Coaching was a way I could empower others to take their own leaps toward living life fully present and fully engaged, stretching their comfort zones beyond simply existing...
Mel, Grow Your Love Space

My name is Melanie Holst-Collins.

I am originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, but currently reside in Austin, Texas--proud Howard University Alumna! I am a Conscious Lifestyle Expert. I inspire, motivate, challenge and empower men and women to live more conscious, mindful, insightful, present, peaceful lives, to live life awake.

I have always felt a pull to this path.

However, in 2011 my first experience in a Yoga class was a Bikram class. I almost ran out, but I stayed and then began going three times a week. At this time, I began noticing how my practice on my mat allowed for huge shifts and a transformation in how I was--in relationship with myself, others, my beliefs and thoughts, and with everything.

I was in a 105-degree room exploring all dimensions of myself. Withstanding the heat was not the accomplishment for me--it was the fact that I could remain in this relatively uncomfortable space, but still be breathing, fully present, immersed in stillness and peace at my core. That's when I said "Whoa, this is much bigger than just physical exercise."

My journey with Yoga became a way of living versus something I intellectualized about.

That was a huge turning point for my journey.  In the beginning, honestly, the reminder from the individual guiding the class that self-compassion, breath and patience would guide me and allow me space to move through the difficulty. These were not reminders I gave myself at the time I began my practice, so this is where the guidance of the teacher was actually imperative.

As time went on, those reminders turned into truths.

I became able to offer them to myself. In 2013 I quit my job, packed a moving truck and moved to a city, Austin, where I had no job prospects and did not know a soul.

I was purely led by intuition, by a deep knowing that was the step I wanted to take in order to live the way I had always thought about living: consciously, alive, fully, spontaneously and led from the inside.
Shortly after settling in, I began doing some research on coaching as a profession; e very single thing I read resonated with me. Coaching was a way I could empower others to take their own leaps toward living life fully present and fully engaged, stretching their comfort zones beyond simply existing. And finally, I could offer my experiences as inspiration. I knew embarking on the journey was a step deeper into my purpose.

I am inspired by the human experience.

I also find inspiration in the lessons, insights and shifts made on the Yoga mat moving through asana (postures), which are easily translated into lessons, insights and shifts that are relevant. It can be experienced off your mat and in your real life, too. #yogaoffthemat is simply a manifestation of that. My blog's title is a reminder that what you practice on your mat is simply one aspect of an all-encompassing practice and lifestyle. 

The current state of our society is pretty damn scary.

We are in survival mode and in a constant state of fear; we continue to be conditioned to seek and see everything at the surface and outside of ourselves while we are never really encouraged to be in touch with ourselves or in touch with each other or even to experience life organically.

However, I do sense and feel a shift.

Even in the last four years, the norms of society have been challenged by people like myself, who are committed to shifting the culture, uplifting and engaging people in a way that allows them to wake up to their limitless potential and their dopeness. We want to shift the scales from an outside-in to an inside-out mentality and become empowered. Even though society is where it is, I do sense a shift in human culture.

We must get away from such a logic-heavy way of thinking by reversing our current approach to change.

I recently posted about this on social media and engaged in a group discussion about it a few weeks ago. A lot of people perceive that practicing asana, meditation, breathwork and energy work are not valuable when it comes to making changes in society--or making change, period. But t his is the furthest from the truth. 
These are survival tactics, ways to self-heal.

This is why I do what I do with conviction. 

I know that no external change is sustainable without internal change, first. We return to being tuned in and trusting our intuitive nature by committing to practice to do so. Whether this is through Yoga or any other helping, healing modality that allows us to practice getting back in tune with ourselves, understand that none of this will happen in the microwave.

I am currently developing ways in which people can work with me whether one-on-one, digitally or in group settings. In the meantime, keep up with me via Instagram @therealcoachmel, where I share my journey, information about my Yoga classes and all things new with Grow Your Lovespace. Check out my new blog #yogaoffthemat on the website by subscribing to my newsletter. As I plan to begin traveling and teaching Yoga classes, look out for that in the future in a city near you!