If there’s ever been a time to get into yoga and meditation, it would be 2020. From the devastating bushfires at the start of the year to the on-going pandemic, it’s so important to stay present.
One person who knows a thing or two about mindfulness is Laura Kelly, yoga and meditation teacher. From her spiritual journey to her favourite Boody picks, read on to get to know Laura Kelly in our interview.
You're a trained yoga teacher. How did that come to be?
Mine is quite a common tale, I think. I was working long hours in a successful but stressful corporate job and really felt like I needed to slow down. My yoga practice had become my biggest support in coping with stress and I initially started looking at yoga retreats but realised I needed more than a week off!
I actually ended up leaving my job without a plan but found a teacher training in Bali that really focused on teaching yoga philosophy. I learnt a lot about myself over that month and came home feeling inspired to share some of the practices I’d found had helped me.
You also teach meditation. Can you tell us a bit about this?
I was first introduced to meditation in yoga classes as a student and then again later during my teacher training where I was introduced to a range of different meditation styles. I’d say I offer guided meditations over specifically teaching the techniques. They are accessible to everyone.
My intention is to offer short guided meditations that can be done at any point during the day that are simple and easy to follow. The beauty of meditation for me is that it’s taught me how to slow down.
It can help me find calm amongst frantic energy and invites me to slow my movements and consciously feel into my body and breath, to become more connected to ourselves and the world around me.
Outside of your wellness practices, you provide creative content services. Talk to us about this.
I have over a decade experience working as an Executive Assistant in the corporate world, so after my yoga teacher training, I made the move to fuse the two and specialise in supporting businesses and creatives in the health and wellness space.
My clients are yoga and meditation teachers, spiritual healers, writers and artists. They are big thinkers and go-getters and I love assisting them in sharing their magic with the world. I work one-on-one to provide administrative support and create content that engages audiences and promotes products and services.
We hear you're a big Boody fan. What is it about everyday basics you love?
I’m a self-confessed extroverted introvert. While I love connecting with others and socialising, I always look forward to home alone time to recharge. I love everyday basics that are comfortable and easy to throw on but still make me feel good. Boody does exactly that.
I also love your commitment to sustainability, organic fabrics and giving back to non-profits who help protect the environment.
Any top picks and why?
I have been living in my Long Sleeve Round Neck T-Shirt, Full Length Active Tights and Padded Shaper Crop Bra. The fabrics are all so soft and snuggly; the tights hold me in in all the right places and the bra provides enough support for my yoga practice without feeling restrictive if I’m just sitting on the couch drinking a cup of tea!
Eco-friendly living is crucial to us at Boody. In what ways do you try to live a sustainable life?
At the start of 2020, I made a promise to myself to only buy second-hand clothes and to really cut down on my clothes shopping in general. I love rummaging through vintage stores and my local op-shops. It’s the best feeling when you find those hidden gems!
If I’m buying something new I’m doing my best to stick to brands that strive to maintain sustainable and ethical standards, like Boody!
2020 has been a stressful year for people all over the globe. Pulling on your health and wellness expertise, in what ways can people remain calm during turbulent times?
I wish I had the magic answer! I’m not a medical practitioner and would never claim to offer advice for everybody but what I can do is say what has worked for me. I’ve made an effort to move my body every day, getting outside has been a non-negotiable (even if it’s just to grab a quick coffee) and I’ve allowed myself to rest when I need to.
I’ve tried to not spend too much time on my devices and stay away from mainstream media. I have found that simply taking a few deep breaths when things start to feel overwhelming helps lower my stress levels and bring me back to the present moment.
For me, I’ve really tried to be kind to myself and take each day as it comes as much as possible. I read somewhere recently that although we are all caught in the same storm, we are not in the same boat. Everyone is experiencing this strange time in their own way. So, I am endeavouring to take care for those around me more than ever and provide support where I can.
We hear you moved from London to Sydney six years ago. What have been the main changes to your life following the move?
So much has changed in the last six years! It’s definitely had its challenges; being away from friends and family has been tough but the friends I’ve made here have turned into family in a lot of ways.
I wake up and go to bed a lot earlier than I did when I was living in London, I’ve trained to be a yoga teacher, I now work for myself and I’ve actually just experienced a huge milestone in becoming an Australian citizen this month which is very exciting!
If people want to pursue a similar career in yoga and meditation, what advice can you offer them?
Yoga teacher training has become as much about my own personal development as it has been about learning the practice, if not more. Meditation is inextricably linked to my yoga practice, in many ways, yoga IS my meditation.
I think the most important thing you can do is make a commitment to your practice. Yoga is not just about what happens on the mat. The biggest changes for me have been in the way I live my life; the way I interact with people, especially my friends, family and my partner and the way I understand the inner workings of my mind.
If you want to teach, I’d recommend connecting with and offering to help out at your local studio; there’s often opportunities for trained teachers when they are already part of the community. I would recommend to make your own practice the priority and to forever remain a curious student. As it is written in the Bhagavad Gita; “"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self."
Anything exciting in the pipeline you'd like to mention?
I’m working with some really exciting clients at the moment and I’ve launched my new website where new clients can reach me to discuss how we might be able to work together.
I’ve also recently collaborated with the Bondi-based infrared sauna studio, Nimbus Co, on a new online offering which will include meditation recordings, a Yin yoga sequence and a reflection journal. They will be launching this soon so keep an eye on their socials and website for more details!