Mel Gilles

Mel Gilles knew Moab was home as soon as arrived. She serves the community in her role as the executive director of WabiSabi and teaching yoga. If she were president, she would have health insurance for everyone.

1. What initially brought you to Moab?

Rumors of beauty and the promise of home. By the time I was 20, I had moved about a dozen times; and I was lucky enough to know several people who visited here and told me that I would love it. I knew I was home as soon as I smelled the sage and Russian olive and saw the rocks.

2. What do you love most about living in Moab?

The community. It just gets better and better, stronger and stronger, more and more supportive and beautiful.

3. What do you dislike about living in Moab?

Sometimes, it is hard to get some privacy. Community is a commitment, and transparency is a part of that.

4. What is your occupation?

I have a vocation, I think. One is to teach yoga, to practice yoga, to try to embody yoga. The other which is actually closely linked is to serve creatively in community. I work at Wabi Sabi as the executive director, and that occupation fully allows me to live into my two vocations.

5. If you could have any job in the world, what would you most like to do?

Exactly what I am doing. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would keep my job at Wabi, and continue teaching yoga and being active in the community. And I would become a philanthropist.

6. Describe a typical day in your life.

Arise to some ridiculous music on my cell phone alarm. Read Bhagavad Gita, or pull some cards (Medicine or Tarot). Don costume for the day. Listen to mantra or pop music or both on way to Wabi. Walk at five, alone or with girlfriend. Teach yoga or practice myself. Dinner. Reflection, chanting and household stuff or watching some trash television on Netflix. Reading. Sleep. Rinse and repeat.

7. Some people have bumper stickers on their car that reads: I’d Rather be Sailing. What would your bumper sticker read?

Those bumper stickers kind of drive me crazy. If I would rather be doing something, then I better be doing it!

8. Tell us one thing people don’t usually know about you.

More and more, I think I am an introvert. Imagine my surprise.

9. In high school, you would have been considered the person most likely to…

Write a book.

10. What is your favorite Moab activity?

Hiking in Mill Creek.

11. Tell us your favorite non-Moab place to visit.

The Ashram where I study in North Carolina with my family nearby. Or, St. Simons Island, Georgia.

12. What do you consider your greatest achievement in life?

Healing from chronic illness through yoga and allowing that experience to revolutionize my life.

13. If you were President, what’s the first thing you’d do to make life better in America?

Health insurance for everyone.

14. What superhero power would you most like to have?

I would like to fly. Selfish, I suppose, because it wouldn’t serve anyone but me. Can Jesus be considered a superhero? Because I would really like to feed everyone, too.

15. If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?

I would be an Osprey. They live at the beach, ride the wind, have impressive vision and concentration, and can hover for long periods of time in one spot with only small adjustments to their feathers. They are nice divers, too. And: they fly!

16. What is your all time favorite movie?

“Gone With The Wind”

17. And, your all time favorite book?

Perhaps the same. But I really love the “Bhagavad Gita”.

18. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three CDs would you want to have with you?

All three would be by Krishna Das.

19. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why? David Bowie. I love him.

20. What is your life philosophy?

Be receptive.