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I took my first yoga class in my late twenties and finally found a place where I could feel my breath with ease.  Over time, I became comfortable with my body taking up space in the room.  One day after class I felt something completely foreign to me—contentment and peace.  That summer I took a four-week embodied voice and movement intensive. The work focused on bringing awareness to sensation and vibration in voice and body to develop, among other skills, speech clarity, vocal tone, and expressive dynamics. I noticed warmth in my voice as it vibrated towards the front of my mouth.  When I felt my voice, I felt myself.  I became interested in what I had to say. Yoga and embodied voice brought me back to myself—a woman I got to know again and enjoyed being with.  These embodiment disciplines don’t only ground me in the moment of practice, but throughout my daily life when I carry over a mindfulness of sensation. They are a way of life.

I teach from a place of curiosity, devotion, and wonder of what the body/mind/spirit are capable of once integrated and engaged in the moment. There is a certain magic that happens when one feels her/his breath move inside the body and taps the stillness of the spirit.  I encourage my students to approach this space with a sense of humor, reverence, and ease.  Whether exploring a yoga sequence, a series of vowels, or a speech, my students find a way to connect with her/himself and the moment of expression feeling grounded and light at once.

I became a certified trainer of Lessac’s Kinesensic voice and movement work in 2010.  I became a certified yoga teacher in 2012 from Sun and Moon Yoga Studio in Arlington, VA and deepened my yoga studies in their 500-hour program in 2016. I have taught voice at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Sydney) and George Mason University (Fairfax, VA).  I have taught many levels of yoga at Sun and Moon Yoga, including prenatal, postnatal, and vinyasa; Rivers Edge Yoga in Alexandria; and currently teach at Heartspace Yoga in Albany and Troy, NY.

Students can expect that I will care for their experience and find ways to deepen their understanding of sensation in the expressive moment so they can find a connection to themselves. Once a student taps into authentic expression, whether in a yoga pose or a monologue, she/he begins to trust the process. I offer tools for self-teaching and self-awareness so the student continues to ground her/himself more and more over time.

To see Melissa's CV, click here