Childhood nickname: Marimba Prune
Adult nickname: Melinda June. Funny how my given name has become the version my closest friends use.
Hometown: Decorah, Iowa. It’s like a small town movie set. Scenic rolling hills, limestone bluffs, and the kind of say-hi-to-everyone main street people don’t actually think exists. Throw in some hippies, some artists and some college professors and you’ve got Decorah. At 15, I thought It was the worst place in the world. Now that I’m older, I appreciate its charms.
How did you start practicing yoga: I was too intimidated to go to an actual yoga studio, so I started doing yoga with Gaiam tapes in my living room. (Sadly, I do mean “tapes”.) It took me almost 10 years to work up the courage to do yoga in public, but now look at me!
Worst yoga experience ever: Being over-propped by a teacher who wanted to be sure I didn’t strain myself in child’s pose. I started to worry she’d start stealing blocks and bolsters from other students to find enough to support me.
(she/her) Co-Owner, Yoga, Marigold Plus & Yoga Therapy
Best yoga experience: My first upward facing dog – early in our HeavyWeight Yoga training, I was talking about poses that were completely beyond me because of my size. My dear friend and mentor, Abby Lentz, told me to cut the negative self talk and gave me some pointers on making the pose work with my body. Soared right into it, first time out of the gate. I haven’t felt that powerful in, well, maybe ever.
Job prior to becoming a yoga teacher: I am a typical Gen-Xer, changing positions and companies frequently. I’ve been a temp, a retail store manager, worked for a start-up sports media company, planned major corporate events, lived in Europe and traveled the world. I have a BA in English with an emphasis in Art History, an MBA from Cranfield University in the UK and spent the last few years doing change management and employee engagement consulting. Obviously, yoga seemed like a logical next step.
Guilty pleasure: No pleasure should be guilty! I am an unabashed “Fanilow”, I love trashy TV movies, and believe tacos are the perfect food.
Accomplishment of which you are most proud: I have learned the art of resilience.
Why you decided to chuck a perfectly good career to open a yoga studio: That’s just how I roll. Go big or go home, right? Seriously, though, I know I’m not the only one out there that has used my fear of exercise or of being a fish out of water at the gym as a reason to stay firmly planted on my couch. I believe strongly that there are people of all shapes and sizes who let unnecessary obstacles keep them from getting healthier, and I wanted to create a place where we could all meet up, try new things and have a bit of fun without feeling out of place.
Pet Yoga Peeve: Competitive Ujjayi breathers.
Athletic endeavor that you have always wanted to try but are too intimidated: SURF’S UP!
Superpower that Yoga gives you: Confidence
Where was that photo taken? On the beach in Sawyer, Michigan on a beautiful late-summer day. Note: I am in a swimsuit.