“As we learn to let go into the present, the breath breathes itself, allowing the flow of sensations in the body to move and open. There can come an openness and ease. Like a skilled dancer, we allow the breath and body to float and move unhindered, yet all the while being present to enjoy the opening.”
Yoga instructor Lauren Magarelli often quotes this passage from Jack Kornfield’s A Path With Heart in one of her yoga classes at the beBhakti Yoga Center. A dancer since the age of 5, because of her clumsy nature, her mother thought ballet might make her more graceful. It is through this grace that Lauren is a yoga partner of Mama Soul.
Yoga is a dance
Always the tomboy, Lauren would play in the dirt and beat all the boys on the track. However, dance allowed her to float away, disappearing into a dream world of costumes and fantasy. She would follow this world to college where her studies were focused on dance and psychology.
To fulfill a PE credit, Lauren enrolled in a yoga class in college, her first, in fact. Her jazz teacher added aspects of yoga in their warm-up and this sparked her curiosity as the movements she learned in class reminded her so much of dance. She moved to New York City after graduation and attended a class at every yoga studio to explore this feeling. She had her epiphany after attending another dance class. In ballet, she never took a breath.
Yoga for the mind and the body
Lauren has since spent 20 years practicing and teaching yoga. In Sanskrit, Bhakti means devotion, or more specifically, being devoted to self-compassion and love while facing all the challenges life brings. Lauren’s honest and playful teaching style is why Mama Soul is so inspired to have her on our team. She is a mother of two sprightly young children. You often see them running around her studio playing or practicing “the silent walking meditation”, a kids’ yoga activity that parents appreciate more than ever these days.
Lauren hosts some of Mama Soul’s yoga videos including Yoga for Anxiety and a Guru Flow. We’ve seen her in the full swing of balancing work and kids through her weekly online classes. As a student of yoga, she works to incorporate that balance of work-life and motherhood while finding a sacred space to slow down, and honestly, just breathe.
Breathe through your journey
Through our journeys, we’ve noticed more times than we can count that we don’t breathe. During childbirth, it’s the one thing a mother is told to focus on. Well, that and pushing. As women, this should be something we tell ourselves every day. When we don’t breathe, we are giving our bodies permission to constrict, to not release. Lauren’s yoga allows the intelligence of the body to fall into place. It’s something that we all need to be reminded of more often.
We do not consider ourselves yogis at Mama Soul. We are women. Along this road we have found that yoga practices are able to calm our minds and strengthen our souls. It has also relieved a night of heartburn or two. We offer Lauren’s videos in our collection and invite you to fall in love with these instructors just as we have. Check her out at beBhakti Yoga Center where Mama Soul members receive a free live online class once a week