Melanie Johl is an enthusiastic and compassionate yoga instructor, movement specialist, breathing coach, and intuitive energy healer with over two decades of expertise.
A native New Yorker and the daughter of a yogi, Melanie was blessed by her guru, Swami Vishnudevananda, known as the “Flying Swami”, as an infant. She spent a significant part of her childhood at the Sivananda Yoga Center and the Sivananda Ashram in the Catskills, often falling asleep in her mother’s lap during meditation. An athletic and sporty child, Melanie began her studies in dance from an early age. As a teenager, she was intensely dedicated to her ballet training at the Dance Theater of Harlem and also studied Pilates with renowned teacher Carola Trier. This period of formal training deeply influenced her, and it infuses her teaching to this day. These foundations inspired Melanie to return to her roots after many years of working as a model and an actress, to train as a yoga instructor at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Upstate New York. Melanie remains true to the age-old wisdom and tradition of yoga by teaching in a pure and simple way.
Over her many years of teaching, she has developed a keen sense of posture and alignment, as well as a deep understanding of movement patterns. Her teaching is precise and enthusiastic, creating a calm, nurturing, and welcoming environment that makes the practice accessible to all skill levels and body types, including complete beginners. She strives to help students increase their strength, flexibility, agility, ease of movement, and sense of inner peace and wellbeing. She tailors her instruction to the needs, goals, and abilities of her students.
In addition to her extensive training in yoga and spirituality, she has studied with many Indigenous Master teachers and healers, most notably the Maori Healers of New Zealand for more than ten years. Melanie is certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, prenatal and postnatal yoga, and is well-versed in working with clients on an individual basis who are recovering from injuries or serious health conditions, including many types of cancer.
As a private yoga instructor, Melanie has toured with major pop stars and worked with actors, musicians, artists, models and business executives. She has taught at yoga studios in New York City, including the Sivananda Yoga Center, as well as at high-end private gyms, corporate offices, and at an after school program in Spanish Harlem. Melanie has led workshops and lectures in yoga, healing, and spirituality, and since the start of the pandemic, has conducted online breathing sessions to help her community manage stress and feel grounded during this difficult time.
Melanie is a graduate of the All Faiths Seminary International, where she was ordained by the late Rabbi Joseph Gelberman, and holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in Divinity and Comparative Religions. She has performed sacred ceremonies such as weddings, baby blessings, home blessings, end of life ceremonies, funerals, clearing ceremonies and other sacred rituals.
Melanie loves the arts, spending time in nature, and traveling. A few favorite places are Istanbul, Paris, Costa Rica and New Zealand. She loves to laugh, dance and to fly through the air on a trapeze which she has done with pure delight! Her motto is “to do more of the things that make you happy”!