yoga pose


By Melody Lima


My intention was to teach fun, cool yoga to fun cool yogis.

I was 32 years old and full of hope that a yoga teacher training would guide me. Guide me it did, down many paths.

I am privileged to have taught yoga to kids, prenatal moms, adult beginners and enthusiastic adults in a very hot studio and more. Most of my yoga teaching experience has been and continues to be with my daughter close by or in the studio. My choices are guided by the family schedule. This is my teaching path; sometimes abundance is not in a monetary form.

As a parent, I have managed the juggling act of work and family like Buddha manages his smile. It is always there and some days it has more meaning than other days. This keeps me a student and always learning.

I practiced headstands when I was pregnant. Now my practice is gentler, quieter and more focused on pranayama, purpose and injury prevention. I am lucky to say many different yoga styles passed across my yoga mat. Some I embraced with a big hug, while others I fought with like a sister. My experience has showed me practice on and off the yoga mat is constantly flowing.

My meditation practice happens everywhere: folding clothes, watering the garden, driving in the suburban sprawl of NJ, in cyber space, in my creative journals and sometimes sitting on a cushion.

There is no one answer or technique that fits all.

I read piles of books, websites, blogs, and articles about what yoga is, was and might be for me and everyone else too. As an English major in college, I find books are a habit I cannot break. Besides, I do not want to anyway. I recently read a book that had nothing to do with yoga; yet it had everything to do with self-exploration.

I think about yoga endlessly. The poses, the language, the history, the philosophy, the trends, the rock stars, the music, the clothes and the sensations. I think about how yoga feels, heals and inspires across cultures and lands, communities and individuals.

I dig my fingers into paint and paper surrendering to creative expression like a child in grade school. When I look at the canvas I see Hindu Goddess, Words of Inspiration and the chaos of color and texture that rattles my mind daily.

I write to dig deeper into the texts, observing how yoga off the mat is my practice, especially when it comes to matters of parenting, aging and faith. Words of confusion, celebration, inquiry, and stillness all reflecting the daily practice of the human spirit.

All of these passions—together and separately—reveal to me the magic of intention.

Years accumulate and intentions shift. Now, at 50 years old, with over 500 hours of training, 1500 hours of teaching, an eleven year old girl who thinks she is 21 and 17 years of marriage, my perspective endlessly expands beyond firm boundaries. I have a constant desire to answer questions and question answers. I realize that yoga can be fun and cool for everybody.

I teach seniors in chairs with stained clothes and big smiles and college age adults with disabilities who know love more than they know right from left. I teach disadvantaged urban kids who will giggle and say God without hesitation. I am blessed to have cancer survivors as my students, who inspire me beyond words.

I have unrolled my yoga mat for over 15 years. Today I feel like it is just the beginning.

Join me here at The Tattooed Buddha in this space called, Yoga is For Everybody. Together we will explore, observe, contemplate and continue to question how and why our practice unravels new intentions in so many ways.


Photo: The Yoga Mentor/tumblr

Editor: Dana Gornall