How happy is your melon?
Yoga teacher Masha Gorodilova shares her philosophy on the benefits of mindfulness.
The modern mystery of ‘inner peace’ haunts our frenetic world more intensely than ever before. What is it? How do we get it? How much does it cost?
As we battle a constant barrage of emails, texts, phone calls, social media alerts – oh, and life on top of that – finding a moment to connect with a calmer side of yourself is becoming something of a challenge.
It is for this reason that holistic practices such as yoga and meditation have become so popular over the years. The slower pace, the transformative physical challenge, and the focus on calming the mind continue to attract converts every day, around the world.
Melbourne-based yogi Masha Gorodilova opened her yoga and meditation studio, Happy Melon, with a mission of helping her students find inner peace and good health. In the years that have followed, Masha has carved out a reputation as one of the best in the business.
We sat down to speak with Masha about her journey into the art of yoga, and how we can follow.
"Yoga gives people a chance to slow down and focus within. It allows people to connect better with themselves and with others."
What's the story behind the name Happy Melon?
Happy Melon comes from the idea that if you can make your melon happy – melon, being your head! – the rest will then follow. It was a fun name that we initially laughed at but it slowly grew on us. We hope we are helping to make many happy melons out there.
You’re originally from Russia, and moved to Melbourne to learn English in 2001. Yoga is an international language that everyone speaks – why do you think it’s so popular?
These days it is so popular because it gives people a chance to slow down and focus within. It is a religion and allows people to connect better with themselves and with others.
Happy Melon yoga is accessible with many different styles on offer that allow people to connect with the practice in their own way. Some prefer yin, some like it fast and warm. Each person’s practice is completely unique and no two days are ever the same.
"Don't give up after the first session, as it is always the hardest one. Demystify yoga for yourself."
Let’s talk about mindfulness. It’s a key focus at your Happy Melon studio, and is what sets you apart from other yoga teachers. Why is it such an important element?
We were searching for a place that combines mindfulness with things we already knew and loved, such as yoga and pilates. We couldn’t find one, so in the end we created our own.
We are often guilty of living our lives on autopilot. Using the attitudes of mindfulness we can simply apply it daily. Mindfulness is an ancient practice supported by scientific evidence. Our vision is that by 2025 a mindfulness practice will be as common as a yoga practice.
How can we incorporate mindfulness into our everyday routine?
Easily. When you are driving your car, what else are you doing? Are you eating? Are you texting? Are you answering an email in your head? In a split second you missed the journey and you were not at all present to notice how you got to your destination.
Mindfulness helps us to stop and smell the roses. We look up when we walk down the street and we see the beauty in the simplest of things. We practice mindful listening when someone is talking to us without giving our opinion (unless asked!). We truly let someone open their hearts to us. This is mindfulness.
What are your top tips for beginner yogis?
Show up. Stop procrastinating. Choose a teacher that resonates with you and commit for a few weeks at least. Don't give up after the first session, as it is always the hardest one. Demystify yoga for yourself.
What is your mantra you live by every day?
“Let you heart be open, wild, and free.”
Learn more about Happy Melon Studios.