Monday, June 8, 2009

Introducing Our Yoga Genius, Melora!

A lot of great people join forces to make sure every detail of the retreat is perfect from daily hikes to incredible meals to great classes. Melora Gregory is our in-house yoga instructor, at the ready with stretches for both newcomers and long term yogis alike. I asked her to tell me a little bit about her experience in general with yoga as well as her retreat time on Monhegan Island.

SG: How long have you been doing yoga?
MG: Since 1993

SG: What are your favorite things about yoga for you and for your students?
MG: The joy, centered feeling and connection it brings!

SG: Do you see a connection between yoga and knitting?
MG: Both foster first a state of concentration, which when sustained leads to a state of meditation. Knitting creates something beautiful and Yoga creates a beautiful expression.

SG: Tell me about your time on Monhegan last year.
MG: Friends had been urging me to go to Monhegan for years, and the magic they described was apparent from the moment we sailed into the lovely harbor! An ideal retreat location, remote, rustic, spectacular views, plenty of quiet nature time. But, the week was made most pleasant because of the amazingly diverse, endlessly interesting, and alarmingly hilarious group of knitters and yogis that attended the retreat. The excellent food and friendliness of the hotel staff was the final touch!

SG: At the retreat you work with all levels of students, including some real beginners. Tell me a little bit about that-- do you gear your classes accordingly?
MG: Most importantly, I honor where the student is at, and mindful of any physical issues, I try to gently guide them to find freedom in the poses. In my everyday life I teach beginners, intermediate level, and also more challenging flow style classes. I study regularly with Master Yoga teachers and continually learn ways to incorporate all levels of students in class, giving modifications or substitutions as necessary. Last year there were a few well-practiced knitting-yogis who wanted a more advanced class so we met after the All Levels class.

SG: Tell me about your knitting? I seem to recall the sound of one needle falling several times. Is that like the sound of one hand clapping?
MG: With patience, encouragement, and humor, last year's knitting-yogis re-taught me how to knit. Just something let go at the end of every row and tinkle-tinkle down went my needle.

SG: What's your favorite part about the retreat?
MG: The freedom from life's daily encumbrances and getting to know a group of really awesome people.

SG: What's your advice for folks thinking about trying yoga but feeling a little tentative?
MG: Yoga is a science of life, it does not ask you to believe in anything, it is a way to explore your body, balance your emotions, and quiet the chattering mind. Find a teacher that comes recommended by your friends and who knows about body mechanics and injury prevention, go with an open mind, and feel welcome to try many different teachers before choosing one.

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