We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Malick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Love. Love is powerful, and it is courageous. On Being with Krista Tippet is one of my favorite podcasts, and in her interview with Cory Booker, they talked about love in the context of civic spiritual evolution and politics. And for me, one of the principle takeaways is that “Love says, ‘I see your worth. I see your value.'” My studies of somatics and embodiment have taught me that we are always simultaneously engaging with three relationships: our relationship to ourselves, our relationship to others, and our relationship to the environment. The practices we incorporate into our daily lives – exercise/movement, meditation, breathwork, mindful eating, compassion, etc. – each play a role in shaping who we are and how we inhabit our lives. When it comes to working with the body, I aspire to infuse my personal practice and my teaching practice with love. So what does that look like? For my students/clients, that’s doing my best to meet them where they are on any given day. With myself, that’s meeting myself where I’m at, recognizing when I need to challenge myself a bit more, honoring when I need to take rest.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Yoga & Pilates teacher, and I have just entered my 9th year of teaching. I have a very holistic approach to movement. Aside from Yoga and Pilates, I have also studied several other movement modalities – including somatics/embodiment practices, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Esalen-style deep bodywork massage – and my teaching is greatly informed by these practices. I believe that movement is medicine, and I am continually in awe of the transformative and healing power of movement for our bodies and in our lives. I love to work hard, and I love what movement can do for us physically. But we’re not just physical beings – we’re emotional, mindful, and spiritual beings, too. Everything is connected. Through my public classes and private sessions, my intention is always the same: to facilitate a movement experience that enables people to feel good and to move with ease. It’s astounding how many people are living with acute and chronic pain! So, in order to get people feeling good, a lot of what I do is addressing exactly that: pain. Sometimes the pain is rooted in the physical realm and sometimes it’s an unknown underlying root cause. Regardless, all of these movement practices are just tools; the more tools we have in our metaphorical toolboxes, the better equipped we will be at handling whatever life throws our way. The global pandemic and subsequent quarantines have provided an exceptional set of challenges. Since March, I’ve moved my classes and clients online. Teaching virtually has taken some getting used to, but I’ve oddly found a rhythm that seems to be working. Facilitating this work online is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. At the core of my being, I know and trust that this work is not going anywhere. We live in physical bodies, our bodies crave movement, and movement is inherently healing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I was born & raised in LA, so I have a ton of favorite spots. For coffee and breakfast, I love Little Ripper in Glassell Park. Pre-covid, I would have taken my friends to a yoga class with Matt Phippen or Monica Ross at Wanderlust Hollywood. But, the studio has since closed permanently because of the pandemic, so maybe we would do a little Yoga/Pilates in the park instead. There’s a great, shady spot near the Silver Lake Recreation Center, which is right by the reservoir. For lunch, I love Amara Kitchen in Highland Park. At some point, we could go for a hike up to Amir’s Garden in Griffith Park. For a casual dinner, I love Mh Zh for Israeli or Viet – they have the best pho! For something a little vibier, I love Alimento or Ostrich Farm. Throughout the week, I’d also love to visit a few museums – the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City always has interesting exhibitions. And they’re free! A drive up to Malibu to jump into the ocean is a must as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Lindsay Werra. She’s the one of the most supportive, loving people in my life, and I firmly believe the world is a better place because she’s in it. She inspires me in so many ways, including through her work as a therapist, her exploration of somatics and chi nei tsang, and her unyielding passion for the environment. She motivates me to be a more conscious consumer and citizen of this planet. She’s also an incredible listener, and generous giver of sage advice.