About Melissa Karolides

Melissa Karolides

I have always been a seeker. In college I earned a BA in Psychology, hoping that delving into the mind would uncover the secrets of happiness. Then, finding joy in exercise, I obtained a master’s degree in exercise physiology. While these fields brought understanding and vitality, I realized that I had spent years searching for peace of mind, surviving only by over-scheduling my time to distract my attention from my inner turmoil. I yearned for more, and this led to the connection of mind-body-spirit created through the yogic path.


When I took my first yoga class in 1989 while in graduate school, I found an oasis of calm amidst my stressful life. Gradually yoga became a life path. In 1996 I fulfilled a long quest, and learned to meditate while working at Deepak Chopra’s center for Well-Being. Meditation brought tremendous transformation—settling the inner storms, lifting a lifelong depression, bringing weight balance, and finally—the capacity for joy emerged. I became a Chopra-certified meditation teacher in 1997. Deepening my yoga practice seemed like a natural next step, and I completed ashtanga (eight-limbed) yoga teacher training in 1998 at Mount Madonna Center. Also helpful on my path of growth was my experience working with Anthony Robbins, where I learned practical tools to integrate beliefs and values for discovering one’s life purpose and following one’s dreams.


Writing has always been a big part of my life. My journey began with journaling in childhood, continued with newspaper writing and editing in college, and my first book Focus on Fitness was published in 1994. Writing and editing are exciting for me, like a puzzle with all the pieces swimming around in my mind, which brings great satisfaction to put together. For me, the process of writing personal stories evokes integration, healing, catharsis, and personal exploration. Currently, I am completing a memoir.


With abundant gratitude to be working in a field I love, and enthusiasm for sharing my commitment to wellness, I teach yoga in the Exercise Science Department at Grossmont College. I also offer weekly classes in a beautiful park in San Diego, and at Mesa Rim Climbing & Fitness Center. My passion is leading yoga, meditation and writing retreats in beautiful natural locations around the world. I also love to cook, travel, ski, rock climb, bike ride, backpack, and write about life transformation.

One thought on “About Melissa Karolides

  1. I’d love to create retreat opportunities for writers some day. If you ever need a volunteer some time let me know.

    Margo 🙂

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