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Laura Goes "On the Couch with Pazou"

Laura Goes "On the Couch with Pazou"

Laura Jane Mellencamp on the couch with Tanja Pazou.png

Laura gives a light-hearted, engaging interview with Tanja Pazou about yoga and living consciously and mindfully through the heart.  Watch the 3 part video.

Note: The music stops and the interview starts 1:00 minute into the first video, which is listed at the bottom of the 3 videos on Pazou's website. 

Tanja Pazou has an extensive background in performance art and education, as well as production. She graduated with honors in Munich Germany and she furthered her education in London and Los Angeles. She has a segment on her website, "On the Couch with Pazou".

Where in the world is Laura? SYTAR and the Yoga Therapy Summit

Where in the world is Laura? SYTAR and the Yoga Therapy Summit

I was honored last month to be able to attend the International Association of Yoga Therapy's annual symposium in Newport, CA.

I was so excited to return to the West Coast as a speaker and presented my story of creating an intention and living a commitment to teaching and working in the holistic healing world of yoga therapy.

I have always called myself a Yoga Therapist and always preferred the heart-to-heart connection of meeting students one-on-one to refine the chatter of misdirected thoughts that no longer serve the well being of the soul.

Having left LA in the 90s, I decided to create a life in the Midwest as a yoga teacher.

People were quite surprised that I would leave sunny and beautiful southern California for what I now call the “Land of Ugly” (from Nov. to April).

Yes, I too question how and why I ended up in Downers Grove, but I headed my inner voice and moved into the great unknown.

Today I am so proud of our profession.

I presented at the Symposium On Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) on how I have witnessed the shift in mental health to return to the somatic tools of experiencing the physical breath to relieve the anxiety in the system, to restore energy in the mind that is exhausted, and to remove the fear of depression with actual yoga practices. 

I also spoke on the valuable way the medical model is now referring their clients and the ways yoga is moving into holistic health as tools for both physical and mental heath.

Yoga Therapists are finding greater opportunities to work along side mainstream health care providers to provide life changing solutions and bill health insurance for their services.

This fall I am helping to produce, The Yoga Therapy Summit, where for the first time, many of the most respected teachers in the Krisnamacharya lineage are coming together to present in one place. 

The event is open to all students, teachers, therapists and any health providers that might want to learn more about how yoga works for life changing health and healing on all layers of the mind, body, and soul. 

The event is being held here in Oak Brook, IL. 

Please consider attending as this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field of yoga.

 Click for more information on the summit and to register.

Yoga is finally coming back to its true purpose of being a pathway to healing.

It coaxes the body to be as strong and flexible as possible as it removes the tension and pain in the joints and spine as well as alleviates the stresses of the mind. 

I knew in the early 80’s when I started this journey that there was a greater purpose in healing and I am grateful I listened to that inner voice that just said, "DO IT!" 

For me, that meant coming to the Midwest and today, YAF is a center of healing compassion for all that want to claim a better life of feeling the glow of one’s own aliveness!

Enjoy each day with love and light,
Laura Jane

God's Fool

God's Fool

Laura Jane

Laura Jane

It's hard to believe that spring has once again come around to greet us. “God’s Fool” is sometimes the message I get when I remember opening Yoga Among Friends on April Fool’s Day in 1998.  I somehow question how our little community has continued thriving and enjoying 19 years of being a steady home of yoga for so many wonderful souls.

The community at YAF is why we are still here in a landscape that keeps changing. With so many alternative places to practice and families moving away. Yet, we are a constant comfort for so many that walk through our door with a sigh and a smile, thanking us for being “authentic” and “real”.  I guess our lack of corporate funding gives us a pleasant throwback to what it feels like to be original.

When our doors opened in 1998, there were no yoga centers anywhere in the suburbs. No one understood that we would be here for “drop-in” classes when there is no guarantee that anyone would actually show up. As a yoga teacher, I always shared that our commitment is to the teachings, not how many students show up to join in. A concept that the standard business model would not encourage! Yes, I always say I am not a business but a service! And teaching yoga is not a career path but a deeper calling of the soul.

Somehow in the last twenty years we have survived the hot yoga centers, the fitness spin centers and the lack of a sign that allows anyone to really know we still exist. We have continued to shine because of you, the students, and of course the amazing teachers that have given their love and energy to inspire and motivate the lifestyle of living with compassion and kindness and what it means to be a friend. To share in conversation, to hug and to be able to listen when silence is needed as a space of comfort.

In 2018, we will celebrating 20 years. In celebration of this milestone, we are putting together a book on the importance of community and how the teachings of yoga inspire to cultivate compassionate kindness in a busy, distracted world. That true commitment is living mindfully with open hearts.  We would love to hear from our students as we collaborate on the joint endeavor in celebrating you and YAF.

We are blessed as move into this new season and hope that you continue to practice with us both on and off the mat. Tell your friends about our sweet home; and if so inspired, please email us with a story or testimonial about how YAF (or about your teacher or a friendship that developed) over the years. Share a story that might have happened on one of our many retreats or venues.

Thank you from all of us as we celebrate this turn around the sun and enjoy each day with love and light,
Laura Jane