Marcella Simien is more than just a musician and yoga teacher; she crafts fully immersive experiences for her students, combining the aspects of restorative yoga with her vocal talents to provide sound healing and create a multi-sensational, self-care exploration. 

Marcella is an incredibly talented Memphis musician and has worked for years performing in the mid-South music scene with her band, Marcella & Her Lovers. In 2020 and 2021, following COVID-19 quarantines and new public protocols, performing live was temporarily not an option for Marcella. This also became a difficult time for Marcella’s mental health, and she began looking for an outlet for self-care and self-discovery. With some of her newfound free time and her commitment to making changes to improve her mental health, Marcella decided to attend yoga teacher training. 

Immediately during teacher training, Marcella noticed her mindset shift, saying, “As I became deeper in contact with myself, I could let go of negative external anchors; the exploration of yoga taught me to let go of so much that needed to be freed from my life.” After earning her Yoga Alliance certification through Mind/Body HAUS in May 2022, Marcella went on to study with the founder of Yoga Journal, Judith H. Lasater, that December at Swan River Yoga in New Orleans as a means to learn more about practicing and teaching restorative yoga. 

Restorative yoga is a slower, more restful practice with the goal to relax the body and reduce stress. Marcella always appreciated the high-intensity nature of power flow classes. Still, the recovery and comfort she found during restorative classes helped her learn to reach a state of “being” rather than constantly “doing.” “We have to learn to give ourselves the compassion and kindness to slow down. When you give rest to yourself freely, rather than having to deserve it, your body can feel it in a deep way.” 

For Marcella, music and yoga are both mediums for self-expression, and after becoming a teacher, she has worked to combine the two in a way that she can share with the Memphis community. In Marcella’s New Moon Flow, she combines restorative yoga and a live music experience, typically timed on or before the new moon’s orbit. During the 90-minute class, students are guided through restorative yoga postures accessible to students at all levels, while Marcella provides a sound healing experience with vocalizations and instruments. 

“A new moon is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself, pause, observe, look at where you are, how far you’ve come, and meditate on what new energy you’d like to invite into your life.” 

Marcella’s next New Moon Flow takes place on August 26 at Mind/Body HAUS, 6:30-8 p.m. You can also partake in her 60-minute Restorative Yoga class at Mind/Body HAUS on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. or her 60-minute Vinyasa class at InsideOut Gym Fridays at 10:15 a.m., or reach out to schedule a private or group session. 

Stay updated with Marcella’s upcoming classes and performances through her Instagram accounts, @marcella.simien and @marcellasimienmusic.

By Zoe Harrison

Photo by Tindall Stephens