Meet Melinda

A writer, yoga instructor, artist, nature lover, and wellness enthusiast my passion lies in creating programs that invite you to experience your relationship with the Divine in subtle, ordinary and sublime ways. I find moments of relaxed breathing, powerful physical strength, soulful connection with a friend, creative flow, time in nature, laughter and release of long held patterns of tension and self-doubt are meaningful encounters with the Divine; just as much a mystical experience of energy, love and opening that you might find on or off your mat, in nature, meditation, prayer or worship.

Melinda Thomas, E-RYT 500

While such sublime, almost otherworldly encounters with the Divine are important and provide touchstones for faith and growth, if they don’t effect how we think and act, if they aren’t anchored in daily living, they lose their power and can lead to a spectrum of issues from depression to arrogance. I’ve experienced (and continue to experience) both. It takes soft vigilance, quiet contemplation, the support of trusted friends, and a commitment to personal and spiritual growth to remain grounded and honest on this path. I want to help you do that.

My definition of the Divine involves an ever deepening, evolving understanding of God, a Higher Power, Grace, Love Active in Creation as understood through the roots of Contemplative Christianity, enriched by non-dual Tantra and expressed through Yogic, Benedictine, Celtic and Ayurvedic Spirituality.

My classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats and online study programs are open to people of all paths seeking deep, meaningful and real ways to engage with the world from a place of love and heart. Whether you ascribe to a specific religious, philosophical, humanist tradition or no defined path my work is to help you find practical wisdom for living into the full, creative expression of your Being.

How I Do This

I teach alignment based hatha yoga in a fluid style infused with a spiritual theme made practical for everyday living. Which is to say, I keep you safe while moving at a reasonable pace to experience precision, harmony and grace in your body, mind and heart within the broader context of life.

I lead immersive experiences designed to probe and understand some of the more esoteric, philosophical and powerful aspects of the practice.

I weave in the ancient wisdom of ayurveda for an overall experience of wellness beyond the mat.

I bridge the realms where Christian Spirituality and Mysticism (an embodied experience of the Divine) and yoga meet. As Fr. Richard Rhor says, “Mystics are not special people. But everyone is a special kind of mystic.”

I help you learn to release tension and trauma in your body.

I seek to help you (and me!) truly learn to embody spiritual beliefs and values in every part of your being and have a tangible experience of the sublime that feeds and nourishes you at every moment.

Background and Training

The daughter of an Episcopal Priest, book lover and Spiritual Director, I grew up in a family that valued authenticity of spirit, creativity, intellectual discernment and whimsy. At 3 years of age I took my first ballet class and fell in love with creative movement as an expression of Spirit. While in high school I began exploring yoga for its movement and meditative qualities  and dedicated myself to the yogic path following physical injury, bipolar depression and chronic fatigue in my early twenties.

I studied and taught yoga from the Anusara perspective for seven years. In early 2012, when I could no longer align myself with the choices of Anusara’s founder, I resigned my Inspired Teacher status and struck out on my own.

I strive to make my classes a soulful blend of clear physical alignment, deep yet practical spirituality, humor, inspiration and support. Asana is most powerful when done as a moving meditation that connects body, mind and heart.

I received my 200 hour Teacher Training at the Triangle Anusara Institute with Lila Rasa, Sommer and Paul Sobin and my 500 hour requirements fulfilled through the Anusara Certification training program. I continue to study and draw particular inspiration in yoga from Elena Brower, Marc Holzman, Amy IppolitiDesiree Rumbaugh, and Bill Mahony; in Ayurveda from Cate Stillman and Charlotte Clews; and in spirituality from Christine Valters Painter, Cynthia Bourgeault, Richard Rohr, Anne Lamott, Sue Monk Kidd, my parents and brother (also an Episcopal priest) and others.

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