20 Questions With Laura Jarrait

We’ve decided to repost some of the old interviews we’ve done with Local Collective teachers, because they are why we are here. We are a platform for local teachers to get more exposure. Without further adieu, allow us to reintroduce Laura Jarrait ….


1. What is your go-to yoga pose when you’ve only got a few minutes to practice? Why do you think it’s so appealing?
I have a few, depending on what’s needed! I love Parivrtta Upavista Konasana. It’s a hip opener, twist, and side body stretch all in one. It leaves me feeling both grounded and more spacious and alive.

pari uk

2. Early morning rituals: Coffee or tea? What do you eat? Favorite time to practice?
First thing is warm water with lemon and raw apple cider vinegar. Then, coffee with coconut milk…sometimes a little raw cacao mixed in. For me ,it’s much more of the tactile, sensual experience than the caffeine experience I’m looking for. I’m pretty particular about wanting to drink out of a mug and not paper to-go cups. And I have my favorite mugs at home.

3. What is one song you never get tired of hearing?
Just about anything by Nina Simone, particularly “Feelin’ Good”

4. Do you have a favorite quote, affirmation, or saying that gets you through the tough times? What is it?
Again, there are many here. I don’t know much, but one thing I know is that if we are on a path of growth, life will work to break down our rules about the way we think things “should” be. To this end, these are two of my favorites: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — William Shakespeare in Hamlet. And “The Infinite Goodness has such wide arms, it takes whatever turns to it.”  — Dante Alighieri

5. How would you describe your yoga teaching style?
Right now, it’s in the middle of a big shift. I am an educator by nature, so more than anything else, I want my students to learn something when they are in my classes. Most of my classes involve a focused alignment point and philosophical message that is reiterated throughout the practice in sequencing towards a pinnacle pose or emphasis of a certain class of poses. My overall emphasis is always for students to cultivate more sustained and penetrating awareness of their own bodies and lives. Now I am very excitedly in the process of learning and teaching a new dynamic postural alignment paradigm called The Bowspring that accomplishes my aims even more powerfully.

At mission

6. How old were you when you fell in love with the practice of yoga? What was so appealing about it to you?
I’m a slow burn kind of gal. I literally took classes once a week for about seven years before I consciously came to the conclusion that I was becoming a nicer, gentler person and the yoga was what was doing it. Then I got serious. I stuck with it for so long because I appreciated the physical outlet after a childhood of dance. What was appealing about it to me is that I really got to explore my body and progress, and yet it was the one area of my life that seemed to be immune from my perfectionist tendencies.

7. What made you want to become a yoga teacher?
After 9 years of practice, I had never considered teaching, until my yoga teacher told me she was moving. She said she thought I’d be a good teacher, and asked me to take her classes on. So I sought out a teacher training program and dove in.

8. Describe yourself at 21.
I’ve been a bit of a fast tracker and kind of serious. I graduated high school when I was 16 and college when I was 20. I got married and was in grad school studying Mathematics at the age of 21.

9. What would you say has been one of the best parts of growing up and getting older?
The best part of growing up is that I know myself better; I can truly appreciate my strengths and acknowledge parts of myself that I’d like to shift without beating myself up about it. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin and can share what I love without feeling like I have to prove myself.

10. Snack wise, what is your greatest weakness, what can you simply not pass up?
Oh my, anything fried and salty. Potato chips, French fries, chips and guacamole.

11. What are a couple of traits of your own that you hope your kids (or future kids) may inherit. Maybe a couple you hope they don’t?
Children are not part of my life, but if I had them, I would hope they would inherit my intelligence and capacity to accept people. They could bypass a tendency towards sluggishness and would hopefully be more warmly nurturing.

12. Describe your first love in six words or less.
My first love! Brilliant, kind, and an independent thinker. We have the same birthday!

13. A Sunday all to yourself, how do you spend it?
A Sunday to myself would involve a good yoga and meditation practice, a nice brunch, and beach time with a good book. Either a nice meal out or cooking myself something great at home.

14. What about a night out on the town? Who would you spend it with? What would you do?
A night on the town would be with my sweet man and my best friend if she could come! Oysters on the half-shell and some good cocktails. Dinner. My second passion behind yoga and human behavior is food. I love to eat fine food and also to cook it. Maybe some swing dancing if I could be persuasive enough!

15. Who have you been friends with the longest and how did you meet?
I have been friends with Vicki Sisk the longest, since 8th grade. I had another best friend at the time who quit talking to me for a reason that she never explained. I needed a new friend, and literally picked Vicki out of a group of girls from ballet school. Our first “date” was a trip to the zoo with my parents; we were having a picnic lunch and a bird pooped on her sandwich. I love that you can stay connected to the same person for so many years and watch the evolution of a great relationship.13A_3506

16. What yoga teacher has most influenced your practice and teaching?
I have been fortunate to have a few great teachers and they all have been instrumental in big ways, but I would have to say the one with most wide-reaching influence so far has been John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, the school in which I was certified. My study with his teachers and then with him changed the way I thought about myself and the world, provided me with a very effective method of physical practice to teach, and connected me to unsurpassed teachers of meditation, lifestyle, and awakening practices. And he’s back in my student life with another paradigm shift of movement practice.

17. Can you name three traits you cherish most in this teacher?
A good organizer of information, insatiable curiosity, and the willingness to start again.

18. What do you love most about your home space?
The trees, garden, and birds in my backyard. And my boyfriend’s cat!

19. What was the last thing you binge watched on Netflix?
Well, I refrain from binge watching, but right now am watching Damages.

20. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Best piece of advice was inadvertently given to me by my ex-husband when we were married. I was unhappy in a job/career and getting resentful of his happiness. He said, if you don’t like it, do something different. Don’t be mad at me, I’m not making you stay. The revelation that I had choices came through those words, and I will never forget them.

LJ headshot Laura Jarrait is an E-RYT500 yoga teacher, certified BodyTalk Practitioner, Akashic Record Consultant, and Gather Yoga emissary. Visit her online at laurajarrait.com.

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