Denise Rivera-Melendez

DeniseHow did you find yoga?

The practice of Yoga has transformed me and changed my life in ways I would have never imagined. I began taking classes several years ago but due to a busy work schedule I practiced sporadically.

In 2009, my brother was brutally murdered and I was completely devastated by this tragic experience. In the aftermath of my brother’s death I began to quickly sink into a very dark place. I tried many things to snap out of depression but I could not.

I developed acid reflux disorder and would only sleep two or three hours a night. The lack of rest, depression and digestive issues made me gain weight very quickly. I decided that I had to do something to help myself get back to my normal self.

I decided I had to find a new exercise regimen. The traditional gym routine that I had no longer worked for me and was only aggravating my digestion system. Luckily, a yoga studio opened in my community and a friend bought me a gift certificate. I began practicing everyday at Bamboomoves Bx (of Dharma and Jivamukti lineages) and the rest is history.

I have left not only sweat on the floor of the studio, but also tears and all the sadness that once consumed me. Within three months I was able to stop taking the medication I was on and adopted a vegan diet, which helped me heal even quicker.

How are you courageous?

I feel I am courageous by choosing to leave a 15 year career in video production to become a Yoga instructor. I am not your typical thin framed yogi. I am full figured and curvaceous. Yoga has made the biggest impression on my life and that is something that inspires me everyday to spread the practice and the importance of Yoga to others in my community. As I say to my students, “amongst the strings beans grow a few sun flowers.”

What’s your specialty as a teacher?

My focus has been to introduce yoga to those that believe they cannot have a successful practice because of their weight, age or physical challenges. I have seen many beautiful people transform themselves over the past few years. It’s amazing.

I am grateful to spread yoga love throughout the Bronx community.

Denise Rivera-Melendez

E-RYT 200 Yoga instructor with several years experience teaching all levels of Hatha/Vinyasa classes. Experience with prenatal, special needs adults, elderly and private lessons.

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