her for a while. She was retiring and wanted me to take her place. I may have never become a yoga teacher if it wasn’t for her encouragement.

How has yoga helped you to be a better person?

It allows me to live in the present moment, be positive, and self-aware.

What is your personal mission statement as a yoga teacher?

To love my students.

What do you think constitutes an excellent yoga instructor?

Someone who connects with their students, takes care of them, and fosters an environment that allows students to explore their potential.

What was your most challenging teaching experience?

My very first class was the most challenging. I was so scared and nervous. I had always struggled with public speaking.

What do you recommend to the beginner student? To the seasoned student?

I recommend the beginner yoga student to explore different styles, teachers, and studios. For the seasoned yoga student, it is important to stay humble and always challenge yourself.

How do you take your yoga off the mat?

I seek connection with people, animals, and our environment.

What is the one pose you are most proud of getting into?

Definitely handstand. When I first kicked up both legs onto the wall, I absolutely loved the feeling of being upside down. I was proud that I walked through that fear.

What is your favorite time of day to practice yoga?

I enjoy practicing anytime—morning, noon, and night.

Where is the best place you have ever practiced yoga?

At Moraine Hills State Park near the water.

What is your favorite music to listen to while practicing yoga?

My music preference is based on my mood, so it can be anywhere from instrumental, pop, or rock to completely silent.

What else do you want students to know about you?

love my family. This includes my boyfriend Dave, our two cats, and two dogs. I enjoy going for walks, drinking wine, and living life!

Why do you love teaching at Pulsation Yoga?

I love the yoga community that Kathy and Jim have created and enjoy being a part of it.


Julia McDonald teaches at the Pulsation Yoga studios in Arlington Heights and Lake Zurich. Check out the class schedules to attend her classes.