Ready for Fall! New Classes and Offerings!

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It’s been a long, hot summer in the Pacific Northwest. Sheesh. But we will endure! There is hope for coolness and hydration on the horizon. I am really starting to notice those first inklings of Fall in the air. Nights are cooler, shadows and leaves are changing. With this new season comes new classes, workshops and more!

I am excited to announce that I am now teaching with two new studios here in Portland. Love Hive Yoga in SE, and Yoga Punx PDX classes in NE. These two communities are absolutely amazing, and I am so thrilled! For more info on them, please visit the CLASSES tab above.

Here is what my weekly class schedule is looking like beginning this weekend:

  • 7:15pm Thursdays – Yin Yoga at LOVE HIVE YOGA in SE (*begins 9/8)
  • 9:30am Sundays – Morning Flow (All Levels) at LOVE HIVE YOGA in SE (*begins 9/8)

YOGA PUNX PDX classes:

  • 12pm Saturday Aug. 29th – Vinyasa with Yoga Punx Pdx
  • 6pm Friday Sept. 11th – Bhakti Flow with Yoga Punx Pdx
  • 12pm Saturday Sept.19th – Vinyasa with Yoga Punx Pdx
  • 12pm Saturday Sept. 26th – Vinyasa with Yoga Punx Pdx

Stay tuned for more workshops and offerings!

Love Love Love,

Melina

A Lifting Up

What a process it has been and is.

Illness, pain, confusion, doubt, diagnosis, guilt, tears, heartache, frustration. The spectrum of experiences and emotion of feeling like you’re falling apart, and literally and physically feeling yourself falling apart.

About two years ago, I chose to stop teaching for a while. I felt I had to give myself that space to acknowledge what was happening, and to be very still. It was necessary.Through this time, I felt disconnected from the community of students and teachers I was growing to love and feel a part of. The sense of simply *belonging* has always been mysterious to me, and for many who experience this life as deep inquiry and introspection.

Yeah, then the sitting with it, contemplation, treatments, investigation and acceptance settles in. I guess after a while of being still you either stop there, or push forward. Not pushing in a way of force, but more in a way of a pushing up and through like lifting yourself up from the inside. Sort of like a survival instinct that kicks in, but more than that. Like a love of living. A deep inner longing to be and to feel fully alive.

There has always been a roaring inside me. Energetically, something that refuses to be contained or restrained. I feel this is what keeps me going. Not by choice, but by an inner fire that is always licking at my heels and lighting me up.

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I am not beyond this process, or above it, or in-the-clear or healed of it. I am in it. Fully ablaze and aware. And it’s from this place within the flames that I can see more clearly. I see with more clarity in how vital is to BE love. To see and to be seen. Connection. It’s so important, and so vital to our purpose.

On that note, I am so happy to share that I am back to teaching more classes again. So come and practice, laugh, sweat, cry, move, be still, and trip out on the way this life spiral ravels and unravels. The group of teachers who have opened their arms to me and asked me to join them and be a part of their offering, are rising in their own way. They are just starting a studio of their own, to offer their energy out and into the community. And this offering is all about love, connection and how we are all deserving of it. Period.

Love Hive Yoga. Check us out at: http://www.lovehiveyoga.com/

Love,

Melina

*Take only what we need vs greed* Aparigraha in the Yoga Biz?

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Aparigraha is such a very important limb of yoga, and the last of the five yamas or moral guidelines or codes by which to live with regard to our relationship with ourselves, and the world around us.

The precept of Aparigraha is a self-restraint (temperance) from the type of greed and avarice where one’s own material gain or happiness comes by hurting, killing or destroying other human beings, life forms or nature. Aparigraha (Sanskrit: अपरिग्रहा), which often translates as ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’, and ‘non-attachment’. The word ‘graha’ means to take, to seize, or to grab, ‘pari’ means ‘on all sides’, and the prefix ‘a’ negates the word itself  – basically, it means ‘non’. This important moral guideline teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right. Have we forgotten that this is yoga?

I feel this is such an important part of not only the path of yoga, but if more of us applied and practiced Aparigraha in all aspects of our lives, there would be less suffering and less greed, which is an unfortunate driving force in our world and very much so in our culture. Yes, even our *yoga culture*, and the desire for MORE only leads to MORE suffering. And I am not saying that making a decent living, which is really difficult for most yoga teachers is the wrong path. Not at all!

I keep recalling something my very first yoga teacher said in class one time. “In our culture, we are conditioned to complicate our lives. We are conditioned think we want more.This complicates things. Think about it. We fill our lives with more stuff, more money, more cars, objects, things and then we want better stuff.” Or something along those lines, and I will never forget it. He also went on about how he will never try to *sell* yoga crud to us or to anyone. He is also really funny. This teacher still owns this one small, local yoga studio in Los Angeles. This same studio that also encouraged me to teach after many years of dedicated practice. And not by selling their brand or their brand of yoga teacher training to me, but by referring me to another teacher, a neighbor of theirs, who they felt I would connect with and best learn from. This teacher was my first yoga role model. The teacher they sent me to train with I respect more than I can possibly explain. They both taught me to see clearly on this path. They taught me yoga.

I am at a point where yoga culture and the the business of yoga here in the west is continuing to shake me up and turn me off. The desire for more, more, more is a sickness and goes against the very teachings of yoga. Competition is rampant and fear based. Control, distrust etc. all fear. Good people are being treated like throw away employees by those with money. And sometimes these people own yoga studios. It’s heartbreaking and follows the pattern of social conditioning that needs to be broken in order to be healed. We all need to be healed.

Yoga is Community. Not separate communities, studios or even teachers working against one another, in competition of one another. That is the reverse, in opposition and a complete misunderstanding of the whole damn thing in the first place.

We ALL are deserving of abundance, success and Love. Every last one of us.

Greed is the undoing of humanity and will be the end lesson.

I write this because I am experiencing this in my community. A community that claims to be about connection, relationship and love. Let’s stop talking the talk and start walking the damn yoga walk.

With Unwavering Love and a Sometimes Wavering Belief in Goodness,

Melina

The Seat of the Teacher

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When I was first trained to teach, I was told to take and remain in “the seat of the teacher”. I wasn’t 100% sure what that meant back then, other than always remaining professional, kind and following the Yamas and Niyamas. Looking back, I also thought I needed to mask my vulnerability and be some sort of example of something I am not. I am sensitive, vulnerable, sometimes moody and broken. But, yes strong too. Perfectly imperfect.

Today, I know where that seat is. It’s right there next to everyone, and sharing every other seat in the room.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
― Brené Brown