Marissa Walch is a fitness enthusiast who not only works in the fitness industry full-time, but it’s her every day passion. She hopes to inspire you on your mat in a creative manner where your body gives you the freedom to move, gain flexibility and strength. She is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor, also instructing Spin, TRX and Boot Camp classes when she isn’t teaching yoga; and over the summer you can find Marissa on the water at
Capital SUP Annapolis as their Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Fitness Director. She completed her first yoga training in North Carolina, in her hometown, for her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2011 and completed Charm City Yoga’s(now YogaWorks Baltimore) 300 hour training in 2014 to deepen her practice of yoga, create workshops and to fine tune her personal practice. She has worked in the fitness/yoga industry for over ten years and dedicates every minute of her day to share her love for keeping and creating a more healthy life! You will have fun, feel stronger and sweat with each practice, class, workshop or training session.
We asked Marissa: What experience brought you to yoga?
I was living in California working as a intern for the Surfrider Foundation, I didn’t know many people so I had some free time when I wasn’t working and my roommate asked me to go to hot yoga and I thought he was a bit crazy to do yoga in a hot room, like the concept seemed just weird. I also didn’t really do yoga…I was a boot camp, running, surfing, etc. kind of kid…not a yogi. I decided to go after a few weeks and fell in love. I went everyday, I would skate up and down the hills in San Clemente to the studio and then enjoy free juice they always gave out after class. Then I moved back to NC to finish my senior year in college at UNCW and I found the Wilmington Yoga Center and I fell in love with the teachers and the practice.
How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?
I discovered Yoloha because we were selling the mats at YogaWorks (where I work in Baltimore, previously known as Charm City Yoga) and I thought the concept of the mat was neat and I was looking for a new option for practicing yoga. I love the feeling of the cork under my palms as well as the comfort of the mat under my knees and head. As long as you clean your mat it smells great and drys quickly when left out after a hot class. The native cork yoga mat is my favorite width, length and grip mat and I have really enjoyed using it during my at home practice (not hot) and in hot studios.
What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?
I mainly teach vinyasa style yoga (hot and non-hot classes). I prefer the room to be a bit heated if not HOT because I love to sweat and I feel like my body responds much better in the heat. I love to take yoga classes at my studio, different studio and at home on YouTube. When I travel I love to test out new studios and types of classes, it’s a constant learning experience for me. I also teach spin, TRX, boot camps and stand-up paddleboard yoga… kind of all over the place with my loves and workouts 🙂
Where do you teach?
I teach at YogaWorks Baltimore – Fed & Fells point locations, Capital SUP in Annapolis and the Under Armour Performance Center at Under Armour headquarters. I also work with Pure Raw Juice as their local ambassador and we host events around the city. You can find where I teach and all my classes/events on my website – www.marissawalch.com
Do you have any events or workshops coming up? LOADS – check my website www.marissawalch.com – it’s updated with everything FUN 🙂
Other than yoga, what are your hobbies or favorite ways to spend your time?
I love to run my dog Minnie, get out on the water as much as possible paddling & teaching SUP Yoga, enjoy sushi/tacos/ramen/acai bowls with my friends, be in the sunshine and workout at different studios when I travel. I moved to Baltimore City over six years ago with my boyfriend and it was very tough finding my happy place after moving from Lake Norman to Wrightsville Beach – to a city in the “north” (haha) that isn’t surrounded by clean water to enjoy. I have learned to fall in love with other things in life and getting back to being close by water or making sure I have plenty of travel opportunities in life is what we are working on now 🙂
Do you have a favorite charity or non-profit?
I love the Surfrider Foundation, it was the first non-profit organization that I found myself dedicating most of my time to in college. I helped to create the UNCW Surfrider chapter and we hosted lots of beach sweeps on Wrightsville Beach, educational sessions at local schools, smoking bans on the beach, recycling projects and more. This is where I found my love for the ocean and environment. Locally I support the MD SPCA & BARCS in Baltimore, Maryland – we rescued our dog Minnie from the MD SPCA over five years ago and are so thankful she was brought into our lives. We try to give to them when we can and support all of their local events – they do so much for the animals in the city.
Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to take care of yourself?
I workout 6 of out 7 days of the week (spinning, yoga, boot camps, lifting, paddling, TRX, yoga, running….) SUPER IMPORTANT to me to maintain an all around healthy body that does cardio, strength training and more. BUT I also have a physical therapy team (FX Physical Therapy) that I use who helps to get my body feeling good if something gets out of wack and I get a monthly massage from my massage therapist (Aliya Baskerville) – I build these expenses into my monthly expenses list (right under rent, phone, etc.) to make sure I take care of myself.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
Here is my list… in no certain order… and they are super random… handstand, warrior 1, downdog, grasshopper and supine spinal twists 🙂 I love handstand because I have built the pose from the bottom to the top and am constantly learning new ways to hold handstand and feel confident. Warrior 1 challenges me because it fires every muscle in my body – my butt, legs, core, back and arms are all turned on and working – I normally feel a beautiful release in my psoas and hip flexors. Downdog feels cozy to me – my hammys are sore from teaching spin and life so it’s almost that yummy rest for me that I crave while taking and teaching class. I demo downdog just so I can do it… haha Grasshopper pose is my favorite arm balance, it’s fun, challenging and so PRETTY when I can get into the fullest expression. Finally spinal twists – THEY FEEL SO GOOD at any point of the day. Always recommending a spinal twist! 🙂
What is your favorite place that you have traveled and why?
I have taken a number of short trips around the US and a few outside, I’m not good at traveling for like more than 3-5 days, I like my routine and to have Minnie with us, BUT honestly I love going back to NC. Now that I don’t live there getting back home to Lake Norman or to Wrightsville Beach, NC makes me so happy. It’s my favorite place, food, friends, memories, water and ultimate joy.
Talk about an experience as a student of yoga that has changed you.
Lots of yoga has changed me – I tried being a vegetarian for a while, meditating/praying daily and wearing tight pants, I used to only wear baggy shorts or sweats if I was working out – haha. BUT I used to have a really hard time accepting my body. Very hard. I never went to extremes, but I would stare at myself in the mirror and ask my boyfriend DAILY if I was fat and I would grab the area around my belly button and my hips. I never felt the confidence that I would give off as a teacher. After growing with the practice and myself, I have learned to actually love my body. I still care to keep it strong and healthy, eat clean and with awareness, but I have learned that it’s okay to not be the size I imagined, but the size that my body has chosen to be and loved. I can say that when I practice I am moving with love in my body and I hope that I can giving that out to others as well. I still work for more muscle, strength and flexibility, but I work for it in a way of love, where I support my body and make sure it knows how THANKFUL I am to be healthy and have the body that I do in life.
When do you feel like you are being your true self?
When I teach! I love teaching, I have been teaching for over ten years and it’s my everyday life, my passion and my job. It doesn’t matter the mood – I show up, I give the students what they want and I am able to free myself from the energy I am feeling if it’s not serving me. I love everyone I meet, sharing a community of healthy individuals together and trying to live my fullest and healthiest life. That’s truly REAL to me.