Bringing It All Back Aum
AUM is the original spelling of OM, the well-known mantra chanted before and after yoga. OM represents the primordial sound, the vibration of creation, and the hum of the entire universe. By naming her endeavor after the original sound, Laura hopes to honor the origins of yoga origins in a way that can resound with all beings.
The universality of om is reflected in the "Hum" of the Tibetans, the "Amin" of Muslims, and the Judeo-Christian "Amen." Each letter of AUM represents a successive turn of the page. A is creation, beginning, birth; u is preservation, our life in the present moment; m is dissolving, transformation, and death; and turiya is the silence afterwards, when our individual consciousness is submerged into the universal.
About laura Cherry
Laura Cherry first encountered yoga in 2007. Given her background in dance, she walked into her first class feeling smug. She assumed it would be easy. Upon realizing that nearly every pose was inaccessible to her, she was deeply humbled. The practice has been humbling her ever since.
Laura completed her 450-hour teacher training at Swan River Yoga in 2018, led by Michelle Baker. She taught her first public class less than two weeks later. Laura is ecstatic about yoga, and works to bring its authentic practices into the modern world. Through Michelle Baker, she is part of a lineage that includes Ram Dass, Swami Sivananda, Shri K. Pattabi Jois, Sharon Gannon and David Life, and Jaya Shree.
Like many people, Laura first regarded yoga as a means to fitness and relaxation, something that one "did" to achieve a certain result. After all, the whole world suddenly seemed to be "doing" yoga. She took up the practice seriously with the hope of improving her mental health and diversifying her fitness regimen. But as the practice took root in her heart, she realized that yoga was deeper than the body, and even deeper than the mind. Yoga was of the spirit. In Sanskrit, the word yoga literally means "to yoke," and is often translated as "union with the Higher Self," the eternal Self, the part of us that is not the thinker of the thoughts, but the divine core beyond it. Through the practice of yoga, Laura experienced a life-changing appreciation of the connection of all beings, and a long-lost openness to divinity. This marked a turning point in her life.
Laura has longed to see an alternative to the modern yoga studio where asana dominates and devotional practices are merely extras, or absent. Of course, Laura embraces asana as part of her practice. Connecting the physical body with the spirit can lead to incredible healing. Laura delights in the creative process of sequencing, and deeply appreciates the beauty and security of refined alignment. However, Laura believes New Orleans needs more than another asana-based yoga studio. Our overstressed, overwhelmed, and burned-out beings need more being, and less doing . The intention of AUM is to foster unity within ourselves and with all life. Laura believes our divided world truly needs yoga in its original meaning: union.
450-hour Yoga Teacher Training, Swan River Yoga, New Orleans
Reiki I, II, and III, Nancy Maas
Ayurveda Yoga Therapist (Spring 2020), Michelle Baker
Yin Yoga, Michelle Baker
Yoga Nidra, Michelle Baker
Adaptive Yoga, Kelly Haas and Keith Porteous
Beginners Yoga, Michelle Baker and Kelly Haas
Restorative Yoga, Michelle Baker
Advanced Teacher Training, 75 hours, Swan River Yoga
Laura Cherry is a New Orleans native, but her travels have taken her all over the world. She currently lives in Gentilly with her husband and their two cat children. The foursome love their many pets, including several adorable, aggressive tropical fish, a peaceful goldfish who likes to attack plants, and two playful bunnies who enjoy intimidating the cats, who have long forgotten their role as predators. (Please don't say anything.)
Laura considers writing to be her personal dharma. The written word has always been her foremost means of creative expression. She taught herself to read at age four, and she wrote her first "book" at five. Energy workers have said that her throat chakra is quite powerful. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Laura's favorite color is blue. It certainly matches the watery nature of her Pitta-Kapha dosha, her sun in Scorpio, and her ascendant in Cancer.
Laura uses her writing to bring peace, insight, and complex emotional understanding to others through her novels, non-fiction, and other writing. Her blog, The Bipolar Yogi, explores the intersection of Eastern spirituality and mental illness. Laura's love of reading quickly drew her toward the philosophical aspects of yoga. Her favorite yogic texts are the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.
Whether due to the musical culture of New Orleans or her active fifth chakra, Laura grew up with an enormous appreciation of all types of music. This has found expression in her yoga practice through the path of Nāda Yoga, or the yoga of sound. Laura believes in the therapeutic potential of music and its ability to bring us closer to our Higher Selves. Laura plays an ever-increasing number of restorative instruments, including crystal bowls, gong and hang drum, tuning forks, and her beloved harmonium.
In addition to her vocations as writer and yoga teacher, Laura is a fiction editor and publisher. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Publishing from the world-renowned Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies. For several years, she worked at Oxford University Press in Oxford, England. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Haverford College in 2010 and studied creative writing, English, and philosophy at the University of Oxford, Mansfield College, from 2008-2009. In 2006, just after Hurricane Katrina, Laura received one of the highest literary prizes for young writers in the US, the Scholastic Inc. General Writing Portfolio Gold Award. She was one of four fiction writers in the nation to receive a generous $10,000 scholarship.