A couple of days ago, I asked Yoga Sol’s newest teacher, Melissa Menard, if she would like to do a guest post here at Sarahsana to introduce herself to the community, What follows are her words. Love and Light, S…
something lovely about people who practice, isn’t there? Once I recognized it, I even see it in people out and about, living their lives off the mat; it’s in their eyes, their gait, their patience and compassion… and tucking myself in to a whole community of fellow explorers on the
journey just invigorates me to my toes!
If I may introduce myself, I am Melissa Menard, and I have recently joined the lovely and passionate women, Polly and Sarah, as a teacher serving the vibrant community at Yoga Sol. Yoga is something I’ve studied as a philosophy and practice since 1998, and have been
teaching to students of every age and ilk since 2002. I have always been of the philosophical sort. Growing up in the wide open middle of the Nebraska prairie, philosophy and introspection were the best scenery to be had apart from the sky, and a girl can’t lie in the grass forever! And, also having grown up dancing, the language of the body as a
teacher was something that made sense to me instantly.
The two major influences on me as a child were church which, for me, was still the healthy and nurturing kind of church that centered around scripture and lives well-lived, and dance. Dance was introduced to me as a way of fixing my flat feet and swayed back, so these two disciplines were both, in my mind, approaches to whole-being wellness. So, when I found yoga in college, in the life and body of this beautiful, 70-year-old dancer who moved like a young woman and lived like a playful sage, it was this perfect complement to the mental and physical landscapes of my childhood. Mantra and motion, philosophy and practice, compassion and exertion, blended in a way that perfectly married my two loves!
As I’ve continued to explore the opulent hallways of yogic philosophy, it has been its ability to be a healing balm to every layer of a person’s being that has continued to captivate me. We learn on the mat to meet our bodies with grace, forgiveness, acceptance and the determination to nurture our bodies to health with gentleness and respect. And it is the effect that process has on our hearts that teaches us to extend the same grace and compassion to ourselves as emotional beings, as intellectual beings, as individuals in relationship with the world around us. (It is also this process that teaches us to find bliss in the details, and maintain our bliss even in the midst of struggle, but that’s a conversation for another time!). Then, knowing how to live compassionately with ourselves, we find we have this personalized
template for how we can best extend compassion to the people who surround us.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is how yoga changes the world! I believe that we are all lovers before we are anything else as humans. We exist in close enough proximity to each other that everything we do makes ripples that touch someone else. So, wherever there is a philosophy that teaches people to love better, to live gentler and more beautifully, and to be well and vibrant in our bodies, hearts and minds, I want to hear and share every last morsel of what it has to say! I couldn’t be more excited to be embarking on the part of the journey that will find me at Yoga Sol!! See you there!