Just Like Om, Founder
New York City, NY
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Tell us a little about yourself.
Growing up in Seattle, I was always very active, I grew up practicing martial arts. I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to attend FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). In LA, I fell in love with yoga although I didn’t consider it as a career until I moved to NYC. After completing my Yoga certification I began exploring other areas of wellness that I was drawn to and it led to my specialization in pre/postnatal and injury recovery.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
How did you get started?
I took my first yoga class with my boss at the time in LA. Her marketing plan was to take classes at a studio that was known for their celebrity clientele in hopes of gifting them clothing from her brand. It didn't work, but despite her misguided efforts, I fell in love with yoga and it became and essential part of my life. When I moved to NY in 2013 I was so overwhelmed by my job and life that yoga became my safe space. After a couple of months in NYC, I left my job to pursue a career teaching yoga.
What type of yoga do you teach? (Please Explain)
I teach astanga vinyasa, yin, pre/postnatal, yoga for injury recovery, etc.
What do you prefer/enjoy about this particular form of yoga?
For my own practice I enjoy a challenging vinyasa flow, what I love about vinyasa yoga is that each class can meet the practitioner where they are and be as challenging or restorative as the individual needs.
Do you feel anyone can enjoy and gain from yoga?
There is a style of yoga for everyone, an instructor for everyone and a situation for everyone. Yoga is about unity, community and versatility. Everyone can enjoy and benefit from yoga, it's finding your yoga
What has yoga done for you as person?
Yoga completely transformed my life. When I practiced yoga solely as a student it transformed my body, reduced my stress and anxiety, increased my endurance and recovery time for other physical activity and so much more. When I did my first teacher training it saved my life. I completely changed careers (not immediately), improved my relationships, helped me combat addictions and depression, take control of my health and opened the door to so many new concepts and interests that now make up my wellness career and new business.
Do you feel yoga is more mental or physical?
Yoga is entirely both. It is the union of both. If you go through the motions of class without connecting mentally, you are only receiving half of the benefit.
Do you believe it is an alternative form of healing and medicine?
It is the basis of healing and medicine. Learning how to breath properly, restoring proper core function and moving with intention is the foundation of healing. Changing you thought process, calming your central nervous system and detoxifying the body are just as important, if not more so, than modern medicine.
Do you associate yoga with Hinduism? If yes, in what ways?
The traditions, values, and scriptures of yogic philosophy are based in hinduism. The western interpretation of yoga can benefit from incorporating some of the teachings into our daily lives. Western yoga has become more focused on fitness and less on the spirituality and tradition, unless you study to become a teacher, however the spirituality of yoga is becoming more present in the class as well.
Is yoga a way of life or a way to exercise or meditate?
Yoga is a way of life, a moving meditation, a form of physical and mental fitness, it is whatever you need it to be and can adapt each day to your practice. Yoga meets you where you are, you can never be bad at it and you can never master it.
What is your dharma, your life mission?
My dharma is to be of service to others, I have always wanted to help others, I have always loved learning, teaching and creating communities. I believe in servant leadership and growing my business by helping others succeed.
Where can our readers find you? (Instagram, Website, etc)
@justlikeom, @melissamieko www.justlikeom.com
When and where do you currently teach?
I am the founder of Just Like Om justlikeom.comin Chelsea, NYC. I currently lead our continuing education and teach private session in my studio as well as in home and in the Hamptons.