Teacher of the Week: Laura Lejeune
Say hello to Laura Lejeune!
About Laura: Ever the biologist from my formal education and earlier life, I enjoy articulating the science behind each asana. I also relish the anatomical and physiological explanations and benefits behind each asana in accordance with the student's bodily structure and needs. My teaching aspiration is to bridge the gap between body and mind; designing flows to support the individual's journey towards wellness and inner peace. I feel it is my vocation to serve as a guide; kindly inviting exploration and curiosity into what makes each person the individual we were born to be and to find peace in that wisdom~
Classes she teaches at Grace Tree: Tuesday, 9:45 am - 11:00 am: Gentle Movement “Gentle Movement” is a bridge between fluid, easy movement and peaceful pause. It is the conscious and kind exploration of self. “Gentle Movement” is a sweet journey inviting the shifts and subtleties within and around us to unfold gracefully upon the calm fluidity of breath.
Thursday, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm & Saturday, 8:30 am - 9:45 am: Vibrant Light In "Vibrant Light Yoga" we focus on breath, how it moves the body in traditional yogic postures and quiets the mind. This is an arc style class, meaning we begin and end with more gentle poses while the heart of the class moves with some heat to release and strengthen the body, focus the mind and illuminate the spirit. Let your little light shine more vibrantly!
How did you discover yoga? I discovered yoga through a recommendation of a friend. I had been lamenting the loss of my physical lifestyle from a trifecta of back issues and was heading down a dark tunnel of negativity and pain. We practiced a few poses together and I was hooked! From that treasured day to this, my yogic journey has evolved from PBS's "Wai Lana" newbie (I will still stop and watch that Lei-clad-marine-goddess with deep affection and gratitude) to finishing up my 500hr Svastha Yoga Teacher Training; with many honored mentors and philosophies in between!
Why is yoga such an important part of your life? Yoga's importance in my life is like a puzzle piece; it fits purposefully and snugly into the other pieces of me so as to complete the whole picture. Its spiritual nature affirms my communion with God and to something larger than myself. The physicality of yoga affirms that I am wonderfully made and although this body is aging, it's doing the very best it can for my mind and spirit- and deserves my kindest gaze. Lastly, the mental aspect of yoga has truly made me a better person, mother, friend and instructor. I daily draw on the yamas/niyamas as course correction to old and unhelpful habits, and use them as a map to being the person I was created to be.
Why did you decide to become a teacher? There is not enough space in this platform with which I could truthfully and clearly articulate the many accolades yoga has had upon my life. It has healed a wounded body, cultivated compassion, deepened my understanding and acceptance of self and others. Yoga has strengthened my relationships with God and Family, as well fortifying me to build a bridge between strangers and call it a Community. It awakened kindness, sweetness and Peace within me. For these reasons and many more, I feel a vocation to be an instrument of peace- that perhaps one person might come to know Love and Peace because we practiced together....
Who inspires you most? I draw inspiration from Mother Teresa. This tiny woman lived a life of service and immense love. She devoted her life to something/someone larger than herself and asked for little in return. Mother Teresa was a tough cookie, obstinate in purpose and sweet kindness wrapped in blue and white. She is someone I can get behind; and I often quote her in class: "Peace begins with a smile" and "do small things with great love".....
When I'm not teaching yoga you can find me: hiking in the woods, trying to garden around my two Labrador retrievers, reading feverishly over a cup of tea, playing board games and laughing with hubs Dan & awesome kids Catie and Luke.
If I could spend an evening with any influential person in history (living or deceased, fictional or nonfictional), I would choose and this is why: Fun Fact - if I could sit with a pot of tea and chat with some influential person in history, I'd choose Francis of Assisi- although he'd probably prefer a nice chianti (which would be fine with me!). Francis lived a very simplistic and communal life so that he might better reach the lowly of society and shower them with tender care and compassion. It is said that all creatures, human and animal, loved Francis for his kindness and joy and that he had a profound respect and admiration for "Brother Earth/Sister Moon". I would like to speak with Frank, as we settle into a mossy wood, about being "an Instrument of Peace" as my heart yearns to be so...
You can find and check out Laura's classes by registering here!