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Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian Cultural Center in Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaiian Cultural Classes: Hula, Lomilomi, Ukulele, Oli. As a cultural center in Hawaii, Still & Moving Center offers authentic Hawaiian cultural practices alongside our wellness classes. Still & Moving Center is not only a wellness and yoga studio in Hawaii; you will also find here an abundance of Hawaiian cultural education.


Kumu Mālia Helelā, our traditionally trained cultural practitioner, teaches both the ancient and modern forms of hula: Hula Kahiko and  Hula ‘Auwana. In her live classes, whether in-person or virtually, she plays the ukulele or ipu gourd drum, sings or chants, dances, gives students directions, and translates from Hawaiian to English… all at the same time! She imparts the history and details of the locale where each dance come from, such as the type of wind that blows there or the species of flowers or trees that grow in that place. You will come away with a tremendous appreciation for our island home, for our Hawaiian culture, and for the genuine, friendly spirit of aloha.


Kumu Mālia has been the receiver and giver of Hawaiian lomilomi massage in her family since childhood, in addition to being formally trained in lomilomi as an adult.  Having developed her own curriculum for an 8 part series of lomilomi trainings, Kumu Mālia now trains both professionals and other interested individuals in the art of Hawaiian massage. 

OLI chanting, music & lei-making

Thanks to Kumu Mālia, we offer classes in oli, traditional Hawaiian chanting, and ukulele playing. In her hula halau (school), Kumu Mālia teaches keiki (children) and adults how to play traditional Hawaiian instruments: from the feathered gourd rattle uli uli, to the bamboo pu’ili, to the ‘ili ‘ili stones, to the kala’au wooden rhythm sticks, and of course the ‘ipu drum. She also teaches the Hawaiian art of lei-making from flowers, ferns and leaves.

Hawaiian Cultural Classes in Japanese

Since thousands of Kumu Mālia’s students live in Japan, we translate many of her Hawaiian Cultural classes, workshops and trainings into Japanese. We also offer Japanese and English-speaking students a language and meditation class called Kaiwa.


Kumu Mālia shares the Hawaiian worldview as the balancing of opposites: male and female, light and dark, land and sea. She draws this insight from the Kumulipo, the ancient Hawaiian creation chant.  At Still & Moving Center we honor the Hawaiian balance defending tradition with celebrating innovation. 

ʻAʻole pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi
Not all knowledge comes from one school, says an ancient Hawaiian adage.

Because knowledge comes from many disciplines and many cultures, Still & Moving Center offers Hawaiian cultural practices side-by-side with many other moving and meditational practices from around the world. For a culture to truly live, it needs to evolve, adapt, and develop, which it cannot do if it’s isolated like a museum piece inside a glass box. Cross-pollination keeps any species in the natural world strong and vibrant.

Kumu Mālia’s hula choreography therefore stays rooted in Hawaiian tradition, yet by working and practicing at Still & Moving Center, she continually upgrades the ways she teaches Hula. Kumu brings principles of alignment from Yoga to Hula,  pointing out the zenith and horizon lines of our arm positions. From Tai Chi she brings awareness to hula students of the important weight-shifts that we need to make from foot to foot as we pendulum our hips from side to side. From Feldenkrais, Kumu Malia brings in listening carefully to our body sensations to perform the hula steps safely, preserving our healthy knees and ankles. One might consider Kumu Mālia to be something of a renaissance woman amongst Hawaiian cultural practitioners!

Hawaiian Cultural Classes: Hula, Lomilomi, Ukulele & Oli. Still & Moving Center serves as a cultural center in Hawaii that helps our members immerse themselves in wellness and healthy living. Visit our studio today to find your balance between the traditional and the modern, your awareness of living Hawaiian culture.

Malia Ko’i’ulaokawaolehua Helela


Kumu Mālia is beloved by students around the globe for her kind heart and loving style of teaching, not to mention her deep knowledge, beautiful voice and exquisite dancing. She is a traditionally graduated kumu hula and lomilomi practitioner/trainer, as well as a cultural consultant for Still & Moving Center.

Malia Helela completed her hula ʻuniki (graduation) under Kumu Hula Puluʻelo Park in 2002, and studied oli (traditional Hawaiian chant) under Kumu Hula Keola Lake. Malia has been teaching both practices ever since to a wide range of students, from infants to kupuna, and leading her halau (school), Nā Hula Ola Aloha. Kumu Malia has personally taught thousands of hula students in Hawaii. Additionally, the many Japanese hula teachers whom she has trained over the years teach hundreds of their own students in Japan using the style, method and philosophy of Kumu Malia’s hula lineage.

Kumu Malia considers her hula practice and lomilomi practice to be two parts of the same whole. From her 20 years of lomi experience, she developed a 128 hour massage training program of her own called Puana Lomilomi, based on the intertwined practices of lomilomi, hula, pule, oli and lei-making.

As a member of Ka Pā o Lonopūhā, Malia participates in the sharing of native Hawaiian healing arts that focus specifically on lomi aʻe and elements of haki kino, laʻau lapaʻau and hoʻoponopono. Malia regularly teaches lomilomi for the Salvation Armyʻs Womenʻs Way program representing their cultural healing classes for women in recovery.

As an ambassador and guest lecturer of Hawaiian culture, Malia has delivered presentations for Leeward Community College, the Hawaii Yoga Institute, Outrigger Reef on the Beach, Mid Pacific Institute, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, Manoa Cottage, Honolulu Theater for Youth, numerous groups of International middle and high school students and Still & Moving Center. Kumu Mālia Helelā is currently researching and writing a trilogy of historic novels centered on the Kawehewehe and Kalia area. As a kumu hula and lomilomi practitioner, she looks to the ‘āina, the land, for grounding and inspiration.

Hawaiian Cultural classes, experiences, workshops and trainings

Intro to Hula, Ukulele, Oli, Olelo, Lei Making, Poi Pounding

Kumu Malia excels at introducing first time visitors to the arts and practices of Hawaii. Any combination of the above can be delivered in 30min to full day programs. Either virtually or in person, in our beautiful studio at 1024 Queen street or on location at the beach as well as at locations such as Waimea Valley (additional fees required). Other locations possible on request. Interactive formats best for groups under 30. Demonstrations/lectures/virtual activities available for groups of any size.  Auntie Doris, Kumu Malia’s assistant is also available to lead introductory sessions as well as for local Talk Stories and Pidgin.

Waikiki Walk Story

Oahu’s geography of the Hawaiian Healing Arts. Connect with the ‘āina for a walking tour along Kalia Road and Waikīkī beach. Offer ho’okupu and learn about healing practices of the area. Discover more about Waikīkī’s rich history as Mālia shares the story of Kawehewehe and the surrounding fishponds and healing springs that were filled in the 1920s.  This thoughtful and insightful walk will challenge participants to seek traces of healing and recovery in the surrounding land and within each individual. An Optional Hula class is offered by Kumu Malia at the end of the walk. This 2hour activity is best for groups of up to 30 people, able to walk up to 2 miles (tours can be tailored to shorter distances with more stops as needed).

Puana Lomilomi Experience

Lomilomi, like all forms of healing, is an unfolding process of many steps.  This approach to lomilomi focuses on settling the nervous system and integrating all parts of the body into one.  Drawing on lessons of hula and lei making, students weave lomilomi massage techniques into a tailored treatment that addresses body, mind and spirit. Lomilomi has traditionally been practiced in the home. Led by our traditionally trained Kumu Hula, Malia Helela, this initiation to Lomilomi will provide you with practical and accessible techniques that can be safely shared with your family and friends. “At the heart of the human experience is a calling to care for one another, and this can be accomplished beautifully through lomilomi.” 2hour workshop.

Hawaiian Healing Family activity

Healing is an unfolding process of many steps.  Drawing on lessons of hula, lei making, lomilomi, ceremony and Oli chanting, you will weave healing practices into a tailored treatment that addresses body, mind and spirit. You will be led by Kumu Hula, Malia Helela, traditionally trained hula instructor, lomilomi practitioner and cultural advisor, and invited to discover a new perspective through the eyes of a traditional healer and cultural practitioner. You will engage in Hawaiian hula, the historical highlights and evolution of the Hawaiian healing arts, Olelo (language), lei making, chanting and self-massage healing techniques throughout the activity. This 4hour activity is designed for groups of parents, kupuna (seniors) and keiki (children) to enjoy together.

Keiki Offerings

Kumu Maliaʻs uplifting and engaging style welcomes even the littlest dancers into the world of hula.  Classes include seated hula for infants and toddlers together with their caregivers, as well as classes for elementary aged keiki.  Children love lomilomi as well as grownups and Kumu Mālia has provided lessons for keiki and their parents to work on each other. Best for children up to 10 years old with their parents/caregivers. 30min to 1hr sessions recommended for groups of up to 30 participants.

Waolehua guidance for Women

Waolehua is the domain of lehua blossoms.  It is a dedicated space for women created near each new moon. These womenʻs gatherings seek to provide a safe space for uplifting dialogue on any number of topics pertinent to the female experience.  Female identifying individuals are warmly welcomed. Various topics can be explored with healing as a main focus. 2 to 3 hour sessions for groups of up to 30

Kāheahea Hawaiian Hospitality Training

A true sense of welcome requires us to acknowledge our shared relationships, in a manner that is genuine and inclusive.  By defining the ways we are interconnected, we become invested in the wellbeing of our guests.  Kāheahea encourages us to turn towards each other, looking again and again for ways to provide service before it is even asked. This training is available to all, but targets participants who are involved in the hospitality sector and is presented as either a 4hour introduction or a full 2 to 3 day training.

Palena: A Hawaiian perspective on Walking your Life Path

Living on the Earthʻs most isolated landmass, early Hawaiians adapted and thrived by managing their precious resources. This life approach has at its core a traditional healing prayer that provides direction, bringing all aspects of life into alignment. Palena refers to land boundaries and participants are guided through establishing their own boundaries around work, community and personal life.

Hiʻuwai ceremony

In the hula community, a sunrise hiʻuwai ceremony often precedes graduations and other significant events.  Kumu Mālia has led consistent quarterly hiʻuwai since 2003, observing every solstice and equinox.  Following a pre-dawn meditation, participants gather to chant awake the sun and then go into the water to ceremonially cleanse themselves. This 1hour activity can be combined with other practices at the beach and/or offered at high noon.

Waimea Valley Waterfall activity

Oahu’s north-shore is rich with environmental diversity from mauka to makai (mountain to sea). Unfortunately many miss out on cultural elements that amplify the area’s beauty. Even fewer take part under the guidance of a Kumu (teacher). We begin with an orientation to the history and significance of Waimea Valley. Recognized as the Valley of the Priests, Waimea was home to generations of high priests. In light of the historical significance of the area, we will offer a traditional chant asking permission to enter. During our time in the valley, we will make a flower lei. Kumu will release a lei into the flowing waterfall at the back of the valley. All participants are welcome to swim out to the waterfall. Life vests are provided for safety.

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Upcoming Events

Feb 11, 2024 February 11, 2024, - May 19, 2024,
Global, HI United States
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    Sundays 3:30-4:30 pm12 week Spring Series: Feb 11 to May 19 2024 No class Easter Sunday 3/31, April 21 (Kumu travels), or Mother's Day May 12. Plus performance for May Day- May 26, 2024 Price: $230    By the ages of 7-12, hula students have developed a longer attention span. They have greater […]

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Feb 22, 2024 February 22, 2024, - May 22, 2024,
Global, HI United States
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    Thursdays 4:00-4:40 pm12 week Spring Series: Feb 22 to May 23 2024 No class Thursday April 4 or April 25 while kumu travels. Keiki performance for May Day, May 26, 2024 Price: $230    Little children seem magnetically drawn to Kumu Mālia. She’s full of laughter and magically engages their attention and imagination. […]

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Mar 26, 2024 March 26, 2024, - June 5, 2024,
Global, HI United States
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  Tuesdays, 7:15 - 8:15 pm March 26 -May 07,  2024 - with performance on May 4, 2024 Price: $210 + tax DescriptionStudents will have the opportunity to perform at our Aerial May Day performance May 4, 2024. In this weekly series, aerialists will focus on your own material in the air and at your […]

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Mar 30, 2024 March 30, 2024, - May 4, 2024,
Global, HI United States
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Saturdays, 11:15 - 12:15 pm  March 30  - May 4, 2024Price: $200 plus tax Keiki aerialists will have the opportunity to perform in our May Day Aerial Show on May 4    Enroll your keiki aerialist into a weekly series with the opportunity to perform at Still & Moving Center's birthday celebration show on March 17. […]

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Apr 21, 2024 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Global, HI United States
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Sunday, April 21, 20241:30-3:30 pm HSTPrice: $39FREE to MembersWe are instinctively drawn to images where the “expression of the Soul” is revealed. In this Earth Day - centered workshop, the card-maker will explore their connection to the earth and the sky. Through the creation of your inspiration card, senses and intellects of body, mind and […]

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Apr 26, 2024 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Global, HI United States
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Welcome to our monthly Benefit Sound Bath Series!
This month we are excited to feature the Hawaii Foodbank that plays a key role in ending food insecurity in our islands.

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Apr 29, 2024 April 29, 2024, - July 12, 2024,
Global, HI United States
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This Spring, 2024:12 noon HST  |  3pm PDT  |  6pm EDT  |  7am Sep 8 Japan  |  8am Sep 8 Australia Small Group Meetings via ZOOM10am HST | 12pm PST | 3pm EST Mindful Movement Online Training, Instructor Level 1:Coming this spring! This is a 40 hour online certificate course of 4 hours per week […]

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May 04, 2024 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Global, HI United States
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Saturday, May 4, 20244:00 - 6:00 pmFree Do you LOVE to dance?!? We do! A couple years ago, many of us Still & Moving dancers got together to dance in the parking lot for what became our Still & Moving Center landing page video (see snippets of the video here). We had SO MUCH fun […]

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May 17, 2024 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm
Global, HI United States
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Friday, May 17, 20246:15 - 7:15 pmFREEIs your closet ready for a spring cleaning? Are you holding onto some gems that no longer get the love they deserve? Looking to revive your movement wardrobe and dress-up clothes?  We are, too! Bring your lightly used clothes and accessories to exchange at our Spring Cleaning Clothing Swap.  […]

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May 25, 2024 May 25, 2024, - May 27, 2024,
HI United States
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Puana Lomilomi Training Intensive with Kumu Malia.  In-person Memorial Day Weekend - May 25, 26, 27 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PAY BY SLIDING SCALE: $550 | Supporter Rate (support others as well as yourself)$475 | Sustainer Rate (pays for you)$395 | Community Rate (discounted)Hawaiian lomilomi massage is unique in all of the ways that […]

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