Unplug & Be Mindful Yoga
- How did you discover yoga and what has it meant to you and to your life?
I discovered yoga in my senior year of college during a dark period of anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia (the universe waking me up). Simply put, it brought me back to life.
- Do you have a favorite short story about a student and yoga that has affected you or do you have a favorite pose and why is it your favorite?
I was teaching a group of women at a battered women’s shelter and when one of the women left she said ‘this is really good for the mind, isn’t it?’ It is in these moments of awareness that I know I have impacted someones life. I also love giving Reiki. One of the most profound moments in my teaching and hands on giving of Reiki is when a women broke down and cried during my Yin class. She explained that no one had been able to touch her in 2 years. I knew that she this ‘release’ would help her healing.
- What brings you the most joy when teaching yoga? I am an empath and feel the stress and weight that others bring with them into our space. It gives me great joy when I feel the energy shift at the end of class to one of peace and lightness.
- How would you describe your teaching style and how does it benefit your students? My style is based on the teachings of Krischnamacharya. Dynamic movement before static holds. It is more meditative in nature and is geared toward an energetic result using the body to access the breath, and the breath to access the mind(based on Vinyasa Krama).
- How would you describe Unplug Yoga Studio with as few words as possible? Open and filled with healing light.
- What would your message be to someone that has never experienced yoga or Unplug Yoga Studio? Empty your cup. Forget all the images you have seen or heard of what western yoga is and walk through the door.
Melissa is certified in Yin Yoga, Meridian Yoga, Little Flower Yoga Level 1, Vinyasa Krama, a Reiki Master and completed the MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) program. She is currently completing her 300hr YTT and training to become a Ayurvedic Health Counselor.
Yoga is my true passion...
The practice found me over ten years ago and has followed me around with nurturing love ever since.
My yoga experience began at Charlestown Yoga in Boston, Massachusetts while volunteering for a non-profit organization which offered alternative healing services to veterans. In exchange, I was able to take yoga classes at the studio.
I soon became a regular, sometimes taking two, even three classes each day. Simultaneously, I experienced a couple of unexpected lay-offs from my jobs in online advertising sales and this opened up some space to make what was initially a physical practice a very spiritual journey for me.
With the completion of my 200 hour yoga teacher certification in 2007, I began to pursue my teaching career in yoga. First, managing the studio part-time and then, teaching as many classes as I could in and around Boston.
This journey through my practice has paved the path for many of the challenges I would face later on in a way that nothing else could have prepared me for.
In 2011, at age 35, I was teaching yoga and running a Bed & Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard when I was diagnosed with stage 2/3 triple negative breast cancer. My life turned upside down. Planning a wedding turned into deciding on a treatment plan for the following year. 16 chemo treatments, two surgeries and 30 days of radiation is what followed.
That is what my treatment looked like on paper, but I believe I was saved because of yoga, the community at MGH, and my ‘tribe’. Students would pop up with messages of love and support when I least expected it, at hospitals, on the street, along with various other places and in moments that you couldn’t predict if you tried. I practiced hot power yoga the day after chemo with a bald head, surrounded by my tribe.
This is what yoga is, a place where we can turn things off and look inside ourselves, without judgement or ego but with vulnerability and humble love. I am 7 years cancer free, a wife and mother of two small children. I have faith and hope and yoga taught me that.
My students and colleagues continually inspire and teach me so much about myself. This is what I hope to share with you – on and off the mat.
I graduated from Boston College with a BS in Finance and although I worked in finance in my early career, fitness was always a priority in my daily life. I became a certified personal trainer and took exercise physiology and nutritional classes while still working in finance. Eventually my passion for fitness won over finance and I began my own career in the fitness industry. I have worked as a personal trainer for 24 years, a certified Pilates instructor for 17, and registered yoga instructor for 6. I love helping others to better their health through exercise and proper nutrition.
I fell in love with yoga over ten years ago when a new studio opened up in my hometown. It did not take long for me to fall in love with yoga, and I felt like I couldn’t learn about it fast enough. So I enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training program. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. As I learned the about the history and ancient science of yoga, my practice deepened. I learned more about myself, at the same time learning the “whys” and “hows” that I had been wondering about. Yoga has gotten me through many difficult times in my life. Always a constant and eager student, I continue to seek training and information that I can share with my students. I am very passionate about yoga!
Marcela grew up in the Czech Republic and has always looked for challenges in sports, outdoor activities, fitness and in health. She lives in Pembroke with her husband and their two children. She works hard to maintain a balance between caring for her family and her career.
She first stepped on a yoga mat in 2004. She admits that her first class was very different and challenging compared to her regular routine but knew right away that she loved yoga. It would prove to be a life changing experience for her. Not only did she gain a passion to instruct yoga, she also enjoyed the physical and mental benefits for herself.
Marcela earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports in Prague in 1997. She then worked for in and out-patient clinics for approximately 12 years, her specialty being orthopedic and sports medicine. In 2007, she received her 200h Hatha Yoga Teacher training through Shambhava Yoga School in Hawaii and for the past 10 years has been instructing yoga. Her certifications also include Pilates mat, Evolve and Balancepoint Barre. Marcela’s passion is to instruct Barre classes combining her knowledge and experience into different types of Barre workouts including Pilates Method, Yoga, core and upper body strengthening. In the summers of 2016 and 2017 she also studied Thai massage in Thailand where she received he 90h certification.
He specialty also includes Prenatal, Postnatal, Mom and baby Yoga, Chair and Yin Yoga, Barre classes for moms with their babies.
Marcela strives to make every class special and safe focusing on modifications or challenges. She wants to encourage her clients to appreciate their bodies’ capabilities, to educate and train them to build strength and gain flexibility along with living a healthy lifestyle. She also believes that through her instruction, her clients will see the beauty of their own body and leave her classes stronger, more relaxed, and injury-free.
Angela’s yoga journey begun when she found meditation in her early 20’s. Practicing meditation allowed her to find stillness and clarity. Her physical journey into yoga didn’t truly begin until she became pregnant with her first child in 2003. While practicing Prenatal Yoga throughout her pregnancy, she was able to connect and embrace even more to her ever changing body and baby, and simply feel good by safely and mindfully moving.
In 2012 Angela was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which shifted her perspective on life and guided her even deeper into alternative therapies for healing. Gentle Yoga moved to the forefront, allowing her to embrace the shifts in her body, and the ebb and flow of life through meditation and mindfulness. The spark was lit, and she knew she wanted to share yoga with the world.
Angela is a 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher from Sacred Space Yoga School. Her passion for learning and helping people has led her to explore and dive deeper into yoga, continuing her education in a 300hr YTT. She loves teaching yoga, and encourages everyone’s light to shine brighter, and feel nourished and whole physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She says that her life has shifted in a more positive rewarding way through practicing yoga and loves sharing it with her family and friends.
Yoga is for Everyone, and Everyone gets something a little different and special out of yoga. That is the beauty. She believes we can always use a little more fun, and peacefulness in our lives.
Angela O.- 200hr RYT, Certified Cardio Kids YT, OMBirths Certified Pre-Natal YT, Certified Senior Yoga Teacher
Katherine encountered yoga while completing her BFA at RWU. She began to study the art of yoga and found herself spiritually and philosophically connected. As she applied the practice to her life, she began to see improvements physically and within. It was her yoga practice that Katherine relied on throughout her career in Human Services, and after 6 years she decided it was time to embark on a new journey- one that allowed her to fuse her desire to help others with her passion for Yoga. Since then, Yoga has taken her places she had only dreamt of going. Most recently, she moved abroad to beautiful Costa Rica, where she taught yoga and meditation at a Retreat & Wellness center. This was an incredible experience that transformed her life, practice, and teaching. Katherine’s style has been influenced by all of her teachers and experiences; her classes urge strengthening, surrendering and continuous exploration.