Mollee Sheehan answers questions about herself and her teaching style. Read on for Mollee in her own words!
1. What is your teaching philosophy?
My short answer: Ancient + Modern.
I have a deep reverence for the ancient intentions of yoga as a path for self-realization and transcending human suffering.
I also make space for modern science and the ability of yoga to heal modern-day suffering — chronic stress, distraction and disconnection, and its impacts like anxiety, attention issues, and depression.
2. What are your classes like?
By holding close to yoga’s ancient roots, the yoga I teach might not look like yoga often practiced in America today. The word yoga translates to union. I focus on supporting union of breath and movement, of body, mind and spirit. And building and strengthening not just the body but our relationship with ourselves, the outer and inner.
A student once said, “Your class didn’t seem like yoga. Yoga is so difficult and puts your body in all kinds of uncomfortable positions. Your class felt different. I feel so good! I feel so calm! What did you do?” My first thought: I was doing yoga!
The word for yoga postures, asana, is defined as a “steady, comfortable posture.” I guide students to find comfort and steadiness — physically and mentally. It’s rewarding to see tension soften when they are given permission to be themselves and let go of the struggle to “perform” a pose or look a certain way. The result is greater ease in mind and body.
3. What is your teaching background and style?
I bring trauma-informed principles to every class I teach — whether teaching to the general population or leading healing-focused series.
That isn’t how I started. In the late 90s, I was a fitness instructor at the YMCA when yoga was beginning to gain popularity in the fitness world. So to my kickboxing and step aerobic repertoire I added fitness-style yoga as a physical fitness tool.
I eventually found my way to Iyengar Yoga, which taught me alignment and introduced me to the idea that yoga was much more than physical postures — that there were eight limbs of yoga, and physical practice was only one. I was intrigued at first Om. 😉
I taught at the Y until 2005 or so when career and family took priority. I left teaching but continued practicing and learning.
A few years ago, I experienced an extremely traumatic event I didn’t think I’d come back from. I haven’t yet. Not completely. I’ve made tremendous progress but am still healing.
The most significant therapy I experienced on my recovery path from PTSD is trauma-informed yoga. It’s saved my life, and I felt inspired to share this powerful healing tool with others.
I enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher certification program to develop my teaching, and became certified to lead trauma-informed yoga.
I’m continuing on the therapeutic yoga track and am finishing my 500-hour and Yoga Therapy training. I’m also completing Ayurveda and holistic wellness counseling training — that applies the tools of yoga, Ayurveda and modern psychology to support healing and thriving through one-on-one and group work.
4. Why do you teach yoga?
As a dedicated student, I’m continuously learning and evolving my understanding of this rich practice; the classes I teach shift and evolve along with me. I enjoy being on this journey alongside those who join me. We’re exploring and growing together.
Yoga has been one of the greatest gifts and healers in my life. I am honored to share it with anyone and everyone!