Through her wildly popular and empowering platform that professes mindful movement, wellness icon Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is steering our approach toward a better world.
“TODAY’S WORLD IS SO FAST-PACED. Our lives are hectic, and the constant demands and stressors have led to a rise in burnout and mental health issues,” says local luminary Melissa Wood-Tepperberg. The certified health and wellness coach, meditator, and yoga and Pilates teacher has built a cult following around her platform MWH (melissawoodhealth.com), which focuses on mindful movement and meditation. “I believe in low-impact, mindful movement because it not only improves physical health but also builds emotional and mental resilience by emphasizing self-care and self-compassion. In a time when many of us feel overwhelmed, this gentle approach to fitness that we embrace at MWH helps to reconnect us with our bodies, reduce stress and find balance,” she explains. With MWH, Wood-Tepperberg offers mindful movements and practices laced with self-compassion and care as a counterbalance to the fast-paced lives precipitating mental health crises, guiding us toward overall well-being.
“I truly believe in the power of manifestation, but it’s important to understand that manifestation goes beyond wishful thinking,” she says. “It involves aligning your actions with your aspirations and taking consistent steps toward your goals.” This foundational philosophy was a product of her transformational experience, born from her desire to escape the exhausting and unfulfilling world of extreme measures into a realm of sustainable habits and self-love.
“I used to think that extreme measures were necessary to achieve success. For example, I thought I had to spend countless hours at the gym and follow strict diets to look and feel my best. Living in this world of extremes was exhausting and it left me feeling unhappy and unfulfilled,” she shares. Wood-Tepperberg’s earlier struggle was not unlike many others. She, too, fell into the trap of believing that getting great results required great sacrifice. But as she followed this mindset, she found herself falling short of fulfillment and peace.
“One day I thought to myself, ‘What if I approached things differently? What if, instead of fixating on the end result, I focused on enjoying the journey and building small, sustainable habits that would naturally lead me to where I wanted to go?’ This shift in perspective completely transformed my life and inspired me to create MWH,” she explains. Today, MWH is all about creating sustainable and lasting change to empower all to become the best versions of themselves. Wood-Tepperberg shares how self-reflection initiated a life-changing transformation, steering her toward the creation of Move With Heart (MWH), a platform designed to facilitate lasting, positive changes and empowering individuals to achieve their best versions through consistency and positivity.
The results speak for themselves, and her winning recipe of an accessible and more grounding practice clearly hit a nerve. “MWH is all about making mindfulness accessible and attainable for all,” she says. “It’s the consistency of this practice that brings results both in the body and the mind. Our meditations and workouts range from five minutes to 40-plus minutes because we fundamentally believe that something is better than nothing. We promote consistency, not perfection, because it’s the small steps that lead to big change.” The MWH protocol is clear in every sense. As Wood-Tepperberg says: “Some minutes are better than no minutes. If you do the work, the work works. Period.”
“Without a doubt, I can say that I manifested the position I’m in today. It really stemmed from my unwavering commitment to self-improvement and aligning my actions with my goals,” Wood-Tepperberg says. “As I’ve accomplished some of my initial dreams, my vision has naturally evolved and brand-new desires have started to shine through,” she offers, saying that the MWH platform is really just the beginning. “My ultimate goal is to inspire and empower others to bring their dreams into reality, embrace a more mindful existence and forge deeper connections with both themselves and others. This goes beyond the platform that we have today, and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.”
“CONSISTENT HABITS LEAD TO LASTING SHIFTS IN YOUR LIFE. SOME MINUTES ARE BETTER THAN NO MINUTES. IF YOU DO THE WORK, THE WORK WORKS. PERIOD.” —MELISSA WOOD-TEPPERBERG
When asked how she advises people start their journey to mindfulness, she says to keep it simple. “I know it sounds crazy, but taking that first step is the hardest part. Meditation is about taking a moment for yourself, to find alignment, calm your nervous system, and do what you need to do to reconnect and ground yourself. So even if you just take three minutes out of your day to sit and breathe… this is a form of meditation,” Wood-Tepperberg explains. “Meditation is something that has truly changed my life and I notice how differently I feel on days where I am not able to get it in. Remember, if you miss a day, don’t be hard on yourself. Every day is another opportunity to begin again. Just keep coming back to your practice, be easy on yourself along the way and take in all the shifts that come with committing to you.”
This fall, she will introduce two new instructors as part of her ever-evolving platform, along with two new programs: a seven-day beginner movement program and a seven-day beginner meditatin program. “No matter where you are in your practice, we really have something for everyone,” she says. For those who wish for an even deeper dive, season 3 of her Move With Heart podcast explores a wide range of topics, including conquering perfectionism, staying vibrant as we age and navigating anxiety.
In her own home, Wood- Tepperberg keeps the focus on kindness and gratitude as the keys to a fulfilled heart. “The most important thing to me is giving my children the space to just be,” she says. “Life gets so busy, and it’s easy to forget that our children are little people who also sometimes need to take a pause from it all. When my kids seem like they need a moment of calm, I show them ways to reconnect with themselves and regulate their nervous systems through breathwork. They’ve also both learned breathing techniques in school, and it’s been so touching to see them use those tools at home when they need them. But… let’s also be honest—they are kids, and sometimes they just lose it, but, truthfully, so do I.”
As a longtime Hamptonite, Wood-Tepperberg has always found peace on the East End. “I started spending time out East 15 years ago when I was working at a club in Southampton that my now-husband was involved in. I met many of my closest friends during those years, and to this day, I look back at those summers as some of the best times of my life,” she shares. “There’s something really special about the Hamptons and the feeling I get as soon as I hit 27 East and know I'm back in my happy place, especially during the fall season when the natural beauty of the landscaping is at its fullest. I feel grounded out here. As a seasonal transplant who was initially drawn to the East End for work, I used to dream of having a permanent vacation home here one day and having kids run around in the grass after taking breaks from my city life. It's a dream come true to now call Bridgehampton my second home.”
Etro bodysuit and jacket; Taryn Winters bra and panties; Stetson hat; Jane Win necklace; KBH Jewels necklace and cuffs; Yun Yun Sun earrings. Hair by Adam Maclay with B&A Makeup by Jodie Boland with The Wall Group Styling Assistant: Rayner Reyes Shot on location at Two Trees Stables in Bridgehampton with equine models coordinated through Jimenez Jumpers/Hamptons Pony
Hank’s (the best)
Serene Green Farm
Provisions in Sag Harbor
Local farm stands
Duryea’s or Armin & Judy
DATE NIGHT DINNER:
Topping Rose House, Tutto il Giorno and Mavericks in Montauk
FAVORITE FALL BEACH :
Shou Sugi Ban House
LOCAL CLOTHING STORE:
LOCAL HOME STORE:
Wyld Blue. Can you tell I love this store?
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY BEN WATTS STYLED BY GABRIELA LANGONE