EYS is proud to include Melissa Smith as a co-lead for the 200-hour training this year! Melissa is an integral part of the Tulsa yoga community – and beyond. She is also part of the EYS mentoring program and is Executive Director of the Attic Conversations. She’s a busy mom, a practicing yogini, and has a passion that shines through her entire being. We recently caught up with her to ask her a few questions, so we can get to know her better…
Tell us something we don’t know about you yet.
I grew up on airports, and my first job was actually being a manifest for a skydive drop zone.
My dad is an instructor pilot and flew the jump plane for a little drop zone in Alabama when I was a young kid. When most kids were learning how to ride a bike with 2 wheels, I was learning how to fly small planes, and hanging out with crazy people who jumped out of them. One of my very first memories was sitting on a red, plaid blanket eating a picnic lunch of KFC chicken and watching the parachutes float down to earth.
I only worked for one summer at the drop zone (my 16-year-old self may have been a little too shy and soft-spoken to organize a bunch of rowdy skydivers). However, my brother is a tandem instructor there now, and I did my first skydive with him at the place where I had my first job. It was a sweet moment and I look forward to my next jump!
Why are you drawn to be involved with EYS?
I feel Everyone Yoga School gives a great education in the ancient roots of yoga, as well as how to be a successful teacher in our modern age. Teacher trainees are given a great introduction to yoga philosophy as well as how to lead a safe and effective public class. One thing I really appreciate about the EYS model is that it is not just asana (or poses). Mudra, mantra, meditation, and movement are all taught to give the teacher trainees a well-rounded tool box to pull from, for their personal practice or their teaching practice.
I love the fact that the EYS model is non-dogmatic—there is no one way to do things. I love that the teacher trainees get to learn from many voices and perspectives and are given the opportunity to find what works for their unique teaching practice. You can go through EYS and gain the skills to become a fierce hot power yoga teacher or a soft, sensitive restorative yoga teacher—OR BOTH!
What are you looking forward to the most for the upcoming 200-hour Teacher Training?
I am mostly looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of the new teacher trainees. I can't wait to watch them find their individual voices as teachers and develop their teaching practices.
I'm really geeking out on curriculum development right now and am excited to find opportunities to continually improve the way we deliver content.
Also, the creative projects - I really love to see the personal flavor that each trainee chooses to share.
How do you want to change the world?
I want to make the world a more empathetic place. I'd love to have a hand in cultivating kindness, compassion, and acceptance of our fellow humans. I think this starts with education. We teach our kids to be the humans we wish we were, so that they create the world we want to live in.
As a teacher trainer, I aim to guide my trainees to be the best version of themselves and teach from a place of authenticity and acceptance.
about our Authors
The Everyone Yoga School blog is written by guest authors who are former students, instructors, and passionate yogis with the sole purpose of sharing the yoga experience in the live and hearts of everyone.