TEACHER TRAINING & CONTINUING EDUCATION
When I was considering a prenatal yoga teacher training program, I asked for recommendations within my yoga community and Lara's name consistently surfaced followed quickly by gushing descriptors like "amazing!" and "incredible!" and "soooo knowledgeable!" I decided to find out for myself, and by the time I took her class I was also 4 months pregnant with my first child. Lara's kind and gentle manner put the class instantly at ease, no simple task with 30 students at all levels of yoga experience and pregnancy. The flow Lara taught had something for everyone with variations offered for a broad host of needs; she accounted for those who were up for a challenge, those who needed to restore, and those who needed to work around and with all manner of aches and pains. Her instructions were communicated with the kind of light and humorous precision that only a master teacher can affect.
I signed up for the training that very night, ended up taking her labor and delivery workshop, returned to her prenatal class several times, and, clearly, have happily joined the club of gushing students!
As a dancer, a yogi, and a mother of two, Lara has vast amounts of both personal and acquired knowledge to share about the body in general and the pre and postnatal pelvic floor, in particular. To me, her great skill lies in her ability to assess the needs of a particular student and to make her knowledge accessible, fine tuning her instruction for the individual and teaching in creative ways that gently invite students to discover the power that lies in such an intricate and emotionally loaded area of the body. I trusted her immediately and Lara held that trust lovingly, often going above and the beyond the confines of the training by making time for me after class and answering questions through email.
As a result of the 5 week training I gained invaluable understanding about my pregnant body and became deeply inspired to give to and support the pregnancies of other women, too. Indeed, I felt empowered and ready to teach yet also humbled by how much more I had to learn. So, I'm happy to report that my studies with Lara will continue, hopefully for a long time. How very fortunate we all are to have her as a resource!
Sara Beck. writer, teacher, and editor . Certified Yoga teacher.
Studying with Lara is one of the greatest educations you can give yourself within and surrounding the subjects of female anatomy, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, and the ways in which they relate to movement and to the practice of yoga. As a dancer, yoga practitioner, and mother, Lara exudes grace, poise, and intuition about the ways in which the body is inclined to move, strengthen, release, and recover throughout these life stages, and is exactly the presence of guidance and calm that one would hope for during these phases and events. She offers a wide array of training's and workshops, works individually, and in groups, and provides ongoing support for her students as well as her clients. She encourages women to feel the immense power and beauty of the body and the processes, offers valuable resources beyond the classroom, and above all empowers women to live their days with greater confidence and care.
Jennifer Azlant - Certified Yoga teacher
PHYSICAL CARE AND TRAINING - INTEGRATED PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH
Lara Kohn Thompson's deep understanding of a woman's body coupled with her gentle, affirming teaching techniques with both groups and individuals make her an exceptional resource for women preparing for or recovering from birth. While wonderful for those experiencing a normal pregnancy and birth, her services will be especially helpful to women who have special needs and concerns. Lara's healing techniques and quiet care will be enormously beneficial for women who have experienced birth complications or trauma. I can't recommend her highly enough.
Certified Childbirth Educator / Pregnancy and Birth Counselor
I started working one on one with Lara after the birth of my third child. She is amazing! She has an incredible knowledge of anatomy, understands the changes you are adjusting to (physical, mental, spatial, time- she gets it all), and listens extraordinarily well, oh and yeah she knows a lot of yoga. I found the time I spent with Lara incredibly empowering, we restored a balance both physically and mentally that I had lost somewhere along this journey of Motherhood. I have nothing but good things to say about practicing with Lara and recommend her to Moms anywhere on the journey.
Beverly Crilly, Park Slope Parents
I wanted to thank you for the postpartum workshop. For someone like me, who had both diastisis and a prolapse after childbirth, it was incredibly valuable. After a couple of weeks of doing (not even that often) some of the exercises I remembered from the workshop, I can feel and see the difference (now I sound like one of those people in the infomercials on TV!).
Lara, would you be available for a couple of private lessons, so that I can remember everything we went through in the workshop? I am having a hard time finding words to express my appreciation, but I really hope you continue doing this type of work, because your imagery and your gracious style just plain works. You are infinitely better than those sex-and-the-city type of doctors I saw before :).
As I look back on this first year of my child's life, Lara stands out as a bright star who helped us both find our way. She has a gift. Not only is she uniquely knowledgeable about postpartum care, but she is one of those people who is just a natural healer. I have only met a couple in my life and I really believe this. She is warm, lighthearted, empathetic and woman-centered. She rethinks dated notions of female health and offers a gentler, more opening approach. She has helped me to return to my body as I take joy in my daughter.
Thanks so much, Lara. The class was great as usual. I just wanted to thank you again for the healing and empowering work that you do. While things did not go "according to plan" can't imagine what my labor and delivery would have been without the gift of your guidance...probably all the more so because of all the interesting surprises along the way!
Here is a picture of my little one. I'm sure he's grateful too! :)
Wishing you continued success in your practice and your life,
PRENATAL/POSTPARTUM YOGA (and beyond...)
I first started practicing the essential movement of yoga with Lara as a prenatal student. From my first class, I felt a sense of calm and trust working with Lara and the other amazing women who were at various stages of pregnancy. Since I was having my first child at an older age than I originally expected, I needed to be reassured that I was doing everything possible in the most natural and supportive way. Supplementing these classes with a few private sessions, I was completely relaxed and ready for the birth of my daughter -- which was a natural, joyous and energetic experience due, in large part, to my yoga practice with Lara. I followed with postpartum yoga and then a women's practice focusing on critical areas for women. Lara has a deep understanding of and connection to her students, and each class feels like a private session with a committed teacher and guide. I am very grateful for her practice.
I have been practicing yoga for years and when I moved to Brooklyn, and found out I was expecting, I was eager to find a yoga studio close to home with a wonderful reputation and teachers. I was fortunate to find Bend and Bloom and began, my now, 23 week journey with them this past summer. The reason I am so dedicated to this studio is because I have found, perhaps one of the most tender, dedicated and talented teachers with whom I have ever had the pleasure to work. Lara tends to her students as a Shepherd to her flock. She watches over us, teaches us and guides us through our journey. Her dedication is apparent upon the first moment you meet her, and her enthusiasm is so infectious that you find yourself missing her on days when you don't have class. Her teachings have helped me to understand better, the changes through which both my mind and body are going. I feel at ease and more settled with her as my teacher and can not thank her enough for all that she has taught me. It is rare when you find a teacher with whom you feel so safe and comfortable and I am honored to have found, in Lara, that special heart.
Lara is fantastic; I can't recommend her enough! I practiced with her throughout my entire pregnancy, and have postpartum as well. She is super-knowledgeable in her specialty of working with woman in all phases of life, including before, during, and after pregnancy. I felt so supported in being able to consult her about my ever-changing physical symptoms and needs during the delicate time of my first pregnancy, and all of her suggestions were always so helpful. I love Lara's energy- she is very nurturing, soothing and empowering. She also has a terrific sense of humor and a playful way about her, which I particularly appreciated through the ups and downs of pregnancy. My husband and I took her labor and delivery workshop as well, which was wonderful. I always looked forward to her classes, and felt terrific afterwards. My entire family is grateful to her for her major contributions to our health and wellness!
"Lara is a wonderful teacher: passionate about her work and compassionate with the people she is working with. She embodies what she is teaching and her enthusiasm is contagious! I've gained much insight and deepened my body awareness tremendously under her gentle guidance."
"Your class is still with me and I am grateful to have found it! I loved seeing everyone's bellies at different sizes as we breathed and moved together. Since becoming pregnant I have been looking for a group of pregnant mom's to connect with. At times I feel very alienated without them. I feel so much happening within me that being in the presence of pregnant women feels calming and affirming. Coming to your class was this for me, a place where I finally felt connected to like minded mom's, part of a powerful community and lead by your loving and caring teachings. Thank you for creating this container for us."