Justin is a reformed meat-head and former amateur cage fighter. He brings a lifetime of travel and world’s worth of experience in battling the ego to the mat. An avid student, artist, and treasure hunter; he infuses a creativity and perseverance into his teachings, along with a distinct blend of humor and wisdom that redefines what it means to be an Outlaw and a yogi. A nomad at heart, you can also catch him as he tours the country teaching Outlaw Yoga in studios, at festivals, and in guest appearances. In July, he leads with Silvia Mordini the 8 days Pura Vida Retreat in Costa Rica.
GL: Where do you call home?
What a potentially fascinating question…Hippy-dippy yogi answer – the woods, where the heart is, where the struggle lies, in a cave, or on the sea shore. Straightforward answer…Littleton, CO.
GL: When did yoga first become a part of your life?
I don’t tell many people this – several years ago my ex-girlfriend came home one day and said she had signed up for yoga teacher training at Corepower Yoga…I told her that, “I’d support her…but don’t go getting all yoga on me.” A year later I appeared in Yoga Journal, hahaha.
GL: As a retreat teacher, what’s the most important lesson that you can bring to your students in a short amount of time?
On retreat one of the great benefits is time…taken an hour at a time, a consistent practice can gradually change your life for the better. But it is in immersing oneself in it fully that huge change comes quickly. On retreat, we’re not on vacation, we’re doing major discipline…it just happens to be in a beautiful, serene setting. Like a vacation and a monastery had a baby.
GL: What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?
Right now its Mountain pose – it can be as simple or as infinite as you choose to make it. Like life it can be an active, full-body/mind engagement or just something that you more or less skip.
GL: What’s a pose that you don’t like, or that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t have poses I “don’t like”…I do have many I think are quite silly. Stupid really. I try to avoid practicing or teaching anything anatomically dangerous like plow, headstand, or warrior I… Challenging? Bring it on. How about Down Dog, Crescent lunge, or Chaturanga? I celebrate simplicity. A pose doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective…at least for the body. The ego’s another story 😉
GL: When you practice, do you listen to music? If so, what’s your favorite yoga music?
Oh yeah! And I’m blessed to have a lot of my favorite yoga-music in-house. The OUTLAW Yoga community has put out two CD’s in the past two years. One from KenK “Everything So Beautiful” and one from Marco DiFerreria & Friends “From the River to the Sea” (both available on iTunes). I also dig on anything from Something Underground, Nahko & Medicine for the People, and Trevor Hall.
GL: Tell us some more about you. What do you like to do for fun? Do you have any pets? How do you spend your down time?
At my heart I’m an artist…My principal medium is writing, so naturally I spend very little time actually doing it. Instead I paint to avoid it. Except for when I’m avoiding painting – like now, as I get ready to put out a series of illustrations for a children’s book I’m writing called “The Amazing Adventures of Babu the Elephant” – then I like to play music… 😉