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Malissa Larson, AL1,CDDONA,CPY started her yoga practice in 2003 in a high school gym in Buffalo,NY. She remembers acutely how difficult it was to bend, breathe and stretch her body. Though physically challenging, the effects of that first practice were surprisingly soothing. It was the first of many similar experiences as she began a regular practice.
After moving to NYC for her BFA in musical theater, Malissa would go on to study many styles of yoga. All classes were brought about through volunteer programs, small checks from theaters, and tip money earned late night slinging pitchers of beer, shots and French fries. Passion for movement, art and her love for NYC kept her moving forward and the yoga practice was her place to nourish her mind and body.
In 2006 she did a training at Sonic Yoga with Jonathan Fields to obtain her yoga teaching certificate. Those years she was grateful to practice with inspiring vinyasa flow and power yoga teachers such as David Regalin, Ragunath, and Shiva Rae.
In 2009 she met her first Mysore teacher, Elise Espat, and immediately fell in love with the grounding and dynamic practice. Within a years time she made her first of 5 trips to study with her teacher Sharath Jois in Mysore, India.
During her fourth trip in 2018 she was given the blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga and has been holding a full Mysore program since. Malissa currently studies under the guidance of Angela Jamison in Ann Arbor and her community therein.
Through many twists, turns, studios, and life changes, Malissa’s Mysore practice has remained a constant, becoming a deep source of grounding and inspiration. Daily practice, meditation, ayurveda and connection to her teachers Sharathji and Angela fuels and inspires her teaching. She remains curious and open to all parallel practices that may support her work with students while maintaining a deep connection to the lineage.
When she’s not teaching at AYB you may find her in the birthing room as a doula in Buffalo, NY. For more on her doula work visit malissalarson.com.