Hi! I’m Sara Melson. Yoga has transformed me from the inside out, so I feel it’s time to share what I’ve learned over 25 years of study and practice.
I began as an irritable, impatient, nervous, stressed-out “type A” over-achiever, prone to debilitating bouts of depression, self-judgment, and self-pity. As a teen I led a sheltered, repressed life as a ballet dancer and straight-A student. After graduating from Harvard, I jumped onto the achievement train, working for 10 years as an actress in Hollywood. Like most of us, my idea of success was inextricably bound up in status, ladder-climbing, social recognition, and financial reward. I was internally and emotionally lost, devoid of any kind of spiritual path or practice. I lived the “I’ll be happy when” way — dreaming of a magical future when I would someday have everything I wanted, and could finally relax.
Finding Yoga was a lightbulb moment. Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty were my very first teachers back in 1992, when there was only one Yogaworks in Santa Monica, and just a few of us early adopters in the room. I burst into tears at the end of class, and came back day after day, beginning the process of internal re-wiring that is Yoga. I had the good fortune to study early on with Erich Schiffman, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Lisa Walford, and Julie Kleinman, who led my teachers’ training course at Yogaworks.
In 1999 I was blessed to discover my incomparable, life-changing teacher, Noah Williams, a direct disciple of Pattabhi Jois. Noah’s patience, wisdom, dedication, precision, knowledge, devotion and inspiration have trained and guided me in the practice of Ashtanga Yoga for the past two decades. He has given me insight and strength beyond what I ever dreamed possible.
I also would like to thank the wonderful Maia Heiss, Magnolia Zuniga, Anne Finstad, Johnny Smith, Russell Case, Nancy and Vanessa Gilgoff (and Casie and Keiko!), Tonya Ruddick, Lila Balamane, Jodi Blumstein, Adam Rumack, and Maria Zavala, all of whom have finessed my practice with their eagle eyes and loving, gentle-yet-powerful grace.
And last but certainly not least — it was a great thrill and honor to practice with Sharath Jois while he was here in the USA. His magical, transformative energy elicited from me a new level of understanding of the practice of Ashtanga Yoga.
Teaching yoga is a natural outgrowth of my dance background, deep love for the practice, and compelling desire to help others experience the magic of self-transformation and understanding. For almost 20 years now, it has been hugely gratifying to shine the light on the path of those striving to reach their true potential. My teaching blends a multiplicity of disciplines: the power, flow, and steadiness of Ashtanga, the precision and alignment of Iyengar, and the deep surrender of Yin and restorative practices.
A note about this site: I am HUGELY grateful to the wonderful web designer Roberto Maiocchi for helping me manifest my vision! And to Lenny Lesser, Michael Crook, and Rosemarry Moreau, for use of their beautiful photos.
I owe all of you such boundless thanks.