On a freezing day in New York City nearly 20 years ago, Lisa Mello saw a sign that drew her in and something “magical” happened.
“Hot Yoga” – the sign said, and “I was cold,” Lisa laughs. “I walked in and fell in love with the heat.”
Until that moment, she had never stepped foot into a yoga studio. She knew nothing about yoga – other than it might be something fun and different to add to her exercise regimen. But it was immediately apparent to her that yoga was capable of changing her life.
“The benefits drew me in initially,” she recalls. “But I wanted to know why I was feeling good. I had low back pain and it went away. My anxiety decreased. My whole entire state of mind started shifting. I began making better choices.”
After growing up in Westchester, and later attending NYU to earn a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and teaching school for nearly a decade, Lisa “high-tailed it to sunny San Diego for the palm trees and sunshine.”
Here, she went through yoga training and began teaching at CorePower Yoga in Point Loma, where she also continued working as a school teacher.
When offered the opportunity to open and manage CorePower in Poway, she said, “Where’s that?” – and then took the position.
“I love Poway,” she says. “I’ve got my two kids and my husband and we’re raising our family here.”
When her (then) 5-year old son said, “Mommy, why isn’t there a yoga studio for kids that we can go to?” it helped solidify her aspirations to open up her own yoga studio.
“I have a lot of people who love me and want me to succeed,” she says. “The vision was to create a space for literally everybody, kids, adults, families. I wanted to make it accessible, I wanted it to be affordable, and I wanted to create a space where people are able to go and check out of the world for an hour.”
Simply walking through the doors of Mello Yoga’s upstairs space offers warmth and welcome and a sense of peace – as well as Lisa’s infectious smile and calm energy from yoga instructors who expand each yogi’s well-being through mental, physical, and emotional connection.
“Every teacher brings their own flare,” Lisa says. “They’re all amazing. Their hearts are really in it.”
Going beyond the experience of awakening one’s mind, body, and spirit, Lisa created her yoga studio to bring something special and truly unique to those who practice with her. She incorporates live music from local musicians in some of her classes, deepens relaxation with essential oils in others, warms the room for more cleansing and healing classes, and offers families the opportunity to practice yoga together during monthly “Family Yoga,” donation-based classes.
The heart of Mello Yoga is to bring the community together in spiritual unison, where friends and family can gather to slow down from the fast pace of life, internalize awareness, and transcend together. Lisa is a leader and, together with her loving instructors, is ready to guide you down a path toward self-acceptance, love, and internal peace.
“I get to be a part of that journey with people,” she says. “During each class, there’s some sort of theme. Last week, the theme was self-acceptance, being perfectly imperfect. I show people how to take that from the mat and into real life.”