A Chat with Laura from Martini Yoga

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What brought you to your mat for the first time?

At the time I didn’t know it, but I think what initially brought me to my mat during my college years was the need for self-love.  As a teenager I played sports and danced ballet.  Both of these physical activities were highly competitive and certainly contributed to my lack of self-esteem (along with the acne and BAD haircut).  Now when I arrive on my yoga mat, I remind myself that yoga is not a competition and if I’m having an off day, I won’t be judged for it.  In a world where we are constantly being told we are not enough, yoga allows me to find compassion for my authentic self.  I am whole and perfect just as I am.

What inspires you?

Elephants.  I love them and the fact that they are endangered breaks my heart.  A couple years ago I had a vivid dream about elephants being poorly treated at a circus so I started teaching community classes in order to sponsor 10 elephants at a nature park in Thailand.  Every time I get upset or frustrated about something petty in my life, I think of the elephants and what I can do to help support them more.  Putting my energy into bigger issues helps me gain a greater perspective on the world.

What advice do you have for all the yogis out there?

Practice compassion, let go of guilt, look at the world with child-like wonder, passionately invent your perfect career, pay attention to the way your mind works through the tools of meditation and yoga, eat

lots of dark chocolate, get into nature at least once a day, and remember, the greatest practice of yoga is self-observation without judgement.

What is your favourite mala and why?

My favourite mala is the Swarovski Illumination Mala because it represents healing and self-love.  I think that only when we love ourselves fully and freely can we then begin to radiate love outwards.  The mala reminds me how deeply we are all connected as we are all on the same path of healing and harmony.  When I lead yoga retreats, I do everything in my power to ensure that everyone in the group feels as loved, accepted, and empowered as possible in the time that we are together (even if I’ve never met them before!).  I believe that when people feel loved and appreciated, they shine.

Stay connected to Martiniyoga,

lulu Aug 12-1

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