Today we’d like to introduce you to Justine Malick.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Movement and the body have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up in LA, and I started figure skating when I was 6 years old. I had my 7th and 8th birthday parties at the ice rink, and I skated competitively for over a decade. Pilates was an integral part of my off-ice training, and yoga came into my life just as I was transitioning out of the competitive skating world and into college. I lived in Santa Barbara for six years, which is where I first started teaching yoga and Pilates. Then, I moved to Melbourne, Australia, and I spent about seven months living and teaching at a few studios around the city. I’ve been back in LA for four years; I teach yoga at Wanderlust Hollywood and Pilates at Samarasa Center in Echo Park.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I definitely would not say that it’s been easy. But, in spite of the various and challenging situations over the years, I’ve also never once questioned that is my path. After graduating college, I managed a yoga studio for a couple of years while I was living in Santa Barbara, and it was a phenomenal learning experience in so many ways. I wore a lot of different hats – I did everything from taking care of the teachers and making sure that they had subs to managing the front desk staff to keeping the bathrooms fully stocked. We also had a beautiful table of books for sale along with yoga mats, and clothes, and more. So, I took care of all of the retail buying. And then I ran the social media accounts, too.
It was a lot! And I used to regularly respond to emails and texts at 11pm. At the time, I thought that my willingness to work all of the time demonstrated how deeply I cared. And I did care so, so much. But I was 22, and I had no idea what it meant to have boundaries, and I had no idea that my lack of experience was completely being taken advantage of.
I have also had to learn how to have boundaries in regards to teaching – sometimes that has meant saying no to subbing a class simply because I needed to respect my own energy level. Other times that has meant leaving a studio entirely because their ethos didn’t feel aligned with mine.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I have just entered my 9th year of teaching, and 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.
Similarly, in order to keep people out of pain and moving with ease, I incorporate principles of flow. Ayurveda – the sister science to yoga – teaches us that stagnation is the breeding ground for disease. Think about what happens when a body of water is stagnant, it gets really gross because it’s lacking movement and flow. The same thing happens in our bodies: if our muscles or digestion or thoughts get stagnant, then we’re going to have a problem.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yes! The biggest change is entering the world of teacher trainings. Teaching teachers is radically different from leading a class or working with a client one-on-one. I have so much respect for the art of facilitation and I have such deep reverence for the teachers I’ve studied under, so this feels both incredibly exciting and humbling at the same time.
At Samarasa Center, we are in the middle of The Lab Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training, which incorporates the repertoire on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and all of the auxiliary equipment. There are six training weekends over the course of four months. It’s a huge undertaking to lead on my own, but it’s going really well! We can’t wait to run it again next year.
At Wanderlust Hollywood, I am teaching a portion of the upcoming 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. I will be teaching the Ayurveda section and a few others. Teacher trainings bring such a wonderful energy to the studio, so I’m excited to meet the new group of trainees.
- New student special at Wanderlust Hollywood: $45 for a month of unlimited classes
- New student special at Samarasa Center: $38 for two weeks of unlimited Pilates + 2 yoga classes
- Private sessions: starting at $95 in studio and $150 in home
- Website: justinemalick.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @justinemalick
Kat Mills; Martha Kirby