Teacher feature – Julie Martin

In the third of our teacher features, we caught up with Julie Martin who encourages freedom in movement and evolution of practice.

Julie Martin, Wild Thing

Where are you from?
I grew up in Southern California, in the US.

How did yoga come into your life?
I was raised as a Vedantist, so I grew up immersed in the philosophy of yoga. As a young adult, I turned to asana practice to heal from an injury. When yoga started to injure me, I did my research and integrated insights about anatomy, natural movement, range of motion, and integrated stability into my practice and teaching.

Why do you practice? 
I practice as a way of life. Yoga becomes an anchor that happens mostly off the mat for me. What I do in movement and meditation guides my own investigation of being a human in this day and age. 

I teach because I want to liberate yogis from a linear practice and outdated dogmas and invite them to embrace an embodied yoga practice based on a sensory experience – how it feels, not what it looks like.

Why do you teach?
I teach because I want to liberate yogis around the world from a limited linear practice and outdated dogmas to embrace an embodied yoga practice based on a sensory experience – how it feels, not what it looks like. I want you to challenge asana myths that may injure or exclude. I want to EMPOWER students to own their practice, tap into curiosity, and trust the experience.

What do you offer to your community, through yoga?
Freedom and empowerment. What I share is most important in our waking moments of life beyond practice. What I coach, mentor and teach people is about patience, consideration, being present with what is without prejudice or aiming for specific outcomes. This brings us unity. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, better or worse. There is just this moment to be guided through. 

Favourite yoga pose?
I don’t have a favourite pose. I love movement in my body and approach every practice and every shape with the curiosity of a baby discovering its body and magic for the first time. 

Favourite classes on EkhartYoga?
3 Cups of Tea is my favourite of my own! I created an introduction to inform your practice through this series of classes which use the spiral action of the arm to activate spirals in the spine – and I’d love to hear how you go in your comments below the class! As a student, I love the Davids – the musical yogi, David Lurey, and the movement artist, David Kam.

Advice to new yogis?
Don’t let anyone tell you how you should look or feel in your practice. Learn to listen to the inner voice of the body, mind and emotions. Be led by your own truth and seek guidance based on experience, not rules and standards according to somebody else’s version of the practices. 

Recommended reading?

Oh I have so so many things to recommend…

Move – The Science of Body and Mind – Caroline Andrews
The Yoga Body: The origins of modern posture practice – Mark Singleton
Fascia: What is it and why it matters – David Lesondak
The Biology of Belief – Bruce H. Lipton
The Original Body: Primal Movement for Yoga Teachers – John Stirk
The Great Work of Your Life – Stephen Cope
Born To Walk: Myofascial Efficiency and the Body in Movement – James Earls
The Transformation Journey – Julie Martin 🙂 

Find more of my recommended readings on my website! 

Favourite meal?
Filet mignon with potatoes and broccoli – controversial, I know, but this is the truth. 

What do you do for fun?
Laugh at my own jokes, dance whenever and wherever, sing in the car and ride my horse. 

Stranded on an island — what 3 things would you bring?
Music, a way to play the music, and a dog.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional ballet dancer.

Surprising or little known fact about you?
I spent a month in Dubai performing in a show wearing a gorilla suit.

Current projects?
I’ve just launched my new book “The Transformation Journey”. It’s an immersive experience for personal development and creative empowerment… An embodied approach to sustainable change. This book and video course isn’t a “how-to” guide for wellbeing. If it were that simple, we’d all be living the good life after reading a few self-help manuals. This is a journey of understanding your brain and why it’s sabotaging you, combined with embodied practices such as meditation, journaling, mindful activities, breath-work, play and creativity to incite change that is accessible and sustainable. I’m so excited about this new addition to my offerings. 

Closing words?
We’re all just walking each other home” – Baba Ram Dass

Practice with Julie on EkhartYoga!

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Anna SugarmanSeeking yogini, inspired yoga teacher trainer, blessed mom, grateful wife, courageous wanderluster, academic goddess, glamorous gypsy, love lover – in awe of life, and passionate about supporting others in optimizing theirs.