Aspire to Inspire: Educating Yourself to Elevate Others in Yoga

Aspire to Inspire: Educating Yourself to Elevate Others in Yoga

Testimonial Yoga Therapy

In today’s guest blog, Yoga teacher and student Carolyn Volk tells her story about taking classes with Julie Watson in Boise. Through this experience, she has walked away with new and fresh yoga therapy techniques to incorporate into her own classes. Read below to find out more about her journey and see how it can inspire you in your practice as well. 

Most of us have had those teachers – the ones that struck a chord, made a special connection, nudged us in just the right way and really made a difference. Julie is one of those rare teachers and this was apparent to me in my first class with her. Part of this is her calm and accessible manner, but as I learned more about her training, it made even more sense. 

Julie is a trained yoga therapist- a demanding certification that requires thousands of hours of training. She has worked with students and patients in both clinical and studio settings, in groups as well as one-on one. As a result, she has so many more tools in her yoga toolbox and a creative, intuitive and playful way of combining these tools to enhance and improve both movement and her students’ understanding and awareness of their movement. You can literally feel the difference in her classes. 

“Julie’s classes are a creative and effective blend of yoga and therapy informed by her training and her years of experience working with patients and students dealing with a wide range of health issues.” – Carolyn Volk

Julie’s classes are a creative and effective blend of yoga and therapy informed by her training and her years of experience working with patients and students dealing with a wide range of health issues. Small and sometimes quirky adjustments to poses, a different way of using a prop, focusing on targeted and seemingly unrelated areas to create new openings in your mind and your body..this is what makes the difference. She will do things you have never done in a yoga class before and sequence traditional poses in effective and unusual ways. 

Yoga teacher testimonial quote

Every class I take from Julie leaves me with new perspectives and fresh ideas to use in my own classes. So I was thrilled to hear that she is interested in more formally sharing her experience and knowledge with area teachers here in Boise. We are lucky to have her here and luckier still for the opportunity to learn with and from her. In the process, you are sure to come away with new information, fresh ideas and likely a few aha moments to inspire your own practice and become a better and more effective teacher.  

Julie has a depth of knowledge and also the gift of being a great teacher. If you are looking to deepen your understanding of particular movement challenges and add some new tools to your toolbox, Julie has much to offer us as teachers and as students of our own bodies. 

This guest blog was written by Carolyn Volk, yoga student since 1980; 200 hr yoga teacher training 2007; practicing teacher since 2016.

About Julie:
Julie Watson is professional Yoga Therapist, educator and an experienced yoga and movement teacher in Boise, Idaho, offering classes both in person and virtually. Contact her to learn more about how she can help you elevate your yoga practice today with new techniques and perspectives.

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Vibrant Quinoa Salad


This is a tasty Summer/Spring salad; however, it’s great for during any warm weather spell or when you may need a mental pick-me-up. I love the the blend of fresh herbs, and the color and flavor brings simply makes me smile inside and out. Did you know that according to color psychology, the color green is considered beneficial to the mind and body? It also represents connection, connection to nature and connection to ourselves.

Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired.

  • 1 bunch cilantro
, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
, loose
  • 1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon

Mix with the following:

  • 2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
  • small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • generous handful of arugula, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
  • feta, optional

If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.



Yoga Therapy can be a highly effective treatment for mental health disorders

This article from from Psychology Today discussing how Yoga Therapy can help mood disorders. It references a recent 2023 study of Yoga Therapy and it’s beneficial role in reducing the effects of functional dyspepsia and chronic stress for those in high-stress jobs.

“Yoga therapy can play a bidirectional role in the regulation of gut-brain axis, i.e., from top-down as well as bottom-up pathway. ”

Adults increasingly used complementary health approaches for pain over past 20 years

Researchers have found that the overall use of several complementary health approaches, and their use for pain management specifically, rose substantially over the last couple of decades, researchers found. Published by JAMA, they reported:

  • The overall use of CHAs increased from 19.2% in 2002 to 36.7% in 2022. Their use for pain increased from 42.3% to 49.2%.
  • Yoga saw the highest rise in overall use from 2002 to 2022 from 5% to 15.8%.
  • Meditation has the highest prevalence of any CHA in 2022, at 17.3%.
  • Researchers said the increases could be due to several factors, such as the need to replace potentially harmful opioids.

Yoga breathing and meditation-based program improves physician well-being, lowers burnout

Healthcare systems worldwide are recognizing the importance of addressing physician burnout to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of delivering quality health care. A randomized clinical trial  showed that those physicians who practiced Sudarshan Kriya Yoga reported significantly reduced stress, less depression and a decrease in insomnia, as well as a “significant improvement in professional fulfillment and significant  decreases in exhaustion, interpersonal disengagement and burnout.”

Spiced Carrot Soup with Pistachios and Rosemary

Spiced Carrot Soup with Pistachios and Rosemary


Great for a windy and rainy day, this comforting soup warms the body. Seasoned with harissa, a blend of pepper, caraway, coriander and cumin, enhance the flavor of the soup, while the pistachios and rosemary add a little texture and color.

  • 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tsp harissa paste*
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs rosemary, chopped
  • ½ cup raw pistachios

Lightly sauté carrots in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Add water and stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add butter and harissa and blend well using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Add salt to taste. Return to low heat until ready to serve. In a separate pan, heat remaining olive oil on medium heat. Sauté rosemary until it sizzles, then add pistachios and cook until they just start to lightly brown. Remove from heat.  Top soup with pistachios and rosemary.

*Harissa Paste

You can buy harissa paste already made or make it yourself with red peppers or dried chiles. I use a dry (mild heat) blend that’s made with guajillo peppers, caraway, coriander, sweet and smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon and salt. If using a dry blend, whisk together 3 Tbs of the spice with 3 Tbs of olive oil, 1-2 minced garlic cloves and the juice of one lemon. Let sit for an hour before using and store in an airtight container. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Serves 6-8.