I am celebrating 30 years of yoga in my life! During my 20's I traveled Europe, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Tanzania, and enjoyed a couple of years in New Zealand, where my daughter was born. Returning to the US in 1989, I moved to Maine and attended a yoga class, which I recall feeling like I floated out of, and knew I had found my passion. I gratefully apprenticed under Elaine McGillicuddy, at Portland Yoga Studio, and began teaching there in 1993. Later, when Elaine retired, I led the studio for almost 5 years. I have taught yoga retreats at castles in Italy, on beaches in Costa Rica, in the jungle of Belize, and on Maine's own Monhegan Island.
I am blessed to have studied with master yoga teachers such as; BKS Iyengar Master Teacher Patricia Walden of Boston, Gabriel Halpern of Chicago, Peentz Dubble of Vermont/now Florida, and Doug Keller of Maryland. As a registered yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance since 2002, E-RYT 500, I continue my studies and keep my certification in good standing. Teacher Trainings that I offer count as credits for aspiring teachers. Most recently, I have been taking seminars in Trauma Sensitive Yoga, developing yoga classes for seniors and creating a teacher training course entitled Experiential Anatomy at the Maine Yoga Festival.
In 2017-2022, in collaboration with Lisa Walker, who is now Associate Dean in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at USM, was then Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program, we developed and co-taught a cutting edge 2 credit course entitled, Yoga and Feminism. As adjunct professor for this course for 6 years, we addressed the intersection of yoga with feminist issues: gender, race, cultural appropriation, trauma, body image, stress, de-colonization, and social activism.
Also in 2017, I joined a local non-profit, Sea Change Yoga, which offers weekly free yoga classes to underserved populations in correctional facilities, recovery centers, and immigrant community centers. Sea Change also teaches yoga classes at homes for adults with unique learning differences and for 'at-risk' youth centers, both of which I enjoyed teaching. I also volunteered to teach yoga classes for women through the program, SARSSM, Sexual Assault Response Services for Southern Maine for two years.
In 2003, I started practicing Yamuna Body Rolling® and was very impressed. This bodywork achieves the therapeutic benefits of deep tissue massage, myofascial release, bone stimulation and the creation of space in the joints using specially designed balls.
In 2009 I certified in Yamuna Body Rolling® Level 1 and 2, in NYC, and began offering classes in Maine. Further inspired by this healing modality I trained in the YBR Foot Fitness Certification in 2011, and the YBR Advanced Ball Certification in 2012, both of which I took with the founder of the practice, Yamuna Zake in NYC. I remain in good standing by recertification every other year in topics such as; Pelvic Floor Fitness, Organ Support and Deep Hip Work.
Ever grateful to my students, who regularly attend, I currently teach a Tuesday morning in person yoga class at Leaping Waters studio in South Portland and Yamuna Body Rolling® workshops monthly there, and at Scarborough Yoga and Train Your Inner Athlete. I am also teaching two online yoga classes and an online Yamuna Body Rolling® class. Every Summer I enjoy teaching workshops at the Maine Yoga Festival and a full series of yoga and Yamuna Body Rolling® classes on Cliff Island. I love to teach private lessons which are geared towards addressing each individuals' specific concerns.
"I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your Friday class.. as always. Seems to be enhanced by your thorough and detailed guidance. You are a great teacher and its beautiful to watch you do what you love and so so well."
"Hi Melora–You seemed genuinely surprised that I remembered your story about how the teacher told her students that it was not the bars that keep the tiger in its cage, but rather the space in between. I hear everything you say, and it makes a difference…has made a difference…in my life. It seems important for me to tell you what an amazing teacher…amazing person…you are. I’ve been meaning to tell you that for the past couple of weeks, but never had the chance. Thank you for everything always. Om shanti and namasté."
"I hope you have felt my gushing gratitude coming from my home to yours as I practice the body rolling. The neck and shoulder class were a breakthrough for me. Interestingly, when I left the class I still had tightness under my left shoulder blade and above it. I kind of gave up on it, thinking that nothing would relieve it. But in the morning I awoke and it was gone and there was freedom in that shoulder!! I was smiling all day knowing there was a cure!"