Molly Masaoka

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My first yoga class wasn't easy. My body hurt, my mind wandered and I wasn't comfortable. I thought I was going to die. But the end of yoga class was so profound for me. In savasana I felt connected for the first time to something beyond my small self, my emotions, and my ego. It took me years to understand what was going on but honestly it was the closest thing to bliss I’d ever experienced.

It’s been more than 15 years since I took that first class. I am now the owner and director of Yoga Centered Studio on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is where I call home. I teach classes, retreats and teacher training workshops worldwide. And, drum roll please, I am still emotional. I am still messy. I am far from perfect. What has changed for me is how deeply I can go into my relationships no matter how imperfect I may be as a boss, as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend. The same applies to any yoga pose. When you drop the need to do something perfectly or the need to do it the way everybody else is doing it, that’s when you find a deeper place of yoga. It is a place that is no longer of the body or the mind. It is the true self.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to yoga. My teaching style is both intense and focused yet infused with creativity, compassion and humor. I truly believe the balance of effort and surrender is the key to unlocking the awareness of one’s true nature.

While the core of my teaching is alignment-based flow, my passion for teaching restorative and therapeutic yoga continues to inspire everything I do. There are no words that can describe the satisfaction that comes from taking people to a place of new found freedom within themselves.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to study with some of the world’s most influential instructors including my primary teachers Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty. I’ve also completed teacher trainings with Don Stapelton from Nosara Yoga Institute, and Annie Carpenter of Smart Flow Yoga. I credit Annie for giving me the skills to teach intentional alignment and sequencing, Don for the ability to encourage self-inquiry and Chuck for helping me to find the unity in all things.

Ultimately, the yoga mat is a microcosm for who you are. It’s not about how good you are at handstands or how flexible you are, it’s about how you approach life. Yoga reveals this and so much more. It’s about discovering who you are—in spite of the pose--and finding acceptance right then and there in that very moment. I hope to meet you there soon.



Learn more about Molly here.