private yoga instruction connecticut & new york


Melissa Cooper Margolin

Melissa Margolin was just ten years old when she first began practicing yoga with her mother, the world famous model and business women, Wilhelmina.  In fact those yoga practices included in her mother’s book, The New You, became some of the most powerful memories she has of her mother who died just a few years later.

Yoga has helped her through the loss of her mother at a young age, the mental and physical damage left by an abusive alcoholic father, and the stress of life in New York City as well as careers in modeling, social work, and interior design.  Combining the experiences gained from her personal study and practice of yoga, body work in numerous modalities including the Feldenkrais Method and the Alexander Technique, educational background, and work experiences, Melissa conducts a safe and nurturing class where her students feel comfortable being themselves.

Although she studied many types of yoga, Melissa committed  to the traditional practice of Ashtanga yoga in 1998.  She first practiced with Pattabhi Jois in New York City in September, 2001 as the World Trade Towers tragedy unfolded around them.  The love and compassion that Pattabhi gave to the students and the resulting sense of calm and hope at such a dark time led to her decision to put her career as an interior designer specializing in “sustainable design” on hold while training to become a yoga teacher herself.

She moved to California with her husband Gary to practice with Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty, who encouraged her to enroll in an upcoming teacher training program they were leading together.  After completing the teacher training, she continued to study with them daily, and assist in their Mysore Ashtanga class rooms until their move to Hawaii in 2004.  She teaches Mysore style classes where she can treat students as individuals, making the practice of Ashtanga Yoga safe for people of varied abilities and capabilities.  In addition to Jois, Miller and Ezraty, Melissa credits Gabriella Giubilaro, Richard Freeman and Ramanan Patel with influencing her teaching.  Using her exceptional knowledge of anatomy as well as her “healing hands”, Melissa encourages students to challenge themselves safely while still finding the numerous therapeutic aspects of the practice of yoga.

Photo by Jasper Johal