Taialofa was born in Samoa. Her parents were Peace Corps volunteers who lived in a seaside traditional Samoan village on the big island of Savai’i. The name her parents chose for her, Taialofa, means “love by the sea” or “the tide of love” in Samoan. Living in Samoa her first year of life, the people in her village included her as one of the family and loved to hold her, dance with her, and sing songs with her. Her life was filled with laughter and joy, which is how she can be described today. After her parent’s volunteer service, they traveled a bit and then moved to the countryside town of Surry, New Hampshire, in the U.S.A. Her mother, Josephine, who had been to India before she was born, started her career as a yoga teacher and her father, JC, worked as a 5th and 6th grade school teacher. To this day they still teach yoga and school respectively.
Being the daughter of Josephine, a Kripalu yoga teacher who guides yoga retreats and workshops throughout New Hampshire and internationally, Taialofa has strong roots in yoga philosophy and practice. As she grew up, she learned the importance of proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet (satvic food) and meditation. She learned that yoga is a lifestyle and not merely a daily practice of asanas. She took her first formal hatha yoga class with her mother at the age of thirteen. In college, she strengthened her understanding of yoga philosophy through her major in religious studies. She traveled to Italy and studied literature with Ezra Pound’s daughter and grandson. In Switzerland, she studied world religions at the Ecumenical Institute. During her senior year in college, she visited India for the first time, the birthplace of yoga, and for Taialofa, India was like being home.
After college, Taialofa put down the books and embarked on an experiential journey that heightened her daily yoga practice. She studied many styles of yoga, including Kundalini, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Kripalu, Vinyasa and Bikram; and learned from teachers, including Gurmukh, Shiva Rea, Bhagavan Das, Krishna Das, Shanti Desai, Kailash, and Amma. She spent a year in Japan, studying and practicing Zen meditation with the Monks at the Sojiji Temple in Monzen, Ishikawa, as well as traveling throughout Southeast Asia.
While in Samoa in 2000 visiting the village where she lived the first year of her life, Taialofa met her husband, Kevin, who was teaching science in a traditional village on Savai’i, the island where she was born! They met at sunset on the beach and fell in love. Taialofa then traveled to the Bahamas where she received teacher certification in the Sivananda tradition of yoga. She and Kevin were married in New Hampshire in 2002, and Taialofa began teaching yoga full time. She taught yoga in a variety of locations and to a wide range of people, including health care professionals, teachers, doctors, lawyers, CEOs, children and pregnant women.
Taialofa’s highly intuitive teaching style embodies all of the senses. She senses stagnant energy and assists in clearing up the flow of life force as she guides her students toward healing their physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Her students respond to her inspirational teaching style that builds trust and creates willingness to do the work it takes to implement lifestyle changes. Taialofa’s journey is one that continues to unfold. Her vision is to teach and be taught about the health of mind, body and spirit through living yoga and to make her Raw Shakti vision a thriving reality. She has evolved into a Raw Shakti Vinyasa yoga teacher. She enjoys taking the pulse of the world and sharing all that she gathers. In July of 2003, she debuted her first DVD, “Yoga in New England,” an active yoga practice sequence. Since March of 2004, Taialofa has based her life in Samoa. She leads classes, personalized yoga sessions and retreats and enjoys lifestyle coaching beside the turquoise waters of Samoa. She leads yoga adventure retreats worldwide.
Taialofa’s smile is radiant and she loves working with people to create a lifestyle that suits their wishes and needs as well as enhances their level of daily happiness.