Meet Yoga Instructor TJ Mokkosian, the new owner at Self Awakening Yoga (http://www.selfawakening.net)

wind up…  how do you wind up, prepare for the week ahead?

I wake up  at 5 AM so I can make it to the studio for my first Ashtanga practice of the week.  The repetitive nature of the practice really grounds me and is the perfect indicator for where I am at emotionally physically and energetically.

and, when you need to exhale…  what’s your other other direction?

Interestingly enough, I balance my yogic life style by hopping into a professional wrestling ring and developing my character Tyler Burrows.  Tyler in theory is a bad guy hell bent on spreading the message of veganism and his pure life style. People are often shocked when they hear about my other passion, but to me I have learned more about myself in the ring as much as I have on my mat.  I always tell my wrestling teacher that he is my favorite yoga teacher and doesn’t even know it.

favorite high powered snack?

I love Smoothies.  I tend to not even care if they taste good because I figure if I can get everything healthy for my day in the blender first thing in the morning then I don’t feel as guilty about the cake and the coffee later on… I am not saying this is a good philosophy, but it’s mine.

what three things are you never without?

Music, my yoga mat and my cell phone.


the sound of music…   you have room for 5 tracks on your playlist, they are?

1. Smoke or Fire – Beauty Fades

2. La Dispute – Damaged Goods

3. River Jumpers – Peaks and Troughs

4. Strike Anywhere – My Design

5. Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There

your bible…  what one book do you turn to time and time again for inspiration?

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn


what makes you happy?

I am happy when I am doing something I am passionate about.  I have been lucky or (the way I see it) smart enough to create a life that allows me to participate in things I love every single day.  I always come back to that when I struggle.  I do what I love, and no one can ever take that away from me.


Interview compiled by Susan Currie

Author Susan Currie is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Tishman Review, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through the creative and yoga workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, GRACENOTES (Shanti Arts 2017), a blend of words and images, is now available in wide release.