• E-RYT 500 Yoga Alliance
  • RYS-200 Yoga Alliance, Yoga for Health & Fitness
  • Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Coach, National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • STOTT Pilates certified, mat & Reformer
  • CPR


  • Thai Yoga, Vedic Conservatory
  • Hot Hula
  • The Booty Barre
  • Les Mills Body Step
  • Acro-Yoga Lunar & Elemental
  • Hydro-Spin
  • Former AFAA
  • YouTube Station with Tutorials
  • Produced 90-minute Yoga DVD
  • Written Yoga Manual
  • Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism, Boston University
  • Master's Degree in Global Leadership, Hawaii Pacific University


Melisa stumbled into her first Power Yoga class at The Gym Honolulu in 2001. She was in graduate school and working full time in radio. She fell in love with the magic of yoga and the practiced regularly under the guidance of her teacher, James Figueira. She didn't dream of teaching, until James planned a trip to Mysore, and asked her to teach in his absence. He mentored her daily, one-on-one, teacher and student, for months in preparation for his upcoming  trip. She later studied Ashtanga Primary Series more "officially" at Yoga Hawaii and received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certification in Ashtanga Primary Series with an emphasis on Aruyveda under Ashtanga teachers Anthony "Prem" Carlisi and Rupali. Melisa completed her 500-hour teacher training certification at the Baptiste Inspired SID Yoga Center. Along with attending as many workshops as possible with yogis such as: David Swenson, Seane Corne, Jill Miller, Beryl Bender Birch, David Lynch, and more, she studies, reads, practices and observes. She humbly refers to herself as an eternal student and baby yogini, learning more with each year and each injury.  She specializes in private yoga for individuals based on their unique bodies, abilities and stages. "Yoga is not one-size fits all. It takes continual adjustment, evaluation, observation, and tweaking to see what asanas are right for which person on any given day." 

Melisa is also a part of the University of Maryland's School of Integrative Health's 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training. 

Melisa founded MaKa Movement to help teach others to be healthy, conscious and to create a sense of community. MaKa's mission is to use movement-based activities to increase self-esteem, physical strength, emotional balance and to help people feel good about themselves. 

MaKa specializes in individual and small group sessions for adults and children, and is currently expanding its outreach programs.

Melisa believes we are here for a divine purpose and when we find that purpose, and choose it, life is harmonious. For Melisa and her partner Nate Casses, that is teaching self-love and acceptance through movement, breath and kindness. MaKa Movement is Baltimore, Maryland and offers classes, private sessions, workshops, certified 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Health & Fitness and outreach programs.

Nate Casses believes in holistic, healthy living and is inspired to help others feel strong and peaceful. He was a marathoner, triathlete, and heavy weightlifter until discovering yoga. Nate started dedicating more of his "workout" and "training" time to his yoga practices, and is on his mat six to seven days each week. He completed his first 200-hour teacher training at MaKa Movement. He continues to study, take workshops and is always learning through his own practice. He is currently working toward a certification in Acro-Yoga. P.S., his playlists rock too! 
You can catch Nate's classes at LA Fitness, Towson, Brick Bodies Perry Hall, and he & Melisa co-teach a class Mondays at Brick Bodies Padonia.