Feature Teacher

MELANIE MOSS

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How long have you been practicing yoga?  I tried yoga for the first time in 2002, and practiced sporadically for the next few years, but really integrated it into my life in 2010.

How long have you been teaching at Prana? This Summer it will be 3 years.

What is your inspiration on the mat? When I am practicing by myself, my inspiration is definitely driven by meditation in movement. How I’m feeling, the pacing of my breath, and creating greater range of motion all dictate how long I practice, and what poses I focus on. I used to try to have this very planned out, timed practice, and then realized I found a better connection when I brought my focus inward, rather than having expectations around a rigid framework for what my yoga practice ‘should be’.

When I’m teaching, observing students in movement is so inspiring! It is very rewarding to help someone reach greater range of motion, attain a balance pose or other advanced pose that they were struggling with, or introduce modifications that create better ease and stability – everyBODY is so different, and every class is an opportunity to help people connect with their own practice.

 

What is your inspiration off the mat? So many things, but when I see other people expressing themselves in a creative way, whether that be athletically or artistically, I draw from that energy and it really keeps me motivated!

What do you like to do in your spare time?  Spend time with my family and friends doing anything outdoors – hiking, skiing, camping, gardening, or just sitting around a fire talking with friends ( with my dog Crosby on my lap of course). I love to travel – doesn’t really matter where, I just love to see new places!  I also practice a variety of Martial Arts (Aikido, Judo and Taekwondo), which through yoga, I most definitely recover faster from injuries (at 43, there will be injuries!), I have greater strength and balance, and much better flexibility. Although I took about 10 years off from practicing Aikido, coming back to martial arts and adding Judo and TKD to my practice has been such a joy, and I’m lucky enough to be able to practice with both of my daughters, which makes it that much better.

Whats on your playlist in yoga?  MC yogi, Sade, Damien Marley, John Lennon, Jeff Buckley, Mazzy Star, Brandi Carlile, Groove Armada, Moby, Jasmine Thompson, Sise, Sia, Prem Joshua, and sometimes I’ll play ‘Calm Meditation Radio’ via Pandora.  When you’re not in yoga? All of the above stuff, plus: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, The Duke Spirit, The Ramones, Imelda May, Blondie, any sort of Reggae, Tricky, Santigold, The Cult , Detroit Cobras, Heartless Bastards, INXS, Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck, Ozomatli, to name a few; so much great music out there!

Whats your favorite food?  Roasted veggies on the grill – so good!!

Name 3 movies you won't change the channel on (even if you've seen them 100 times)?  So embarrassing on this first one, but can’t. stop. watching!  Roadhouse / Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / The Mission

Whats your favorite season?  When Summer just begins to change over to Fall – put me on Narragansett beach in Rhode Island on a late August evening, when it’s too warm for jeans, but too cool to not wear a sweatshirt.  Salty Air + cool breeze= HEAVEN!

How would you describe yourself? Focused, (sometimes a bit intense), highly energetic, optimistic, empathetic, and I’ve been told I give really good advice – I can always see a situation from all sides. I can also be fiercely independent and very stubborn – just ask my husband!

Whats the best advice you've ever received? This is a tough question to answer – I’ve received so much good advice over the years (especially from my Mom and Dad), but there was something I read a long time ago, that has always stuck with me: It’s an excerpt from a poem :

…you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn...

That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers…

What classes do you teach at Prana and when?  Monday and Wednesday mornings from 6am to 7am, and Hot Yoga at 8:30 – 9:30am on Sundays.

How would you describe your yoga classes at Prana? My morning classes are definitely a bit slower-paced than the hot yoga class on Sundays, but overall, you can expect a fun, rigorous practice, with a focus on breath control, and mindful movement, with lots of modifications for all levels.

Why should someone practice yoga? Through a consistent yoga practice, you become hyper-aware of your breath, your body, and the space it holds. From there, that positive energy and ‘good space’ spirals out and touches every aspect of your life.  You naturally want to eat healthier because you have a deeper respect for your body. You begin to have more patience, more compassion, and less anxiety and worry seem to creep into your thoughts, and you find yourself being more mindful in your everyday activities. People notice the changes in you. YOU begin to notice the general increase in strength, balance, and flexibility in your body. Physiologically, it’s an amazing compliment to any other sport, especially those that focus on the ‘fast twitch muscle groups’ – like running, martial arts, cycling, or cross fit.