Leap and the net will appear
— Zen saying

"Those were the words I looked at when I finally made the decision to leave my job. I had been working in the charity sector for 6 years, after completing an internship with Oxfam in 2009, and securing what I thought to be my dream job with my dream charity. Since getting that dream job though, things had changed. I had moved cities, my relationship with the man I thought I would marry had ended, and I was spending more and more of my time at work.

I often looked back at the woman I had been in my early 20s, when I had travelled the world. 3 months in Italy, 3 months in Australia, 9 months in New Zealand and 4 months in SE Asia had opened my eyes to the wonders of the world. From learning to scuba dive in unbelievably beautiful oceans in Western Australia, to getting my hands dirty (and my skin eaten by mosquitoes!) building schools on a tsunami damaged part of Thailand, I finally learnt what it meant to breathe.  

Fast forward to the moment I am sitting on my bed, looking at the card with the words, "leap and the net will appear". I knew it was time to leap. I was no longer completely recklessly travelling the world with a f**k it attitude, and I was also no longer wanting to kill myself at my desk.

After my relationship had ended, and I realised the job was not my dream, I moved back to Bristol. I started making new friends. I felt happy again. I went on an energy healing course and on my way home from the first session realised I was feeling something different - and I suddenly recognised that the feeling was interest. I was interested in life. And I knew I couldn't continue working in the same way.

I went on to start yoga teacher training, and my life radically changed. Yoga made me cry, made me smile, made me move in ways I didn't think I could, and to find stillness like I never had before. Most of all, yoga started to reveal the traumas in my body that went way beyond leaving my job.

WHEN I WAS 18, LIFE AS I KNEW IT HAD FALLEN APART.

My grandparents, who had brought me up after my mum died when I was 2, had both by the time I reached 17. I had gone from living in a happy family home, where we didn't have much money but where I was truly loved, to feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. I was struggling to pay bills, had the shame associated with claiming benefits, and was trying to cope with the tremendous sense of loss I had experienced when I had lost the two most important people in the world to me.

Ten years through the practice of yoga, the emotions and fears I had repressed since this time started to seep out. Certain postures made me cry, and I had massive resistance to others. Being with a wonderful group of women began to reconnect me with my feminine side, a side I had pushed away a long time ago in order to survive. I am delighted to now run a weekly women's yoga class and share the healing power of the circle. 

Yoga took me out of survival mode and into thriving. Yoga has become, quite simply, my life. So much more than making shapes on a mat, yoga can become - if we allow it - our guiding light, our instruction manual for our own heart, and our path to peace. Yoga can help us to heal from within, trusting in our own bodies, hearts and minds to guide us. Yoga is empowering because we trust ourselves more than external parties, and yoga is connective, because by connecting deeply to our own bodies, we begin to connect more deeply with the world around us. It's impossible to feel lonely when you have yoga."

“You are an excellent teacher, Mel – kind, inspiring and very knowledgeable. Thanks for a brilliant weekend – and expect me to show up in Bristol!”
— Kerry

Whether you are searching for greater ease in the body, more stability in the mind or a deeper connection to something beyond the material world, Mel aims to guide you to the greatest teacher of all: your heart. In a chronically stressed world, with seemingly endless deadlines, financial pressures and political tension, we become exhausted, disconnected, and fearful. Our physical and mental well-being begin to suffer and it may become difficult to find feelings of joy and love.

Yoga brings the release of physical, emotional and mental tensions and we immediately start to feel better about ourselves and the world around us. After just one class the difference can be immense! Yoga doesn’t need to be complicated - simply bringing conscious awareness to the way we move, breathe and think can be incredibly healing. Mel believes yoga should be an empowering practice for all regardless of physical ability or experience, and it is with compassion, wisdom and love that she offers yoga as a gift to be shared.

Mel believes adjustments should only be made when the teacher has a clear and unbiased intention towards helping the student find more sensation. She believes that 'advanced' yoga requires less movement and more stillness. She as a firm respect for ALL types of yoga and practices, but has found her home in more subtle based movement, breath work and yoga nidra.

She believes yoga is a political, social, physical and spiritual act. Mel feels that yoga is a gift, and the gift it offers the world now is deep healing, rest and transformation, and with this in mind, Mel’s latest project is Rest Is Radical, a project which aims to help individuals and groups to not only change their own lives, but transform the world around them.

Using the practices of restorative yoga and yoga nidra, Rest Is Radical is shared through workshops, events and one-to-one sessions to anyone looking to take control of their own healing, to avoid burn out, manage stress, and increase productivity and creativity to make their goals and dreams comes true. Mel is currently writing the book to accompany the project; find out more on this project here. 

Mel has taught at yoga holidays in Greece, run retreats across the south west of England and Wales, and teaches classes and workshops regularly in Bristol. Her most popular workshops are her monthly Restorative Afternoons, featuring restorative yoga, yoga nidra and delicious Moontime Chocolates! Mel loves working 1-1 with clients on specific needs, and finds more people in need of more deep rest.

Mel's training

Mel is grateful to have studied with a variety of senior and international teachers including Laura Gilmore (Director of Bristol  City Yoga and senior yoga teacher), Matthew Sanford (author, yoga teacher, and pioneer in adapting yoga for people with disabilities), James Reeves (the only i-Rest yoga nidra teacher trainer in Europe), Donna Farhi (world renowned author and yoga teacher with 35 years practice experience), and Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, (writer, visionary, radical yogini and eco-feminist activist), and later this year, Rod Stryker. 

Committed to developing her own knowledge and study, Mel is dedicated to her practice and study of yoga, and has trained in:

  • Yoga Alliance diploma level (500hour) with Laura Gilmore
  • Pregnancy yoga with Laura Gilmore and Ali Woozley
  • Well-woman yoga therapy with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
  • iRest level 1 yoga nidra with James Reeves
  • Total Yoga nidra with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
  • Yoga nidra with Rod Stryker
  • Restorative yoga with Anna Ashby
  • Vinyasa flow with Heather Elton

She is also a qualified reflexologist and uses this knowledge to add an extra dimension of soothing to her 1-2-1 yoga sessions.Mel is constantly seeking out new viewpoints and ideas.  She brings critical thinking to her teaching and study, and believes in uncovering the reason behind why we do what we do in yoga.