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What Yoga Has Taught Me

As I lay in savasana (corpse) pose this week, I thought about what yoga has taught me. I’ve done yoga a long time – 25 years – and I’ve learned so much from it. Key elements include body wisdom, emotions, energy, and breath. Today I’d like to share these core learnings with you, dear reader.

Body Wisdom

Do you live in your head? If you do, you’re not alone. In fact, I think most of us spend too much time using our cerebral matter and not enough using the other parts that make us whole, body, heart, and spirit.

Yoga moves you out of your head and into your body. You likely know the physical benefits of exercise. You may already realize its effects on your mood. However, you may not be aware that your body is an information source, just like your mind.

In truth, your body teaches you.

It teaches you about vulnerability when you pull a muscle and can’t perform to your usual standards. It teaches you strength when you hold Warrior II without force, maintaining steady breath while your heart is pounding.

Yoga specifically teaches you poses that offer a physical expression for a feeling you experience.

Take one of my favourites: tree pose. Get “planted, rooted, grounded” as I learned from Eric Schiffman, my first yoga instructor, in the Ali McGraw yoga video from 1994. Doing tree pose helps me feel grounded. In tree pose, I balance strength with vulnerability. “Trees sway. Get more grounded,” advises Schiffman.


Yoga teaches you that emotions get stored in the hips. By physically releasing the tension in the hips, you can open yourself up emotionally. It’s not unusual for new practitioners to experience a flood of tears when doing pigeon pose or its equivalent on your back, reclined pigeon.

Yoga can also reveal emotional blockages.

Bessel van der Kolk, a trauma researcher who got trained as a yoga teacher, says in The Body Keeps the Score that certain poses like Happy Baby can be traumatizing for assault victims. Another example is Camel pose, which opens up your chest. It can make you feel vulnerable because you are physically baring your heart to the sky. If you are not willing to feel vulnerable, Camel can make you anxious.


Physical poses release stuck energy which is why exercise is such a great way to shift your perspective. The body carries a lot of tension. Too often, tension becomes normalized as a by-product of life’s stressors. Yet the price of this viewpoint is less vitality because you are expending energy on maintaining that tension instead of releasing it.

When you release that tension, you create new space for yourself. “New space” takes the form of energy. You perceive differently, with resources that weren’t available to you before.


Breathing is the most direct way to get present. You spend a lot of time in yoga focusing on your breath as a way to manage the physicality of the practice and to empty the mind to prepare for meditation, which was the initial intended purpose of yoga.

The monkey mind wanders, even during a yoga class, but breath is something you can do in every moment to bring you back to the present because, without fail, breathing happens now.

When you’re present, not worrying about the future or ruminating in the past, you recognize you can do and be anything in THIS moment.

I love yoga. Friends and family know I will do it for the rest of my life. It feels good, fills my heart, and nourishes my soul. Yoga also helps my monkey brain settle down. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Header Photo by shu lei:

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.