Laura has been practicing yoga steadily since 1996, originally as a means to ’escape’ the chaos and flux of her personal life. Over the years, her yoga saw a transformation from the idea of ’checking out’ of daily life to one of ’checking in’ to one’s capacity for self-knowledge and centering.
The base of her yoga experience lies in the Iyengar method, which establishes a keen awareness of proper alignment and posture in asana. However, her discovery of the art of yoga would begin when she stumbled upon Astanga, Vinyasa, and Universal Yoga – each of which emphasizes a progressive flow/sequence of asana to open to deeper possibilities. Through realization of the physical benefits of yoga, Laura eventually became intrigued with the science of yoga and started exploring the sacred texts, which provided a refreshing outlook on life and the interconnectedness of all beings. Those aspects are incorporated into her eclectic Vinyasa teaching style, which Laura describes as creative, compassionate, challenging, and inquisitive. “I like to lead a class with a balance of the physical and psychological, the spiritual and the perceptually real. My main focus as an instructor is to engage the mind in the moment, and encourage students to individualize the teachings, to remove any obstacles that keep them from feeling or enjoying their practice. It’s also not uncommon to develop a healthy sweat during a vigorous class!”
Certified and formally trained through Moksha Yoga Center’s teacher training program, Laura has been instructing since 2001. Designing a lifestyle that nurtures expression, growth and creative endeavors has been crucial to her as a working artist and graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Laura was a founding member of TENbyTEN magazine, a Chicago-based arts and culture magazine that is independently published and the dwellingseries, which strives to provide alternative viewing experiences in unique settings for artists. She is also a vegan who manages a Whole Foods Market store, a job with the pace, stress, and responsibility that she claims provides ample opportunity to exercise the principals of yoga in a public forum. “I feel fortunate to be in a position to affect so many people (corporately and in the community) with my positivity, shoppers and employees alike, and I’ve learned a lot about human nature working in a grocery store for 10 years.”
Laura’s favorite things Pose: Ekapada Rajakapotasana ~ King Pigeon Mudra – Sanmuki ~ Closing off the Senses Yoga Soundtrack ~ tablas or downtempo Influential Artists ~ Robert Rauschenberg and Antoni Tapies Treat ~ dark chocolate
“Let your inner light radiate upon others so that you may see your beauty reflected in the world.”
Classes taught by Laura Henke
* This teacher is either subbing or on sabbatical.