My name is Laura Harrison. I live in Schenectady, New York. I’m 36, and I am a yoga/mindfulness therapist, emotional health educator, & life coach. I have been in this field since 2005. I’m currently pursuing my license as a holistic psychologist. And I’m a mom to a wonderful young fellow.
I am the founder of the Natural Yoga Method, and an expert in offering physically-engaging trauma-informed yoga. My work transmits and empowers the processes of somatic reclamation, healing, self-love, vulnerability, emotional intelligence, & development of trust in inner guidance. I guide others as they blossom into true intimacy with themselves and develop the tools for true intimacy & connection with others.
I found my career, like so many, in pursuit of my own healing. I’m an only child, and spent a great deal of my time alone, even though I have always been an extremely sensitive and loving person who longs for deep and genuine emotional connections with others. I have always been unique, but most of my life I have suffered from being that way. It’s hard to be sensitive in a world that treats emotions like a disorder, and views having feelings as a weakness. I began life as a lonely girl who thought she was so lonely because she wasn’t lovable. The suffering built, and when it eventually peaked in my early twenties, I had developed anxiety, poor self-esteem, severe IBS-C, anorexia and exercise bulimia. Through fully engaging the painful and intense process of healing and personal growth, I have become a woman who knows her worth and can stand alone even when lonely, rather than betray her own truth to barter for approval from others. I no longer have a troubled relationship with food, my digestion is so much healthier than ever before, and I am an energetic, but calm person.
That is my gift to give, and the power of my work. I can’t undergo this process for anyone else, but I can support others while they traverse their path to self-discovery. I support and guide them while they discover their own personal truth, develop true confidence, and most importantly of all, I help them to tune in and honor the voice of equilibrium within themselves. That’s the voice that helps us to make decisions for our greatest good and fulfillment.. say the yeses that are true. make peace with saying no from the heart.. learning how to break free from people-pleasing, & how to stop saying halfhearted yeses when we really mean no. When we tune in, and make daily life choices from that genuine space, our body becomes fit and healthy, our mind becomes so much more clear as we carry far less stress, and we experience a sense of peace that we carry within us, everywhere we go, even during the hardest times.
Here are Laura’s answers to the Bonus Questions.
What advice would you give the teenage you?
I would tell myself that it was never me that was broken, just the cultural systems. I would tell myself that it was what I was eating, how I was sitting, the fact that my body didn’t feel strong was causing me the most suffering. I would tell myself that I was lonely because I was different than others, in a good way, and that it’s most important to make a life for yourself that feels good, and then you will find the quality people whose company will feed your soul. And I would tell myself that it’s important to feel strong, so don’t focus on looking skinny. I would tell myself that I’m here to carve out a brand new path and few people will be on my wavelength, and that’s okay. I would tell myself that Audrey Hepburn is my spirit animal. And that I will feel disgusting eating bread, pasta, meat, cheese, and dairy. I would tell myself that it was never my fault, that I always was deserving of the whole focus of others and all of their love, that their pain and issues were what stopped them from being emotionally available to me. I would teach myself about yoga. And perhaps most importantly, I would tell myself that no matter what you do, you can never win over someone who is emotionally unavailable. They never will satisfy you anyway, because they don’t have a whole heart to give and that is never a thing an outside person can fix. Anyone of those things soaking into my psyche could’ve changed everything for me.
If you could pick any profession at all what would it be?
I’ve picked it. A Psychologist with the tools of mindfulness, yoga, fitness, plant-based whole food eating, creative expression, and educating my clients with body and emotional awareness, and emotional health skills. A holistic psychologist, if you will, or a psychologist that helps a person address their mental health via their entire lifestyle.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Here are a couple:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” -Anais Nin
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”
“I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.”
“Risk being seen in all your glory…” -Jim Carrey
“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.” -Charles Bukowski
What is your passion?
Love. Mothering. Movement. Music. Dancing. Nature. Breathing fresh air. Looking at the stars. Feeling my best.. my most healthy, beautiful, graceful, unencumbered and harmonious.
What makes you laugh?
My son. Baby animals. People who are harming no one while being totally authentic. Harmless idiosyncrasies. Intelligent humor. Innocent and playful silliness. I giggle at myself when I feel awkward or when I am doing something uncommon or unique out of authenticity. All of the time. I don’t laugh at, I laugh with. I laugh out of joy & appreciation.
What makes you cry?
Suffering- mine or that of others. Sweet movies. Sometimes I cry out of joy and immense love, and out of gratitude. Sometimes I cry out of joy when I see others succeed, and sometimes certain commercials or cartoons will make me tear up. I’m proud to be highly sensitive.
Besides being yourself, what is one thing you do better than anyone else?
Feeling. Weaving feeling into a language. Helping others understand what they feel and how to process it. Also, seeing the potential in people that seems just out of their reach, even if they themselves don’t see it.
What is the meaning of life?
It has whatever meaning you assign it. For me, it’s love… Also, connection with yourself and others, and learning.. the experiences themselves are the purpose, and full of feeling. To feel is to experience, to experience is to be alive.
What impact do you hope to have on this world before you die?
I hope to have some positive impact on the awful epidemic of emotional immaturity and unavailability in modern culture. I feel it’s caused a lot of needless suffering to us all. I don’t know anyone not impacted by it. I see it everywhere. It has caused me so much suffering over my lifetime thus far.
It’s a pathway of spreading intergenerational trauma, it can be like a cancer on one’s self-esteem, and it keeps people who crave deep connection truly isolated while wading around in the shallow waters of insincere and superficial relationships. It’s like playing at life and blowing smoke when speaking instead of truly living and speaking from a place of deep honesty. It’s a plague, and detrimental to the evolution of humanity.
One person at a time, including myself and my son, I will do my share to correct this fatal flaw in common culture. I will have the largest impact possible with this life of mine.