January Student of the Month: Melissa Reichmann

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Our January student of the month, Melissa Reichmann, has been practicing with us for years now, coming several times a week to a variety of classes. Her dedication to her practice shows in her easy grace and alert presence. Melissa is truly a delight to be around, both as a student and as one of our most faithful volunteers.

Here’s what Melissa has to say about her practice:

“I was introduced to yoga in my early twenties when I started massage school; I was immediately hooked and had a strong practice for many years.  I loved the physical aspect of yoga, I loved the anatomy, I loved the challenge, and I loved stepping off my mat feeling quiet and calm. As life transitioned and changed in my thirties I found myself having less and less time on the mat until one day I realized I had not practiced in over a year, then two years, then three, four, five. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I found my way back to the mat. My job had transitioned into the corporate world and I was working long hours, 6 days a week and traveling frequently for work. One day in a desperate attempt to relax I made my way to Asheville Community Yoga for a gentle yoga class. About 10 minutes into the class I started to cry and continued to cry for the next 60 minutes. It was that class that reminded me what was missing from my life; my connection to myself. Over the next several months I took every class I could, began practicing loving-kindness meditation, made more time for myself and my loved ones, and found a new job.

Yoga and meditation help me cultivate a deeper relationship with myself and a greater connection to others. These practices give me the strength and awareness to let go of what no longer serves me, to stay present through joy and suffering, and to simply breathe. Stepping back on my mat after all those years was like stepping back into life! My practice is different than it was when I was in my twenties but as I celebrate the last year of my thirties I am more compassionate, more loving, and more joyful. I am mentally, physically and emotionally healthier than I ever have been and it is because of this beautiful practice. I am forever grateful for the welcoming space and amazing teachers at ACY who show up for every class with love and kindness to help people step back into life! Namaste.”