Yoga Teacher in Madeira


Melanie de Villiers

Olá! Thank you for your interest in my journey. 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.

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.

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.

My Yoga classes are much more than just fitness programs, I support my clients in their professional and private lives. My solid foundation in anatomy and postural alignment, coupled with my background in western psychology and eastern philosophy, plus my ongoing Yoga therapy research, gives me the skills to work with a diverse client base and adapt to a variety of physical and mental concerns.

The deepening of my Yoga journey started in 1999 during my European travels, while living in a caravan on a surf beach in Cornwall, England. In a tiny bookshop I found BKS Iyengar’s ‘Light on Yoga’, which inspired me to self-practice on the concrete floor of the ablution block of the caravan park that I was living in at the time. The transformation was unstoppable, so upon return to Cape Town I enrolled in regular Iyengar Yoga classes with Judy Farah, whom many years later became my inspirational Iyengar Yoga mentor and guided me through certification.

In 2006 I discovered Ashtanga Yoga and committed to Mysore style classes for many years, while continuing regular Iyengar Yoga classes. In 2011 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 I also travelled to Mysore, India to explore the roots of Ashtanga Yoga.

For a few years afterwards I travelled and taught Yoga Retreats in Thailand. Upon return to South Africa in 2014 I formally committed to study Iyengar Yoga. The training demanded 6 years of dedicated focus, including 3 years of practice with my Iyengar Yoga mentor and 3 years of workshops with a variety of senior Iyengar Yoga teachers, including my mentor, who studied directly with Guruji BKS Iyengar and his family for many years, some since the 1970’s.

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

I am always open and curious as I draw my inspiration from my own direct visceral life experience and the raw elements of nature around me. Continually expanding my intuitive understanding of the rhythmical ebb and flow of life force, 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