Melissa

How long have you been practicing? 

On and off since I was 15 – most seriously, about 3 years.

 

What keeps you returning to your mat? 

There is so much to return to… Yoga has really helped me connect with my body after experiencing trauma and the everyday spectacle of being female. So when I step onto my mat, it’s because in that moment I’m not worried what anybody else thinks or says about my body, I am exploring its limitations, it’s depth, it’s strength and the changes that occur throughout physical maturation and over the course of a committed practice. In taking ownership of my practice, I am reclaiming myself.

 

Favorite pose? 

LOW LUNGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t get enough lunge in my life.

 

Favorite Mixx class to teach? 

All-levels! I love the energy people bring to an all-levels class. I also enjoy turning up the jams and kicking butt! 

 

Most interesting/memorable experience as a teacher? 

There have been some traumatic moments and some great moments, but I don’t recall anything so peculiar it sticks out. Teaching is truly about the slow exposure: my clients slowly share themselves and their practice with me, and I slowly develop and expose them to my teaching style. It’s a beautiful, reciprocal dance of humans releasing their guard and their ego to find a deeper, more meaningful experience in the name of yoga.

 

Favorite gentle/calming music? 

New Zealand acid jazz/ reggae band Fat Freddy’s Drop. 

 

Favorite cardio music? 

Brazilian DJs Tropkillaz! (Fun fact: I got to see them live in Sao Paulo, Brazil on an off chance that they were in the city when I was and this concert was crazy. Brazilians are known for staying up very late, so Tropkillaz didn’t come on until 2am!)

 

Favorite music to flow to? 

Anything from SOULECTION radio. Their catch phrase is “The Sounds of Tomorrow” and they have some of the coolest, best produced, independent music out right now.

 

Best savasana relaxation tip? 

Take 20 extra seconds to make yourself comfortable! Whether that means getting up to get a bolster or blanket, but putting in that small extra effort which helps assure that you can physically relax. I don’t think most people can relax mentally until they are comfortable physically.

 

Favorite essential oil to use in class AND/OR personally? 

Grapefruit oil – I’m a citrus gal and grapefruit oil is deeeelish. In class, I tend to gravitate towards lemongrass or lemon oil. But that changes as the seasons change too!

 

Favorite place to practice? 

Mixx – no other place in the world I’d rather be.

 

Describe your teaching style in three words. 

Exploratory. Personable. Evolving.

 

What sets Mixx apart from other studios? 

The VIBES~~~ man! I feel spoiled that I got meaningful relationships out of a place where I might only spend 3 hours a week at. Also, from an instructor’s point of view, there is a huge emphasis on accessibility and adaptation. I love that it is a priority for the studio to come up with ways to be more inclusive and to adapt to the desires of the community. And that I can suggest weird workshops and strange events and no one ever bats an eye! 

 

Any advice for beginners? 

STICK. WIT. IT. Nothing – not one damn thing worth doing – was ever accomplished over night. I know this as a practitioner, and learned more recently as an instructor. If it’s hard at first, then you are right where you should be. 

 

Hometown

B-b-b-b-bakersfield! 

 

Favorite quote

I couldn’t answer this question if I had a million years to mull it over.

 

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Soup! Soup! Soup! I don’t have to specify which kind, right?

 

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? 

Knife, matches, lifetime supply of clean water??