8 Limbs is pleased to publish monthly Teacher Profiles to help you to know and learn from the amazing group of 8 Limbs Yoga Teachers. This month we profile Melissa Lunsdgaard, who teaches yoga at 8 Limbs Wedgwood and offers Kirtan with her husband Rob. Melissa and Rob just returned from a three month trip to share kirtan down the West Coast.
Teacher Name: Melissa Lundsgaard
Practicing Yoga Since: 2000
Teaching Yoga Since: 2012
Where do you teach? Wedgwood
Who/what are your teachers? Wow, I can think of so many teachers! There are the ones I love, whose inspiration is immediate and make me feel all warm and fuzzy, and then there are the ones that challenge me, who have quite the opposite effect. Commonly, the teachers I choose to learn from teach from the heart, trust themselves, walk the talk, act with integrity, serve with humility and offer a safe space to play, laugh and uplift. The lesson for me in any teaching is finding gratitude every time I have the opportunity to grow. I offer a deep bow to all of my teachers in all forms.
Hobbies/interests: I love to sing. And I really love to sing with others. Come sing with me any time. Also, adventure ignites my spirit. Whether it’s actual physical, out in nature adventure or roaming the spiritual landscape: diving, digging and uncovering new layers of self-discovery. I travel a lot, and enjoy meeting new people, exploring new cultures and spreading as much love as I can through presence, joy, yoga and music.
What non-yoga book are you reading/did you recently read? Yikes! You got me. I can’t remember the last non-yoga book I read…
Yoga book you recommend: “The Bhagavad Gita” translation by Eknath Easwaran, “The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami” by Radhanath Swami, and “Yoga Beyond Belief” by Ganga White. I’m currently rotating between these three. Each time I read them, I pick up new nuggets of wisdom and inspiration.
Favorite yoga practice/pose and why: Currently my favorite practice is my home practice. Often, I simply start in child’s pose with the thought that if this is all I do, I’m good, I’ve made it to my mat = success. However, once I’ve started, I can’t stop and so the practice continues, grows, evolves and I continue to explore, slow down, speed up, groove, hold, ground or turn upside down…which ultimately, is where I prefer to be…upside down, that is. For me, inversions offer a change in perspective, helping to remind me that there’s more than one way to look at my surroundings – physically, mentally and emotionally, and I feel lighter all around. Plus, it’s fun!
One secret that helps you stay healthy: A whole lotta L-O-V-E and a warm glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.
Currently inspired by: Chanting and the path of Bhakti Yoga, or Yoga of Devotion or Love, and the inspiring ways in which hearts burst, or slowly blossom, open, through discovery of the power of the voice and sharing in satsang, sat – “true” and sang or sanga –“company,” community coming together for spiritual practice.
Anything you want to share with our community? I love you and thank you for practicing yoga.
If you really wanna go the extra mile: In addition to teaching the physical forms (asana), my husband and I lead kirtan, call-and-response singing or chanting of Sanskrit mantra. Whether kirtan is new or familiar, we offer a warm and approachable, entertaining and inspiring space to gather, sing, move and find your joy! You can find us either holding a kirtan, where we simply gather and sing, or we incorporate mantra into our yoga classes to help us open the pranic channels of the body as we move. I look forward to singing and moving with you!
Favorite recipe? Simple post-yoga treat to excite your tastebuds (creation credit goes to one of my favorite teachers – thank you G!) Half a date, a couple almonds or crunchy nut of choice stuffed inside, add a dollop of ghee and top with a dollop of sesame seed butter (be generous). Nom nom. Enjoy!
Posted by: 8 Limbs