Molly O’Neill’s Fuel Formula
Molly is a California native who spent twelve years on the East Coast. When she’s not teaching yoga at Wanderlust’s flagship studio in Hollywood, she’s hiking and camping her way around her home state, eating tacos, or hanging out with her two rescued pit bulls.
Mix it up! The body craves variety.
Whether it’s cycling, weight training, self-massage or dance, explore different movement modalities.
You’ll build better awareness of your body in space and learn your weak (and strong!) spots.
Then you can import that information into your primary practice and view it with fresh eyes.
My dad lived his life around service.
Everything he did was for the purpose of creating a better world.
He wasn’t religious but often quoted the Golden Rule, and his example of kindness and generosity resonates with me every day.
I’ve discovered through teaching yoga that helping to enrich someone else’s day is the fastest way to get out of my own head and feel amazing.
That positive human connection brings meaning to my life, and I am grateful every single day for the opportunity to serve in my own way.
For me, the secret to life is rest!
Our society is geared toward constant movement, contact and stress.
We don’t sleep enough and when we do, our sleep quality is poor because we’ve kept ourselves so stimulated throughout the day and evening.
Rest is vital for repairing muscles and replenishing brain cell
I like to dive right into practice first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t always look the same.
Some days I’ll read a bit of yogic text (I’ve been working through Eknath Easwaran’s Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living for quite some time) before I sit to meditate.
Some days I throw down the mat right away and start moving my body around before I sit.
That first portion of my day usually lasts about an hour, then I take my dogs for a long walk. Getting outside makes me feel so alive, so connected to the world around me.
I like to do all of that before I check email, social media, etc., so that I can stay connected to what’s real.
My inversion practice makes me feel powerful.
Seeing Tripod Headstand for the first time is what got me hooked on yoga.
The potential of the body to make so many amazing shapes really lights the fire in my practice.
At the same time, the ability to not get attached to those postures keeps me humble.
Making a decision to care for my body when going upside down might not be the right thing – if I’m sick, or working through an injury for example – is equally empowering.
The asana practice helps us cultivate a sense of agency that really begins to carry through into our life decisions, where our understanding of personal power matters most.
From my teenage years through my mid-twenties I kept spinning this web of chaos because I couldn’t handle stillness.
When I took my first teacher training, it forced me to wake up and look at the life I was living, and I saw that it was totally at odds with my true self and my potential.
The process of disentangling myself from that life and getting to know the real Molly was incredibly painful and challenging, but also boundlessly rewarding.
Pratipaksha bhavanam. Cultivate the opposite.
Or, as rumor has it Mr. Iyengar once said: Sit in a different chair.
The wisest thing my teacher ever told me was to put my practice first.
She encouraged me to create my work schedule around my practice schedule, even if it meant turning down good opportunities.
Of course she was completely right: when I fail to make space for my personal practice in favor of teaching more classes, I lose energy. I get sick. I get depressed.
Practice is our time to receive, to replenish, to fill our cups.
When we neglect that, we’ve got very little left to offer the world.
I live in Los Angeles, so there is a lot of eating on the go!
I like to keep it super simple and high energy, so I keep raw almonds and organic mandarin oranges (when they’re in season) in my car.
In the fall, I like to juice for grounding.
This is my favorite recipe with organic fruit and veggies from the farmers market:
• 2-3 beets
• 3 persimmons
• 1 small sweet potato
• 1-2 inches of turmeric
• 1-2 inches of ginger
You can add/substitute carrot or oranges, or any other red/orange fall produce you like.
I like to throw the rules out the window.
When I’m alone in the mornings, I throw on some high-energy music and just move around in whatever way feels good.
Unlike a lot of yogis, I have zero dance experience so it’s hard for me to be intentionally graceful.
So my home practice is all about experimenting with different ways to connect point A to point B and sussing out how to wake up different body parts.
I would love to be able to read other people’s thoughts!
I’ve always been really fascinated by the brain, and how we can never truly be inside another person’s head. I’m super sensitive to energies, so I’d love to know what someone is thinking when I’m feeling a certain vibe from them.