Melanie C. Klein helps others embrace radical self-acceptance, authentic empowerment, and supercharged confidence in her roles as an empowerment coach, thought leader, and influencer. She also does work as a writer and speaker and furthers her influence through her work as a professor of Sociology and Gender/Women’s Studies.
Her 1:1 work with her coaching clients benefit from her guidance, unique skills, and framework. Melanie believes that people should have access to her experience and expertise, whether or not they end up in any of her classes or as one of her clients. This is one of the many reasons she co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014, a community platform and the natural outcome of her 25+ years of hard work.
Background & Education
Melanie uses her background and expertise to help provide a holistic and integrated approach to support her clients. She has over 25 years of social justice work and social advocacy. Intersectional feminism has been and is one of the guiding praxis’ that informs her intention, vision and approach to her work.
She also has ample experience in media literacy and has been committed to challenging the larger cultural narrative by diversifying representation. She put her learning into practice through her Yoga and Body Image Coalition and her published books (as both author and editor), ensuring diversity in representation in the images used and the stories told. As a result, the yoga and wellness spaces look significantly different than they did ten to fifteen years ago.
Melanie began practicing yoga and meditation in 1996. She took her yoga teacher training in 2001 and completed Thai Yoga Therapy training in 2002. Around the same time, she became a certified massage therapist. Her training has turned her into an expert in the areas of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
Additionally, she has two degrees in Sociology with an emphasis on sex and gender as well as an emphasis on systems of power and privilege. She has worked as a Sociology and Gender/Women’s Studies professor for 19 years, although most of her current work comes from private 1:1 clients.
Founding the Yoga and Body Image Coalition
The Yoga and Body Image Coalition was a natural outcome of Melanie’s 25+ years of empowerment work, both personally and on a social scale. The organization grew from her deep desire to help illuminate the unique and individual path each person has to pure possibility…and how stepping into our own power allows us greater ability and capacity to do the work for the collective good.
Melanie was compelled to offer her insight, experience, and years of study and personal growth after she first met her mentor in 1994 and stepped on to her own journey of healing and empowerment. She believes that awareness about how culture works and the scripts we follow can help us resist, deconstruct, and re-create those scripts and our culture.
The desire to inspire, educate and support others comes from Melanie’s own struggles and experiences. She found freedom from guilt, shame, blame, and the idea that she wasn’t enough through a combination of intersectional feminism, sociology, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Once she experienced that liberation, she wanted to share it.
Melanie shares that possibility for personal and collective freedom through teaching, organizing, advocating, writing, speaking, mentoring, curating and publishing anthologies, collaborating, and coaching. She has remained true to her aim to become conscious and empowered while developing and sharing her potential with the world. She wants others to live fulfilled lives and helps them contribute in meaningful ways to make the world a more beautiful and equitable place.
Challenges & Growth
When Melanie first transitioned from the academic sphere to working in the private sphere, she questioned herself. She wondered if she could exist in both spaces and worried about how she would grow her business while maintaining her integrity and authenticity.
To grow her personal coaching business, she had to resolve and let go of many preconceived notions, stereotypes, misconceptions, assumptions, and projections. This shift deepened her own personal development work, allowing her to expand her vision and sense of confidence.
Melanie takes the work she does and her commitment to clients very seriously. Because of this, she’s constantly checking in with herself to make sure she’s staying on track. When she gets nervous about a new speaking engagement or other challenges, she smiles because she knows it’s an opportunity to grow and push herself to her next level of being.
She uses this mindset to help individuals optimize their personal and professional success through increased confidence, clarity, healing, money mindset shifts, action-taking, and overall empowerment. These things lead to radical individual transformation and collective liberation.