Yoga Teacher in Madeira


Melanie de Villiers

I am a dedicated Yoga student, whom has devoted more than half my life to research and experiment with various Yoga techniques in the laboratory of my own body and mind. My name is Melanie de Villiers. I am a Yoga teacher in Madeira, Portugal. I recently immigrated from Cape Town, South Africa, where I’ve been offering Yoga classes since 2009. I am an internationally certified Iyengar Yoga teacher through Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute and an internationally registered Vinyasa Yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance.

I discovered Yoga in 1995 when during my psychology studies I intuitively felt drawn to explore eastern philosophy as a compliment to my western understanding of the human mind. I hold a BA Degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Journalism, which led me to work in the Photographic and Film industry for many years, before I finally committed to the Wellness industry.

With over twenty years of practical experience in both Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga, I have a comprehensive understanding of the traditional techniques in the Krishnamacharya lineage and the ability to apply this subtle knowledge in an integrative and practical way. Beyond the rigidity of any particular system, my Yoga teaching style can be described as Patanjali Yoga, since the source text of both Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga is The Yoga Sutras, compiled by the Indian Sage Patanjali around 250 BC.

My Yoga classes are much more than fitness programs, I support my students to discover the deeper, life-changing benefits of Yoga. My solid foundation in anatomy and postural alignment, coupled with my background in western psychology and eastern philosophy, plus my ongoing study of Yoga therapy, gives me the skills to work with a diverse client base and adapt to a variety of physical and mental concerns.

To continue the chronology on how my Yoga journey developed, I will share a little more background here. In 1999 while travelling and working on a surf beach in Cornwall, England, I found BKS Iyengar’s book ‘Light on Yoga’ in a tiny bookshop. The book awakened such inspiration in me that I began to self-practice on the concrete floor of the ablution block of the caravan park where I was living at that time. The transformation was unstoppable! Upon my return to Cape Town I enrolled in regular Iyengar Yoga classes with Judy Farah, whom many years later became my Iyengar Yoga mentor and guided me through certification. A decade after my practice on the concrete floor I found myself touching the feet of BKS Iyengar in Pune, India with tears in my eyes.

In 2006 I discovered Ashtanga Yoga and committed to the Mysore style practice for many years, while continuing regular Iyengar Yoga classes. In 2009 I completed a Vinyasa Yoga teacher training. Two years later I had the incredible privilege to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India with Guruji BKS Iyengar present daily, and classes conducted by his daughter Geeta, his son Prashant and his granddaughter Abhijata. In the same year (2011), I also travelled to Mysore, India to explore the roots of Ashtanga Yoga.

For a few years I continued to travel, and teach at a Yoga Retreat centre in Thailand. Upon return to South Africa I finally committed to start the Level 1 Iyengar Yoga teacher training in 2014. It demanded 6 years of dedicated focus, including 3 years of supervised practice with my mentor and 3 years of intensive seminars with senior Iyengar Yoga teachers, who all learnt directly from BKS Iyengar and his family for many years, some since the early 1970’s. Right now I am enrolled in the Level 2 Iyengar Yoga teacher training course and feel immensely privileged to teach this incredible method with a non dogmatic and open hearted approach.

On a more personal note, over the years since my passion for Yoga was ignited in 1995, my desire for direct self-knowledge took me on epic journeys through rural South America to explore indigenous plant medicines, through India many times, in absolute devotion to the profound teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda, through Thailand, immersed in Buddhist meditation and Thai massage studies, and to Bali in pure bliss of Yoga and Surf culture.

I draw my inspiration from my own visceral life experience and the raw elements of nature around me, and am always open and curious to see how life unfolds. By expanding my intuitive understanding of the rhythmical ebb and flow of life, I creatively weave a tapestry of insight into my Yoga classes.

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

See INFO page for details about my private and group Yoga classes.

What clients Say

“If I could give Melanie more stars I would. She brings her Heart into each class she teaches, her Openness, Love and Dedication to the practice of Yoga Radiates from her and her students are Transformed. I am extremely blessed to have Melanie as my teacher. Each class with her is a magical moment of softening and opening not only into the physical practice of yoga, but also into the Oneness between all aspects of this mysterious Being that we are. Her deep knowledge of yoga comes from years and years of self practice and study, and you Know and Feel that you are in the presence of one who embodies what she teaches. This is clearly seen in the Love all her students have for her.If you are lucky enough to come across Melanie don’t hesitate to sign up for her classes, you will be giving yourself a very special gift indeed.” – Ilonja Greyling

“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