Melissa Aguirre, Founder
Author, Educator and Owner of MelMarie Yoga, Melissa Aguirre is an integrative mind body therapist directing, teaching and authoring therapeutic programs for special populations and the military community. Founding director of nonprofit Trinity Healing Foundation, official partner of USO and the Vogel Resiliency Center at Fort Sam Houston, military spouse, and chai enthusiast, Melissa Aguirre is passionate about empowering the community to advocate for individual wellbeing through self care, stress management and connection. For more information on Melissa Aguirre visit www.melmarieyoga.com
As a military spouse and entrepreneur- I KNOW THE STRUGGLE, of relocating and starting over or trying to create a life you love while married to the Army. I have worked with hundreds of military spouses through yoga, mindfulness and yoga teacher training; a common denominator I discover (and with my military spouse friends) is trying to figure out how to maintain some capacity of independence of passion, or even making time for yourself when your spouse is not around often and you have kids, simultaneous to having an uncertain future. I wanted to design a program that create job and self care sustainability for military spouses because yoga has been such that for me. It is a way to rehabilitate, heal and serve. It is a way to nourish, ground and clear. My heartfelt desire is to make this accessible for you; guide and support you- so you can take this and share with others.
Donnelle Dawson, Founder
Donnell has been a Program Manager and educator for over 18 years of both children and adults specializing in learning theory, parent education, curriculum development, and community outreach. Her journey led her towards health and wellness after leading an adult education program for the military focused on resilience, stress management, and emotional regulation. She is currently studying in the graduate program at George Washington University for Health Sciences and Integrative Medicine, in Yoga Instructor Training 200 RYT, and Integrative Health Coaching. Donnell believes in focusing on the whole person encompassing the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual aspects of overall health painting a unique picture of wellness for each individual.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 19 years old and have experienced the power of healing through movement. As a dancer, movement through the body has always inspired me, and the path to yoga gave a new opportunity to share my passion for being connected to the body. The mind-body connection has given me personal guidance, pain management control, and strength from a community as I learned to grow through my chronic disease. As an Airforce spouse, I have experienced deployments, long separations, and relocations where it is challenging to feel connected to others - to find my tribe. I wanted a program where other spouses can feel heard, understood, encouraged, and motivated to care for themselves while connecting to others. Some of my deepest growth has come from making myself a priority through self-care and it is something I want to share. My belief is that spouses can be empowered here and discover ways to be resilient without judgment. A place of belonging.
Wendy Lugo Santiago , Founder
Wendy Lugo Santiago is a homeschooling work-at-home mom. She is a digital marketing consultant and provides social media marketing strategy, management and training through her own boutique agency Digital Marketing LS|EG. After being a military spouse for 16 years, she now enjoys to finally being settled after her husband retired in 2017. She is in the process of becoming a certified therapeutic yoga teacher (200 hours) through MelMarie Yoga.
Wendy Fish, Founder
Wendy Fish currently serves as the Director for USO San Antonio; a nonprofit whose mission is to serve our Nation’s Active Duty Military and their families. As the Director she leads over 400 staff and volunteers and 4 USO centers supporting over 250,000 service members and their families in Military City USA.
During the past decade, she has supported military members and their families, especially during their toughest times, with military survivor and caregiver support.
Former Senior Program Director of TAPS Military and Veteran Caregiver Network, Wendy helped create, implement and operate peer support programs and services to support over 5.5 million Military and Veteran Caregivers.
As Senior Manager of TAPS’ Peer Mentor Program, Wendy supported and trained hundreds of military and veterans’ surviving loved ones as peer mentors.
As Co-Founder and Vice President of the Friends of the Fallen Organization, Wendy established the first non-profit organization to support families of fallen service members at Dover Air Force Base.
She also created and managed the USO’s National Support Program for Families of the Fallen in collaboration with Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations staff, military service casualty officers, TAPS and USO locations across the country.
Wendy holds a B.S. in Business Administration, is the spouse of Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) David Fish, and mother of 3 military children.
Megan Brown, Adaptive Yoga Teacher
Megan was introduced to yoga by a friend as a “great way to start her day.” What started as a simple morning wake up, became a journey into healing everything from acute combat stress to severe service related migraines. Soon, Megan was off of all of her medications and feeling better than she had in years. She decided to share her experience by earning her RYT-200 as a Therapeutic Yoga Specialist and she is currently pursuing her degree as an Integrative Health Specialist. While there are many yoga teachers who do amazing work with veterans, Megan has the unique perspective of having lived, and still currently living, the veteran experience. She hopes her students can find the peace, balance, and body healing she has discovered through yoga.
Eva Zobian Wolf, Program Advisor
Eva started her yoga journey over 20 years ago in an effort to increase flexibility. After spending many of her teen years in a back brace for scoliosis, she found her range of motion had become very limited. While, she enjoys cycling, running and other outdoor exercise, it is yoga where she feels truly at home in her body and wants to help others feel the same. In 2016, she worked to create a consistent daily yoga practice. By bringing herself to the mat each day, she noticed she moved better, felt stronger and stopped thinking she had to fit into a specific mold to be able to share yoga!! In 2017, she was able to achieve a lifelong dream of becoming a certified Yoga Instructor when she obtained her 200 RYT with MelMarie Yoga and followed that up with further training to get her 500RYT. Eva practices an adaptive therapeutic yoga that works amazingly well with her scoliosis and works with practitioners of all levels of flexibility and mobility.
Eva is originally from Michigan. After her husband was a patient at BAMC, they decided to call San Antonio home. They have three children. Having spent time as an Army wife and now a Navy Mom, Eva wants to work in support of the military community. As an ICU nurse, she still travels frequently as a volunteer acting as medical support with non profit organizations that support Disabled Veterans and First Responders through cycling events. She also volunteers with inpatient recovery groups teaching yoga once a week. After many years of believing that physical and mobility impairments would prevent her from becoming a true yogi, she has learned that yoga is a truly unique and individual practice. She hopes to assist others in learning that they too are capable of feeling at home in their body and comfortable developing their own unique practice. She believes yoga is a lifestyle that transforms and transcends from and through the yoga mat allowing an individual to discover their healthier version of themselves.
Nakita Gil, Adaptive Yoga Teacher
Nakita has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. She first developed her love for the practice to cope with the challenges of caring for an injured military spouse, but now uses it as a method to inspire others to discover their true authentic self. Nakita served in the Army for 8 years as a combat medic and managed multiple healthcare clinics, however after 2 deployments, Nakita transitioned to civilian life and pursued her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word in Health Sciences. She has also earned her master’s degree in Administration, with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. When not teaching or practicing yoga, she enjoys spending time her husband, fur babies, gardening, or cooking vegetarian/vegan cuisine. Yet, her passion remains to challenge people to discover their own inner strength and abilities through a creative, energetically-balanced, breath and asana focused practice.
Madison Hudson, Adaptive Yoga Teacher
Madison first started her yoga journey to help with a chronic head injury. She later developed a deeper meaning of her own practice. She gained an understanding about herself through yoga and wanted to explore that more. In 2017, she received her 200hr training certification with MelMarie Yoga Academy. She now seeks to introduce the magic that yoga brings to anyone and everyone. Madison is passionate about helping demographics in need such as military and first responders, the prison population, and those struggling with self-worth and self-esteem. She has been volunteering with Conviction Yoga teaching to female inmates in Lockhart, TX and is now happy to be serving a community she grew up around, as her mom is retired Air Force. Madison has seen the hard work her mother went through and struggled with having to be away from her family, experience deployments, and all that comes along with being in the military. Her mother has found an outlet through yoga and Madison strives to help the same community that she felt built her. While not doing yoga, Madison enjoys being active in the outdoors, finding new restaurants and coffee shops, and traveling.