On January 4 at our homies class at Leahi Park, Laura Kasperzak, better known as @LauraSykora on Instagram, took over from Head Homie, Courtney, and taught an inspiring and playful vinyasa class for over 40 eager yoga homies. And over the course of the following few days she taught 3 iversion workshops to over 100 wanna-be-handstanders of all levels. Each class she started us in savasana and would slowly ease us into a flow that connected us to our core--our strength. In one workshop she even divided the class into long rows of yogis with linked arms and we flowed vinyasa-style as a group (much harder than it sounds) which i had never done before. In each workshop we would individually try our best at balancing on our heads and hands in various poses. Then she would also guide us through partner assists with our neighbors to support, encourage and reassure each other. As a treat at the end, we would circle up for a group massage and meditation to bring the high energy back down to a manageable buzz. You could easily say that each class was filled with tips on becoming comfortable on your hands, how to gain strength physically and mentally, and how to trust yourself. Absolutley true, yet so not true.
These classes with Laura no doubt taught me and the students ranging from advanced to beginner all of those things listed above. But what I didn’t expect for her to teach as well were lessons about being yourself. And being humble. She confessed in her classes that she was a silly person and taught with a light-heartedness around the physical practice. She liked to make jokes. She continuously made us smile and feel good about our practice and our head and handstands in all their varying degrees of grace. When she showed us how-to’s by demoing crowd-pleasers like pike-pressing into handstand or transitioning from crow to handstand, it never had an air of showing off. It was more this feeling of encouragement that if we worked hard, we could do this someday too. Very matter of fact.
When talking to her she described her Instagram phenomena as her getting lucky by joining the social media site when there wasn’t a whole lot of yoga accounts on IG. I told her that might have a little to do with it but that her beautifully strong practice and gorgeous pictures were definitely not luck. That’s pure talent—physically and artistically.
This sweet nature, kind heart, down-to-earth personality and cute wit are all part of the amazingness that is Laura that those of us here in Honolulu got to experience this one time when @LauraSykora came to play yoga in Hawaii. These qualities of confidence in myself and being humble are what I will continue to strive for in my teaching and in my life and if my handstands happen to get stronger in the process, well that's just an added bonus. Many thanks and mucho aloha, Laura!