Melissa is by far the best yoga instructor I've ever had the pleasure of doing classes with. She has a unique gift to teach a class full of people on such an intimate and individualized level. She makes the atmosphere fun and peaceful, yet challenging. She gives individual attention to form and to difficulty level, adding more challenges for those who are ready for them, and modifying for those who are struggling. She creates an environment that is welcoming and not intimidating for beginners but also develops community and pushes everyone to really challenge themselves and "leave it all on the mat". When I got injured badly rock climbing and couldn't even walk, Melissa wanted so badly for me to be able to participate that she would work with me on the side while still effectively teaching the class. She showed me stretches and poses I could still do, and took my injury into consideration with each suggestion.
I took Melissa's yoga classes at the rock climbing gym where I was a member. She catered her yoga classes incredibly well to our purpose. The poses, stretching, and strengthening were specific to rock climbing. Not only was the class amazing in and of itself, but it made us all better climbers as well.
In all honesty, Melissa has ruined me for all other yoga instructors I've experienced. As much as I developed a love yoga in her classes and hated to miss, I have struggled finding motivation to attend other classes since she moved. When I go, I always find myself disappointed. Either I'm not challenged, or it's too difficult. The atmosphere is cold and distant, or it is too clique-ish.
Melissa has many unique gifts that make her a phenomenal yoga instructor and make her classes both fun and rewarding. Because she instilled such a love in me for yoga, I'll keep trying to find someone who teaches as well as she does!