Teacher Spotlight: Melissa Forbes

Meet Melissa Forbes!

Why do you teach Yoga? 
Yoga is a life-long passion. It has helped me come to a deeper self-understanding and to recognize the need for change. I'm freer and healthier in my life and I want this for others. 

What style or type of yoga do you teach?
Emphasis on breath as the medium for movement in asana, and function versus form. I teach patterns of repetition and hold, adaption of form, pranayama, placing mantra in asana, plus appropriate sequencing.

What is the biggest hope for your students?
My biggest hope is to empower students to effect positive transformation according to their condition and cultivation of awareness. I want them to be free in the midst of their experience. Outside of class I hope they practice at home. This strengthens will, and with attention to breath, which deepens connection to self, provides centering and peace. 

Who have been your most influential teachers?
UG Krishnamurti is a weighty influence. Shankarcharya proclaimed him to be a Jivamukti, a liberated being. I was privileged to travel with him the last five years of his life. Before and after my period in the company of UG, I quickly realized there was a lot more to yoga than just asana. As an artist, sacred geometry and Joytish (teachings of Harish Johari) are profound influences.
My simple everyday encounters teach me some of my best lessons and my father is a dependable mirror who shows me my patterns.  

How has your own practice and teaching evolved?
My first trip to Mysore India was in 1990 with Eddie Stern to practice Ashtanga with Pattabhi Jois. The yoga I experienced was an aerobic gymnastic asana approach, and it felt like something was missing. I knew Krishnamacharaya was Jois's teacher when he was a young man, along with Iyengar at the Mysore palace. Indra Devi was in the palace at the same time but she was much older, and her education was quite different then the young Brahmin boys. I heard he had a son, Desikachar, who had spent all his years by his father's side and knew a lot. 
I published   "No Teaching Yoga, The Authentic Guide", as an offering of my journey.   
The "Heart of Yoga" was published and Mark Whitwell gave me my first really helpful breath lesson of 'envelope breathing'. He noticed I had an ujjayi exhale but not inhale. This transformed my practice and to this day I share these simple empowering gems. 
My personal practice is more about pranayama, yantra, and building prana shakti.  
How do you stay inspired?
I take part in various supportive communities, which are enlivening.  Supersoul is one I hold dear to my heart and I'm  grateful to Brij and Raghunath.