Growing up in Manhattan Beach, Laurel was always pushing herself physically. She competed in basketball and soccer, and eventually the years of sports injuries took its toll on her body; she was sidelined with torn patellar tendons and sent to physical therapy. It was there they recommended yoga, something she hadn’t ever considered.
Her first class challenged her unlike anything she had encountered before; she was used to excelling at all things physical, and now she found herself struggling. “I hated it; my knees were shaking uncontrollably and it was very hard for me to hold a posture and be in my breath.” Despite the challenges, she was hooked and at 15, she began what would become a lifelong practice.
Her first teacher, Julie Rader, also came from a sports background and Laurel immediately connected with her energy. She continued to practice with her, and when Julie mentioned she was offering a teacher training a couple of years later, Laurel signed up immediately wanting to deepen her practice, not because she had any intention of becoming a yoga teacher.
After Laurel had graduated college, she worked abroad and when she eventually returned to Los Angeles Julie was at a new studio in need of a manager and connected Laurel with the job. “Managing a studio and being there seven days a week was transformative; when you’re around that many yogis and everyone practicing all the time, it’s inspiring." In about a year and a half, she had completed 500 hours of training and began her teaching career in 2009.
She went on to build a life teaching and sharing yoga, and currently teaches full-time around Los Angeles as well as leading international yoga retreats.