Featured Teacher: Melylah Botté Smith

melylah yoga wellness

Please give a warm welcome to Melylah Botté Smith who is the lead teacher of our Prenatal Yoga Teacher training, as well as a support teacher for our Kids and Teens Yoga Teacher Training, and the Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training.

Tell us about yourself! What are some things that your students might not know?

My name is pronounced Me-Lie-La, and I am a homeschooling mama of three who resides as a guest on the ancestral homeland of the Chochenyo Ohlone (Oakland). Being raised by hippies, my childhood was wild and adventurous. We traveled back and forth from NYC, where I was born, to Hawaii, where my mother and her fierce mama friends migrated. During these times, it was as though everywhere was home and nowhere was home. At an early age, I learned how to ground myself through connecting with the earth, and it’s in Hawaii where my love and connection to the Great Mother … earth began.

How did you become interested in yoga?

I became interested in yoga through the physical practice when I moved to San Francisco in 1999. A co-worker from India invited me to a yoga class and I never looked back. It was as though I had finally arrived home.

Tell us about your yoga journey. What style did you start in and with whom do you study now?

My journey began with Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. I was drawn into the rhythmic movement and breath, which calmed my busy mind and provided space to move inwards. It was in my first prenatal yoga class with Jane Austin that I was invited to slow down, notice, and soften. This approach to my practice has carried me through many years of mothering – my children and myself. Through the years I have explored Iyengar, Shivananda, Restorative, and Shadow yoga. I enjoy exploring the dynamic interplay between effort and ease, and all of the spaces in between. My home practice tends to be slow fluid movements, weaving in aspects of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Restorative, and Shadow yoga. Since moving back to the Bay Area, I have started studying and practicing with Janet Stone again, along with exploring ways to Embrace Yoga’s Roots with Susanna Barkataki.

Describe your teaching style. What can folks expect when they attend your class? 

I bring decades of knowledge and learnings from my yoga and mothering journeys, creating nourishing explorations inward where mindfulness is brought to the breath and movement. During the practice, you are invited to move inward, returning to your inner knowing and breath. We pause. We breath. We notice. We move. Empowering birthing people to connect with their body (physical, mental, and emotional), baby/babies, and one another, cultivating wellness and healing. I am passionate about maternal and infant health and see perinatal yoga as a path to healing, empowerment, and connection. Classes are taught through a trauma informed lens, where you will be seen, heard, and supported in a safe(er) space.

Any exciting projects or plans on the horizon?

Yes, I will be leading the Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training starting this fall! I am honored, humbled, and excited. Alex has beautifully run the PYTT for nearly a decade, and it’s been an honor and gift to guest teach within the training and now lead it in the fall. In addition, to support the continuum of health and wellness for women, I am collaborating with a nutritionist to create a program for women on their peri/menopausal journey. It’s time to reclaim our births, our bodies, and the wisdom years.

Anything else you’d like to share with the YGSF community? 

I am honored to be a part of the Yoga Garden community and look forward to learning, sharing, and growing with you.

That’s all for now! Check out Melylah’s website and follow her on Instagram: @MelylahYoga.

Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with Melylah