You endure the straining and sweating that is yoga class and you can't believe you survived another hour-long session just to get to savasana. But do you ever stop to think about the person in the front of the class that graces you with a "namaste?" An unparalleled source of inspiration, energy, and happiness, your yoga instructor seems to have it all together, from her dope printed leggings to her unfading smile.  

If you're anything like me, you're leaving your zen session wondering how she does it.  How does she do this with such intense passion all the time? And even more pressing—what is she eating to fuel those perfect-postured vinyasa flows? With these questions always in the back of my mind, it was time for me to do some investigation. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a spiritual gangster.

Katie Stone

Molly, my favorite instructor at CorePower Yoga at the USC Village location, teaches Sculpt on Tuesdays and Fridays.  This is not your average yoga class; sculpt is an intense mix of flow, weight training, and cardio in a heated room that will leave you looking like you just took a shower. I stopped by the studio one afternoon to hang out with Molly and ask her about life outside of the Sculpt class. 

Spoon: What made you start practicing yoga?

Molly: I used to get really stressed out in high school, so my parents told me that yoga would help. There was a little local yoga studio in my town, and I went and just loved it. I would do it every now and then, but when I moved to LA, I started working for a yoga clothing company, which helped me get back into the swing of it.

Spoon: How often do you practice now?

Molly: I practice every day, once a day, for the most part.

Katie Stone

Spoon: What’s your favorite thing about yoga?

Molly: To me, it’s really similar to dance, which I used to do. It’s a way of expressing yourself through movement and music that brings in a whole mindfulness and spiritual side of it too.

Spoon: What is the best thing that yoga has brought into your life?

Molly: Hm... this is my full time job now, so I guess that! The fact that it’s a job and what I get to do every day and I love it.

Spoon: What’s your favorite pose?

Molly: Supta Baddha Konasana, it’s reclined bound angle pose. It’s super juicy.

Spoon: What’s a typical day of eating like for you?

Molly: It varies. I go through phases where I get really obsessed with certain foods. In the morning, I usually have a smoothie or maybe some eggs. For lunch, lately I’ve been trying to have a little dish and same with at night. I really like tempeh. I’m a vegetarian, and I like to cook a lot. However, our location in the (USC) village has made me eat out a lot. For example, at Trejo’s Tacos I get a cauliflower bowl with Spanish rice and black beans… So good.

Spoon: What are your kitchen cabinet staples?

Molly: I always have oatmeal, different types of tea, and black beans. I really like the vegetarian chili from Trader Joe’s. I get that once a week. And bananas!

Spoon: What are your favorite snacks?

Molly: I feel like I don’t really snack that much, but lately I’ve been obsessed with the beet garlic hummus from Trader Joe’s and dipping snap peas in it. It’s really good.

Spoon: What’s your favorite indulgence?

Molly: I love cookies… I could eat so many cookies.

Spoon: What’s your favorite restaurant in LA?

Molly: Ugh, that’s so hard! It used to be this place called Tinga in West Hollywood that closed down, but I used to get this goat cheese and black bean quesadilla and it was the best thing ever. Now, it’s Electric Karma on 3rd street and West Hollywood; it’s a really good authentic Indian food restaurant where you sit on the floor to eat.

Spoon: What advice do you have for people looking to start practicing yoga?

Molly: I would say just come take class and don’t let the fear of being a beginner or caring that you’re not as advanced as other people get in the way.

So there you have it–yoga instructors are as dope outside of the studio as they are inside. Molly's mindfulness and positive energy apparent in her butt-kicking Sculpt classes are such an inspiration. If you want to try it for yourself, get to the USC Village CorePower location for Sculpt on Tuesdays and Fridays.