About

MELANIE DE VILLIERS

Fully committed to authentic inner evolution, Melanie de Villiers believes in the healing power of Yoga as a strong soul medicine that can unlock our fullest life potential.

Mel discovered Yoga in 1995 when during her psychology studies she intuitively felt drawn to explore eastern philosophy as a compliment to her western understanding of the human mind.

During her European travels in 1999, Mel began to practice out of BKS Iyengar’s book ‘Light on Yoga’. Upon her return to Cape Town in 2001 Mel met her inspirational Iyengar Yoga mentor, Judy Farah.

In 2006 she discovered Ashtanga Yoga and committed to the Mysore style practice for many years, while still continuing to explore Iyengar Yoga. In 2009 Mel qualified as a Yoga Alliance certified Vinyasa teacher, with her attention firmly focused on the more traditional aspects of the flow style practice.

During her travels to India in 2011 Mel had the incredible privilege to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune with Guruji BKS Iyengar, his daughter Geeta, his son Prashant and his granddaughter Abhijata.

In the same year Mel also travelled to Mysore in India to continue her exploration of Ashtanga Yoga. Mel’s knowledge is firmly rooted in the traditional teachings of Krishnamacharya, as reflected in the disciplined study and practice of both, Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga.

Following a year of teaching at a Yoga retreat centre in Thailand, Mel returned to South Africa to completely commit to the Iyengar path. After 6 years of dedicated practice with her Iyengar mentor, including 3 years of formal teacher training with several senior Iyengar teachers in the Western Cape, Mel qualified as an internationally certified Iyengar Yoga teacher in March 2021.

Mel’s desire for deeper self knowledge has inspired her through epic journeys in rural South America to explore indigenous plant medicines, through India many times, in devotion to the profound philosophy of Yoga and Ayurveda, through Thailand, immersed in Buddhist meditation and Thai massage, and to Bali in bliss of Yoga and Surf culture.

Mel’s approach is open and inquisitive. She draws inspiration from her own direct visceral life experience and the raw elements of nature around her. Continually expanding her intuitive understanding of the rhythmical flow of life force, Mel creatively weaves a tapestry of insight into her Yoga classes.

Melanie de Villiers is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, based in Cape Town, South Africa.

“When you practice non-exotic, everyday Yoga, looking deeply at the ordinary experience, becoming more honest and more kind, there is a sense of great relief. You are freed from fantasy, freed from contrived associations, freed from ego centered notions. This approach to Yoga is grounded in an understanding and experience of impermanence. It invites you to come into the present moment and intuitively know what is truly essential, so that you connect instinctively into a state that is called ‘jnana’ or wisdom ”

Richard Freeman