On and Off Your Mat

The Place of Yoga in Healing with Melissa McLaughlin

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I have a passion for helping women in their personal growth, so they can feel that anything is possible in life. Blogging is one way I do that; another medium for me to share a more personal side of the whole journey. 

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For our 33rd episode, I sat down with Melissa McLaughlin. Melissa is yoga and meditation teacher here in the Bay Area, but also has a background of Personal training, so her classes are grounded in exercise science and anatomy. She has experienced many different challenges and used yoga as part of her healing process. We recently sat down to talk about life and I was amazed by her journey so I thought it would be interesting to sit down and talk about it on the podcast.


1. Healing is a recognition of your own wholeness. You’re not doing yoga to make yourself more perfect. You’re doing yoga to realize that you are already perfect and whole, as you are.

2. Yoga is not the medicine or the solution to the problem, but it affects the way you experience and face the challenges, and it helps you body to allow any healing you need to have to unfold.

3. Look for a teacher that inspires you, encourage you to modify as you need, empowers you, doesn’t take credit for your self-development and helps you take responsibility for your own choices and healing.

4. Move at a pace that allows you to pay attention to the subtlety of your breath and your body, to get off auto-pilot.

5. Progression and variability is the best way to stay physically safe in your yoga practice.


  • Our subject of today is yoga and healing, can you tell us a bit more about the challenges you faced in the last few years and your journey through that healing process. What does healing mean to you in the context?
  • Do you think yoga helps because it affect the way you see challenges or helps your body to allow the healing to take place How can listeners know if the class, the teacher or the format is the right fit for them, the right container that would allow their healing to take place?
  • How can yoga help us feel embodied, reconnect to ourselves and be able to listen to the messages of our body?
  • What’s the role of the nervous system in healing, and how can we tap into that aspect through yoga?
  • Physically, how can students stay safe and how can teacher offer a safe practice?
  • Anything else you’d like to add before we wrap it up?
  • One take away you’d like people to leave this conversation with?
  • Where’s the best place for people to find you?


Thank you so much for listening and being part of our 33rd episode! We have other great guests lined up for you so make sure to subscribe to the podcast where ever you listen to not miss an episode or get on my mailing list!

As always, I really appreciate your support. So as you leave a review on iTunes or on your iPhone podcast app, you automatically enter a giveaway. Athleta is generously continuing to support this podcast in their effort to ignite a community of strong women who lift each other up, and is giving out a 75$ shop card! If you’re not sure how to leave a review, check this article. Thank you so much if you left a review. The winner of this episode’s giveaway is iTunes user KK Brack. Congrats! Email me at erika.belanger@gmail.com or DM me on instagram @erika.belanger and I’ll send you your shop card!

Other very exciting news, I’m adding another way for you to support this Podcast. I am now part of Patreon. Patreon is a platform where you can donate to support this podcast or you can become a monthly member. Donators will get shoutouts on the episode and as monthly members you will receive exclusive content : mini-shows, guided meditation, guided flows and so much more. Our first exclusive episode will be about me! Thank you if you send me questions! Your support means a lot and will help me continue to offer quality content here for free! Check out my Patreon page here, see my intro video, donate or become a monthly member. The exclusive content will be available real soon!!!


Melissa McLaughlin is a San Francisco Bay Area yoga teacher and American College of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer. Her yoga journey began in 2008 when she discovered and fell in love with the Sivananda Yoga lineage. The blend of simple yoga postures, breathing practices, and devotional chanting resonated deeply with her curious, philosophical nature.

After years of dedicated practice with some of the West’s most senior yoga teachers, Melissa took her first formal teacher training where she became fascinated with the structure of the human body and went on to intensively study Western Exercise Science and Anatomy which deeply influences the way she approaches teaching asana. You can find her teaching weekly classes throughout Marin County that are both accessible and challenging and leave plenty of time for stillness and reflection. On her teaching Melissa believes, “My job as a teacher is to share the tools of this practice with clarity and accessibility and create enough space for the magic of yoga. My sincere hope is that this practice encourages you to listen to, find confidence in, and seek guidance from your greatest teacher, you.”

Learn more about her here :

Her Website : www.melissamclaughlinyoga.com

Instagram : @melissamclaughlinyoga

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Hi, I'm Erika.
Your Yoga Teacher and Life Coach.

I have a passion for helping women in their personal growth, so they can feel that anything is possible in life. Blogging is one way I do that; another medium for me to share a more personal side of the whole journey. Self-Study, awareness, and inquiry are a big part of my path. Join me as I use my experiences as the base for the lessons I want to share. I write about what I know and what helps me, hoping that it will help you.

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