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Meet Laurie Angress of Mindful Yoga Therapy in Manhattan Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Angress.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Thanks for the opportunity to share what I love to do and teach! At some point in life we all encounter pain and look for relief. This may be physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. I came to yoga initially for back pain in my 30’s and found that yoga asana (postures) can be deeply healing. Later, I found yoga asana beneficial during pregnancy and combined with knowledge of breathing can make for a smoother labor experience. Naturally, I wanted more knowledge as I continued to feel the benefits and understand the multi-faceted nature of the practice and myself.

After taking a teacher training to deepen my understanding of yoga and the philosophy in 2009, I realized the more I learned the more I wanted to learn! I continued pursuing the yogic path by studying Yoga Therapy RX at Loyola Marymount University completing the program in 2014. Writing, researching, and practicing as required led me to deeply appreciate the practice of Mindfulness. Yoga can be inherently mindful but when combined with specific mindfulness tools and practices resulted for me in a deeply restorative and integrative experience.

I complimented the Yoga Therapy studies with the formal study of guided meditation with Richard Miller, founder of the Integrative Restoration Institute. I am now a regular practitioner and teacher of iRest/Yoga Nidra meditation.

iRest is an integrative meditation practice and an adaptation of Yoga Nidra. iRest is a guided form of mindfulness training wherein the mind regains its natural ability to remain undistracted and focused. It is integrative because through daily life you will begin to skillfully and constructively respond to whatever challenges or discomforts come up. The present centered aspect of the brain lights up and our self-narrative decreases allowing creativity and insight to blossom. This is an evidence based practice that has proven benefits for those with insomnia, PTSD, chronic pain and anyone who simply wants to connect with feeling truly present. iRest is a complementary adjunctive medical (CAM) approach that works in conjunction with any medical regimen or drug-based pain management system.

Additionally, as a parent of young adults, I pursued a certificate in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) so that I could support young people struggling with the stress of school, sports, friends and daily life.

In summary, I created Mindful Yoga Therapy as my business and offer private yoga therapy, private and group meditation and teen workshops.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Generally, my path has been smooth and a lot of work. I like to think I use my mindful self-awareness practice to meet challenges with equanimity and keep the big picture in mind.

Some of the struggles are related to the digital world: creating and maintaining a website, having a social media presence and using social media effectively.

Another challenge for Yoga Therapists is to educate the public and other wellness practitioners on what we do. It is important to understand the difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist.

Mindful Yoga Therapy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I serve people by sharing the art and practice of yoga therapy which includes meditation, and mindfulness and lifestyle practices. I specialize in Yoga Therapy, iRest Yoga Nidra meditation and mindfulness for teens.

Yoga Therapy is a one to one approach that offers individuals a set of tools to empower healing from within. In this personalized approach you will experience a range of yoga practices designed specifically to address your current and changing symptoms. I will use different metrics to measure current status and to gauge progress. Practices may include a combination of movement, breathing, yoga philosophy/lifestyle, meditation and mindfulness.

I strive to create an environment where clients feel safe and trusting. A mindful yoga therapy session starts with my belief that you are innately whole, not broken and interconnected with all of life! Clients will be met right where they are in terms of physical ability, pain, stress, or any other symptom that surfaces.

The importance of maintaining a mindful approach to the client includes an emphasis on listening wholeheartedly without judgment. Creating an atmosphere of safety and compassion is of utmost importance and key to fostering healing. As a practitioner, I am deeply listening and observing as I guide people toward their own mindful self-awareness, inner wisdom, and healing.

I am most proud of my ability to listen and create a feeling of ease and relaxation. I am told my voice is soothing!

Since I am passionate about listening as a skill and a tool for healing, I am a volunteer City Leader for Sidewalk Talk. SWT is a nonprofit listening project that has spread worldwide. We provide non-judgmental, human to human connection through intentional, mindful listening in public places. To listen to another wholeheartedly and with no agenda is rewarding and beneficial for both parties. I am hosting a “listen” in Manhattan Beach on September 25th at the Farmer’s Market. Visit www.sidewalktalksf.com for more info.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I am proud of my commitment to helping people reduce suffering and transform their lives. The phrase “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional” (attributed to Buddha) summarizes my motivation for teaching.

I had the opportunity to offer gentle movement and guided meditation to a young woman dying of cancer. She was in an extreme amount of pain and I offered her options for meeting and experiencing the pain. She had moments of ease and glimpses of reduced fear in her final weeks. I couldn’t take away the pain but I could help her minimize the suffering around the pain and fear. I was honored to be with her and grateful for the teachings I could share.

Pricing:

  • Monday Meditation drop in $15
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens 6 week workshop $325

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Marjorie Sophia Kampe

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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