Hi, I’m Mel. I’m a native New Yorker who grew up in Queens and went to a Quaker boarding school in upstate New York. My style is pretty much the sum of those two things… I’m a tough-talking New Yorker with the kindness of a Quaker. And, of course, I’m a Yogi, committed to building an authentic, compassionate, healthy life, and to helping my students on their own journeys as well.
I teach a strong breath-centered and alignment-based vinyasa class with lots of hands-on adjustments. I’m known for my playlists, which I put a lot of love and energy into. I craft them to insure the best possible experience for you. In my class you will hear everything from Eric B and Rakim to Krishna Das. I hope you’ll find an old song you once loved but forgot about, or a new song to inspire you.
The first time I stepped onto a Yoga mat was in 1995, while I was living in Los Angeles and working in Hollywood as a P.A. on MadTV. It took two classes and I was hooked.
“Mel’s classes are like she’s kicking your ass while hugging you at the same time” —Maya, yoga student
I began a 6-day-a-week vinyasa practice before returning home to NYC. In 2004 I completed my first teacher training and became Yoga Alliance certified. In 2005 I went back to LA to do a second training with Max Strom. He is the absolute master of breath, and the connection between our breath, mind, and body. It was through his kindness and open heart that I realized the kind of teacher I wanted to be. I have been studying with Max and numerous other teachers ever since.
Alignment is my passion as a teacher. I recently completed a 100-hour Advanced Anatomy training with Physioglobal Yoga in the fall of 2015 and a 16-hour Restorative training with Jillian Pransky in the winter of 2016. My quest is always to help each student deepen their practice by finding what works for their individual body.
In 2008 I opened up Yoga High, a vinyasa studio on the Lower East Side, along with my friend and fellow Yoga teacher Liz Buehler Walker. We hosted a thriving community from 2008-2015, at which point the logistics of running a Yoga studio in New York City became impractical. The Yoga High community continues to hold an important place in my life, and I’m still teaching many of those students today in classes around the city and on Yoga retreats.
I now teach regular classes at Yoga Works and the beautiful Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel, and I also rent space to teach a weekly Saturday morning class at the conveniently located ABC Sanctuary in the heart of the East Village.