Meet Our Members: Ivy Melchor

Like many AWA members, I came to Vienna for love. My husband is a second generation Filipino- Austrian; his parents came here in the late 70’s when Germany and Austria needed nurses and medical workers from Asia.

I had never thought of living in Austria when growing up in the Philippines, as I was always fascinated with metropolitan cities like London and New York. My dream took me to New York for seven wonderful years. I was lucky to work at the British Consulate General in New York from 2002 in an organization that valued diversity and with people who believed in my abilities. I met people that I thought I would only see on television and lived in a tiny apartment in Manhattan, taking the Subway packed with sweaty people in summer, walking on the sidewalk next to piles of snow taller than me in winter, sitting on a bench eating hotdogs, and watching people in Central Park. I walked around museums, walked the streets at night without fear because there were always people around and became star struck sometimes from seeing Hollywood stars.

It was a great experience in my 20’s, but that all changed when a family member became ill. I had thought New York was going to be my forever home and that I had achieved my dreams. It was all I wanted at that point in my life although I knew it was not perfect. At times, I cried myself to sleep as it was hard to live alone in an expensive city.

I followed my heart to leave the City that Never Sleeps, and it changed my life for good. Back home, I was given a book to read called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It became my guide for healing the mind and, at the same time, I discovered yoga and became a yoga teacher, meeting new friends and opening Urban Ashram Yoga in Manila. I became fascinated with health and wellness and at one point became vegetarian.

Then I met my husband, fell in love, got married, moved to Vienna, and started a family. My desire to learn Deutsch and to give to charity at Christmas led me to AWA in 2012. When my boys started kindergarten, I had more time to be active again and eventually was appointed as Office Manager. I continued practicing and teaching yoga and enjoyed helping my students learn about their bodies. I took more workshops and trained to expand my knowledge, teaching Vinyasa, prenatal, postnatal, and Well Woman Yoga. As I learned more about women’s bodies, I was inspired to teach women at every stage of their lives, now both at a small studio in the 18th District and at AWA on Wednesday mornings.

AWA members inspire me every day. They are women of the world with big hearts! Many of them speak multiple languages and have lived in many countries. I love that they continue to connect with people wherever they go, volunteering, their time and talents, and making an effort to share their knowledge of this beautiful city with newcomers.

As I live here longer and learn more from the AWA Tours and Trips, I learn to love my new home more.