The Business of Yoga Workshop
I loved the Business of Yoga workshop by Melissa. A great presentation of the practical elements of yoga business and the follow-up discussions were very inspiring. Her generosity to share her own experience encouraged me to do my own. Thank you!
—Nobue, Certified Yoga Teacher
Chair Yoga & Tai Chi Easy™ Class
Melissa’s class has increased my energy, my strength and my balance, for which I am very grateful.
— Phyllis, age 89, Dorot Center
Melissa Elstein is a most compelling teacher. She is knowledgeable, clear, and interesting in her delivery. The atmosphere is encouraging. Her classes are well thought out, and she is sound in her understanding of the body and of the techniques, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I recommend her with enthusiasm.
— Gloria Carshon
Retired professor Sarah Lawrence College
Core Strength Hatha Yoga Class
I’m so glad that one of my best friends introduced me to Melissa and her core strengthening class in the fall of 2005. Since then, wherever Melissa has taught the class, I have attended. I returned to yoga after a 7 year hiatus, though in reality I was a beginner as the previous class I had taken was a Mom and Child class, where my daughter did most of the yoga. But Melissa made me feel immediately at home, and reassured me that her class could be adapted to my (lack of ) experience and abilities. And I saw that this was true. It does not matter if you have studied and practiced yoga for 40 years, or have never taken a yoga class before or are anywhere in between. Melissa’s amazing abilities to make everyone in the class feel comfortable at whatever level they are at, is one of her most wonderful teaching qualities. She always reminds her students that postures and movements can be adapted to each student, especially those that are recovering from an injury, and she does so in each class. For those who are experienced, she adds an extra optional more challenging position, but prefaces it by reminding her students that yoga is a balance between effort and ease. I also love the way that Melissa shares her knowledge of tai chi, qi gong, dance and pilates with her students and incorporates these other forms of movement and exercise into her yoga classes. I hope that you will try one of Melissa’s classes and become a follower.
— Angela W.
A student of Melissa “Mati” Elstein for the past 8 years
I have been studying yoga with Melissa for over 3 years. Melissa is the one yoga instructor that I feel fully confident with, knowing that I will never get injured in her class. Her approach is breath-centered, which is of great importance. Her core strengthening class focuses on the body’s core, which is critical for balance, posture, and well-being. The flow of the class reflects her training in dance, Pilates, yoga, and qigong. You cannot find a better, more experienced, knowledgeable, or more student-centered teacher than Melissa. She is a gifted yoga teacher, who is remarkable in her awareness of her students and their changing physical needs, abilities, and goals.
At the start of each class, she asks her students if there’s anything in particular they want to work on that day, and whether anyone has a condition or injury that she should know about. Then she reminds everyone to come out of any pose if they sense any pain, because in her view, proper yoga techniques should not result in pain. Because of her depth of training, she has the rare gift of being able to offer modifications of a pose to suit a particular student’s physical needs. As the class proceeds, she is always aware of maintaining muscle equilibrium without strain by incorporating counter poses to balance the stretching and strengthening poses she uses. Melissa is constantly increasing her knowledge by attending workshops, where she gets additional training and ideas to bring back to her classes. Her classes are always varied and interesting, and never become routine. I look forward to going to her classes each week.
— Ronda S.
Sun Salutation Workshop
The Sun Salutation workshop was really special. Melissa worked through each component and gave many excellent suggestions for ways we could adapt it for our bodies. Now I really enjoy the sun salutation, whereas I used to feel uncomfortable with some parts of it. I highly recommend this workshop.
— Blanton Neill
Yoga For Runners Workshop
As a fan of Melissa’s teaching, I was excited to take her “Yoga for Runners Workshop” last Spring. As someone who has been practicing yoga for some time but is newer to running, I took this as the perfect opportunity to hone in on some appropriate stretches for my runs. I’ve also been resistant in the past to stretching pre and post run not recognizing how much of an impact stretches could have on my entire run, not just afterwards, so naturally it was a huge eye-opener when Melissa taught us the importance of incorporating stretching into our runs. She showed variations on essential hamstring poses, quad stretches and even at how to target the gastrocs versus the soleus (muscles in the calf) to name a few. Melissa also demonstrated many of these positions against the wall that we could easily do at a tree or bench in the park. Not only was her workshop informative but she paid close attention to every individual in the room, recognizing that everyone’s practice and body is different. I will certainly be attending another of Melissa’s workshops in the future!
— Liana R.
Yoga Studio, Front Desk/Marketing Assistant
‘Mati’ (Melissa Elstein) is my favorite teacher of all things Yoga, Qi Gong, Core Strength, and Concentration. Patient, with my ever-wandering mind, she is compassionate with my multiple climbing injuries. From her lawyer and professional ballet days; her background understands this urban plight. She transfers her Eastern practices and teachings in person and in video, making me more effective. If you need to be invigorated, centered and stronger, find her! I guarantee you will agree!
— John-lance Harrison
IATSE Broadway Technicians and Lighting Designer
Melissa Elstein’s Yoga Flow class is uniquely tailored to the individual’s needs. Formerly a dancer, she has an uncanny talent for spotting a false move from across the room — and guiding the student’s progress from weakness to strength. The class is transformative; in six months I’ve missed only 3 weekly sessions.
— Peggy R.
I’m very pleased that Melissa Elstein has added her talents to our exemplary roster of yoga teachers at The Breathing Project. Both as a student and a teacher, she brings a high level of dedication, talent and empathy to her work in breath centered, individualized Yoga. I look forward to collaborating with her more in the future.
— Leslie Kaminoff, President, The Breathing Project, Inc., NYC
I absolutely love Melissa’s yoga classes. Melissa makes yoga accessible for all bodies at all levels. As this was my first introduction to yoga, Melissa made me feel comfortable and provided a lot of personalized attention. She creates a warm supportive atmosphere. I always left her classes feeling calm, centered, and refreshed.
— Mindi Wernick,
Licensed Massage Therapist
No matter how stressful, rough or long my day is, knowing that I am taking Melissa’s yoga class that evening makes me get through the day. When you take Melissa’s yoga class, the results are simply fantastic. I look forward to getting into that peaceful and serene mental place during class where I am able to let go of my anxieties.
— Ramona L.,
Bank Manger, NYC
Melissa’s yoga class has become a true retreat from my fast-paced week. Reflecting a commitment to her own spiritual growth and physical/emotional healing, she creates a caring, relaxed, and joyful environment that enables me to strengthen my body, calm my mind, and open my heart.
— Elizabeth Colon Lopez,
Melissa’s Yoga class perfectly balances various yoga postures that challenge and align the body while soothing and calming the mind. With our eyes closed, Melissa guides us through a series of postures the encourage us to remain inwardly-focused, permitting the “juice” of the practice to flow freely. The result is a profound physical and mental awakening. I’ve been a yoga practitioner over 25 years, and few instructors have dedicated themselves to the practice as generously as Melissa. Her commitment to her practice, and her keen intuitive understanding of the needs of each class are unsurpassed. Her classes are an absolute necessity for me.
— Teresa Marrero,
Melissa’s exquisite external beauty is a reflection of her kindheartedness and purity of soul. Her compassion and gentleness are reflected in her yoga and Reiki practice. Her gentle and inspiring yoga classes are a welcome respite form the stresses of everyday life. Her lunch-hour yoga classes are an excellent way to become centered and shed the stresses of the world around us. I have experienced such pleasure and equanimity after taking her class. She has such a gentle touch when she assists and attends to you in class. Her beautiful voice leads you in soul calming chants. I highly recommend her classes as a way to get in touch with your inner self. I have taken her classes during challenging times and have left feeling so refreshed and centered. I experienced a newfound confidence in my ability to face any challenges.
— Doris Bodine,
IT Director, NYC
I attend Melissa’s afternoon lunch time yoga and it works absolutely perfectly for me. Each class Melissa pays attention to how everybody feels and tries to accommodate everyone. I love the fact that along with improving what we have practiced already, she tries a lot of new things. I also love the chanting and great essential oils that she uses in the class. This one hour takes you completely away from outside world and you feel refreshed for the rest of the day. Melissa’s classes let you enjoy yoga to its full extent; you are improving your body, but without any pain.
— Nara Bajenoff,
Director of Merchandise Planning, Oneida Ltd.
Melissa’s Yoga classes are one of the best classes I’ve taken in my 20 years of practice with various practitioners and famed institutions. Her attention to detail and students’ needs, coupled with her lighthearted approach, make the practice not only skillful and purposeful, but a joy to attend.
— Laraine P.
I really enjoyed working with Melissa as she’s a very thoughtful teacher. The first time I took a yoga class with her I was in pain from a back injury, so she helped me through the poses and made sure that none were causing me any discomfort. She’s innovative in what she does and it’s a very spiritual experience working with her. I highly recommend Melissa to anyone looking to improve their body and spirit!
— Bonnie Brown
Bonnie’s Here! Dog Training
I am a fan of Melissa’s yoga classes and really love her style and energy. Her own search has led her to study many different branches of yoga and she conveys the love and interest to her students.
— Claudia D.,
Melissa is a pleasure to practice yoga with. Her classes are a comfortable blending of yoga and core energizing movements which help to balance and stabilize the practice. Melissa guides each session with very clear explanations of the postures, and is always aware of her students’ individual progress.
— Ellen Merchant
Melissa’s yoga classes are carefully structured for individual attention and gentle relaxation. She is a thoughtful and caring yoga teacher!
— Rosalyn S., School Teacher
I did not realize how much I needed time to heal until I had a Reiki session with Melissa. Melissa’s room sets the stage for a peaceful experience which compliments her work of balancing the body and the mind. Melissa’s Reiki session gave me the room to quietly be in myself as she guided my energy with wonderful intention, crystals, and gentle bodywork. I would recommend Reiki work with Melissa to anyone who seeks professional and compassionate work.
— Tim Vanderberg, Licensed Massage Therapist, Caring Hands Massage
Melissa’s Reiki treatments before my wedding were amazing. She demystified the treatments and created a safe atmosphere for me to try something new. I felt so peaceful for several days after.
— Deirdre O., Esq., CSW, NYC.
One touch; that’s all it takes for Melissa Elstein to change the way you look at Reiki energy work. During the one hour session, forget the aches and pains, or worries of your daily life. It is not a mere treatment, it is a transformation of energy with immediate and positive effects. This is what your body and soul need. I know mine did.
— Alexander Tressor,
Director/Choreographer and Ballet Teacher, STEPS on Broadway
My session with Melissa was very relaxing and put me into a deeply meditative state. She has a warm personality and I appreciated the beautiful studio environment she has created.
— Jo Davidson