Laura, or LTT as she is affectionally called in the yoga community, embodies beauty and grace. As a dancer and yogi aficionado, her knowledge about the human body, (in particular the spine), is undeniable. I found LTT on social media, discovered that we had a lot in common and struck up a conversation. As a yoga teacher myself, I wanted to learn more about this red-haired beauty who was always sharing uplifting content, inspiring yoga pictures and educational videos. Her authenticity was undeniable, which is a rarity these days.
Welcome LTT! So happy to have you here today. Let's dive in, shall we?
My life philosophy in one sentence is:
“You already know the answer.”
You are a school teacher, as well as a yoga teacher. Which is more challenging and why?
They are challenging and rewarding professions in their own ways. I love the teaching aspects of both – I feel like my biggest calling in life is to teach and support learning. I would say that teaching at school is more challenging because there’s way more administration, you have multiple audiences that you engage with in slightly different ways (children, parents, colleagues, management) and you have to manage behaviour while delivering curriculum and personal growth content.
If you could give three pieces of advice to someone who is new to yoga, what would they be?
I would give advice from my teacher, Simon Borg-Olivier:
1. Tense less
2. Stretch less
3. Think less
Dancing makes me feel ________________ .
.... expressive and embodied.
How important is yoga philosophy in leading your everyday life as a human and a teacher of yoga?
There are so many elements of yoga philosophy that are present in my life every day and it’s a
framework that is effective in conveying many universal messages. Yoga really reawakened my
spiritual life, after it being sort of ‘dormant’ between the ages of 13 and 23. The key message of approaching everything and everyone from a place of love is something that I try to live out every day – the heart tattoos on my wrists are reminders of this goal. Also, I’m always thinking about the balance of effort and ease – I tend to lean toward the ‘ease’ side of life, so the reminder that it’s ok (necessary!) to have elements of life that require work, effort and consistency is helpful for me.
How do you like to prepare to teach / sequence your classes?
I always have a lesson plan and I pretty much follow the same framework/outline in every class. I might start with a particular muscle group, movement or pose as the base or inspiration for the class and then I work out from there. I’ll break the movement/pose into its component parts and see how we can approach those parts in different ways and orientations. I try to sequence movements/poses in a way that sets the body up for success and ease as we move through the practice. The over-arching goals of all my classes are pelvic stability and spinal mobility because I believe those are the things that support people most in their everyday life – I hope that my teaching helps people move and feel better in everything they do, not just in their yoga classes.
What's the most challenging aspect of being a yoga teacher?
For me, the most challenging aspect is always feeling like I need to know more and do more training. I also wish I had a better memory for my class plans so I didn’t have to take my notebook or iPad in with me!
What is your favourite yoga pose and why does it speak to you?
I love teaching and practicing restorative yoga, so my favourite is a restorative pose that I call
“Fish/Butterfly” – which essentially is Supta Baddha Konasana with a bolster under your spine and another bolster under your knees. I love this pose because it’s a fully supported opening – it’s a very vulnerable position, so I think that being able to be relaxed in that position indicates that you feel held and safe in your space. My favourite non-restorative pose is Ardha Chandrasana – again, it’s very open and expansive. I love to practice it with my bottom hand off the ground to keep it strong and active!
Social media, friend or foe?
It’s definitely a combination for me and there are so many ways I could answer this question – I’ll try to hit all my points but keep it short! I love social media for the connections and friendships it has facilitated for me and allowed me to maintain, particularly after moving away from Melbourne – it’s SO wonderful to be able to get in touch with almost anyone, share and be inspired. On the other hand, I am careful with who I follow – individuals and brands – because I’m very aware that Instagram is a huge marketing platform now and I don’t want to fall into the trap of being sold to or marketed to without realising it, especially when I’m on it so much! I’m also very conscious of whose ‘influence’ I allow into my life, and if their values and choices align with mine.
You recently taught a Mandala Workshop Master Class. How did you personally find mandala art and
what are the benefits of this practice in your opinion?
The workshops were so much fun! I loved sharing this practice. My sister and I found mandala art about 5 or 6 years ago through one Melbourne artist on Instagram, and I’ve been drawing them with her method ever since. I love the way that they grow out from the centre and you never know what it’s going to look like at the end or where your ideas will take you. The fact that every single one is different also appeals to me. I also find the actual practice of drawing very meditative and it’s one of the few activities where I can really get ‘in the zone’ or find my ‘flow state’.
What are your favourite yoga studios in the following cities:
Melbourne – Ihana Yoga, where I teach! (St Kilda), Here Yoga (Malvern), Happy Melon (Armadale), Body Flow (Windsor), Warrior One (Brighton), One Hot Yoga (South Yarra), Power Living (Fitzroy)
Gold Coast – Essence of Living (Mermaid Beach), Soul Centre (Southport), Ritual (Palm Beach), Creature Yoga (Byron Bay)
Brisbane – Queensland Ballet (West End)
Sydney – Yoga Synergy (Bondi Junction), Power Living (Bondi Beach), One Hot Yoga (Potts Point)
What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for once you leave this earth?
I would love to be remembered for being supportive and generous. And for how much I love Disney, Harry Potter and Collingwood!
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