There are many wise, talented, insightful yoga instructors teaching incredible yoga classes every day, all over the globe. But there is only one Melody White and we are blessed to have her teaching right here in our little corner of the world. If you’ve participated in her classes or taken her Samdhaana Yoga Teacher Training, you probably know what I mean. If you haven’t had the opportunity, you may understandably be a little skeptical about what I’m going to describe.
Like any yoga class anywhere, on a typical day we come into the studio, roll out our mats, get our props. There are familiar faces and a few brand new ones too. We may or may not know much about one another’s lives, but it’s safe to say that many of us are probably struggling with something, from injuries and aches and pains to depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, or the usual aggravations of a hectic day. We may appear to be sitting quietly and peacefully on our mats awaiting class, but I can imagine all our different energies swirling above our heads, filling the room.
Melody doesn’t need to imagine those energies, though, she can feel them. She tells us that it is our energy that creates the magic of the class, but of course, she’s the magician. She not only receives this energy, but responds to it and is guided by it, intuitively creating the class as she goes. The class she had in mind to teach more often than not falls away, as the “right” class emerges.
During class, each of us might feel differently. We may laugh or cry or be drawn deep within ourselves, or we may just be enjoying the physical movement or the stillness of the class. While we are each focused only on ourselves – our own breath, our own movement, our own thoughts – so much more is going on. Individually and collectively, our energies are coming together, an eclectic dissonant orchestra that Melody masterfully conducts until those energies are no longer swirling chaotically, but instead flowing with purpose, a healing purpose.
By the time class ends, often people feel that something has shifted within them; it can be subtle, but every now and then, it’s tremendously powerful. It could be that difficult emotions were finally able to be released or that stress has begun to dissipate. Maybe a stiff neck feels better and a headache has gone away. Those who came in feeling exhausted and depleted may now feel their energy beginning to rebound. I have been in many of Melody’s classes where everybody has experienced a tangible shift toward healing, where we open our eyes and look at one another as if to confirm, “did you feel that too?”
You may be thinking that yoga in general has all sorts of health benefits and must surely make you feel good no matter who teaches a class and that’s certainly true for the most part. But what is extraordinary about Melody is that she is brilliantly attuned to the energy surrounding her and that she has the uncanny ability to intuitively channel that energy toward healing. If that sounds a little bit “out there,” well, maybe it is. But it is also very real. - L.C.