“Simply put, yoga ended up saving my life.”
Meet Julie Mellk, a transformative guide who is considered a “teacher’s teacher” after spending many years as a senior teacher based primarily out of NYC, leading 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings and offering workshops, immersions, and trainings all over the world, from Chicago and DC to Nicaragua and Turkey.
Teaching with poignant clarity, precision and playful curiosity, she encourages tender attention and self-acceptance to the discovery that occurs on the mat.
Now we are lucky enough to have her in NJ full-time and, even better, taking the stage at VibeWell Honors on May 11th!
We’ve got a great interview with Julie right here for you BUT if you want to read more, you can check out a myriad of publications that have reached out to get Julie’s take on all things yoga. She’s been featured in New Living Magazine, SheKnows, Breathe Repeat, and Time Out New York.
How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you start practicing yoga?
I practiced meditation with a teacher in 6th grade, then on my own in high school. In those early middle school days, meditation created a path toward peace within. In my late teens and 20s I desperately lost that way, but there was always an unconscious thread of seeking practices that elicited a feeling of wholeness, ok-ness. I began practicing asana 21 years ago, when I was in college.
Describe the practice you are offering at VibeWell Honors:
The Vibewell class I’m teaching with Christine Rodek is Root Down to Rebound Up. It’s accessible for beginners but we would love for all levels of practitioners to come to this class designed to lead people to a feeling of non-seperateness. It’s an empowering class eliciting centeredness, calm and a connection to something larger.
What will “yoga” look like in 10 years?
Yoga (in it’s many forms) will be a staple the majority of households. We can’t escape the evidence that points to the majority of our world’s problems stemming from a heart-mind disconnection to all things being connected and equal. Yoga can help the fabric of humanity sew itself back together starting by bringing a person back to them self. We live chronically disconnected to ourselves and I think (hopefully!) the surge in yoga’s popularity is because it is so powerful in helping to assuage the struggles of insecurity that come from feeling so disconnected to one’s truest essence. It helps quiet our fears and all those trips that we lay on ourselves to bring us back (even if for just a moment) to a place of caring more deeply, of wanted to do good and be good, of understanding and acceptance, of wanting to be love and receive love.
What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?
The single? Not sure. But I think a large issue in the global yoga community is how yoga has come to equate to down dog, yoga pants, and an aspiration of practitioners to think that to be good at yoga it’s about the shape…
And probably the yoga clothes.
What is your dharma, your life mission?
To help people. Whether it’s to help people be seen, heard and understood. Or to help people feel better in their body or mind. Or more simply to help people laugh and eat a delicious meal. I have always wanted to serve people by helping them in some form.
What does your “off the mat” practice look like?
Maintaining perspective and understanding when my 3-year old loses it. This practice requires me to shift my lens by stepping back and seeing the whole picture, to listen deeply without expectation or taking things personally, to respond from a place of empathy and respect, and ultimately, to let go control.
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