Earliest memory of yoga
In high school, we had two weeks between semesters when our teachers offered non-academic classes that reflected their hobbies or passions: The biology teacher taught cooking; the history teacher gave a watercolor class; and the French teacher, taught a yoga class. I have no idea what kind of yoga it was. All I remember is my best friend Jeanne Smith and I took it, and we got the giggles so bad–she probably had us chanting–that it was painful to try and and not burst out laughing. Who knew then, this would become my passion and life’s work?
A turning point in your practice
I had been doing yoga on my own from books and tapes. I then took class at a gym where I was teaching a kids dance class. When the yoga teacher left, the gym asked me to take over the class. It fell into my lap. I wanted to keep doing yoga and I needed to earn a living. I taught the simple sequences I had learned but was intimidated every time I faced a class. I was suddenly humbled by how unqualified I was to be teaching people. It was then I signed up for a training at YogaWorks with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford.
A hobby that complements your practice
I still dance, jazz and tap, and, whenever possible, I commute to work on my bike.
If you weren’t a yoga teacher, you’d be
an alternative rock star–writing music, traveling the world playing clubs and meeting people. Since I don’t have the talent to support that fantasy…let’s see…before I taught yoga, I danced and did some acting (mostly theatre and TV commercials). I was in commercials for Ross, Rainier Beer, Lipton Iced Tea, AT&T and Toyota, to name a few. I also worked as a waitress and bartender at a rock-n-roll club and for catering companies. I served at many movie premieres, bar mitzvahs and weddings. I would pursue both more actively if I weren’t supporting myself teaching.
Since 1992, Lauren Peterson, E-RYT 500 has been traveling worldwide, leading workshops and teacher trainings. In more than 20 years of yoga practice, Peterson, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in N.Y. and L.A., has had the privilege to study with and assist Chuck Miller for 10+ years. Chuck taught her through fourth series in the Ashtanga yoga system. She is currently playing with the first few poses of fifth series as shown to her by Richard Freeman.
Lauren has been featured both in the television series “Healing Quest” and in Yoga Journal for the yoga program she pioneered at the Monte Nido Eating Disorders Center for women struggling with eating disorders. As a model, she has appeared in magazines, calendars and in Yoga, a Yoga Journal book by Linda Sparrowe.
Lauren is the creator of “The Yogi’s Companion,” a yoga practice CD which was YJ’s editor’s choice. She also has four yoga DVDs: Back Care, Stress Relief, Beginning Yoga, and Yoga for Athletes—created in conjunction with Olympic athlete Gabby Reece.
Lauren teaches group and private classes in Malibu, Venice and Santa Monica.