Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
What brought you to yoga?
Dance brought me to yoga. I grew up dancing in an environment where dance and yoga existed holistically together. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember! I was very sick when I was 6 years old and dance and yoga came into my life after that as both a source of joy and normalcy as well as an integrative therapy for healing.
What is your approach to teaching?
I try to teach in a very informative and educational way. I loop in physiology and anatomy with spiritual practices and do my best to explain how the two are interconnected. I strive to always be a student while I am a teacher. I am always seeking ways to deepen my teaching practice, educate myself, and most importantly, make my teaching environment as authentic and accessible as possible. Yoga is for everybody and every body!
Why did you choose to teach at 5KY?
I chose to teach at 5KY after finishing my 55-hr Yoga4Cancer training. I was looking for avenues to explore yoga therapy. I found Five Keys and find it to be a beautiful integration of authentic spirituality and physiological healing. I feel that I can teach as my truest and most authentic self at Five Keys!
What makes your soul sing?
In addition to yoga, creating and sharing art makes my soul sing. I am a dancer and performer at my core identity. Additionally, nothing makes my soul sing more than preparing a meal to share and commune with loved ones. I love to use the vibrational, loving energy of home cooked foods to bring my loved ones together and create joy. Most of all, spending time with and mothering my little chihuahua, Elaine, is my greatest joy of all in this life.
You can find Laura at 5KY on Mondays at 6 pm starting Nov. 22nd.
We might call this post "How to Breathe Correctly". But pranayama is about much more than breathing.
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word made of two parts: "prana," which means vital energy and "yama," which means control. So pranayama means to control one's store of vital energy. This is accomplished through exercises involving the breath.
Pranayama is the fourth limb of Raja or Ashtanga Yoga and is listed after Asana. Accordingly, pranayama is often taught as a next step after a beginner starts to understand how to practice yoga poses correctly.
Pranayama both enhances our experience of asana, as it allows us to regulate our breathing to practice yoga poses more steadily and comfortably, and is the first step toward meditation, as it balances our energies and settles the mind.
All breathing is practiced through the nose in yoga. However, if you feel claustrophobic or you're having trouble getting your breath, try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times and return to breathing through your nose, and then, the pranayama practice as you're ready.
It may seem esoteric, but actually pranayama practices are very simple. The most important thing for the beginning practitioner is not to strain or overdo these practices, which is why it is usually recommended to practice these exercises under the guidance of an experienced teacher.
There are also several breathing techniques that, while not formal pranayama practices, are very useful in teaching the beginner how to breathe comfortably and correctly before trying to practice pranayama in earnest. Practice all breathing and pranayama techniques for at least a few rounds and up to a few minutes each.
I explore all these preparatory exercises and pranayama practices below with gifs. Because the breath is really subtle, you'll have to pay close attention to see what is happening in the gifs.
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Five Keys is fantastic! The studio is lovely and soothing, and the teachers are very caring and attentive.
I've ... probably been to 25 different yoga studios. This is one of the most welcoming, calming spaces with very talented instructors.
I love this yoga studio. It's a great balance of a good workout and relaxation and feels like a real community.
An ideal studio for someone new to yoga.