We thought it would be fun to let the CCY community learn a little bit more about our teachers. First up is Laura Ahrens, Forrest junkie, lover of all things vegan, and a recent transplant to Boston. She’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades around the studio, teaching FUNdamentals, Vinyasa, Core Flow, and Gentle Yoga. In her spare time, Laura moonlights as the co-founder of Miakoda, a “tri-compassionate” (animal-, human-, and earth-friendly) fashion line she runs with her sister.
1. Where are you from and how long have you been in Boston?
I was born in Manhattan and lived on Long Island for the better part of my life. I spent a year in upstate New York and four years in Philadelphia. I moved to Boston in September.
2. What was your first yoga class like?
I don't specifically remember my first yoga class. I sometimes try to think back to it, but can't recall a single detail. I went to my first yoga class because my mother's friend opened a studio and my mom wanted to show her support and asked me to join. My mom had to convince me to go with her. I was reluctant—yoga didn't have a natural pull on me. I was always very spiritual, but didn't feel a very strong gravitation towards movement arts. After the first class I was immediately dedicated to the practice, and started practicing seriously with frequency, and delved into the physical and spiritual aspects.
3. What’s your favorite pose to teach?
I love to teach Forrest Yoga abdominals. They are simultaneously challenging and strengthening, therapeutic and opening. In general, these movements are transformational. They deepen the breath, reconnect us to our center, heal and harmonize the organs and the low back, and help us to move in a way that is integrated and balanced. They tend to be intense, but walking through intensity wakes us up and helps us to see and feel with more clarity.
4. As a practitioner, what pose makes you cringe?
5. Where can we find you when you’re off your mat?
Most likely eating at the various amazing vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants around town, practicing at CCY, traveling, spending time with people I love, or at Pure Barre (which uses small isometric movements practiced at a ballet barre, thankfully with no dancing required). When the weather allows, I love to spend time outside and go for walks or go to the beach.
6. What’s either your favorite or the most random song on your class playlist right now?
Most of the time I teach in silence! It helps me and the practitioners focus on what's most important: the breath. That said, occasionally it's fun to practice and teach to music. For a fun flow, I love “Get Free” by Major Lazer (featuring Amber of the Dirty Projectors). For more introspective or restorative practice, I love the entire album Fyris Swan by Solo Andata.