Team Player of the month: Melissa Van Orman

September marks two years since I left my job to be a full time yoga teacher. Prior, I balanced time at the studio with time in a cube crafting government health communication campaigns. While my day job focused on creating social change, I was continually impressed by the often dramatic personal changes I saw occurring at the yoga studio—people changing their diets, improving relationships, taking the plunge to do what they love. I realized that as a yoga teacher I could help be part of creating real and lasting change in people’s lives. So I too made a change. Quitting my job was the gutsiest but best move I’ve ever made.

This milestone still feels way too fresh to be considered an anniversary. Each class is such a joy and the TS community amazes me everyday. Though I am still early on this path, the past two years have codified a few key insights:

You need to sweat. From the beginning I was fascinated by the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga, but recoiled anytime the class got physically hard. Chatarunga? No way! Getting stronger was one of the most healing experiences of my life. It also instilled in me a great respect for the 8-limb path of yoga, which teaches movement, breath, and moral behavior as precursors for deeper practice. Once I started to challenge myself physically, the philosophical teachings made a lot more sense.

Be wary of dogma. I cant’ tell you how many times I’ve been promised everything will be solved if I followed so and so’s rules. It’s important to learn, explore, and create our own rules. Our lives are too complex for cookie cutter approaches. Learn as much as you can. Adopt what works. Create your own path.

Eat plants! Eat as many as you can in as many colors. I really feel a difference in my yoga practice when I eat a plant-strong, low-sugar diet.

See you on the mat! Namaste.

One thought on “Team Player of the month: Melissa Van Orman

  1. REM Runner

    September 1, 2011 at 2:52pm

    Melissa is such a fabulous yoga teacher – her classes have definitely helped my personal transformation. It’s so nice to learn more about her! Thank you for sharing.

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