Joyful, determined, reliable, these are just some of the many incredible attributes our August Teacher of the Month possesses. Melissa Stollman is passionate about everything she sets her mind to and makes a sport out of setting and accomplishing goals. She is always teaching us new things, helping our studio keep up with the times, and bringing a lightness to each space she's in.
We couldn't be more thankful for all that she has done for our small business as a digital media and marketing professional, as a Pilates instructor, and as a friend.
Q: How did you get into the fitness world and when did you know you wanted to become an instructor?
A: Fitness has been very important to me my entire adult life. I have always made it a priority - as I know it helps my mind as much as my body. Being a part of Evolution the past two years I set several goals for myself. The first was to be able to get through classes without taking breaks. The second was to be strong enough to take two classes a day if I wanted. And the third was to become certified as a Hot Pilates instructor. I do not have a fitness or dance background so I have worked even harder to try to get the flexibility, strength, and endurance needed to reach these goals.
Q: What do you feel is your purpose as an instructor?
A: To help others gain strength and keep them motivated. I truly believe that if I can do this then anyone can!
Q: Why is movement an important part of your life?
A: During the day I sit in front of a computer screen. It affects my back, neck, shoulders, as well as my mood. The movement not only relieves the physical stress and pressure, but also the negative emotions. And, I have three young children so I want to stay active to do things with them!
Q: What quotes or mantras currently resonate with you?
A: I am an ordained rabbi (that's my day job), and I try to keep in mind the daily blessings we all have. One that resonates with me is from the prayer Elohai Neshama. It states that the soul we receive is pure and reminds us to be thankful for all that we have.
Q: What are some of your daily rituals?
A: Doing some form of exercise, for my mental health, is one of my daily rituals. The other is singing in the evening with my kids the prayer for protection and peace.
Q: Who/what inspires/motivates you?
A: Determined women who are professionals or business owners truly inspire me. I am in awe of Maxine everyday and what she has built here at the studio. I feel lucky she chose me to be on her team and I am grateful to work with other women such as April Clendenin and Kelsey Coggins as we make so much happen behind the scenes at Evolution. Everyone should always surround themselves with people who inspire them and push them to be better versions of themselves. I am lucky to have found that crew here at Evolution.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Evolution Yoga?
A: I actually have the pleasure of managing our website and virtual classes. When the pandemic began I worked quickly to help us pivot to be the hybrid studio we are now with live virtual classes. I am most proud of this work and it has been very rewarding.
Q: When you’re not teaching classes at Evolution Yoga, what are you doing?
A: Working or parenting (which is also work!).
Finish these sentences:
I'm most at peace when...
Answer: I have crossed off everything on my to-do list. Unfortunately this rarely happens!
My friends would describe me as...
A: very outgoing - I am extremely extroverted and get my energy from talking to other people. I think others who know me well would also describe me as the kind of person they can count on for anything.
I'm currently listening to...
A: a lot of podcasts while in the car - mostly ones about women's health.
My biggest pet peeve is...
A: when people complain that they feel powerless to make changes in their lives. True power comes from within. You control much of your own life!