Hi, I’m Melanie and I am SO pleased that you are here!
If you haven’t guessed already, I am a Yoga Teacher, based in Surrey, UK, and I teach across central and west London.
I believe that yoga offers valuable and practical tools to help you counter the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges of modern, busy life. I believe in making ancient wisdom accessible and relevant to your modern yoga practice, and daily life.
How I discovered yoga
My earliest memory of Yoga is seeing a definition of Yoga in an encyclopedia as a child (remember those books we had pre-Google?!) and asking my mum for a Yoga tape for my birthday. I vividly remember learning sun salutations in the living room as my cousins watched on in confusion as to what I was doing… This was before Yoga had become mainstream!
Fast-forward to 2013, I was a student living in Paris, and a friend of mine took me to a free class in a beautiful location overlooking the Seine river and I was hooked!
Over time, I became more dedicated to my asana practice and I began to meditate regularly. I quickly became fascinated by the ancient philosophical teachings of yoga and how practical and applicable they remain for our modern lives.
I wanted to further my understanding and be able to share the teachings of yoga with others, so took my first 200-hour yoga teaching with Yoga West London, which gave me a grounding in traditional asana practice, an understanding of the evolution of the practice as well as an in-depth study of yoga philosophy.
That training ignited a spark and curiosity about all elements of our lives – why are we here? How do we best live well? How can we feel better in our bodies?
In particular, I wanted to truly understand the anatomy of the incredible vessels we call home (the body!) and so I became a certified LYT Method Yoga instructor. LYT Method yoga is form of functional asana practice developed by a US-based physiotherapist, Lara Heimann, to help combat the imbalances and challenges that often present in our modern lives. Through training in LYT Method yoga, I studied posture, anatomy, how the body moves and functions, and how we can take that knowledge to build a practice that is safe, sustainable and empowering!
As a teacher, my vision is to share the tangible, practical benefits of yoga, across asana, meditation, breathwork and philosophy, to enable my students to feel freer in their bodies, calmer in their minds, and find meaning & purpose in their lives. Ultimately, I think yoga offers us the tools to find calm amidst a busy world, and what can be more powerful?!
what to expect in my classes
A true bookworm at heart, I draw on both the ancient teachings of Yoga as well as the latest thinking in health and wellbeing to offer my students more in their practice than simply creating shapes with their bodies (although we do that too!)
It is a privilege as a teacher to carry on the lineage of Yoga, passing on its ancient wisdom to a new generation of students. I approach philosophy with a critical lens and look to always connect it in practical and real terms to your daily life. I aim in my teaching to help students explore greater depth on and off the mat, as my own practice did for me. The yoga mat can offer a physical, mental, and emotional space for us to explore the way in which we live our lives.
In our daily lives, our modern society bombards us with conflicting messages about our health. We see images of supermodels and fitness influencers everywhere we look, whilst being told to maximise our productivity and continually work harder to reach success. People encourage us to work off our ‘sins’, using exercise as punishment for our diet. I believe that Yoga offers us a counterpoint to these messages, as we come to accept our body, so to can we better notice and challenge the conflicting messages around us.
I work first and foremost from a space of kindness and self-acceptance. I always ask my students to work with the body as it is on that day, and to use yoga as a vehicle for self-inquiry, by which I mentally and spiritually, as well as physically embodied practice. I invite students to explore the dualities of being vs doing, action vs reaction, strengthening vs releasing, within their own bodies and their own experience.
When was the last time you did a cartwheel? Or handstand? Or baby bear walks around the room? At what point did we lose that childlike curiosity, the joy in exploration and play? At my yoga classes, we explore all of these and more, in the context of developing strength, stability, and mobility to support our daily lives. There is already plenty of seriousness in this world, and yoga can be both an escape from that and a means to find the resilience within ourselves to live in the world. But it also is a way of finding joy! Freedom in our bodies can be inherantly joyful and uplifting, giving us an opportunity to explore our full wild, creative and spiritual beings through play.