Her Work & Testimonials

Testimonials from Laura’s yoga and mindfulness clients are interspersed between brief informative captions about Laura’s work.

“Once in a while in your life you come across authentic people, Laura is one of these people. Her classes are a calm in the storm. Come as you are with no preconceived notions about Yoga, or yourself for that matter, and you’ll see what I mean. I think every student walks away with just what they need.” ~Barbara S.

Social-Emotional Health Education

Social-Emotional skills suffer in contemporary culture, as we have been taught for generations to deny our emotions, to function like robots, and to swallow our truth in order to be polite. Conversely, for some of us we are so immersed in our own experience we lose a sense of how to truly appreciate and connect with others.

I teach my clients how to understand each emotion as a symptom of balance or imbalance, a useful communication from within, and how to bravely open themselves to process these emotions. To extract the natural message contained within our emotions, to better understand and honor our individual reality and needs.

Once one can apply this deeper relationship to themselves and their daily lives through their emotions, they can apply this honesty and compassion in open communication, and to all forms of relationships: parenting, friendships, co-workers, and romantic partners.

This paradigm shift relieves great burdens from within as we learn to no longer swallow stress and to set healthier boundaries and patterns with those in our lives. There is an incredible amount of silent suffering that ends, and a freedom within that begins.

I apply this in 1:1 work, and in professional development as applied to education, human services, mental health, mindful movement, and more.

“Laura is an amazing person inside and out! Her teachings, inspirational messages, and private yoga sessions have helped me to find calm during chaos and clarity when I needed it most! I realize now that there is so much that I am meant to do while I am here and how to channel my energy into the moment – live for NOW! Thank you so much, Laura! I look forward to working with you more!” ~Michelle V.

“Laura is a beautiful human being!! She is talented and so alive. She leaves a tremendous impact upon all who are lucky enough to spend time in her presence!” ~Marissa S.

“When I first stepped foot in Laura’s old studio in Amsterdam back in January 2013, I was going through a huge transition in my life. I wasn’t living life at all. I was surviving instead of thriving. In the midst of this, I started to reconnect with my faith and decided to explore my yoga practice at a deeper level and be around more like-minded people since I had been mostly doing yoga on DVD’s.

Walking through the doors of that studio was one of the best decisions I ever made! Not only have I explored and gone deeper in my practice (I’m currently one of Laura’s yoga teacher trainees), but Laura has given me a different perspective that I’ve never thought of before that absolutely made sense when it comes to healing old wounds. Laura has the ability to not only help you in what you should be feeling during asana practice, but has a tremendous ability to connect with individuals from every walk of life. Not everyone has that, but Laura does. I absolutely look forward to learning more from her during my journey!” ~Matt E.

“Practicing yoga has become a key piece to my addiction recovery. It has allowed me to begin making myself both physically and mentally stronger; the much needed strength required through the process of recovery. Yoga aids with the release of endorphins and dopamine into my body, once only achieved by drugs and alcohol.

I feel blessed to have found a wonderful space at Transformative Fitness. Instructor Laura Harrison has been extremely welcoming and open to aiding me on my journey. She truly cares. She and her studio have given me a place to feel safe and truly at peace in a world where recovering addicts don’t have many options for long-term treatment.

I look forward to learning more from Laura and having her as part of my support network as I continue to recover from addiction.” ~Dylan S.

“I have always enjoyed the deep stretching and strength building that a typical yoga class has given me, but when I experienced Laura’s Natural Method Yoga class I feel in LOVE with my yoga practice. Her teaching style and poetic expression of each pose and hold allowed me not only tone my body, but my mind, spirit and soul as well. Natural Method Yoga is truly a WHOLE body experience! I highly recommend it to anyone just starting out in your yoga practice, AND for those looking for a deeper mind, body, spirit connection.” ~Jaime S.

“Laura is incredibly gifted at inspiring others & helping any creature in need. Both on the yoga mat & in life, she encourages the abandonment of one’s personal comfort zone to soar to new heights in living the life only dreams are made of! Kind and capable, she’s an amazing resource to anyone looking for health, wholeness & happiness.” ~Anna M.

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is consciously directing the attention where one chooses to place it, versus letting it fall where it may and dart from thing to thing. It comes directly from Buddhist wisdom and practices, although it benefits humans of any and all cultures with its amazing neurological and emotional benefits.

Mindfulness Meditation is using the sensory-emotional experience in the present moment as the chosen focal point. This makes one more aware of the bodily sensations, senses, and emotions. It exercises the ability to focus, and strengthens it by literally changing the structure of the brain.

All credit for mindfulness meditation goes to the cultures where it is rooted. Mindfulness meditation directly comes from Buddhism and Buddhist teachings. Laura leans specifically Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese Buddhist teachings, but has benefited from the rich network of teachers and teachings derived in East Asia. Laura also has a background of learning meditation from Hindu/Vedic traditions rooted in the Indian subcontinent as well. Mindfulness meditation in all forms is a practice that has brought support, growth, and healing to many for centuries.

How does Mindfulness Meditation affect the body and change the brain?

A Harvard study showed that just eight weeks of an average of 27 minutes of mindfulness meditation daily changes the brain structure, as shown in an MRI, in the following ways-

Increase in the density/activity of the cerebral cortex: increasing *concentration *attention span *emotional integration *healthy social connections

Increase in the density/activity of the hippocampus: increasing *self-awareness *compassion *introspection *recording new memories/habits

Correlational decrease in the density/activity of the amygdala: decreasing *anxiety *fear *stress-response *fight-or-flight

This can potentially support healing from some of the effects of trauma and addiction on the brain. Mindfulness meditation, practiced in a personally effective modality, is the perfect tool for developing body and emotional awareness, fueling self-discovery and healthy behaviors. Paired with deep diaphragmatic breathing, a practitioner creates a stabilizing feeling by shifting into parasympathetic nervous system functioning (the opposite of “fight-flight-freeze”). A less stressed body may feel internally light, more energetic or relaxed, healthier, calm, and potentially more comfortable – conducive to creativity, rest, joy, and fulfilling experiences.