About Molly Lannon Kenny, MS-CCC, SLP, E-RYT- 500
INNOVATOR AND THINKER
Molly Lannon Kenny, MS-CCC, E-RYT licensed speech-language pathologist and certified yoga instructor, has been a leading developer of programs to help people with life challenges for well over fifteen years. In her role as project supervisor at a large tenant support agency, Molly successfully re-structured several of her programs to promote greater independence and well being to the tenants in her care. While earning her Master’s Degree at The University of Washington, Molly pioneered a program to bring key players in the disabilities field to motivate students within the department to think outside of the box. As assistant to the department head, Molly earned a position with The Washington Assistive Technology Alliance in which she served as project manager, developing a network of advocacy organizations to bring assistive technology funding to The U.W.
Having received her degree in speech-language pathology, Molly was brought on as a lead clinician at Group Health Cooperative, Washington’s largest HMO. During her five years in both acute and on-going care programs at GHC, Molly created and headed multiple committees to streamline service delivery and developed several innovative programs to improve quality of care. She has been featured in The Seattle Times, the New York Times, the LA Times, Yoga Journal and in Seattle Magazine for her groundbreaking work with stroke survivors, and is well known and respected in the field for her work with head trauma population.
In partnership with researchers from The University of Washington, Molly has conducted several studies on the effects of yoga as therapy in specific disorders including depression and ADHD. She has been published in multiple editions of The International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and has been featured on MSNBC, NPR and the BBC.
PIONEER AND ALTRUIST
In July 2000, Molly founded The Samarya Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing yoga based therapy to people of all ages and abilities. Integrated Movement Therapy®, the trademarked approach used at The Samarya Center, is the brainchild of Molly Lannon Kenny, combining her extensive clinical background with her knowledge and experience in yoga.
With more than fifteen years of direct experience in the disabilities field, as well as her extensive training in yoga, Molly has the background, tools and knowledge to successfully implement and oversee treatment of people with a wide range of challenges and in all age groups. In addition to using her trademarked therapy approach to promote positive change in the people that seek her services at her center, Molly volunteers her time to provide I.M.T. based yoga sessions to seniors, adults with significant life challenges, and homeless children. Through The Samarya Center, she also offers free community classes to the low-income population of the center’s neighborhood, and is on contract with Evergreen Hospice to provide bereavement services to children. Molly has been published in Yoga Therapy Today, The International Journal of Yoga Therapy and Yoga Journal and has been featured in Wisdom Magazine, Yoga Northwest, The New York Times and The Seattle Times for this highly effective, empirically sound approach.
Using her extensive clinical knowledge and experience in yoga based therapy; Molly developed a unique deck of yoga cards that have been available since fall of 2005. These cards come with a booklet describing the neurophysiologic perspective of Integrated Movement Therapy®, with several fun games and activities linking cognitive, linguistic and motor output from the games with their specific correlations in the brain.
EMPIRICAL AND ACADEMIC TRAINING
Molly’s mix of formal training and hands-on experience provides both empirical knowledge and a holistic approach; the most desired traits for people looking for an effective, compassionate therapist. She provides weekend and residential trainings both regionally and nationally, and is a featured speaker at University conferences nationwide, as well as on contract with the Kennedy Kreiger Institute, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins Medical Center. She provides highly competitive, intensive internships to therapists with Masters degrees in related fields. This training allows her interns to supplement their formal backgrounds to encompass the newer thinking of the current medical trend.
Molly holds an M.S. degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Washington, and a B.A. from Tufts University. She has studied yoga with many internationally renowned teachers and has completed an intensive Professional Yoga Therapy training. Following this training, Molly was invited to join the Integrative Yoga Therapy instructional team. She is past Vice President of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and was the chair of the committee charged with creating educational standards for the burgeoning field of Yoga Therapy. She is currently an advisor to the Yoga Service Council and has been a featured therapist multiple times in “Yoga Therapy in Practice.” She has been invited to present at The Kripalu Center on many occasions, and has been a featured presenter at their yoga teachers’ association conference, as well as at national and international conferences on Yoga Therapy. In 2008, she was invited to Tel Aviv, Israel to serve as the academic advisor to a yoga therapy program at Reidman College, Israel’s premiere alternative therapies school. She recently published a book on her work, and has been featured in several books by other authors, most recently in the book, Sharing Sadhana.
Here is what other teachers are saying about Molly and about her book, No Gurus Came Knocking:
Kevin O’Keefe, founder, Circus Minimus:
Molly Lannon Kenny’s book No Gurus Came Knocking does what others have attempted but few accomplish; it shows you how to walk the walk of the yoga life. Molly uses her own revealed transformation to dig beyond the body and ego and get to the deep intention behind mere asana practice. Molly talks the talk of hard earned wisdom not by putting her faith in the past but in living into each moment with an ability to hold questions and find her own guide within. By distilling the yamas and niyamas to five core principles she takes a scholar’s eye to profundity and makes them accessible for all. Her prose is poetic, direct and personal. She is a living breathing human yogi, beautiful warts and all. Read this book, take it to heart and grow into your own wisdom.
Mark Lilly, founder, Street Yoga:
If a reader wants to feel what it is to receive words written straight from the heart, this book will honor that desire in every way. Molly brings us along on a very personal journey, through discovery of self through hardship, yoga, blessed encounters and action—she turns her whole life into a prayerful journey and has allowed us the privilege of riding along with her.
Whether it’s the Divine in each of us, the Truth that can be found in sacred texts, or the simple Power of helping a dear friend with chronic illness die with great peace and serenity, Molly gives us street level access into a life spent in search of the edges and seams of her own soul, the place, she found, where souls meet Love. And there she dwell.
Whether you are new to yoga, an adept, or have yet to discover the power of breath and surrender, this book will give you pause, make you think and look at your own life in ways that will change you, almost certainly for the better, but change you it will. You will know Gratefulness more deeply, and humility will seem as powerful as all the Love that Molly finds, on every page. Molly has made Love her fierce daily practice, and she has shared the bounty with us, and we are far far richer in the heart and soul because of that kindness.
Anne Phyfe Palmer, founder 8 Limbs Yoga Centers, Seattle, WA:
Molly is a born teacher. Her poignant essays take the wisdom of her experience beyond the yoga studio and into the world. Molly channels her love for a great yarn into this inspiring collection of essays about yoga, service, love, and finding the teacher within. You’ll get lost in the stories this yoga maverick weaves out of her passion for self-awareness and justice. Each story comes alive with honesty and introspection and leaves the reader with not only a sense of a life well examined, but a deeper understanding of yoga as a practice and lifestyle. ~
Claire Dederer, author of the bestselling memoir Poser My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses:
Wisdom is not a word I throw around a lot. But Molly Lannon Kenny has got the stuff, in spades. How lucky we are that she chose to share her wisdom in this beautiful and tough book of essays.
Yogarupa Rod Stryker:
Molly Lannon Kenny is a most rare and precious gem in today’s world––piercingly insightful, humble, erudite, generous, unfailingly honest, authentic, loving and, above all else a tireless seeker––for the highest Truth.
No Gurus Came Knocking was a joy to read, a fascinating and crisply written chronicle of one woman’s momentous encounters with life and teachers that would lead to her fully embodying the wisdom and light of yogic teaching.
A revealingly personal tale, it is also profoundly universal, speaking at the heart of what we all must learn if we are to be most fully ourselves and most fully alive.
Joseph and Lilian Le Page, Directors of Integrative Yoga Therapy and Authors of Mudras for Healing and Transformation:
Molly Lannon Kenny has been our student and colleague for over a decade. She is an individual who has always shown an intensive drive to discern fact from fiction and to find her own path within the ever-growing maze of spiritual disciplines. At the same time, she has tremendous heart and has supported large numbers of students on the journey toward healing through Yoga. This combination of wisdom and compassion is the hallmark of her new book, No Gurus Came Knocking.