Tag Archives: Honolulu

may 5th email
Hello Yogis,

I don't even know where to begin this newsletter, because there is so much to cover! Happily, 2017 has been a very full year. After kicking off January with my Goal Chaser workshop series, it inspired me to re-focus my own goals. This turned into a lot of reading and self-study (svadhyaya). I enrolled in an anatomy and physiology course at Kapiolani Community College. We did several dissections and learned all about the way our bodies align and function. For those of you who attend my classes, you know I am very interested in the anatomy of yoga, alignment, and just simply being. This experience and more sparked within me an even deeper desire to learn.

A year and a half ago I had reconstructive ankle surgery on an injury that I have had since 5th grade (I broke my tibia and fibula). As a full-time yoga instructor the experience was both humbling and informative, and it shifted my entire mindset on kinesiology. After months of physical therapy with minimal improvement, my surgeon recommended that I find a sports exercise trainer in Honolulu who specialized in biomechanics of the ankle. Aside from enrolling in more physical therapy, I was at a loss as to how to find somebody with such specific qualifications. In fact, many people come to me to improve function through yoga after an injury or to enhance athletic performance, but I have nowhere near the knowledge to guide a person, even myself, back to their full capability. I knew I wanted and needed to learn more.

My own rehabilitation has precipitated a complete change in the way I instruct yoga and the way I lead my yoga teacher training program. What began as a lot of self-investigatory work has become an even more narrowly focused passion or a purpose. I am on a quest to learn more about biomechanics, exercise physiology, and anatomy. With a background in both psychology and public health, and of course yoga, I know that improved physical function translates to happier people and improved public health. Aside from my recent ankle surgery, over the years of my research career, I became more and more interested in the physical aspects of function as opposed to the psychological aspects. I have seen how the former can improve the latter. If you are interested in this topic, respond to my email. I have always had the intention of earning my doctoral degree but then life happened - in a beautiful way, my plans changed.

I truly believe in listening to the pull of life. Whether you feel the pull of your interests or what makes your heart leap, we have to practice getting quiet and connected enough to hear and feel it. Between yoga and some consistent vision and goals work, I make a practice of trying to feel these pulls. I have been an athlete all my life. I’ve always been intrigued by the way our bodies move and function. I was a psychology major, and I’ve always been interested in how our thoughts impact our reality. In college, I nerded it up big time and hit the books really hard. I did well and entered the world of research and had aspirations to become a doctor.

I became a yoga instructor after college because it was the natural next step in my yoga practice. I worked in psychiatric research for three years following college before studying public health in graduate school (which was a stepping stone to earning my doctorate). Through graduate school I continued my teaching of yoga. I stepped into it as a full time teacher after graduate school, it was intended to be a temporary gig. But all I wanted to do was teach, I absolutely loved it and I still do. I allowed myself to continue to be pulled. I learned so much. I developed programs, taught 200-hour teacher trainings, hosted retreats, large events, corporate yoga, and more than one thousand private classes. I was also lucky enough to work with many amazing companies as an ambassador. Shout out Lululemon, Manduka Yoga, Banan, Jugo Life Juice, UltraMana Coffee, Peace Cafe, Moana Surfrider, and most recently Susan G Komen.

As I mentioned, things started to shift for me after having an ankle surgery 2015. I poured over physical rehabilitation literature, enrolled in an online nutrition program, and the anatomy and physiology course. I worked with many physical therapists and I practiced yoga. All in an effort to bring my little ankle and everything it affected back to “normal”. In many ways, the healing I sought was similar to the healing my students were seeking. This “pull” of interest became so strong, that I connected to a University of Hawaii professor who is at the forefront of biomechanics research. I began sitting in on a few of his lectures. In just a few hours time, I felt information overload (in the best way possible). I loved every minute of it all. Before I knew it, I was applying for a PhD in exercise science.

Because my yoga business took off, and life pulled me into my yoga career, I always said that the only circumstance under which I would ever go back to school for my PhD was if I had a burning desire to learn everything on a topic and if I had a personal interest in it. I’ve decided to become an expert in this area. I am still going to be teaching yoga, so don't worry there!

I am so excited to tell you that I am going back to school to study exercise science. Trust me, I never saw this day coming. I will be doing research in biomechanics. I already integrate a lot of science into my classes. Earning a doctorate in this field will definitely help take my knowledge to the next level. I am so excited for this step in my career. I am especially excited to integrate this knowledge into my yoga teachings. YOU will all benefit from this next step.

Now that I have been accepted, it is hitting me, just how much work lies ahead. Right off the bat, I begin with teaching an 80 person lecture. Let's just say, there will be a lot of studying and yoga happening this summer before school begins in August.

Deep breaths and Sun Salutations,

laura mary

Photography by Lululemon and Chelsea Abril.

The Beauty of Beach Yoga in Hawaii

Truth be told, practicing beach yoga in San Diego is what really got me “hooked” on yoga. I would walk home after my weekly outdoor practice with a big smile plastered to my face and a new outlook and clear perspective on my day. That might sound like the typical aftermath feeling of everyone’s yoga practice, but let me explain how it is so much more.

The experience of practicing yoga outside, with the ocean in front you, the sun on your face, and the ocean air to breathe is incredibly refreshing. Your body craves the pure oxygen, is drawn to the beautiful views, and appreciates the energizing boost of vitamin D from the sun. The peaceful feeling and deep respect that comes from interacting with the environment inspires and empowers you to get outside more – because it feels good!

Simply moving your mat outside adds quite a few challenges to your practice as well. The uneven terrain challenges your balance and core work. Every posture is brought to the next level, and small musculature adjustments throughout your whole body need to happen in order to maintain alignment and balance. If holding a handstand on solid, flat ground in the studio is easy, take your mat outside once a week to deepen your practice; you won’t be disappointed with the challenge.

In yoga class, teachers often speak about gratitude. Sometimes the comments might resonate with you, other times they might not. Beach yoga fills up your cup with gratitude…better yet, your cup is simply overflowing with gratitude by the end of class. Rather than think about gratitude as a broad idea or intention for class, gratitude is simply woven into the experience of soaking up such a gorgeous and heart warming experience: yoga outdoors. I am constantly thinking, “Wow this is my life, how lucky am I?” It’s easy to forget that we live in a breathtaking paradise, but a great way to remember that your life is real and you are in fact the one living this incredibly beautiful life is to try a beach yoga class.

Not only is the outdoor yoga experience awe inspiring, it also serves as a great reminder of how yoga began: outside in the elements, teacher to student, with the breath being the foundation of the whole practice. Students feel more inspired to take full inhalations of fresh ocean air at the beach. This provides clean oxygen to the body and will help to energize you all day long. Additionally, simply seeing the majestic and strong mountains as you hold mountain pose (tadasana) helps remind students to be strong, stable, and bold like a mountain. Balancing in tree pose (vrksasana) can often be humbling; however, while holding tree pose and simultaneously witnessing the trees sway in the wind, students are reminded that their tree might sway and that it’s fine, they can still be strong.

Beach yoga is tranquil and challenging. An outdoor yoga practice will leave you feeling more connected to your environment. It will force gratitude upon you, as it is impossible to not feel grateful for such a wonderful experience. Oceanfront sunset yoga in Hawaii, does it get any better?

Laura Mary Flynn, Master of Public Health (MPH) and certified yoga instructor teaches private yoga (at your home), corporate yoga (at your office), studio classes (at Power Yoga Hawaii in Kahala), and sunset beach yoga (at Magic Island every Thursday night 5:30pm). Please visit her website for the beach yoga location (www.lauramaryflynn.com/yoga/beach-yoga/). Laura Mary is the editor-in-chief of Laura Mary Healthy Living (www.lauramaryflynn.com/newsletter). Email Laura Mary with any inquiries info@lauramaryflynn.com.

With Love,

laura mary

The Many Reasons I love Sundays…

I love to wake up with the sun shining on my face, while I am lying on top of the sheets and comforter; and after 9 hours of sleep, the bed looks as though no one has even been on it. My mom would always joke about this when I was a kid, “Laura, did you even sleep in this bed?” … I still do it, Mom. Since Derek has been away, I’ve pushed the bed all the way up against the wall, where Derek’s surfboard rests, that too is the kid in me…goblins anyone? Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

I love waking up and knowing that I don’t have to get out of bed, but I do, because I am eager and excited to get my day started, because Sunday is my day. French vanilla coffee from Down to Earth? Yes please. Coffee is pretty much the best simple pleasure, ever. Paired with some yummy toast with fresh ground peanut butter, organic honey, and cinnamon on top (I am a toast lover). YUM. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Light up some candles and turn on some Norah Jones

Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga And it’s right to “work” I go. Planning my sequences for my 3 classes today. Planning my future. Constantly, pinching myself, and experiencing so many reality checks on life, for I just can’t believe the amazing turn it has taken. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Just asking myself, some small questions... Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

I feel so much abundance all around me. Good things keep happening, and one notion has become really clear to me: abundance attracts abundance. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who are continually fueling my inspiration because they too are inspired. Abundance attracts abundance. Now it is time for yoga with my three friends. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Happy Sunday everyone!

Surround yourself with those people that fuel your own inspiration and find one small pleasure that lightens your day and makes you smile.

With Love,

laura mary

Universe Memos


Life Lately:

I’ve never been a “writer,” per se, but now I feel their pain. Writer’s block, is a real phenomenon. Don’t be discouraged, there is a way to combat writer’s block, and that is with the power of intention. There is a huge power in setting intentions and then leaving them be, to develop as they will.

Oh the trials and tribulations of being me…

If you want to write a blog post and you don’t have an idea yet, whatever you do, don’t sit down to write one. Go do something else, like take a shower; really, you can do anything you want, except sit down to write.

While you have the intention of wanting to write, go off and do something else. As soon as you forget about the intention (though it has still been planted), suddenly, BOOM, ideas start flowing at a rapid pace.

Now, you have about 7 theme ideas in your head and you are trying to finish up your shower, whatever you do…don’t get out of the shower and plan on writing, because unless you repeat those 7 theme ideas in your head continuously (and all of the thoughts that stemmed from the original idea), you will only remember the last idea formulated.

Try that experiment, but, if you are not vested in the outcome of the blog post, you may find different results. However, I can conclude that I am clearly vested in the outcome of my blog, as this current post is the only idea that I’ve been left with since my shower ended.

I am going to interpret this as a gigantic memo from the Universe to slow down, let go of my attachment, and go do something that I enjoy. So I will go practice yoga for an hour with a notebook beside my mat…

And hopefully, you will all be hearing from me tonight!

I hope you enjoyed my stream of consciousness, I wrote this at midnight and I’ve been up since 4:30am! OH, life, why are you so awesome at dishing out lessons in the most unusual of manners?

With love,

laura mary