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About Melissa

Writing has always been my first love. Finding inner peace has always been my deepest wish. Through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and writing, I fuse these practices to help others connect to their own creative spark and the peace that exists within.

I am the editor of the essay collection Going OM:

Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat (Viva Editions 2014), featuring a foreword by Cheryl Strayed, and the author of two poetry chapbooks.

 

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YIN YOGA

“The softer and more gentle you are, the better. 
Using more effort makes you tighter. You want to be 
like a glass of water being poured.” 

Paulie Zink

Yin Yoga Teacher Training in Tampa, FL 

held at The Lotus Pond Center

November 8-10, 2019

Yin Yoga Sequences
Friday Night Gentle Yin Class (60 minutes)
Sukhasana: Dirgha Breath
Neck Stretches
Butterfly
Tabletop (cat/cow)
Anahatasana
Sphinx
Tabletop (cat/cow)
Caterpillar
Shoelace Pose with Side Bends and Eagle Arms
Spinal Twists
Savasana
Saturday Morning Yin Class (60 minutes)
Centering: Supported Fish Pose (on blocks)
Stag with Twists
Half Frog/Half Butterfly wihth Side Bends
Tabletop (cat/cow)
Dragon Series: Baby Dragon, Flying High, Twist, Flying Low 
Tabletop/Child's Pose/Downward-Facing Dog
Banana
Savasana
Sunday Morning Yin Class (90 minutes)
Sukhasana: Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Butterfly with Twists
Anahatasana (with blocks option)
Sphinx/Seal Pose
Tabletop/Downward-Facing Dog (counterpose)
Swan
Child's Pose
Saddle Pose
Supported Bridge Pose
Savasana

Shoelace Pose with Side Bend

Half Frog with Side Bend

Caterpillar Pose

Banana Pose

Full images and descriptions of all postures practiced in training manual.

Music & Yin Yoga

Soft instrumental music is a lovely complement for Yin Yoga Yoga. I prefer music without lyrics, which can distract the students. For general Yin classes I often collaborate with my friend, the talented guitarist Bryan Zink,

who's music is serene and beautiful. I also play his tracks during my Gentle and Vinyasa classes --- 

students always compliment his music!

However, the practice of Yin Yoga invites dharana (concentration; single-pointed focus). Music, in this sense, can be a crutch. For students looking to strengthen their concentration and quiet mental fluctuations, no music is suggested.

Music for Yin Yoga

Friday Night Yin Yoga Class Playlist:

"At Ease" by Steve Gorn, album At Ease

"Reflection" by Bryan Zink, album Music to Breathe To

"Enchanted Dream" by Soulfood, album Yoga Groove 2

"HC 8 Bliss" by Wah!, album Healing: A Vibrational Exchange

"Ohroo" by Biomusique, album The 10,000 Steps

"Ritual" by Beth Quist, album Shall We Dance

"Om Ahh Hum" by Jane Winther, album Mantra

Saturday Morning Yin Yoga Class Playlist:

"Shanti (Peace Out)" by MC Yogi, album Elephant Power

"Healing Earth" by Anugama, album Healing

"The Flow and Let Go (Heart Chakra Meditation)" by Anugama, album Healing

"Aquarius (Crown Chakra Meditation)" by Anugama, album Healing

"Caeli et Terra" by Biomusique, album The 10,000 Steps

QUOTES

"I feel like I worked harder these past few months than I’ve ever worked before. Nothing extraordinary, really, but the stuff of a full life, a life that remains interesting by constantly challenging me.

Yesterday I took a breath. And in that breath, I felt vulnerability flood through my body. An ache that makes your heart tweak. An openness that scares you. A trembling in your upper arms. A twinge behind your eyes.

This is what happens in yin yoga. In yin yoga, you hold a pose for a long time, maybe five minutes, maybe ten. You breathe deep and settle in. You find your edge. You surrender and let the body do its own yoga for a while. The connective tissue stretches. The body unwinds, unravels. Your teacher tells you stories to keep your mind out of it.

And then you slowly come out of the pose. Your limbs remember they are part of you. And a vulnerable ache will often bloom there, right where you opened up.

It passes. You go on to the next pose. But you remember it, deep in your cells. You remember the space that exists there, below the level of bone and flesh. It beguiles and scares you at the same time.

This is the consequence of opening."

 - Brenda Miller, Going OM: Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat

"I believe that those of us who practice yoga have been sent to yoga by our pain. We embarked on this path because we had a hunch there must be a better way. We have grown tired of our perfectionism, our unhappy relationships with our bodies, our inability to love completely or be loved completely, our endless resentments and sorrows, our sense that we could become greater than we are but we are somehow blocked​. Many of us have had considerable good fortune. We were blessed with the nice smile, the right education, the right opportunities. We may have loving partners, good work, healthy families. Yet we've found that arranging our externals in just the right way doesn't bring us the happiness we hoped it would. The resting place seems to be just over the next hill. And we have grown tired. We come to yoga in the grip of avidya. We come to yoga not knowing where we came from or who we are. On our mats we find the truth."

 - Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat