Serendipitously, Melissa walked into a yoga studio and took a class on a whim while meandering aimlessly around downtown Huntington Beach in her late teens. After several years, Melissa felt the need to deepen her practice. She earned a 200-hour teacher training certificate from Yoga Shakti under the tutelage of Diana Pipaloff in 2008.
Historically, Melissa’s yoga practice moves cyclically with two other spheres: academics and aerial acrobatics. One is mentally challenging, the other is physically challenging. Yoga is both and complements both. Melissa simultaneously trained in yoga and aerial before transferring to Berkeley for a B.A. After graduating with High Distinction, she resumed teaching both yoga and aerial acrobatics.
Yoga serves as both the grounding anchor and that which keeps her afloat. The myriad benefits and lessons yoga and meditation continue to provide extend deeply and expansively to all parts of her life. Melissa strives to create space to train both body and mind in her classes. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her yoga practice.
In 2014, she completed Yoga Shakti’s 300-hour advanced teacher training while concurrently working on an M.A. from UCI. She lived out of state the past few years to pursue a Ph.D. Melissa strongly attributes her regular yoga and meditation practice at Yoga Shakti to building the focus and energy required for her scholarly studies. Back in California again, Melissa teaches yoga while moonlighting as a graduate student conducting her dissertation research.