Featured Ambassador Molly Casto

Molly began practicing yoga in 2002 as a tool to heal chronic back pain from a decade of horse training and competition, and to calm her anxious, new college graduate – mind. It didn’t take long for her to realize, however, that her yoga practice could not only heal and transform her body and mind but would also transform her life.Molly believes that people are born with all the tools they need to be powerful, playful and thriving human beings… it just sometimes gets buried under excess stuff we pick up along the way (like fear, injuries, insecurity, doubt, excess body weight….).Yoga is about peeling back layers so that we can reconnect to our authentic, healthiest, happiest selves. As an RYT 500, Tier 2 Baptiste Yoga Educator, Molly is committed to leading powerful, sweaty yoga classes in a supportive and compassionate way. For Molly, yoga is about encouraging her students to trust the practice, keep it simple, drop their limiting stories and cultivate an unconditional love affair with themselves. After years of traipsing all over the world for work and play, Molly currently lives in Charleston, SC with her two wild and awesome children, a patient and loving husband, and a very sleepy rescue dog.

We asked: What experience brought you to yoga?
She answered:

I grew up training and competing horses. It was an incredible childhood but by the time I got to college I was creaky and sore all over. My sophomore year at University of Vermont, I was in a major car accident on my way up to start school. I escaped without any major injuries, but the accident brought my chronic pain to a head and forced me to deal with it. I didn’t want to be on pain medication all the time and my doctor suggested I try yoga. So I did. At the beginning, it was a struggle but within a couple of months not only did my tired and sore body begin to heal, I started sleeping better and feeling better about myself overall. I lost weight, I learned how to stand and move pain free and how to use my breath as a tool to manage anxiety and stress.

We asked:How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?
She Answered:

There’s a cool chick at my studio and one time I put my old, rinky-dink (brand name to remain nameless) mat down next to her new Yoloha mat and was like, “nice ride! What IS that mat?” She told me all about it and I was dying to try one. Julie from Yoloha was nice enough to loan me one for awhile and the rest is history. I love everything about my Yoloha mat. From the weight, to the graphics, to the sweat-proof grippiness, to the fact that it’s sustainable and locally produced. I even loaned it to someone who mentioned that it smelled nice …. Who’s ever heard anyone say that their friend’s yoga mat smells nice? I’m a huge fan.

We asked: What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?
She Answered:

I am a Tier 2, RYT 500 Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Teacher. Baptiste Yoga is my jam. I appreciate and love trying other styles and influences, but I always come home to my Baptiste practice. It simply makes the most sense in my body.

We asked: What is your favorite Yoloha product and why?
She answered:
I love my Encompass Native Cork Ma
t. Whether I’m travelling to participate in or assist trainings around the country or just driving across town, I love that it’s light and portable yet still feels substantial and supportive under me during my practice. And the graphics are gorgeous.

We asked: Where do you teach?
She answered:

I teach at Charleston Power Yoga in Charleston, South Carolina.

We asked: What yoga certifications do you have?
She answered:

I am an RYT-500, Tier 2 Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Certified teacher. I am also trained to teach prenatal yoga and Yin Yoga, both of which I also love to share with my students.

We asked: Do you have any events or workshops coming up?
She answered:

I’m teaching a Power Yoga 101 workshop at Charleston Power Yoga coming up on July 22nd. And I co-lead their 200-hour teacher training every spring and summer.

We asked: Who is/was your ultimate teacher?
She answered:

My ultimate teachers are my kids. My son, Jonah, is 6 and my daughter, Maisie, is 3. They teach me to slow down (not an easy thing for me to do!), to take in the world around me and to always be curious. That sometimes it’s ok to leave the dirty dishes or the to-do list and take time to play. And how to love deeply and unconditionally. I thought I knew it, but I definitely didn’t until I had my kids.

We asked: Talk about one connection you make between your asana practice and your life off your mat.
She answered:

My yoga practice reminds me that it’s about the journey and not the destination. Off my mat, I tend to let myself get consumed by goal setting and outcomes and I lose the present moment. On my mat, I re-connect to each breath and moment in a powerful way. It shows me the possibility that I could have that everywhere. The present moment is all we have. When I live from that space, I take much greater care in how I show up and interact with my family, my students and my community. And those moments build on each other into more powerful outcomes with much less effort and stress.

We asked: Do you have a favorite charity or nonprofit?
She answered:

I have a bunch! One of my roles at my studio is as Community Outreach and Team Lead so I get to interface with many great causes. For example, I have been involved with Africa Yoga Project (AYP), a program out of Kenya that trains youth to be yoga teachers and serve their community and create viable sources of income. I have mentored a young teacher at AYP for almost 5 years and my studio regularly hosts Kenyan teachers in Charleston. I also love Water Mission and the work that they do to bring clean water and sanitation to communities in need all over the world. Every year, I organize a fundraiser yoga class at their headquarters. We get a great turnout and, coupled with a silent auction, we raise a bunch of money for them. More recently, I’ve gotten really excited about Together Rising and the work they are doing to help women and children. Their founder, Glennon Doyle Melton, is an Energizer Bunny of radical love and action. She inspires me to stay engaged with things I’m passionate about and be up to big things when I start to make excuses or get lazy.

We asked: What is your favorite mantra?
She answered:

“Be messy, complicated and afraid and show up anyway”.

We asked: What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
She answered:

Warrior 2. Because of my past injuries, I’m not all that bendy but I AM strong. Warrior 2 allows me sink into the power of my legs and be wide open and tall in my upper body. It makes me feel ready to take on the world.

We asked: What is your favorite place that you have travelled and why?
She answered:

I grew up in a family that prioritized adventure and travel and I carried that into my adult life. If I had to pick just one, I think my favorite adventure would be a 6-month trip I took with my boyfriend, now husband through South America. We sold an old Subaru in California and paid for almost the whole trip. We volunteered in Ecuador, we hike through Peru, we hitchhiked through Bolivia, migrating all the way to the tip of Argentina and up into Chile. We only had a loose plan when we arrived, so we created it together as we went, and it was amazing. We saw each other at our best and at our absolute worst. In Mendoza, Argentina he asked me to marry him even after I got us lost on a bike tour and we had to ride 10 extra miles down the side of a highway in the rain…. so apparently my worst was still pretty ok.

We asked: Describe your favorite yoga class. This could be one that actually happened or something hypothetical.
She answered:

Again, I’ve had a lot of favorite classes! Most recently, I went to a local class taught by a guy who I helped train in our 200-hour teacher training. I’d had had a terrible day up to that point. His teaching was so powerful and fun and authentic. He played the Beastie Boys for the whole class…It’s tough to stay mad in that scenario so suddenly I was able to let go. At first, I laughed. And then I cried. Not because I was sad but because I was so proud of him and so grateful.

We asked: What makes you laugh?
She answered:

Everything… I laugh a lot! This can be my greatest super power, or it can be horribly awkward if the moment is wrong.

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