Life

Another semester and year completed ✅. I am officially 1/2 way done with my PhD program. It’s been the hardest two years of my life (so far), but also, two of the most rewarding. I am sitting in one of the classrooms I teach my undergrad courses in...done with the semester, and what am I doing? I am studying the colon anastomoses and reading “When Death Becomes Life • notes from a transplant surgeon” for FUN! Yes, I make myself giggle.

On my ig account these past two years, it’s been mainly a personal account. Most of what I do is confidential, I am not allowed to post any photos of the work or even write about it on this platform. So I’ve struggled with how best to share these main aspects of my life. As such, I keep it v simple. All you see is my yoga life, my husband, my pup, and my friends. But of course, my life is filled to the brim with science, discovery, so much brain stimulation, and I could write a whole book on the challenges I’ve faced alone. My dissertation work is combining my past work in neuropsychology on neuroplasticity and my current work with biomechanics gait/balance and motor tasks. 

I wanted to hop on here and say hello. I am now a third year doctoral student studying biomechanics and anatomy. Only some of you close friends know what I do! I am always reminded of how little I share, after a chance encounter with one of you where 1- you don’t even know that I am a student or 2- you have noooo idea what type of research and teaching I do!

Apologies that I can’t share more of my work. From the biomechanics lab to the cadaver lab to the classrooms where I teach - I’ve had two full years of beautiful challenges, victories, failures and everything in between. So yes, life isn’t as perfect as these little squares suggest. It’s actually better, and richer, for all its complexity and messiness. My husband said he thinks I have crammed more information into my brain over the last two years than one might over 4 or 6. Haha. I say this not in a bragging way, but to explain the struggle.

I majored in psychology and business undergrad. Then I worked in research for two years in psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital, then one in Alzheimer’s Caregiving research (psycho-social/biological) at UCSD Med School, then got my Masters in Public Health studying childhood obesity, 6 months of cancer research, and THEN jumped to my full time yoga career for 3.5 years. And now I am still Yoga-ing, but also  doing all things PhD. I had no previous background in the anatomy and biomechanics content and have since needed to cram my brain with all of it. Hence, @dereklinsley point! It’s been hard work. 

My friend wrote the other day that we are all a little broken and that’s how the light gets in. It’s true! Just like our muscles, when we are challenged, we breakdown a bit only to grow back stronger for it. Big picture: I trust the path I am currently on and I am loving loving this challenging scientific journey. So much that I can’t put this transplant surgery book down or stop studying. I have totally found the perfect field for myself. And to everyone who has been asking what my next steps are - I don’t know yet but have loads of ideas!! In the meantime, I will be starting a podcast. For realz. Cheers to all of you, for lighting up my feed with updates on your life and for your support over the years!

Love Always,

#phdjourney #thestruggleisreal #myhusbandisasaint #LMYoga

Choose Happiness
Aloha Yogis,

Happiness is a choice. This month join me in taking active steps towards happiness - choose happiness. Maybe for you happiness means more walks, time with friends, yoga, or bubble baths. For me choosing happiness means creating freedom in my schedule to choose what I want to do, be it hiking, yoga, reading, or even cleaning!

Some other techniques:

1.) Be present + honest. To live in the present moment is happiness. One of the core tenets of being present is to be honest - all the time. If for a moment you are not honest, it takes you into a state of worry or distress and out of the present. Stay present and honest.

2.) Meditate.

3.) Surround yourself with people that lift you up.

4.) Get enough sleep.

5.) Smile more.

If a baby cries, we don't assume malice of the baby, no. We don't think, "that baby is out to get me"...rather, we think, that baby is hungry or tired. Similarly, as adults we might be drained of those same basic needs. Before assuming malice of another, consider that their less than stellar behavior could be attributed to lack of sleep or hunger. Not everything is complicated, in fact, more often than not, it is simple! Don't overthink situations and give others the benefit of the doubt.

What I have read recently: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

As the Emperor of Rome, he had the same mental struggles as we do and was trying to improve as a person, just as we are. When he lived he was the most successful and powerful person in the world. He would pour his thoughts into his personal diary unaware that one day it would be found and published. The message I received was that success and power do not equal happiness. Happiness is internal.

These techniques really help me and I hope they work for you too. Everything is a practice: yoga, soccer, nutrition, physical fitness, everything - including happiness.

Choose Happiness,
laura mary

Photography by Lululemon.

Wanderlust, Goals, and Yoga!

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ALOHA yogis!

For the first time ever, I taught at Wanderlust Festival on the North Shore of Oahu. It was a blast. I taught a workshop on "Vision, Goals, and Mantra Development." It was a new fresh topic for me to share with everyone, a topic that I've become so passionate about and practice everyday. It has some yogic principles tied in, but at Wanderlust I outlined a path to arriving at your truest vision and goals. I was nervously excited to teach at such a famed event; it was new territory for me, which is always scary, so I knew I had to be there, and all in no less. At the end of my workshop, Lululemon asked me to be their ambassador! I was so excited to teach at this festival. Here are some photos from my workshop.

Wanderlust got me so excited for my upcoming retreat. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to create magic like that again for my students at my Go Deeper yoga retreat on the Big Island in Kapa'au (May 27 - June 1). We will practice yoga and dive into a lot of juicy vision and goals work as well. There will be lots of free time to hike and explore, and the food is all sourced from the retreat center's on site organic farm. There are still spots available. Use my VIP code "VIP10" at checkout until Wednesday to receive 10% off!

alc_d21

With Love,

laura mary