Melinda McAuliff was interested in geckos before car insurance made geckos cool. She’s even got the ink to prove it.
Her left wrist showcases a collection of geckos she likes to call her totem, a spiritual emblem that best matches her own free-spirited soul.
“Some people just have connection with certain animals,” says McAuliff. “For some it may be an eagle. For others it’s wolves. For me it’s geckos.”
McAuliff has had at least one gecko as a pet since she was 18. And her love for the nocturnal lizards isn’t the only thing she was into pre-fad.
Yoga has been McAuliff’s discipline of choice for the past 12 years; way before it became a trendy thing to do. She currently teaches yoga three days a week at Prana Yoga in Fairport.
McAuliff’s passion led her to start iRoc Yoga (iRocYoga.com), a website bringing the Rochester yoga community together. McAuliff uses the site, which launched a year ago, to blog about yoga, promote workshops and organize a variety of charity events.
“We have a yoga community here in Rochester that all loves to give back,” says McAuliff. “It’s just in our nature. Everyone does something in their own pocket, but we’ve never come together to do something as a full community.”
Last June, McAuliff helped organize an event that brought yoga enthusiasts together to do 108 sun salutations (it’s a yoga pose) in support of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center. The event raised nearly $2,000 for the center.
iRoc Yoga’s most recent event was a 90-minute yoga improv session on Sunday, April 1 at bush Mango Drum & Dance on Elton Street. The event supported the Mary Cariola Children’s Center.
McAuliff plans to spend the next year growing out iRoc Yoga, assuming she can fit it into her busy schedule. When she’s not doing yoga, McAuliff works full time as a communications specialist for wine company Constellation Brands in Victor.
McAuliff’s role as a young professional by day and free spirit by night is an interesting paradox. Though, she has a nice way of reconciling it.
“I’m too yuppie to be a hippy, but not yuppie enough to be yuppie,” she says with a laugh. “I’m just me.”
~ story by Kaitlin Mesmer
~ photo by Chris Cardwell