Spring 2022 issue of The Point Wells Crier featured an article:
Mel's Yoga Journey
Mel taught yoga in Point Wells for 8 years, initially in the Point Wells Bowling Club rooms, before moving to Bali Gardens where she established a wellness centre offering massage and beauty treatments as well as yoga.
During the first COVID-19 Level 4 Lockdown, Mel provided yoga classes via Zoom - thereby saving the sanity of many locals! (Only a voluntary koha was asked for). Living in Pakiri at the time, the internet connection was sometimes sketchy, so there were times Mel had to drive down the road to find a good signal and from there proceeded to teach yoga from the boot of her car. Even from there, there was little she missed when students needed guidance in certain poses.
Now based in Matakana Village, Mel continues to teach Ashtanga and Yin yoga classes, as well as Slow Flow sessions. Her boutique yoga studio means small classes with individual attention for all students. Adjacent to the yoga room is a treatment room for massages, facials and waxing.
Mel’s curiosity in yoga started as a 12-year-old, while living on Kawau Island when she discovered a green- covered book titled “Yoga” amongst her father’s book collection. Therein lay an inspiring story about a young Indian boy who was so unwell doctors didn’t think he would survive. His mum nursed him through his sickness and, as he began practicing pranayama (breathing) and asana (poses), he started to get better, eventually returning to optimum health.
Mel attended her first yoga class at age 18. She found all the poses physically difficult and noticed how this also tested her mentally.
Over the next few years, she dabbled in different classes and different styles before signing up for a 200hr RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) Training in 2006 at Ashram Yoga in Parnell where a very classical, traditional approach to yoga was taught.
Mel continued with her self-practice and exploration, and came across her first Ashtanga Vinyasa full primary led class. Going into this class she felt confident and slightly cocky after all the training, learning and self- practice she had experienced. Coming out of this class she felt completely humbled. Ashtanga Vinyasa is a dynamic, intense yoga style that is challenging, regardless of your previous yoga experience or level. Walking home after that class, as well as feeling humbled, she also felt energised and full of endorphins. From that day on she knew she had found the yoga style that resonated with her best - Ashtanga Yoga.
Continuing to search for deeper learning opportunities, Mel travelled to Thailand and attended an Ashtanga Yoga retreat on Ko Samui, which again tested her humility - practicing yoga in Thailand is like doing hot yoga; not for the faint-hearted!
On her return to NZ, Mel began teaching weekly private sessions to a small group, which she continued to do through her first pregnancy and with a small baby, but it wasn’t until moving to Point Wells in 2013 that she started teaching regular classes.
Committed to continuing education and her own yoga journey, in 2017 Mel completed another registered 200hr RYT training, this time specialising in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Yin Yoga.
Mel currently teaches 5 weekly yoga classes, which are open to all, and two private corporate yoga sessions. She also offers massage training courses, yoga training and workshops. Guest teachers join her for specialised sessions, ranging from meditation to breathwork and other unique yoga styles.
Her teaching approach is traditional with no frills. Mel creates a nurturing environment where all ages and fitness levels are welcome and can feel supported; through gentle encouragement, everyone can move, breathe and feel connected.