"MYOGA has improved my health and happiness ever since I started practicing it years ago. It has taught me how to relax, renergise, and be fully present in the moment. Thanks so much, Melissa! " - Leslie Titheridge, Wellington, New Zealand
MYOGA Ltd. was born & trademarked in New Zealand in Oct 2008 & had its physical home in a boutique studio in Wellington until Dec 2013. The name evolved from the premise of owning the practice. When you say, “I’m going to my yoga class” or “I’m doing my yoga,” my yoga becomes your yoga becomes MYOGA! Yoga is often translated to mean unity, so in this very literal sense you become unified with your practice.
MYOGA is your time to be awake & alive to yourSelf & this world you co-create.
M – manifest
Y – your
O – own
G – greatness thru
A – awareness
Melissa has woven the various sutras, the threads, of all the practices she’s experienced together into this living fabric that is MYOGA. The byline, freedom to unfold, is a measure for each thread in the fabric, as well as for the overall weave. Does this particular practice, as well as the overall structure, support freedom to unfold for all involved? Is it accessible & effective?
MYOGA is a fusion of influences woven together, including traditional asanas (physical postures from a broad variety of yoga styles--see the listing below), pranayam (breath control practices), mudras (the yoga of hand symbols), as well as meditation-in-motion, sound, laughter, core awareness, & yoga therapy techniques. There are also unexpected influences woven in, such as poetry, martial arts & First Nation wisdom. These are all like tools in a tool box, each one chosen because it is currently the most effective & efficient tool for the job at hand.
Since one of the main tenets of MYOGA is personal & community evolution, the practice itself has evolved--& hopefully continues to evolve!--over the years. MYOGA is focused on bringing yoga to the people, on making the practice accessible to the modern human Being & on developing ourSelves individually yet within the web of community.
Melissa's teaching style really focuses on the integrity of each pose--eventually building up a great flow and awesome satisfaction. Beginners, advanced, maybe complementing other practices...MYOGA is gold.
The two main styles inherent in MYOGA—Kripalu & Kundalini--are both called yogas of awareness & compassion, & are focused on the movement of energy through the body.
Below is a brief list (in no particular order) of some key influences & the qualities from each that we might experience & cultivate. Please, start adding your own & if you come upon a pearl in your practice, share it so we all benefit! I bow to the brilliance & blessing of all these sutras, threads, of lineage that weave together into the current fabric of myogaFreedom. Below are a lot of words & ideas, so keep in mind that the best way to truly know any of this is to experience & explore it for yourSelf!
Vanda Scaravelli—grow organically; feel gravity; practice like a living, growing thing; feminine balance of “inside out” to the precision of her teacher, Iyengar, who often feels like an “outside in” operator
Bapuji (Swami Shri Kripalvanandji)--the guru of Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga, who was present in his last year of life when Melissa was there at age 7—satsangha—strength of pure presence to calm others; humility & gentleness
Kripalu (where Melissa did her 200 Hour Teacher Training in 2002)—show up with whatever is going on for you thereby giving yourself & everyone else permission to be wholly human; be compassionate and persistent; build the practice by developing precision & awareness, then holding longer & staying present for the wave of sensation & then ultimately allow prana to move you
Nichiren Daishonen—the lotus/the buddha is within you--chant it, incite it, to life
Martial arts (Seido, Karate, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Bruce Lee)—earn your stripes; respect your elders & the dojo; test your theories; efficiency & efficacy—don’t waste energy; the learning starts with the senior students & as you prove your interest & dedication, the senior teachers emerge to further your path; be like water
Anusara—inquire inwards & spiral outwards with love
Ana Forrest—fierce medicine; confrontation with compassion; do the work; shapeshift out of the shit
Mukunda Stiles/Structural Yoga Therapy—break it down!; simplify & amplify
Svaroopa—deep release; support yourSelf in all ways in order to trust & let go
Krishnamurti—“freedom is now;” inquire & develop your perception (instead of waiting to be fed the answer)
Jed McKenna—further!, “Truth isn’t about knowing things; you already know too much. It’s about unknowing,” “...anyone who can understand their captivity & desire their freedom would find it possible to bring about a dramatic change in their condition.”
Kundalini—shake it down, spin it out, pump it up, swirl it through; chant; keep up; wake up!; teach only what you’ve experienced & know yourself; acknowledge your lineage
Pregnancy—develop intuition/guru dev & a conscious relationship with sensation; go bravely into the unknown; establish & acknowledge your supports; honor the opportunity to create life
Melissa’s own experience—trust the longer journey; look to nature & the medicine around/within you; change is the only constant; balance is over time—not in time; find out how to breathe big within constraint, how to fly, how to re-lease & re-source to be-cause with powa; circles make more sense; “I feel like a cross between a Nana & a Dominatrix”
First Nation paradigm—all is sacred; life works in verbs, not nouns; shapeshifting makes sense; there is no word for time; consider how your actions now affect the next 7 generations of “all our relations” (not just the 2-legged ones)
Melissa’s mother—get to know the monsters; take naps; give away; little amuses the simple; keep on keepin on; disciple & discipline share the same source (just as author & authority share a source); quit “should’n” on yourself
Melissa’s father—drugs are a dead end; freedom is a choice & a response-ability; never forfeit the dream; embrace the mystery; don’t be afraid of the dark; your mind is powerful, learn to use it well
Ashtanga Vinyasa—flow with power; develop freedom within the same sequencing done every day
Jivamukti—create with strength
Iyengar—precision; pay attention
Angela Farmer—play--animate & feel the life of the moves; undulation
Animals—play; take the yoga off the mat—be fully present through all that life is
Nature—we’re all connected & have messages & medicine to impart; sacred wisdom surrounds us if we look, listen & learn; the only constant is change so stay tuned in; circles/cycles/spirals are the koru of life unfolding & enfolding
Amma—hug the world
Poetry/language—sometimes there are words & ways to say what even words can not convey; and sometimes the body/breath itself is a prayer & a poem
You, the students who practice with me!—deep gratitude for the opportunity to work with you; be honest—we’re all human & only ever right where we are at any given moment. Isn’t that a blessing?
In MYOGA practice, we invite you to:
Our intention as MYOGA teachers is to empower you to empower yourSelf, to embody your strength and grace in this lifetime.