One person to ignite a passion inside of you and change the course of your life. When I was 10 I met my first dance teacher, Miss Shawn. I instantly knew that dance would be my “thing”! She made my first year fun, exciting & lead me to continue on with the other amazing teachers at the studio until I was a sobbing mess after my senior dance saying goodbye! When I was 17, I met my first college dance professor, Barb. To be honest, she scared the shit out of me! She was fearless, captivating & with my other professor, fueled a college dance career that I will never forget, and often times want to go back to. Those two women ignited a passion inside me to do what I love and to continue teaching what I love to my students! I can’t even begin to imagine my life taking a different course, and really don’t want to.
Fast forward to 2016 when my friend asked me to join her at her husband’s ex-girlfriend’s 6:00am yoga class! I had taken yoga classes before and it felt good, but was very “eh” about it. Take it or leave it, nothing too exciting. Well, I must admit my curiosity about the “husband’s ex-girlfriend” totally got me there. What I didn’t know is an hour later I would be ringing out sweat from every inch of my clothing and feeling like I had just gone to a week of therapy! This is how I met Melissa. I was at the peak of anxiety rearing it’s ugly head into my life. I was a mess and I didn’t sleep anyways, so I started going to her classes consistently. I was hooked! It’s hard to describe what her class is like without experiencing it yourself, but it’s like using every ounce of strength you THINK you have, only to be told to do more, followed by an overwhelming feeling of power that gets you to the end feeling stronger than ever. This mixed with her mindful words & perfectly curated playlist and I’m pretty sure she’s a psychic and knows what everyone in the class needs.
Last week I was riding the struggle bus physically. I felt completely beaten down and then the song “Higher” came on by Creed. Now tell me who has EVER put that song on a playlist past the year 2000? It was one of those songs I would sing on the radio, but didn’t really know why I was singing it because I didn’t REALLY love it. Well, there I was “flipping my dog”, feeling like a wreck and I actually listened to the words.
Although I would like our world to change
It helps me to appreciate
Those nights and those dreams
But, my friend, I’d sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate
And there it was. What I was trying to do in life. Trying to help change the world one act of love/kindness at a time. WHY didn’t I pay attention to this song before and why was I actually tearing up to a song by Creed? Mix this with Melissa talking about always having our “pilot lights” on and burning inside of us and I ended the class in tears. Thankfully after her class there is so much sweat that the tears kinda just blend in! Melissa was having a conversation with another student as I was leaving so I mentioned to her husband what a badass she is. He started to tell me about the amount of time she takes to thoughtfully create not only her lessons, but also her playlists at home so they combine perfectly together. I chuckled in my head because here I was crying during a Creed song. (I mean, again, a Creed song!) But he was right, she did it perfectly and you bet your ass I blasted that song the entire way home.
Her passion & energy for teaching others ignited a passion in me to start my yoga practice and a hope to someday accomplish my teacher training too! So today, on Teacher Appreciation Day, I’m giving a shoutout to one of the best! Thank you, Melissa.
It’s amazing how just one person can impact your life. And if you can’t find someone to fuel your passions, then teach yourself and ignite a passion in the heart of someone else. We all have the ability to teach and change the lives of ourselves and others, so let’s not take that lightly.
And if any of you EVER have an opportunity to take a class from her, I’m telling you to DO IT! (see times below) It might just change the course of your day or even life!
(Now let’s never speak of this again so I don’t start crying in class!)
And I’ll end it with a little Creed for you all to enjoy on this beautiful day!
Join Melissa at:
TRUE yoga – Wednesday’s 9:30-10:35am
Shri yoga – Fridays 6:00am-7:00am