About Melanie Psaltakis
Teacher, traveler, mother, and adventurist, Melanie has taught yoga since 2008. She is an E-RYT 500 Viniyoga-inspired teacher with a background in Vinyasa Yoga and Gentle Movement Yoga, and an emphasis on therapeutic benefits.
Melanie’s classes are breath-centric and taught in a slow-flow format, with the primary intention of helping identify your unique structural challenges, shed dysfunctional patterns, and activate your untapped potential. This can manifest as awakening to the process of how to strengthen your low back, releasing tension in your neck and shoulders, or even surfacing and freeing up patterns in the subtle body. Coupled with Melanie’s insightful and spirited lifeforce, her detailed classes embody The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali “to practice with steadiness and ease,” so that the body and mind flow like water, and meditation becomes the natural result both on and off the mat.
Melanie is also a world traveler. This wanderlust was set into motion at an early age through her family’s cross-country camping trips and her parents’ desire that the children know and understand people, places, and cultures that were both different, and yet the same in many ways, as their own. At age 17, Melanie set off to New Zealand for a year as a foreign exchange student, immersing herself with a local family on their sheep farm and creating connections with friends that carryon to this day. Later, Melanie spent years of moving around the globe as the spouse of a military officer while raising three sons. She likes to think she gave them a home to hang their hats, wings to live fully, and a heart to love unconditionally.
She also gave her sons a love of sport, nature, and adventure. Some of their earliest memories include Melanie running with two of them in a double jogger, teaching them to snorkel and try scuba diving, cycling on local trails, hiking in domestic and international settings, and letting them wander around foreign cities on their own as teenagers.
It was amidst all this activity that Melanie discovered yoga in 2004 and started teaching in 2008. For her, it was the missing piece, the keystone really, that completed the arch of all her movement. And it was by walking through the doorway of yoga that true transformation began. The physical changes were visibly notable, as Melanie discovered and shed dysfunctional movement patterns, “grew” an inch, and created a stronger, more toned body. Even more profound, however, were the emotional and mental changes that grew her self-confidence and slowly liberated her voice to define and speak the life she wanted to live.
That is when Wayfinders Travel was born, in 2016, and Melanie began merging her love of teaching yoga with her love of experiencing the world. She actually had no choice but to do so because many of her yoga students wanted to travel with her! For Melanie, both yoga and travel are vehicles of transformation.
Melanie is currently studying with Gary Kraftsow at the American Viniyoga Institute. She has previously studied with Kristy Manuel, Shaye Molendyke and Skila Ramirez at YogaFit (RYT 500), and with Moses Brown and Kate Miller at Willow Street Yoga (Anusara 108-hour program). She is also a trauma-sensitive yoga teacher (100-hour YogaFit for Warriors), zeroing in on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Trauma Brain Injury (TBI), the longer-term effects each one has on the mind body, and spirit, and how yoga can bring relief. Some of her favorite workshops have been in-person with Jason Crandell (Move Your Practice Forward, Preventing and Managing Yoga Injuries, and Art of Yoga Sequencing), Richard Rosen and Rodney Yee, and online programs with Robin Rothenberg (Yoga for Back Pain – Keys for Sacroiliac Instability at Yoga U), and Dr. Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall (Yoga for Osteoporosis at Yoga U).
Off the mat, Melanie continues to be an avid runner, hiker, cyclist, adventurist, and wellness travel specialist. Her latest endeavors include the yearly 100-mile Bike to the Beach that raises awareness and funds for Autism and Disabilities (https://my.biketothebeach.org/melaniecarroll349009781), and the 310-mile Ride Allegheny event that supports military veterans and their families through Operation Second Chance (https://www.givegab.com/users/melanie-psaltakis). Her sons are now young men with successful careers that suit their individual strengths and interests. They all continue to run, hike, bike, travel, and sometimes practice yoga!