I chose to begin my journey with Melanie because I wanted to be able to express to the world what I already knew to be true about myself, but was afraid to openly share: that I am strong, independent, intuitive, creative, free-spirited, and worthy of people knowing that. Over the course of my years on this planet, I had learned through my environment and society that it was “impolite”, “showy”, or “too much” to be openly confident in myself. So I dimmed down. I kept it inside, except around my closest friends and loved ones. And I was done adapting to my audience. I knew I didn’t want to live like that anymore, but didn’t know how to go about rewriting those patterns.
I was practicing yoga with Mel at the time, and always felt a connection, a sparkle of energy with her, and could really see that she was embodying what I wanted in my life- a calm commitment to be her most essential self. I joined her program, honestly, because I felt drawn to her and wanted to see what she was about, how she was able to manifest in herself what I wanted for myself, too.
Through working with Melanie, I have grown to understand deeply that there is no set list of procedures for reconnecting to your essential self. It’s been an ongoing process of exploration, letting go, being scared and trying anyway, trust, commitment, and above all- support and sisterhood. I know now that this kind of work is never done- you never “arrive”. It’s a daily recommitment, and I think that’s what I’ve come away with overall- I get to choose to commit to myself. First. Always. I am worth that.
Over the past 4 years I’ve learned the value of investing in myself – I am so worth the time, energy, effort and money it takes to be my very best self. I am my best investment!!!
Before I began my journey with Melanie I felt like I was stuck in repeating patterns that were unhealthy, self-defeating, and any progress I made was met with self-sabotage in one form or another.
I always started out with the best intentions, a positive attitude, and a desire to “accomplish the goal,” only to encounter the same result. I grew weary and tired of the continual, “what am I missing, or “what am I doing wrong,” or “why does the same thing keep happening over and over?” Beginning my journey changed all of this for me, and so much more.
The major shift in my life has been putting my self-care as a priority each and every day. It took quite a while for me to learn that my self-care as a priority is NOT selfish but absolutely necessary for me to live my best life. My family has also greatly benefitted from this shift. When I’ve taken the time (whether it be 5 minutes a day or a weekend retreat away) to nurture myself in whatever way my body and heart are asking for, I’m a more attentive, nurturing wife, a more present, patient mother, and a better version of myself. It’s truly a win-win situation for all!
Learning to love myself, just as I am -with all my quirks, quips, self-judgements, curves, and fears has by far been the best gift working with Melanie has brought to my life. The relationship with myself has been the longest one I’ve had so far and will continue to be the one that will ALWAYS be in my life no matter what. More often than not, I treat myself like I treat my best friend, I speak to myself with kindness instead of ridicule, and I’ve learned that my body is actually my ally instead of my enemy. These practices enable me to trust myself more and more each day. I’ve come to realize trusting myself and my intuition were what was missing before working with Melanie.
I have found a community, more specifically, a sisterhood that will be in my life for many years to come. This sisterhood has become my sanctuary where I can be my most authentic self, who I feel safe enough to let them see the real me (in all my many forms), and with whom I feel safe exploring the many fears that rise up as a result of me showing up for myself and learning to be fully expressed.
Melanie has been the best guide, supporter, coach, and fairy godmother who knows what to say and when to say it. She has the ability to challenge you while making you feel safe, move you out of your comfort zone before you realize it and supports you while you grow and flourish. It has been such a sweet and delicious journey to have been mentored and loved by such a special soul. Anyone who chooses to work with her is blessed!
Say yes to YOU! You’re so worth it!
Through Melanie’s programs, I have been empowered to trust my intuition, prioritize self-care and embrace what I really want in my life. As a result I have found more freedom of expression, more authentic connection with myself and others and an ability to truly feel grounded in the choices I make. I have loved having a group of sisters to truly connect and grow with as we explore the power of our not-so-inner fierce and feminine selves!
Now that I am a mother, self-care has become trickier and also more precious yet with Melanie’s support I have been able to redefine my all or nothing approach to so many things, including self-care.
This collaborative relationship with Melanie has been powerful yet she never claims to have all the answers. Her coaching and support mean that she is there shining a flashlight into the darkest parts of my life and my ego, illuminating what I often already know, but is just buried or hidden somewhere deep. Together the exploration has led to lasting shifts in how I do life and a continued willingness to playfully practice further.
Before working with Melanie, I was feeling stagnant and stuck in place. There were things I wanted to change, but I lacked the willpower and confidence to commit to doing anything. During the program, Melanie was willing to help me with anything I wanted to work on, and the support from the group of women was amazing. I had a safe space, a place to just be me and be accepted with no judgement. Then there was the yoga – I was in love with it before doing the program, and I loved being able to do more of it and explore during my one on one time with Melanie. Yoga was a way for me to feel truly connected to myself, strong and beautiful. I’m very hard on myself – through working with Melanie I learned to give myself grace, that I don’t have to do and be everything, that it’s ok to lean on others and ask for support, and that I am beautiful just as I am. I also learned the importance of self care – that loving and caring for myself will support me in achieving whatever I set my mind to do. I highly recommend working with Melanie – she is a very special woman; she is very supportive, loving and accepting (and downright goofy at times) I can’t think of a better guide or mentor while exploring this wonderful journey called life.
Before meeting Melanie, I was already good enough, already loveable; but I was clueless of that fact. I operated from the belief that there was something wrong with me and that I needed to put on a front to cover up my flaws at all times. Flash forward to now, after knowing Melanie for close to a year, I operate from not only the belief that I am good enough as I am, but also a deep embodied knowing of that truth. In the first few months of working with Melanie, my head started to get that I was worthy of self-love and self-care exactly as I was. At the end of our 6-month group, however, I could tell that something big had shifted for me. I realized that my body and being now knew that I was loveable and good enough. Melanie helped me to see that I could live from my truest self, my essence; and if I drift, I can always come back. She gave me so many tools that I use on a daily basis so that I live my life from a space of love and flow. She not only taught me these things, but modeled them to me so that I could understand how that looks in “real life.” In addition to this, the sisterhood that I got from being in the 6-month program was priceless. I never felt alone while in their presence. I felt supported, seen (even when that was hard). and so very loved. Plus, we had a lot of fun 🙂 Melanie and her passion for her clients is so beautiful it made me tear up at times. I am so grateful to have had her guidance in my young adulthood. She is an amazing, sparkling, goddess of a woman who has empowered and moved me to live every day in my full expression!
“Before working with Melanie, I was really uncomfortable, almost afraid, of being in my body. I saw myself as a victim of my own life and stressed myself out with trying to control every little piece of my life and my body. I spent a lot of time and energy obsessing over the piece of candy I ate and pinching and measuring my body with my hands. I’ve been a part of Melanie’s private program and group program and feel such a shift in the way I think about myself, carry myself, and view my daily interactions. I have learned to honor who I am and what my needs are and have immensely strengthened my self-care practice. I have a compassion and love for myself that I have never known before. Melanie has guided me to a better understanding of and connection to myself. Very quickly I came to trust and feel very safe with Melanie. Every time I met with her she provided me a [metaphorical] mirror in which I came face to face with myself. Choosing to step into session was choosing to feed the part of me that was starving to be listened to and seen. Each time was a declaration to myself that I deserve the positive I seek in life. Perhaps that aspect alone is the most healing of all. That is the kind of space that Melanie creates.”
I came to Melanie at a time when nothing in my life felt certain. In fact, everything felt downright broken. I had just been broken up with, had quit my job, and felt like a complete failure in every way. There was even a day where I wondered if I would ever feel anything close to happiness again–truly. I was presented with the chance to work with Melanie at the perfect time. During the first call with Melanie, I just knew that I was in the right place at exactly the right time, and I haven’t looked back since.
Over the course of our time together, I realized Melanie and the two groups I’ve been a part of serve as a perfect counterbalance to much of the “real world” we encounter on a daily basis. With Melanie, there’s no fixing; I can be me. Even typing that out, I feel a little bubble of gratitude inside. Her unconditional love is contagious and so refreshing. I can say beyond any doubt, I’m healthier and happier now than I ever have been in my life, and that is in huge part due to Melanie. I would absolutely recommend working with her to any woman looking to deepen her connection to her body, her mind, and all those around her. Through Melanie, I truly learned how to love myself wholly and use that love to support those around me.
When I first started working with Melanie I was searching for friendship and guidance. My husband and I had recently moved to Santa Barbara, and I was fighting depression and anxiety. The move really turned my world upside down. I was invited to a yoga class by a new friend, and from there I met Melanie. I knew she was special from the start and I was drawn to her energy. She announced at the end of class she was starting a juicy women’s group. Something inside of me was called to take a leap of faith and work with Melanie. I’m so glad I did!
Fast forward 4 years later, and I still love working with Melanie and the amazing group of women who choose to be a part of her groups. I have learned how to move through my anxiety, choose my playmates, make conscious commitments, love my partner wholeheartedly and so much more. Putting my self care first has changed my life. I feel renewed, supported, confident and ever growing. Every woman deserves to have a supportive group of women in their corner.
I encourage anyone thinking about working with Melanie to take the leap and invest in yourself. It will enrich your life, mind, body, and soul.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, but the shift in my view of Myself and my world started when I took the big step to invest in Me.
Melanie allowed me to see the strength I have in myself, offering me the tools and the space to explore with a beautiful circle of women with the same goals… to find ourselves.
As I started to love the parts of me that I had always kept hidden, I could see my confidence naturally pouring out into other aspects of my life… my family, my photography… Seeing the ease in attracting more of what I wanted…
The shift has been a beautiful gradual process… The word blossoming comes into mind…
The vision I had before working with Melanie was standing at the edge of the world wanting to run across that beautiful field of Life with my arms outstretched… And now, my vision is still the same, but I know now that I can choose to take the time to savor where I am, gathering the flowers at my feet, enjoying my journey, and in the face of challenges, I can close my eyes and take a deep nourishing breath, feel the heat of the sun on my upturned face and confidently take one step forward…
Melanie has the ability to create a space for a group of women that allows them to transform and grow with each other. This is not as a result of leading them through a program, but by creating a safe, heart centered space where everyone can flower into their true selves, and really learn from each other.
My work with Melanie has come at a critical moment in my life, where I truly need the transformation she offers. Her clarity, authenticity, and deep nurturing, make it so easy to unfold into being seen in a way that has created an embodied integration of my past learning, and my truest self. I love being seen and nurtured by her, as we collaborate on my vision of who I want to be in my life.
Before working with Melanie I think a challenge we all often face is getting on the treadmill of life and just kind of doing things and being there without taking the time and space to allow our essence to truly shine through, to be authentic to who we are, or to think about who we are or what we want. For me, the practice, and working with Melanie has taken me off that cycle of repeat and allowed me space and time to pause and in doing so living authentically. I think self-care is a wonderful practice we often forget to do and that investing in yourself is the best thing you can do for your whole life. The value of investing in myself is that this is a life-long investment, literally! What I’ve taken away from my work with Melanie is a practice, ideas, and a way of life that I can and will reflect upon for the rest of my life. My time with Melanie has helped me with a lot of my own anxieties of living up to expectations and being content with who I am through and through. This has helped me with my work life, relationships, and friendships. Allowing myself to care for me and figure out the best way to do that for myself has been such a blessing and working with a sisterhood of women has been so incredibly special. You really feel supported by Melanie and the other women in your group and also feel that you can be there for your sisters. I think Melanie’s work is something every woman needs in her life at some point. Society really puts a lot of pressures on us to be a certain way, live a certain way, etc. and taking yourself out of those boxes is freeing in the most beautiful way.
Before I started taking more time for myself and working with Melanie I was very hard on myself. I was very impatient and had this sense of everything must always be done “right” with a level of perfection that was impossible to attain or, after thinking I had attained it, sustain. This relationship with myself definitely spilled out into my relationship with others where that inner voice not only judged me, but judged all those around me. It was exhausting!
I’ve been working with Melanie for 2 years and the change is awesome, not just from my noticing, but others around me. I’m softer now with myself. That inner voice that used to judge me and those around me so harshly, has become more of an ally where there is no longer a judge but a question as to what is the real motivation behind the judging – which in turn has shifted into a wonderment. We are all on a journey. I have learned to take the time to listen to what my body and being are telling me. That connected truth with always be truth.
And this is just ONE part of so many in what has shifted for me over the past 2 years.
This will be my third trip to Ojai for Melanie’s retreat and I can’t wait. Taking that time, a few days, to really spend with myself and other amazing/interesting/strong women is one of the most rewarding experiences I can do for myself. The setting is so beautiful, hiking trails are nearby, there is time for yourself, not jam-packed with things to do. Taking the time to really look at yourself and your relationship to self, it’s hard work. Having an environment that is loving, healing and supportive is a wonderful way to do it. And the food! Yeah, that’s pretty good too. 🙂
I can recommend taking this time for you. YOU deserve this.
Melanie and her program are truly amazing! Throughout the 6 months, I had the opportunity to learn to live fully and experience myself as a magnificent animal. I started the program hoping to heal myself from a painful heartbreak, but I ended up discovering the authentic me inside that is ready to be birthed. I played with feeling full spectrum of my emotions, staying present with what life throws at me, practicing little celebrations daily, rewiring patterns of thinking that I picked up since childhood, listening to my heart, and most importantly expressing myself in my essence. It’s been a wonderful journey for me. Changing the stories that I have been telling myself allowed me to experience life differently and putting self-care practices as my priorities. ” You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Melanie’s work doesn’t target a specific group of people because it is for everyone who would like to be inspired. Working with Melanie has certainly become an important part of my story, and I hope it will be for you too. “
Curiosity led me to find Melanie’s gathering of women and speakers at her Occupy Beauty event. She is a genuine spirit and her gift is working with and inspiring women. Working with Melanie’s helped me to explore and go deeper into finding self connection, mind, body and a true flow with my own yoga practice – I felt a shift in my movement. After extensive study with amazing teachers, I now experienced a feeling, a sense of settling into my body and practice.
As women, we are driven to go, do, juggle more, work more, give more, I found myself at the point of overload. I had to learn and rediscover the importance of self care, authenticity and listening again to my intuition. Melanie encourages reawakening and playful reconnecting as well as acknowledging all the little celebrations along the way. Working with Melanie and gathering with incredible women who continue to inspire, offer friendship and create a sisterhood that is undeniable and one of love and pure magic.
The first night of the six-month group program, panic rushed through my body as I thought, “What the f**k have I gotten myself into?”
Well, what got me in that dimmed room, on my new yoga mat from Ross, along with a handful of women I did not know, was the desperate need to try something new. Much of my life has been filled with shame, self-doubt, years of berating my physical appearance, “should-ing” on myself, and in general never feeling I was good enough. In addition, I believed not just the negative messages from society, but even from people in my life. I kept a tight rein on my feelings, emotions, and thoughts in fear that I would overwhelm or be a burden to others. I wore myself out trying to be perfect for everyone all the time. I had recently begun some exploration on learning to care and love myself, but something was missing in that journey.
Then along came Melanie Elkin and her work. Within minutes of meeting Melanie, I could tell she was an insightful, bright, intuitive, caring, and joyful individual.
Melanie creates a space that is warm, safe, and judgment-free to explore and play. Yes, play. I always believed I needed to “work” to make myself better. I thought that the harder I “worked” I would eventually be acceptable. With the guidance of Melanie, I learned that I could approach all my feelings and thoughts (the good and the bad) with inquisitiveness and kindness. I have had numerous epiphanies over the past six months that have aided in breaking the grips of past traumas. I am opening up to new creative ventures. I can now share my authentic self with others and let go of shame that enveloped me for so long.
I will be forever grateful for Melanie and her work!
“Before I began my journey with Melanie I struggled with choices; choices how I viewed myself, how I valued myself, and how I cared for myself. Often I would let self-care, self love, and other choices I know serve me well go to the wayside, and I would get caught up in the now or the immediacy of that stressful job, the next event, or doing what others needed from me. Since I have worked with Melanie, my choices have shifted and I am often able to set time for myself. I now choose more actions that serve me in positive ways and open myself up to new possibilities. It is not always easy, but with Melanie’s support I am able ride the ebb and flow of growing in this journey and love myself along the way.
What I love about working with Melanie is that she sees and loves you as you are in your journey, without judgement. She opens up a beautiful space for soul exploration and provides tools to help invest in your #1 asset – YOU! Additionally, you get some amazing yoga and mediation support along the way! Working with Melanie is a uniquely special experience and really brings a lightness to being. Melanie will help you grow and stretch…I recommend you see what will open up for you.”
I have participated in many courses and programs for personal growth. But this program is something else! It’s hard to put into words how it works because it is so different from anything I’ve ever done. It is personal growth from the inside out. It is subtle and sweet. It is kind and generous. It is gently challenging at times. It is fun and playful. It is grounding and connecting. It is incredibly valuable. I truly am delighted with the benefits and results that I’ve gotten out of this course.
I was a very anxious person before I met Melanie and started with her. I often had spiraling negative thoughts that took me out of my ability to be fully present in my interactions with others, my business, and my personal life.
Working with Melanie has taught me how to unwind old beliefs that were holding me back from being seen and letting myself shine in the world. I have learned more about how to care for myself and how to get out of my head and be more present in my whole body.
During the time with Melanie, I have made huge accomplishments both in my personal and professional life. I feel that so much of my success, willingness to take risks, and reaching of goals has to do with our deep work together. I feel that my anxiety has also significantly lessened in the time I have been working with Melanie. My husband notices a shift for the better in me as well, and has therefore continued to encourage me to stay working with Melanie.
The value has been in having support through the ups and downs of life. Knowing that someone sees me for who I am and is holding space for me to be the best I can be.
Melanie has a gift for really SEEING someone for who they are. She listens and notices everything. She has a way of holding space for you to grow. She does her work with a gentleness that never makes me feel as though something is wrong with me. It’s a tremendous gift that not many people I have met have.
“My life is COMPLETELY different since I did the group program with Melanie! I have learned how to live a life of balance between taking care of myself and giving out to others. My yoga practice has flourished as a result of this program. I am now doing poses and I never imagined in a million years I would enter into. I am also a yoga instructor and the mental practices of this program have definitely made me a better teacher myself. Melanie is a gentle, kind, empowering, and intuitive teacher and listener. She has a very non-invasive and non-threatening way of helping you work out your own thoughts. You will never feel like you are being told what to think and how to feel, rather you will feel like you have been guided down a path to the truth inside of you. Melanie creates an environment of love, peace, joy, and acceptance. It was a place to be vulnerable and transparent, and to feel incredibly loved and safe at the same time. I highly recommend taking ANY program or class from Melanie Elkin! She helped me change my own life for the better and I am eternally grateful for her gentle yet powerful guidance.”
Doing the Group Program has helped me to become more present in my everyday life. Learning how to let go of the need to control and think my way through everything has allowed me to discover the beauty in vulnerability. I now am able to embrace the possibility of making mistakes, which has allowed me to “play” more on my mat and explore poses that I normally would shy away from. As a result, I’ve been able to achieve new advanced poses that I never thought I would be capable of! Melanie’s program has helped me discover how to get out of my head and into my heart. I’ve learned that true transformation occurs by simply balancing, breathing, and believing. I can’t thank Melanie enough for the impact she has made & continues to make in my life.”
“I speak truthfully in saying that I have never felt so immersed in connecting with myself as I did upon working with Melanie. Rome was not built in a day and Melanie teaches that the path to dedicating oneself to practices of self-care and love are not achieved overnight. Melanie has created a comfortable space! Prior to the program, I was not interested in truly listening to my body and it’s need, what I had been doing was getting me through the day and into the next. After my first phone call with Melanie, I realized that what was getting me through the day was not generating any sense of pride or excitement. In my one on ones with Melanie, I was offered realistic approaches to how I personally could take on the struggles I felt were prevailing in my life. I learned to acknowledge much of what I had been holding in my stomach. I walked out of my private sessions feeling inspired and encouraged to remain authentic with the person I was looking to be. When taking a step outside of myself today, I see the tremendous hurdles I overcame within the six months of being involved in the program. I see a significant shift in my ability to listen to what genuinely is best for my physical health, a change in how I value and use my time, and a huge boost in the sense of self-empowerment that I not so long ago felt a lack in. Melanie has a heart with the ability to warm your soul after just a brief conversation, I can’t imagine having participated in the program with anyone else’s guidance. Her approaches that seemed so foreign to me at the onset to dealing with the mental chaos we all constantly sit with, I now implement in my day to day life. With Melanie’s help and support, I was able to filter out much of the weight that had been at the root of what felt like a one step forward and two steps back mentality. I would recommend the program to any woman interested in pursuing an honest relationship with themselves and in creating stronger bonds in all facets of life. I remain invigorated and inspired, confident and excited with all that I have to pridefully offer myself and the world surrounding me. Thank you, Melanie, for being at the heart of the latter inspiration, I cannot express greater how 100% and completely appreciative I really am”
Since participating in Melanie Elkin’s 2016 Retreat, I’ve found myself vastly more accepting of others. My capacity for the honoring of my own space and respecting others choices has finally been embodied in my life. Whereas up until joining in the retreat, living life was my practice and it was held in singular solitude. A quality of consciousness that Melanie invites with her unique genius, drew together of gathering of amazing intentional women. It reignited my generosity of spirit and expanded my inclusive awareness.
Melanie surrounds herself with a high caliber team. The weekends’ program flowed seamlessly, the meals were gorgeous. Melanie has a generous quality of listening that allows others to hear themselves. To be energized to listen and hear their own sacred truths. Yes, she is a gifted mentor, workshop organizer and facilitator. Yet it is her grounded and unique Presence that is a priceless gift. This is the extraordinary one that she offers to us all.
I was referred to Melanie by a dear friend. After a few conversations with my friend I knew Melanie and her program was right up my alley. That feeling was solidified after an introductory call with Melanie. I’ve always been intrigued by self-development and am always striving to be a better version of myself. Melanie introduced me to things (like Ayurveda) that I have always been intrigued by. She also opened my eyes and heart to new ways of thinking and seeing things. She helps women understand the importance of self-care/self-love and how to easily implement that into our daily lives. As much as I love self-development I have also feared it a little…thinking it was “hard work”. Melanie has helped me to realize it doesn’t have to be scary or hard, which is huge! She is so supportive and accepting…and most importantly in a way I’ve never experienced. I also loved the sisterhood. Having a circle of women who are supportive, non-judgmental and who REALLY SEE YOU is priceless. I am very excited to continue my work with Melanie because she helps me to align with my true essence and life path.
“Before working with Melanie I had been searching for support and for like- minded souls. I felt like I had a really hard time shaking the small stuff, I was very unsure, unconnected to my body, many years of eating disorders and body issues, phobias, and lacked the type of relationships that supported my path. After attending Melanie’s free event, Occupy Beauty, I knew that I had found my tribe: Melanie was speaking my language. From there I joined the six month program and it far exceeded my hopes for what I was going to receive in six months. I am so grateful for the connections I made with the other women in my circle. The amount of support I received from Melanie and the other women was so big that I finally quit my job and pursued my business in doing what I’m passionate about. I found healing from things I’d been struggling with my entire life; not feeling like I am enough, feeling unworthy of love, money, attention, etc. I have softened and shifted so much into a place of self-love and compassion. I opened up to listening to my body’s wisdom and allowing myself to have cycles and rhythms. A huge shift happened for me in my first private session with Melanie when for the very first time she invited me to invite my body and my being to take up space…. Take up space? Isn’t that inconvenient? Won’t that make me look big and fat? What if they don’t like me?…. But that day I had a huge release of old beliefs and energy around dimming my light. It was so freeing. It was nothing short of magical.
One big thing that I love about Melanie’s coaching is that it is gentle and soft, it’s a coming home, it’s sitting with what is and not forcing anything, which was so new to me after many years of trying to force things and be normal. Everything is an invitation and a choice, which has helped me so much to build new habits of checking in with my body and what I want. It is all a practice and I am so grateful to be learning new ways to interact with myself while having a group and a coach to check in with and share. This journey has completely changed my life, I feel stronger, more connected to my truth, supported in this life, and more intuitive. Melanie is a safe space, she sees you, and welcomes you home.”
Working with Melanie was one of the most transformative things I’ve ever done.When I started the program I had been going through the motions of yoga and life, but wasn’t quite connecting the motions I had been going through to a purpose or a specific intention. I also was in a pretty sad spot from just some hard things happening in my life over the past few years. Melanie helped me get some tools together to build myself back up in a meaningful and lasting way. This is not the quick fix! I saw myself changing mentally and physically throughout the time we spent together. My shoulders are now straighter and I approach life heart first and then head. During our time together I spent time breathing into moments that I would have normally rushed past or through. I have learned to give space to myself and to people – which has allowed me to really engage with everyone and everything on such a deeper level. My practice will continue past this program, but I am so grateful to Melanie for starting my spiritual yoga ball rolling. She is one of the most genuine and empathic people I know and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide into the new me.
“When I first met Melanie, it was at an almost-too-good-to-be-true day of yoga and sharing that she was offering for free to women who wanted to explore beauty and all that the words EXPLORE BEAUTY might mean. I instantly connected with her warmth and sincerity and felt somehow changed for the better by those shared hours and I was excited about what might happen next.
What came next was a weekend retreat that invited me to connect not just with Melanie, but with a group of women who soon became sisters in a way that can only happen in an accepting and nurturing environment–but it wasn’t just about staying safe–we shared and struggled and stretched ourselves physically and emotionally. I will forever be bonded to those women, and again, I found myself wondering what could happen if Melanie continued to guide me on this path.
One day was illuminating, and three days were enlightening, so when the opportunity to embark on a six month program was offered to me, I embraced it, aiming for transformation. And that’s exactly what I achieved. But as Melanie would strongly insist, my transformation wasn’t a matter of changing myself because something was wrong with me or needed improving. The change came with validation, encouragement, exploration and acceptance. Melanie helped me get out of my own way.
Despite a life fraught with challenges, I am more appreciative, more present and more aware of who I am and all that I have. That awareness was elusive until my time spent with Melanie. All the books and sojourns and classes before her never quite got me to the place where I am now. I feel beautiful, capable and strong most of the time, and though sometimes I lose that feeling, I ultimately find it again because Melanie helped me find my path. I am grateful to her, and thanks to her, I am grateful to…be me.”
Before working one on one with Melanie, I was her student at Power of Your Om. Initially what I thought I had wanted in working with Melanie was to explore the finer details of my yoga practice – alignment, strengthening, deeper understanding of the asanas themselves. Little did I know, (or was consciously aware of) what I really needed had very little to do with my physical practice, and loads more to do with my spiritual practice and my inner “balance”. I had recently moved back to SB after 25 years away, and I was in a big period of transition, and finding my “center’. Melanie quite quickly keyed into that, and was amazing at facilitating that growth.
Melanie is concise in her directives, and clear in her language…I still hear her voice when I lay my hands on my mat, or move into certain asanas! She knows the mechanics of the body and gave me some invaluable tools – minor but mighty, that have helped my practice on the mat tremendously. Off the mat, Melanie has helped me look at my behavior, my choices, my priorities, my time in a loving but curious way, enabling me to create space for self-care, yet also care for the others in my family. Sthira/sukha. Balance. True North. I have a much deeper understanding of these concepts, and find myself evaluating choices in front of me, to be sure they align with my purpose. Overall, Melanie has the gift of drawing out the love we all need to give ourselves. She has such compassion!
Since working with Melanie I think about my time management in a far better way – a far more realistic way. I feel more comfortable in my own skin…not that I suffered from self-hate or self consciousness, but rather that I step into life with more confidence and enthusiasm. I think she opened the door to believing in myself, whereas before working with her I would have stifled that.
The value of working with Melanie is I have become more centered, which allows me to better care for those around me, which is my true joy. Mel helped me to be comfortable in my own skin, to use my voice, to know my true north, to stand tall and centered and grounded.
Melanie has a TRUE gift. She is an empath. She miraculously taps into an inner knowledge and (gently) pulls things out that I wasn’t even aware were lurking. She holds up a mirror, but the most loving mirror, that reflects your soul, and facilitates you finding your life’s real purpose.
Melanie is truly blessed with a sixth sense. She can read you. She is an incredible listener and has great wisdom. She is nurturing yet tenacious when working to get YOU to get the most out of her sessions. I would say it is a great and worthy investment in yourself to work with Melanie!
“Before I began Melanie’s program, I was not listening to what I needed- mind or body. I was foregoing yoga class in favor of working more hours at work, and was giving most of my energy to others without taking the time to care for myself. The program made a HUGE impact on me mentally and physically! I learned to take time for myself and really listen to my own needs. I am also much more aware and focused during my yoga practice. Melanie radiates love and positive energy and that really shines through in her programs. I highly recommend working with her-it is life changing.“
I had subscribed to Melanie’s newsletter years ago and connected with her over a particular article. Immediately upon talking to Melanie, I had a sense of calm and awareness, similar to how you feel when you meditate. I knew I wanted to work with her and I jumped at the chance to participate in her overnight retreat. Her warmth and patience made working with her so comfortable and she was quick to support and guide in a healthy way. She pushed me just enough out of my comfort zone, sometimes having more confidence in me than I had in myself.
Since attending the retreat, so much has shifted in how my heart and brain communicate with my instinct. The program taught me about confronting feelings and moving through them. I listen better when my body wants to relax, when my mind needs space, and when my gut tells me “no”. My body no longer rejects my emotions and vice versa. I’ve found that I don’t feel paralyzed anymore when dealing with something difficult. I’ve also found “my voice” which may be difficult to understand, but I’m not scared (or maybe less scared) to share my emotions and fears with my partner. Overall I “feel” more within myself and I’m more mindful in caring for myself, whether that be speaking up when I need to, moving through a yoga class, or just breathing deep when I wash my face each evening. A big part of that shift was also due to the women who shared in the experience with me. Often, a piece of wisdom or an anecdote would be shared and it would be so relatable. I’m always a bit nervous about large groups of girls because you never know what attitudes will be present but everyone participating was present for the right reasons and was so supportive.
As a result of attending the retreat, I communicate better with my partner and he finds it easier to communicate with me. I’ve shared things that never would have been shared with him had it not been for the things I learned on this retreat or how I felt after this retreat. I’ve also let go of so much resentment toward myself and my family and look back on the experience with no negativity or guilt. I’ve even seen a change in my skin, from taking more time to care for myself, but I know it is something else because people have called me, “glowing” which certainly never happened before attending the retreat! The value of investing in myself has taught me that I need to take care of myself before I can help others or even be entirely present.
“Before I began my Yoga’licious journey with Melanie I struggled with choices; choices how I viewed myself, how I valued myself, and how I cared for myself. Often I would let self-care, self love, and other choices I know serve me well go to the wayside, and I would get caught up in the now or the immediacy of that stressful job, the next event, or doing what others needed from me. Since I have worked with Melanie, my choices have shifted and I am often able to set time for myself. I now choose more actions that serve me in positive ways and open myself up to new possibilities. It is not always easy, but with Melanie’s support I am able ride the ebb and flow of growing in this journey and love myself along the way.