Melody Benhamou: A conversation with an inspiring woman

Melody Benhamou: A conversation with an inspiring woman

By October 6, 2017 Article No Comments
Melody Benhamou: A conversation with an inspiring woman

Recently, I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet the founder of Idolem Studios, and to hear the back story behind these Hot Yoga studios that are popping up everywhere.

If I had met her a few years ago, Melody would never have believed she would have fallen in love with yoga – and yet… A professional beach volleyball player, she suffered an injury that kept her off the court for some time. It was then that a friend suggested hot yoga, and she was instantly smitten. It became a kind of religion for her; every Friday, she and her friends would meet at the same studio for their yoga practice. Over time however, her taste for yoga evolved to the point where she began to critique the way things were done, and figure out better approaches to resolve the issues she noticed at the studio.

With two undergraduate degrees in marketing from École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Melody definitely knew how to please her customers. She therefore decided to open her own studio. She started with ten spots, which filled up in only six weeks; five months later, she opened a 50-spot studio in Laval. Today, Melody’s studios have entered their second generation. She has been gradually revamping them since, unable to secure loans for renovations at the time, she had been doing everything herself at first.

At a certain point in her development, Melody found it increasingly difficult to find instructors like her to teach at her studios. As a result, she opened her instructional school on her Caribbean island of Saint Martin. In fact, I would have liked to introduce Melody and Idolem Studios much sooner, and she was supposed to attend the September 9 Immersive Yoga event. Unfortunately, at the time she was stranded on Saint Martin by Hurricane Irma, which razed Melody’s island studio to the ground (along with much more) on its destructive path.

That said, Melody recognizes the need to rebuild the community, and to give Saint Martin back its Chi – its energy and inner strength. As a result, she has decided to offer island residents six months of free yoga on a basic platform. She confided that the benefit of yoga is that it takes very little to practice it. Through yoga, Melody hopes to restore some joy and happiness to residents’ lives, and strengthen their resolve to get through and recover from this ordeal.

In addition to this initiative and through Chi, her humanitarian community, Melody will also deploy a team to help with clean-up and rebuilding work. She is also accepting cash donations, and will soon be selling malas to finance reconstruction efforts. She told me that although island residents are pleased to receive money, they mostly require physical help. All assistance is most welcome! Personally, I will be taking vacation time to go lend a hand, and I hope to inspire you to do the same.

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