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MELISSA MARTINEZ: PEACEFUL FLOW, UJJAYI & MOMASANA

June 24, 2014
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There are so many yoga teachers out there it’s hard for someone like myself, who attempts to practice three to six days a week, to pick. In the past years I’ve based my class schedule on WHAT the class is, as opposed to WHO is teaching. Admittedly, I don’t read yoga magazine, yoga forums or know really any of the big yoga companies or teachers. The ”headliners” don’t really mean anything to me…in fact I’ve accidentally signed up for them and have left both satisfied and disappointed. My first year of Wanderlust I accidentally signed up for the same teacher three times, whose classes dealt with a different aspect of yoga and built on each other. What a great accident. She was a fantastic intro to Wanderlust for me, still a relative noobie at the time. I have forgotten her name, although I know I haven’t seen her since.

The studio I practice in Reno is The Studio which was another “accidental” find. I’m a creature of proximity, so I picked the studio closest to my house. With 99% certainty I can remember my first class was a hot vinyasa taught by a vibrant and attentive woman named Melissa Martinez. The room was packed…and hot! The room seemed full of seasoned veterans, intermediates and beginners. It was a challenge…on many levels. There was chanting at the beginning (I’ve never been one for sing-alongs), the practice itself was intense, then more chanting at the end. Throughout the years, The Studio has remained my preferred yoga studio as I can attend Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Yin, Restorative, Level 2 Hot, The Yoga of Fire and Water, and a multitude of other classes to keep my ADD at bay, and Melissa has become one of my favorite instructors. Since the first day, I’ve seen her grow and change as well, becoming a stronger teacher, launch a teacher training program and birth a child! I am extremely happy for her to have been selected again as a Wanderlust 2014 instructor as the world can use a little more Melissa influence and friendship.

FB: How is mommy hood?

MM: We’re 17 days deep in this journey with our son, Jai Bodhi and I’m still totally blown away by the whole trip. Life is a miracle. As I witness the magic of this little beings development everyday, I’m feeling really honored to be a mom.

Is it everything you anticipated?

I remember just anticipating the birth, which turned out to be an insane experience! Wow. Birthing a human. Wow. I remember thinking that it would be challenging once we brought our weeble wobble home but, nothing and no one could’ve prepared me for this. I think the most surprising thing at this moment is how much this little being needs me. You really can’t imagine how totally dependent they are on you. You can’t even wrap your head around it if you’ve never experienced it. In some ways it feels like the most selfless service on the planet but at the same time how could it be as the rewards are boundless. Success is now measured in smiles and contentment of another being. This is powerful stuff. My whole entire world shrunk to 20 inches and 7 lbs. 2 oz. Oh and sleep! Delicious, wonderful, beautiful sleep… It eludes me if I try to chase it. I can only except that it doesn’t exist the way it use to and then this whole trip is much more doable. I know that it gets better– this is what they say. I know that it’s actually really hard right now to be honest but, again how could it be hard when the rewards are so great. Just looking at his precious little face fills me up and that hour of sleep that I got last night doesn’t matter.

FB: Where are you from? How did you find yoga?

MM: I’m from the San Francisco bay area– literally. During my most formative years we lived on a boat in Redwood City, Docktown Marina. That sounds really cool but not when you’re 12 and trying to listen to Billy Idol on your cassette player. We also moved around quite a bit and lived in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Fremont, Oakland…so, I am a Northern California girl through and through.

Yoga found me about 14 years ago living in Portland Oregon. I was so terrible at the yoga poses– completely inflexible and totally clueless. I remember I couldn’t even sit with my legs crossed in the folded position. I was so out of touch with my physical health even though I went to the gym. When I moved to San Diego a year later I brought a post-it note on which I wrote ‘Go To Yoga’ and taped it to my medicine cabinet in the bathroom so that I could be reminded every day to continue my practice. I was so intrigued that I went to as many workshops, immersions, trainings, retreats, festivals and anything I could for years. Dharma unfolded through my studentship. The lineage that I cherish continues to reveal my heart and my connection to the source from which everything comes. I’ve taught for around seven years and this whole journey has taken me to India with my teacher Janet Stone and Christopher (Hareesh) Wallace; it’s been thousands of hours of study and it’s still going. This year I launched We Are One Flow Yoga 200-hr Teacher Trainings and held space for 37 trainees. The Reno yoga community was rocked by a truly incredible teacher training! The yoga scene is blowing up in Reno!

We need ONE obligatory yoga pose picture, right?
We need ONE obligatory yoga pose picture, right?

FB: Describe you style and your philosophy behind your classes, flow and structure?

MM: The Yoga that I teach is flow yoga or vinyasa yoga. Spontaneity and my fullest attention go into each class. I’ve always thought of teaching group classes as conducting energy. I love music!I love bass. I truly love many different genres of music. I play with the energetic exchange of music and flowing sequences of postures. I’m influenced by my teachers Rusty Wells, Janet Stone, and Shaelah Morris…massive doses of humor when the moment arises is always welcome. Laughing rules.

FB: Is this your first time at Wanderlust?

MM: I was a presenter at Wanderlust last year and attended every festival before that. This year I’m presenting a workshop on Thursday and a class on Friday. The workshop is an offering for those that want to get to know yoga as therapy. Thursday at 1:00-3:00pm I lead Peaceful Therapeutic Flow. This is all about low and slow vinyasa for everybody at any stage in life. It’s important that we create a sustainable pace for practice and support healing through serving the breath. Come to relax and begin your weekend right! On Friday from 2:00-3:30pm, hang out with Dj HyFi and me for Ujjayi Breathing & Your Heart Beating. Dj HyFi (Ian) will provide some seriously deep lush atmospheric landscapes for you to get into your body and out of your mind. You don’t want to miss this! Ian is extremely talented at playing with the energy of the room and taking you on a trip.

FB: Obviously your experience will be drastically different than years past!
MM: My experiences at Wanderlust in the past have been full-on gluttonous which I highly recommend. This year if you see me in the village and I’ve showered and am wearing clothes, I will be deeply satisfied. I think that all of my asana, pranayama, and meditation thus far have prepared me for mommyhood. There’s a lot in the bank and I’ll be withdrawing! I hope that you do some downward-facing dog for me and maybe flip it over or do one of those yoga classes turned dance parties. I might just be in Savasana or Breastfeeding asana. It’s all good. It’s all yoga.

Melissa Martinez teaches at The Studio Reno, 1085 South Virginia St. Her website is www.melissamcyoga.com // www.yogadjhyfi.com. Her next teacher training is in Spring 2015. Info at www.weareoneflowyoga.com or email melmar25@hotmail.com

MELISSA FIELD

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Excuse me sir, But that R2 unit is in prime condition

June 20, 2014
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This year’s Wanderlust, in our opinion, has the best musical line-up since 2011…remember that year? It was so good Wanderlust was almost not invited back? Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Beats Antique, Brazilian Girls, Moby and Yard Dogs Road Show basically turned Squaw into a Phish-lot-turned-bass music festival….which is great or bad depending who you talked to. Understandably, after that year the music turned a little calmer and skewed towards a different demographic as the valley didn’t take kindly to immense bass rumbling the mountainside. This year, Wanderlust has curated a great line-up with two of the best turntablists and producers in the world indie hop hop/trip hop genre, RJD2 and DJ Krush, throwing in the musico-fused electronic experiment Big Gigantic, Thriftworks’ mindtwisting productions, the Polyphonic Spree’s euphoric choir, Bluetech’s beautiful downtempo creations, Manic Focus, Nahko and Medicine for the People and plenty more for any taste.

Whether you like music with your yoga or not, it’s apparent in many classes they go hand in hand. That feeling you get in a show when everyone is connected, vibing and dancing….it’s the same feeling you can feel in yoga classes. Everyone moving and breathing together creates that same connectedness you can feel on the dancefloor when it’s REALLY REALLY GOOD. And on top if it all…what better way to get ready your body and mind ready to play some music in front of a crowd then some yoga? In fact, a little yoga before any activity is a good idea.

rjd2 mask
Click to enter to win a free ticket to RJD2

 

We met RJD2 a few years ago….and that’s what he was doing. He was co-billing a show with The Glitch Mob and we saw him dropping into some yoga poses before his set. When he appeared on the line-up, it didn’t surprise us a bit. We’ve been following RJ’s music since the early part of the 2000’s. It’s one of the artists that is a constant in our repetoir (kind of like Ween for us).

RJD2 originally began his career in Columbus, Ohio, DJing in 1993 with a pair of turntables bought from a friend. He claims his name originates from another friend who referenced him as “rjd2” in his raps, and the name stuck. Besides being one of the best turntablists out there, his productions have placed him on numerous “Best of the Year” lists, he created the theme song for AMC’s Mad Men, a cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music,” an entire album with acclaimed MC Aceyalone, to name a few. He released his most recent album, More Is Than Isn’t, last year (link below). A solid RJD2 album which crosses genres of disco/funk, indie hip hop, soul/r&b….basically this diversely great album can be your soundtrack to an urban and rural roadtrip or would be comfortable as Tarantino movie score. Definitely looking forward to hearing this material live…as RJD2 never disappoints live: Four turntables, two mixers and two samplers. This guy is an animal.

4 Turntables, 2 samplers/MIDI controllers, 2 mixers
4 Turntables, 2 samplers/MIDI controllers, 2 mixers

FB: It’s been awhile since you’ve been to our area…welcome back! I remember when you came here the first time you were wondering “Do people even know me here?” Turns out the show sold out at the Grand Sierra and a lot of people turned out for your set.

RJ: That was a great night.
FB: When we talked backstage we talked a bit about yoga and your practice. Did that play into your decision to do Wanderlust?

RJ: It was definitely a cool peripheral benefit of sorts-music is always going to be my focal point, but I’m excited to see what the whole scene is like out there!

FB: What is your yoga practice? What style(s) do you practice/prefer?

RJ: I’m actually not the most “schooled” practitioner; I basically have some moves that work for me that I have been taught, and I stick to them(when I’m being diligent. I definitely notice a difference in my daily well-being if I slack off. Being in airplanes and cars all the time doesn’t make your back too happy, you know? Maybe someday I’ll go full bore, but for now, I just do what I can.

FB: Yoga studio or at home?

RJ: Home

FB: You had also just had a child then. Still have just the one? Has your kids/fatherhood changed anything about music for you?

RJ: Yup, still just the little guy at the moment. It’s changed EVERYTHING. What my records sound like, how often I do shows, the legacy I’m going to leave behind-it recalibrates everything in your life, quite literally.

FB: Will you be have your custom video show in Wanderlust?

RJ: Hmmm-depends on what my set time is, and the technical stuff, but I hope so! (FYI his set time is 10pm on Friday!)
FB: Anyone you’d like to work with in the future?

RJ: D’angelo would be pretty great. Action Bronson, Mastodon, Chance the Rapper, many others.
FB: Who, living or dead, would be your dream to work with?

RJ: Stevie Wonder, by far.
FB: What are your go-to studio snacks?

RJ: Dried apricots and almond butter, that combo never gets old, and is a great little protein blast.

 

You can catch RJD2 at Wanderlust in Squaw Valley July 17th-20th. RJD2 performs Friday night at 10pm with DJ Krush and Nahko and Medicine for the People.  Tickets available http://wanderlustsquaw2014.sched.org/tickets.

ENTER TO WIN FREE TICKETS: http://bit.ly/wanderlust2014music

 

CLICK ON PHOTO TO LISTEN TO “MORE IS THAN ISN’T”

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO RJD2's "MORE IS THAN ISN'T"
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO RJD2’s “MORE IS THAN ISN’T”

 

SOUNDCLOUD:  https://soundcloud.com/officialrjd2
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EBSITE: http://rjd2.net/
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ACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/RJD2