I am a yogi, a mother, a “sensitive” and a nature loving song-bird at heart who’s greatest desire is to be a force of LOVE and service in this world! My passion is to help people more deeply connect with themselves, their bodies, their intuition, and their healing and highest potential though movement, the multidimensional tools of yoga, therapeutic touch and other healing modalities including nature, dance, music and love.
This website is a compilation of many interconnected pieces of myself which I offer and wish to share with you, for your own enjoyment, inspiration, personal growth or healing. The bio for my work as a certified Yoga Therapist and a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant can be found below. I also would love to share about my music and Love journeys here as these elements are an expression of my heart and incorporated in my work and offerings.
Many people who know me in the healing realm don’t know that I have a love of singing. I studied opera performance in college as well as performed in musicals, oprettas and traveled with the musical Youth Leadership group Up With People. I learned much about voice and myself through these experiences, however the pressure of performance coupled with severe stage fright and my then self-limiting beliefs, expectations and fears led to feelings of disconnection with expressing my voice, and I stopped singing for years. This “breakup” was very painful as my love for song was strong, though I continued to have music in my life and receive its healing effects.
What eventually got me back to singing and performing was by getting into deeper touch with the wisdom of my body and learning how to use my body as a vehicle of expression. I have personally utilized regular self-healing work with Yoga Therapy, using chanting, breathwork, meditation and self-reflective tools, as well as yoga asana and Dance Therapy to learn to somatically process my fears, feelings and self-limiting beliefs.
I am now enjoying the journey of songwriting and performing with my fabulous band, Sōleffect. I chose to share this part of myself here because I believe in the healing power of music and the community that music encourages. Our original songs are uplifting with titles like "Believe in Yourself", "Be the Change" and "Strength from Within" and our covers are upbeat, soulful and fun, making you want to move. I hope you can come see us sometime!
I am also finding passion in integrating the yogic tools of chanting, breathwork, movement and self-reflection, with my formal training in classical voice and jazz, and my experiences performing in a band. My new class Finding Voice which shares this integration, has been a joy to facilitate and is helping people connect with their inner and expressive voices. Another new offering is collaborative workshop called SOMA~SOUND, which explores sound (chanting and healing instruments) and movement, topped off with a blissful sound bath - check it out for our next offering SOMA~SOUND! Also, I am currently co-leading retreats in Big Sur which offer some of this yoga-sound integration and the opportunity to sing – I hope you can join us!
Along with yoga and music, LOVE has been a healing force in my life and plays a strong role in my work helping others. In 2017 I decided to have LOVE as my theme for the year. I chose this theme because while I had much love in my life - love for my family, my work, my community and friends, etc. there was still a deeper disconnect. I still felt challenged in my ability to fully receive love, especially from myself. I started chonicalling love daily on social media in what was called 365 Days of Love. Each day I would post a picture (often a heart in nature, found by myself or one of my daughters) and a quote or personal insight or experience with love. Also, the tools of yoga which I had been practicing for so many years, beautifully supported this intention and helped to more deeply integrate it into my life and being.
What resulted from this intention was tremendous growth in my own experience of self-love, truly learning how to forgive and receive (a personal favorite prayer - the Ho'oponopono prayer - I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you) and gaining deeper connection and trust in universal and divine love. I also rediscovered the love of writing which has evolved into songwriting and a desire to start a blog. My intention is to share uplifting, unifying and empowering messages through my writing and music. I even kindled a love for photography (my photographer mother would be proud!). My heart images and soon to be "Love Posts" are shared here as well as on social media where you can share your own images and experiences with love in the Love Collective. Lastly, (but not least!) I have a vision to start a charitable organization called the Love Project. More on that as it evolves...
When working with people I incorporate the very tools and lessons this Love work has given me. 'See love, spread love, be love' is a motto I wholeheartedly intend to live by and support others wishing to do the same. Thank you for reading and thank you for connecting! I look forward to more moments of connection with you - please be in touch!
Laura Knutson, PTA, C-IAYT
Laura is grateful to have called the beautiful Central Coast her home since 2001. She brings to the community, her love of mind-body practices, her desire for helping people, and her passion for sharing the unique blend of techniques she has received as a Physical Therapist Assistant and as a Yoga Therapist.
She originally fell in love with the practices and philosophies of Yoga in 1995 when, in a Yoga class, she was first introduced to the intuitive wisdom and peace hidden within her breath. She found the therapeutic benefits of Yoga to help find relief from chronic back pain, asthma, and anxiety. These personal awakenings and experiences with healing opened a world of curiosity and gratitude in her, leading her to further investigate Yoga’s potential to help improve ones life.
Since then she has practiced and extensively studied Yoga in the form of multiple workshops, conferences, retreats, and trainings. She began teaching Yoga in 2002, soon after receiving her 200hour accreditation with Sarah Powers and Scott Blossom at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center’s Teacher Training program. Peter Sterios has been a local influence and inspiration. As she became more drawn to the subtle and healing aspects of Yoga she followed her heart to study Yoga Therapy at the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF), which included two intensive internships at the KYM in Chennai, India. The KHYF is founded by TKV Desikachar and is an organization committed to spreading the holistic Yoga teachings of Yogacarya Sri T Krishnamacharya, and pioneering the role of Yoga in complimentary health care. She is now working in our community as a certified Yoga Therapist offering private sessions and therapeutic group classes such as her popular Yoga For Back Care classes.
Along with Yoga, Laura’s interest in healing also led her to Physical Therapy. After years of calling her dad, who is a PT, for advice on how to assist students with special needs in her Yoga classes, she finally decided to follow his footsteps and further pursue a Physical Therapist Assistant degree from San Juan College in Farmington, NM. She now works as a licensed PTA at Spirit Winds Physical Therapy in San Luis Obispo.
Laura’s passion is sharing the union of Eastern and Western modes of health and healing. She often considers herself a “translator” of sorts as she sees them as different faucets of the same diamond. She loves nothing more than sharing the transformative tools she has learned to help people better themselves. She has been told by her students that her cheery and caring personality along with her soothing voice inspire feelings of ease and confidence within them. See student testimonials. Countless students have experienced various levels of healing, progress, and personal success from Laura’s work.
“The beautiful thing about Yoga is that while it is an ancient practice, it is very practical and personal! Especially when individualized to the unique needs of each person, similar to Physical Therapy, Yoga provides the potential to enhance ones life in subtle and profound ways! If you can breathe, you can do Yoga”.
Laura’s latest adventure is wading through the magical and surprising world of parenthood with her husband John. Her two young daughters have taught Laura more about the depth of the human heart than she ever knew possible.
Yoga Therapy sessions are designed to address the multidimensional needs of each individual. Yoga therapy uses and adapts the classical tools of yoga to aid and further our holistic, healing process. It can be used to manage a wide range of needs, conditions, and diseases, as well as deepen our personal and spiritual growth. Join the many who have benefited from this work and meet with Laura for a private session to explore the powerful tools of yoga and to customize a personal practice to support your health and to assist in realizing, freeing and living from your truest essence! Learn more or connect with Laura to schedule your session today!
At Spirit Winds Physical Therapy all the therapists work as a team, looking holistically at each patient using a wide range of tools to serve each individuals needs. Manual Therapy is a strong focus at this clinic, along with Therapeutic Exercises and neuromuscular reeducation amongst other modalities. Laura uses a blend of Myofasical Release, Integrative Manual Therapy and trigger point release as well as often incorporating Yoga Therapy techniques for her patients. The gentle and holistic approach at Spirit Winds has worked wonders for many patients! Spirit Winds Physical Therapy
Access Consciousness and BARS
Laura utilizes some of the tools from Access Consciousness with her Yoga Therapy students and Physical Therapy patients. These tools of "living in the question", return to sender, and energy clearing have a profound effect on helping people connect to their deeper truth and clearing away the limiting and habitual beliefs, thoughts and behaviors that can keep them in the "rut" they may feel held in. Laura is also trained to run BARS. During an Access BARS session, a practitioner lightly holds specific points on your head which, when held, dissipate the electromagnetic component of thoughts feelings and emotions. This is an incredibly nurturing and relaxing process, undoing limitation in all aspects of your life that you are willing to change. Feel free to look at this website for more information, or just book a session with Laura and find out for yourself!
Find my schedule here. Namaste friends!
Education, Certification & Training
B.A. in Music, minor in World Religions ~ Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ 1998
200 hour Yoga Teacher Training ~ Santa Barbara Yoga Center 2003
Yoga Therapist Certification ~ Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation in Chennai, India 2010
A.A.S. in Physical Therapy ~ Physical Therapist Assistant License ~ San Juan College in Farmington, NM 2010
Access BARS Practitioner 2015
Myofasical Release 1, basic training with John Barns 2017