Q&A with Molly Chanson

By Shelby Deering | Photo courtesy Molly Chanson

We talked with Molly Chanson, local yoga instructor and founder of online yoga studio The Practice, as well as the author of “Fallen Star: A Return to Self Through the Eight Limbs of Yoga,” which details her struggles with marriage, motherhood and divorce, and how yoga helped her cope.

ATL: What led you to yoga and inspired you to become an instructor?

MC: I started doing yoga with my mom in our living room after school. It was the 90s, and yoga certainly wasn’t around Lake Geneva. These strange postures calmed me down and did something that called me back. Yoga felt safe and loving, and I continued taking yoga classes in my 20s and 30s until I eventually became certified to teach in my 40s.

ATL: What have been some of your greatest challenges?

MC: Getting sober and getting divorced were definitely the biggest challenges for me. They both occurred during the same year, and don’t think that’s a coincidence.

ATL: What are your proudest achievements?

MC: My recovery and my two boys. I am very proud of the healing their dad and I have done despite being divorced, so we can still be the best parents for our kids and show them there are endless versions of love and family.

ATL: What is it about yoga that has provided a path to healing for you?

MC: Yoga gives us access to what is true and real. Yoga does this by allowing us to be fully present with the body and the breath. It’s amazing how un-present we are in our day- to-day. We are often in our mind, thinking about the past or focused on the future. Yoga has taught me that the only thing that matters is what is happening right now.

ATL: What can yoga teach others about making it through a difficult time?

MC: If you are in the middle of a difficult time, the best advice I can offer is to stay on that wave. Don’t jump off, even when it gets uncomfortable. By riding the waves of life, we allow ourselves to be shaped by our experiences. Yoga is much more than a physical practice. Yoga teaches that we can stay with an experience and trust our body to feel everything fully. This is how we process and heal — when we feel something instead of locking it down.

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