“ I first met Julia at the company where I worked part-time. She taught a yoga class there and I was impressed right away – it was obvious she was extremely experienced and knowledgeable. I’ve been going to her yoga classes at the studio since it opened. Julia is amazing – so good with people, and she starts every yoga class by asking what people would like to focus on. She adapts the class according to what people request so every class is always customized and different. I leave feeling calmer and more peaceful, and my body is always so thankful that I took the class.
When I heard about Julia’s Freestyle Dance class, I thought, ‘Wow, a place where I can dance and de-stress…I’m in!’ It’s all about having the freedom to move however you want. I like to say Freestyle Dance is my time to “let go and let it rip.” You can dance it all out – release the day and any other stress you’re holding onto. I love it! And talk about getting a great workout!
Julia is grounded and real. She truly believes in what she’s doing and that energy is reflected in all of her sessions, and in the studio space itself. This is her life’s work and her passion in life – and it shows!
~ Renia Pruchnicki, entrepreneur and Founder, www.truthbelts.com
“ After 20 years of playing at yoga but never sticking to it for very long, a friend highly recommended Julia Ray, and I’m so grateful! I’ve been doing weekly private sessions with her for five years now, and yoga has become an integral part of my life and routine. I still can’t wait to have my sessions with her!
Julia’s gift is in the way she connects to me and my needs – she gears every session to where I’m at that day. She’s very knowledgeable about the body, as well as being very intuitive and sensitive. She’s always creative and shows me different variations if something’s not working well for my body. My posture has improved dramatically in the time I’ve been collaborating with Julia. As a result of working with her, I’m very limber, which is really important for women as we get older. I’ve received many compliments from people that I’ve never looked better – nobody can believe my age!
I have also done some dreamwork sessions with Julia, and I have to say they are as good as any therapy session. I feel that dreamwork enhances the potential to do good yoga. In the dreamwork sessions, Julia helps unlock what’s in your body, mind and spirit, and gets you to connect with where the blocks are so you can release them. This helps you to get clear-headed, which is so important in yoga.
You need to look and feel good, and there are two people I would never give up no matter what the cost: my hairdresser and Julia Ray!
~ Anne Marie, law firm partner
“ I had always been a gym person, but once I started taking yoga classes with Julia I loved it! Julia makes every class feel intimate and personal, and she really knows her stuff.
Awhile back, I injured my shoulder from lifting weights incorrectly, and by the time I had it examined, it had morphed into frozen shoulder, which can be very difficult to resolve. I went to Julia’s restorative classes during the painful period where I had very limited mobility and I found it gave me some relief as well as better mobility. That’s the thing with Julia – she is attentive and will let people know if they are doing something wrong, or she will modify a pose for them, taking into consideration their limitations or restrictions.
At DreamYogaDance I’m now taking take one active yoga plus one restorative yoga class per week. I still go to the gym for cardio but instead of weightlifting, I’m getting my strength training (among many other benefits) from Julia’s yoga classes. The studio space is lovely and when I arrive it’s my time – to relax, let go of stress and be in the moment. I always sleep so well on the nights I go to yoga.
Julia’s a very caring person – she cares for the practices, her students, the studio and for everyone’s wellbeing. I think that’s the difference you get with Julia. I can’t recommend her highly enough!
~ Laura F.
“ Julia is a nurturing, patient and generous person and teacher who inspires me to explore myself and my world through Yoga. No matter what the circumstances, she maintains a consistent and high level of spirit and attention to her teaching that makes each student in her class feel as though she were speaking directly and only to them. For me Yoga is Julia. She continues to bring my practice to a new level of self awareness. She brings the yoga freedom philosophy to each practice by challenging us in new and exciting ways!! LOVE, LOVE the way my body is changing!! I wish I found you 5 years ago!
~ S. Agourius, Age 30
“ Julia’s yoga/dance class was fun, then it went way beyond fun. It was a wonderful release from a structured day and life. Just you and your body and amazing music. It was also a great sweaty workout.
“ Julia is unlike any other yoga instructor I have ever met (and I have met MANY!) Her classes always “fit”- whether I am low energy and need a boost or I am high energy and feel like really working, she somehow seems to know exactly what is needed. The classes are always a healthy mix of salutations (move!), holding poses (stretch!) and relaxation (ahhh..) Her instruction is intelligent and interesting- it invokes spirituality as well as education as to the way the body functions.The classes feature a fantastic melange of music, from the traditional meditative chanting (of your run of the mill yoga class) to more contemporary upbeat songs to keep you engaged and moving. I’ve been working with Julia for over a year now and can’t go a week without one of her classes. I even had a private class the morning of my wedding day! Just try it once- I promise you won’t be disappointed.
~ Julie F., Age 31, Epidemiologist
“ Thank you so much for another amazing year of yoga, and the relaxation, the challenge, the rejuvenation and release, and the power it gives me. You are an amazing teacher — I’m so glad I found you!
~ Brenda Carr
“ This [Freestyle Dance] class is exactly what I need right now. I find it challenging, in a good way. It is a physical workout but more than that, it is very emotional. It is giving me a space to explore and express a lot of emotions that I usually don’t. I’m at a place in my life right now where I’m spending most of my time attending to other people’s wants and needs (my two wonderful but exhausting young kids). I’m struggling with carving out time and space for me. This class is giving me that space. I say this as someone who has never been a dancer and has always felt very self-conscious about dancing. This class is non-judgmental and freeing. I like how there is some guidance which pushes me to explore certain movements and not feel silly doing it, but there is also lots of space for individual self-expression. It is a safe place. Thank you!
“ Initially I was nervous, thinking that my tight joints wouldn’t allow certain movements. Once, I started, I realized that we had the freedom to move the way our bodies allowed. Also, Julia provides an encouraging environment in which to explore movement. The music was inspiring and it felt exciting to try something different. I worked up a sweat by the end of the class. I highly recommend this class. You will LOVE it!
~ Ann Kilian
“ From the first class, I felt the benefits immediately – physically from the workout and mentally from the de-stressing.
~ Kelly Romeo, Partner Relationship Manager
“ After working with Julia for about a year now I have gained a greater appreciation of my body and general health. Julia has, with great attention, helped my inflexible middle aged body start to move in ways it is only beginning to remember it could. Julia’s intuitive approach to teaching yoga with her attention to one’s body’s nuances is both comforting and ultimately rewarding. I look forward to my weekly sessions like few other events in my weekly calendar.
~ John Lloyd, Principal, John Lloyd & Associates
“ Julia, I think you are a wonderful yoga teacher. You are very skilled, spiritual, inspiring and down to earth. Not ever practicing yoga before, I really was not sure what to expect. My yoga experience has been fantastic. I feel great, I sleep better and my migraine headaches have disappeared. I have thoroughly enjoyed every class. Thank you.
~ Rhonda Gannon, Medical Radiation Technologist, Clinical Co-ordinator, Radiography
“ These sessions were a definite asset to me. They became an extension of an existing therapy program and the Yoga has made great improvements in my recovery.
~ Jeanette Williams, Senior Graphic Designer
“ Your classes have improved my flexibility and my blood circulation. I think you are an excellent instructor and I would not hesitate to recommend you and your classes.
~ Angela Monette, Age 47
“ Julia has the rare ability to watch, listen, feel and translate road blocks into exactly the practise I need that specific day. This gift allows me to strengthen my practice deeply with purpose, pleasure and humour.
~ Civi Jacobsen, Researcher/Writer
“ Julia brings a very special life energy to her yoga class, making it always new, fresh and inspiring. She manages to make her class both lighthearted and fun, on one hand, and deep and meaningful on the other. She has a gift of leading students through postures in a way that inspires true mindfulness.
~ Gordana Olujic, Visual Artist
“ Julia, your yoga instruction has helped me a great deal. Doing the yoga breathing techniques and body movements helps release stress and stiffness, and alleviate my back pain, the result is I feel energized and awakened. Thanks for everything. Cheers
~ Frank M.
“ Over the years, we have seen how popular “yoga” has become (e.g. Lululemon) and heard about how good it is for you. Although I’ve tried taking the odd yoga class in the past, I could never really get into it nor fully understand what all the fuss was about. In retrospect, I think it may have had something to do with the instructor and lesson plan. Feeling stressed (as usual) and tired, I decided I would give it another try and registered for a Hatha Yoga course at George Brown College in Toronto with Julia. I discovered that I really looked forward to the classes (I wish my workplace could arrange for something like this instead of the usual financial seminars) and learned a lot, including the Sun Salutation, tree-pose, and how to loosen up my shoulders using a belt, etc. With yoga mat in tow, I have a new found respect for yoga and have recommended and demonstrated some of the moves that I have learned to inquisitive co-workers. It was the best gift I could have given to myself!!
~ Mary, Secretary, Scarborough
“ It was an absolute enchantment to be a part of your class. I was expecting something simply physical but you brought so much more than that – mentally, spiritually. I was especially impressed by your knowledge and passion.
~ Sandi Ascenzi Naumann
“ I’m a 53 year old woman with a demanding job (finance & admin director at a community health centre). I’m pretty sure I’d be suffering ill effects from my job if it weren’t for my weekly yoga class with Julia. I’ve taken yoga off and on (mostly off) for the past 25 years, mostly because I thought it would help me get in shape. I’m pretty fit generally for someone my age, because I walk a few brisk miles every day, but I’ve never been an athlete and have no “natural” flexibility whatsoever (a previous yoga teacher asked me if I ate concrete mix for breakfast, a comment on stiffness in my lower back). I started with Julia a few years ago when a friend told me about her classes, and after the initial struggles with getting used to moving & stretching again, after a long lapse, I am now addicted. Julia’s classes are magical. She takes care to make the space lovely and relaxing, and she greets everyone with genuine warmth. I’m sure all of her students feel special, just because of the way she welcomes them. She seems to know everything anyone could possibly know about all types of yoga, and she tailors her knowledge to our needs and limits. Each class is unique and spontaneous. She has the loveliest voice, and uses it very effectively to bring us into a calm frame of mind as we start each class, to enhance our breathing, to encourage us to keep trying when the movements seem impossible, and to heap praise upon us for our efforts. She laughs easily and keeps the mood of the class light and joyful, allowing us to relax more fully into each pose. She never pushes us beyond what we are capable of at that moment in time, and makes us feel that what we can do is beautiful. We leave the class elevated in spirit and warm in body. These good feelings linger for days. I am certain that I am a calmer, happier, and more flexible (and not just physically) person as a result of my yoga classes with Julia. My family and co-workers would testify to this as well, I’m sure. I feel more confident in myself, and have a very positive feeling about enjoying and making the most of the rest of my years here on this earth. I have come to love and tolerate the peculiarities of my physical body, and I’m becoming attuned in ways I never imagined to my spiritual self. I truly feel that what I have gained in Julia’s class has enhanced the rest of my life immeasurably. Thank you, Julia! May you have many grateful students!
~ Trevelee Goodwin
“ It was years into my haphazard yoga practice that I found the wonderful Julia Ray. Things have drawn me out of my comfort zone both physically and mentally, and have instilled in me a permanent commitment to yoga and to myself. She is skilled, thoughtful, sensible, and a pleasure to work with and talk to. She knows just how and when to encourage and when to push. Outstanding master of her craft; Julia combines a passion for excellence and a current and extensive competency in diverse yoga practices all wrapped up around an infectious and positive personality. I now sign up for anything that she offers. LOVE her and all her classes. Thanks!