Lara Land, authorized Ashtanga teacher, began practicing yoga in 1998. She was immediately captivated by the way the yoga practice cleared her mind and body, making her more available, energetic, honest, and free. Soon after, Lara made her way to India to learn from the Guru of Ashtanga yoga, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. She has continued to travel to India annually now taking students and studying under Director R. Sharath and Saraswathi. In 2008/2009 Lara traveled to Rwanda to treat HIV positive genocide survivors and their children using the Ashtanga Yoga method. Next she went to India where she also worked with HIV positive children using yoga as therapy. Returning from that five month journey, Lara yearned for stability and connection to a single community. She found that automatically in Harlem. Energized by the people and aware of a need for what she could offer, Lara opened her first yoga shala, Land Yoga, in June 2011.
Since opening Land, Lara has continued her mission to give to her community. The studio offers classes for all levels, ages, and abilities, and provides many programs for new and expectant moms and children. Lara founded Harlem Earth Day through Harlem’s leading business association, Harlem Park to Park. She gives free and donation based yoga all over her community including Morningside Park, Columbia University, The Ralph Lauren Cancer Center, the Food Bank and at The Children’s Storefront and many other local schools. She has also continued her work with high-risk youth, teaching programs for Girl’s Talk, Friends of the Children, and the Incarnation Children’s Center in Washington Heights. Recently Lara launched her own non-profit, Three and a Half Acres Yoga and conducted her second annual Bollywood style fundraiser at Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant which raised $30,000 for that programming and for Odanadi to rescue children from Human Trafficking.
Lara’s life and spirit demonstrate the power of a yoga which blends service and self-care. She is always available to students and nonstudents for guidance and inspiration and is frequently seen hugging her littlest yogis all around town. Forever in awe of the transformative power of yoga, Lara continues to study and to challenge her limits. She recently took her 10th trip to India during Winter 2015 with 12 others and engaged in service, spiritual practice and sightseeing. Lara is deeply grateful for her teachers who have given her the opportunity to experience and share in this ancient practice.
Check out her BLOG to learn more.
Be sure to follow Lara on all her adventures at the links below!
Find Lara on Periscope at: LANDLARALAND
it’s totally different than what you think it is. from the outside, you look at it and you wonder why are they turning themselves into pretzels … you find out with each time you stretch a little more you are both in meditation state and in a sense prayer and meditation.. and I get insights from each practice
I can come here after work feeling enslaved and angry from my job and I find that about halfway into the yoga practice my mind is cleared of that and I always leave in a different state of emotion than when I arrived and without drinking wine… it’s been totally unexpectedJoanne L. Hope
I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you for everything. Since I moved to New York your studio served as a comfort and another home for me. And then when I finally met you I was even more inspired. I will definitely continue with ashtanga yoga!Jade Romain
Ms. Lara Land hosted Friends of the Children New York staff and youth “achievers” for an afternoon in Land Yoga Studios. Lara was gracious enough to tour us around the studio and explain the wholeness of wellness that she promotes through her space. She then led us in a yoga session that was tailored to our achievers. She found ways to engage our achievers and challenge them at the same time. Her soothing and encouraging approach made our achievers not only want to participate, but try things they didn’t know they were capable of. Her fabulous instruction led us all to achieve things we didn’t know at the start of the session that we would be able to accomplish. In addition, Lara gave us ways to incorporate her teachings into our daily lives, that we might find some peace and respite whilst living in the city that never sleeps! Lara also linked her business savvy into our session and gave our achievers an understanding on what it might be like to run their own business. Our visit to Ms. Lara and Land Yoga was an all-around success and we are so grateful that she opened the doors of Land Yoga to us!Amanda Giobbi
Lara has an inimitable way of teaching yoga, by connecting the basic principles of her practice to how we approach life’s struggles. I witnessed this, first hand, when she taught my GirlsTalk students last year. She used yoga to help the girls understand and deal with every day anxieties, particularly those that plague adolescents. And I’m telling you, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a 13 year old, meditating with her fingers, in an effort to calm down and not fight a fellow student, or teacher, for that matter. Within 6 weeks of class, my kids learned things they will remember forever.Aurora Barnes
Ms. Lara Land has been volunteering with the Food Bank for NYC’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry of West Harlem for approximately four months now. She has been kind and gracious enough to volunteer her time and expertise in yoga. One Monday of every month Ms. Land comes in for about an hour and completes yoga exercises with our senior participants, which we all so greatly appreciate. Participants perform breathing, stretching, and gentle yoga movements.
Senior participants really do appreciate Ms Land’s enthusiastic and gentle nature. They enjoy learning new yoga techniques, breathing exercises and different mantra.
We all enjoy Ms. Lara’s volunteer work and look forward to having her.Johanna Delgado
We can say without reservation that Lara’s passion for yoga is awesome. Her enthusiasm, energy, and knowledge inspired all our students to do their very best. Throughout each lesson each student was completely in the moment, focused and participating in an awesome new experience. This is Lara’s gift. She is able to transfer her passion for yoga to each and every student.Phil Wilkinson and Amy Paterno
I am excited to learn that you are considering opening a studio in Upper Manhattan. I would welcome an opportunity take class with you again. You are a gifted teacher able to lead by both instruction and example, with a healing touch and common sense. Many yoga teachers have elements on that list, but you have the whole package!Lizzie Leiman Kraiem
I have known Lara for several years and practiced Yoga with her at the Reebok Sports Club in New York City for an extended period in 2008. Lara is an excellent teacher of Yoga. She approached the task of introducing me to the practice of Yoga with unbelievable patience and good humor. Her deep knowledge of the art, its history and the different methods were apparent during each session. I was also impressed by Lara’s devotion to improving her skills and knowledge through her extended trips to India, where she practiced with the family widely known for creating the style she specializes in practicing and teaching.Peter L. Herzig
All Eight Limbs
Yoga poses are a fun and beautiful thing and surely they have swept the world, but yoga is so much more. Discover All Eight Limbs of the yoga practice and explore the world with me, including yoga’s birthplace, India. Share and spread the love, peace, and focus that yoga brings. Learn how, as a yoga practitioner, you can become a vehicle for change and light in your home and community.
All Eight Limbs is a movement started by Lara Land to encourage us to share and live all the aspects of yoga beyond just the poses.
How we live our lives off the mat affects those around us and ripples like waves.
That is why we are encouraging YOU to join the movement.
The current All Eight Limbs Challenge is up on our YouTube page. Subscribe to stay informed.
Participate on your own or get your whole studio or entire community involved by inviting Lara Land to your city to share her All Eight Limbs and related workshops where she’ll teach you step by step how to transform and uplift an entire community.
All Eight Limbs
Lara’s life and spirit demonstrate the power of a yoga which blends service and self-care.
Her full concept yoga approach is now a Movement. All Eight Limbs is an effort to bridge the gap between traditional yoga fundamentals and modern life. Using Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the teachings of Ashtanga Yoga Lara demonstrates how we can alleviate stress and pain from our lives, meet our goals, and uplift others. After this talk/workshop yoga will become a part of each and every moment, movement, and choice in your life well beyond the yoga mat.
Train Your Brain I & II
You shouldn’t feel that visualizing the future means you don’t accept the now. It is, in fact, the opposite. As we hold in our mind both our peace with the present and dream of our future self, our desire shoots into the ether where the universe truly does align to help create it. Train Your Brain, is a creative visualization workshop that dissects this idea of the power of attraction, building on it and calling to attention where previous explanations have been lacking. Level One incorporates the yoga philosophy of Patanjali’s sutras and other scientific sources to explain how the brain works and how we can use its functioning to bring us our desires. Level Two delves deeper answering more specific questions and offering a chance for vision boarding. Both include short meditations and hand to paper writing.
I loved that it was a small group, and therefore very personal, with people sharing their experiences and concerns. It was a four-hour long workshop, but I was never bored because it went from lecture to sharing and discussing, to guided meditations and activities. It’s a class I’ll be thinking about for awhile! – Kristie
Profitable in under six months, Lara’s Harlem studio, Land Yoga serves as a model for studios across the world. Using her interpersonal skills from her theatre background, sales and management from her years in the health insurance industry, and incredible intuition from her yoga and meditation, Lara is able to come in and rid your studio of any blocks that are inhibiting growth. Lara has served as a mentor and business builder for anyone from freelance yoga instructors looking to start their own space or program, to long-established businesses stuck in a rut. Even non-yoga businesses have used her consulting, especially female entrepreneurs.
Jump Back Jump Through
Ashtanga Yoga is a balance between moments of movement and moments of stillness in asanas. In this workshop, we focus on breaking down the moving pieces that link the postures together. Learn to lift up and experience lightness in your practice. Master the elusive art of the ‘vinyasa,’ also known as jump backs or jump through. Lara’s step by step approach works with the practitioner whatever his level and propels him forward!
I found it really helpful to hear the process of jumping back/forward/through narrating and modeled and to learn key mental cues to give myself in my practice every day. Now, I think about putting weight into my hands and imagining my feet ‘levitating’ for a moment each time I jump forward. I also found it helpful to have the skill of jumping through broken down further, so I could advance my practice of it, even though I’m not yet able to jump through all the way. This has really changed my practice and given me a deeper appreciation for how much work it takes to build seemingly small parts of my practice. – Molly Horstman
Transform, Transcend, Surrender:
How to uplift and enhance an entire community using All Eight Limbs of Yoga
In March 2014 Lara raised $10,000 for Odanadi International, an organization that rescues children from Human Trafficking. Taste of India was a massive success due largely to the trust and community that Lara and her studio Land Yoga had built during the previous three years. They have worked with the parks, schools, small businesses, and non-profits in their neighborhood lifting everyone to the next level. Learn how to turn your business into an institution that transforms lives! This course is perfect for yoga studios or for any business looking to make an impact!
Chloe the Yogi Teacher Trainings
Teach yoga poses, games, songs and projects! Gauge what you can expect from Kids ages 2-12 yrs. Learn how to work with the Energy & Expectations of all kinds of parents & teachers. Introduce Concentration and Yoga Philosophy that is Kid Friendly. Design dynamic classes and series that flow and make sense for every level. Produce lessons for private, semi-private, small and large groups, yoga studios, gyms, schools & condos. Create captivating lessons, manage challenging behavior, and work with groups of all sizes.
Yoga for Teens and High Risk Youth
Learn the language, poses, and breathing techniques specific for impacting teens. This age group, especially those who have been through trauma, loss, and disappointment yearn for connection but have issues with trust. Lara will teach you step by step how to build that trust and how get even the toughest young person moving and using yoga techniques to control anger, find focus, and think before reacting. Testimonials on her work with this group on the testimonial page.