Melanie Gingerich believes that every body is different and beautiful. These precious bodies we have been given do not come with owner’s manuals to allow us to be present for the bliss of joys and unfortunately inevitable traumas to our physiological, emotional, and spiritual selves. Her yoga practice began in 2000 as a means to connect mind, body, and breath and over time it continues to evolve and meet needs as they arise. Her own personal journey has cultivated a passion for living as pain free as possible through the yoga of breath-supported movement to find a balance between strength and mobility. As a teacher, Melanie is passionate about offering yoga to individuals who are searching for ways to deepen their enjoyment of the human experience by engaging breath and mindfulness as a practice, both on and off the mat. Possibly the most pivotal moment of her yoga journey came after practicing for well over 10 years, when an injury in her lower back was identified and she was given the devastating news that she would “never do yoga again.” After rest and physical therapy, she became acquainted with the healing practices of restorative yoga and formal breath work. Through these practices, she continues to gain deeper understanding of the therapeutic benefits of breath work and mindfulness as a significant part of her yoga practice. Recovery can be slow and at times very frustrating, but her experience offered time and motivation to learn to develop a healthy balance supported by breath work as a priority in self-care practice. She earned her 200 RYT from Therayoga Method in 2015, and since then certifications in Restorative Yoga Levels 1&2 from Therayoga Method, Yin Yoga from Therayoga Method, and she’s currently enrolled in a 300-hour advanced training through Soma Yoga Institute. Her background includes a formal education in classical singing with an in-depth study and practice of breath and posture to support vocal range and performance, an M.S. in Communication Disorders and Sciences with knowledge and analysis of anatomy and physiology of breath to support phonation for speech production. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Melanie’s teaching style incorporates specific language to guide students through their practice while inviting observation and offering space for each individual to become their own best teacher. Breath work and awareness continue to be present in her daily personal practice and an important skill to offer students of all types. She has taught and practiced in various settings, including classrooms, fitness centers, yoga studios, and the outdoors. Her teaching approach includes holding the space for students to access breath therapeutically in order to deepen skills in seated meditation, passive and active postures, and reclining in savasana . Teaching these skills are vital in supporting access to mindfulness and breath, stretching the benefits of yoga beyond asana, and applying them to daily life. Follow her on Instagram.