Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teacher of the Month: Lauren Harris

By April Evans

Lauren Harris’s confident, vibrant, and joyful presence is contagious and affecting. Her passion for helping students discover their own strength is evident in her classes, where newbies and advanced yogis alike are led to new levels of possibility. Lauren’s belief in her students and playful sense of humor create the space to explore and take chances. Expect to sweat, laugh, invert, and she’ll be darned if she can’t get you into crow pose!

Lauren is dedicated to continually growing her practice, and loves that with yoga there is always more to learn.

Catch Lauren’s class at the Hot Studio:
Wednesdays 8:25 - 9:25am
Wednesdays 8:15 - 9:30pm
Saturdays 8:00 - 9:00am

When did you first discover yoga?  
I discovered my passion for yoga when I practiced with a friend in Texas at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I think it was 2003 but may have been 2002?  R.E.M. played that year....

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for three years.

What makes your class unique?
I try to have a real life perspective for my students and encourage them all to continue to deepen their practice no matter if they are new to yoga or seasoned yogis.  I think you need to laugh in class sometimes.  I try to encourage the students to be themselves, listen to their bodies, move like themselves, and have a little fun with it.

What is your favorite pose to teach?
Bakasana/Crow.  So many students think they can't do crow, but the majority of them are perfectly capable, they just need to be hand-held through it the first time to help position themselves into the right shape to get the pose, and more often than not, to alleviate the fear associated with the pose.  I find it incredibly rewarding when I help a student hit the pose for the first time - bakasana is kind of a yoga rite of passage, so its great to be able to take students through that gate knowing the potential influence it can have on their practices.

What is you favorite pose to practice?  
Handstand, handstand, handstand.  I'm a little obsessed.  It’s like flying.  I just want to be upside down as much as possible!

Best advice for beginners?
Everyone was a beginner once.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else in the room; its only you and your mat.  Keep an open mind.  Yoga doesn't require any special skills, just showing up to class to practice will work. Like Pathabi Jois said, "practice and all is coming."

Best advice for more advanced yogis?
See above!  I'd say the advice for beginner applies equally to advanced yogis.  I'd encourage students with deep practices to make sure they are continuing to learn and deepen their practice.  If a pose gets "easy", it’s time to take it deeper!

What is your biggest yoga pet peeve?
Clique-y yogis and yoga teachers who don't welcome new students into a studio.  And when I'm practicing and/or teaching, students who continue to practice and move around during savasana.

How do you incorporate yoga into your daily life?
I make a tremendous effort to continue my practice, take classes from all kinds of teachers so that I can continue to learn for myself and to enable me to better teach my own students.  I think that yoga helps us learn to be more respectful of life and I try to live with great respect to other people and animals. (I'm vegan)

Passions besides yoga?
I have two kids, Emmy and Megan.  They are 5 and 6.  So it’s yoga and them!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Lauren - love the nice life philosophy you've incorporated into your practice! Come and be a guest teacher in your old haunt in San Francisco sometime...