Thrive Guide

Melissa Renzi

Melissa Renzi

Forest Park

About

Melissa Renzi, MSW, LSW, CYT-200

Melissa is a bilingual (Spanish/English) licensed social worker and trauma-informed yoga teacher who leads retreats for highly sensitive people and introverts to connect around the world. She received her Bachelor of Art in Social Welfare in 20...
Melissa Renzi, MSW, LSW, CYT-200

Melissa is a bilingual (Spanish/English) licensed social worker and trauma-informed yoga teacher who leads retreats for highly sensitive people and introverts to connect around the world. She received her Bachelor of Art in Social Welfare in 2004 and Master of Social Work in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked in areas of homelessness, child welfare, aging, and disabilities. Melissa has been a longtime practitioner of yoga since 1998 beginning in the Kriya Yoga lineage and later studied Sanskrit and eastern traditions during her undergraduate degree. In 2015, Melissa completed her 200-hour yoga certification with Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago and has completed over 1000 hours of additional education with a range of traditions and teachers. Today Melissa’s approach to teaching is largely informed by her trauma-informed studies with the late Catherine Ashton, accessible yoga training with Alexandria Crow, and in-depth Vedic studies with Kaya Mindlin.

Melissa specializes in teaching accessible yoga in community health care settings. She aims to teach yoga through movement rather than yoga as movement in order to challenge the modern perception of yoga as fitness and help her students to see themselves in yoga practice. Melissa guides her students through gentle poses, self-paced movement, and breathing techniques carefully knitting yoga philosophy teachings throughout in order to illuminate the purpose of yoga as revealing one's deeper Self and inherent wholeness. Melissa encourages students to tune into their own personal agency and listen to their bodies as they explore with curiosity. At the forefront of her teaching is making yoga approachable to everyone and creating an environment that is truly nourishing.
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May we create a planet in which every being we encounter may feel seen and known.
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Retreat Specialties

My retreats offer a place for introverts and highly sensitive people to experience the world as it is with the structure and agreements that support our need for quiet downtime. My guests report feeling safe, supported, and understood as they connect with other people in ways that suit their preferences and pace.

Teaching Specialties

I meet my students exactly where they are and support them with gentle, truly accessible practices that encourage personal agency and self-compassion while discovering their inherent wholeness.

What are your favorite Retreat Venues around the world

Lomas de Tzununa, Guatemala - This is a small, family-owned retreat center with just 10 rooms all overlooking Lake Atitlan. Their setup is just perfect for a yoga retreat. Munay Sonqo, Peru - This non-profit retreat center provides excellent hospitality. Its accommodations balance comfort perfectly with sustainability.

What's your personal definition of what it means to thrive?

To confidently understand and express your innate strengths to engage as an empowered agent of both personal and collective well-being.

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