I first got to know Laura well when she came to ‘Mommy and Me’ classes at Mind the Mat with her newborn. One of the things that struck me about her right away is her authenticity and depth. In class, she shared with the other mamas in such a transparent and thoughtful way, and I noticed how she naturally invited them into intimate and real conversations around motherhood. Laura’s gift is her graceful and disarming presence. When she asked me if we had a position at the front desk open at Mind the Mat I was thrilled! I felt like the luckiest business owner on the block to have such a wonderful human be interested in working for me.
At the front desk, Laura literally always went above and beyond the call of duty. Everyone who worked or came for clients at Mind the Mat noticed it. I felt like I could trust her 100 percent to do an amazing job. So, when she told me she was going to start her own business, Mind and Body Health Coaching, mindbodyhc.com, I knew she would be as successful, and she is. I love that we are now fellow business owners in the Alexandria Wellness Community. It’s been a blessing and an inspiration to be part of and witness Laura’s personal and professional growth journey.
How do you spend your time? I stay busy with my three children, ages five and under, homeschooling and running my health coaching business. I spend as much time outside as possible and love yoga and other fitness classes, especially at Mind the Mat!
How long have you lived in Alexandria: Since 2001!
What is your hometown? I consider Alexandria to be my hometown since I moved here so young and have never left!
What brought you to Alexandria? My dad’s job at Ft. Myer brought us here many years ago.
What would surprise people about you? I became vegetarian at age five despite not knowing anyone else who didn’t eat meat. I never looked back, and I now eat vegan.
You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? I would love to be able to teleport. I hate flying and long car rides. I can imagine that I could accomplish a lot without travel time. I would travel to all corners of the world to ensure everyone had food.
Favorite cocktail: On the rare occasion, I drink, I’ll do something with tequila or a sangria.
Last book read or movie seen: Book: Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays, MD
Guilty Pleasure: Dark chocolate
Phrase you overuse: Progress over perfection!
Facebook or Instagram? Instagram
Latest binge-watch: Down to Earth
Bucket list travel destination: Nosara, Costa Rica
If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? I don’t actually drink either! Herbal tea for me.
Define your style in three words or less: Neutrals, easy, Anthropologie
The go-to piece in your wardrobe: Mid-length wrap dress
Favorite trend ever: Flare jeans
Favorite current trend: Curtain bangs
Beauty product you can’t live without: Mascara
Favorite fragrance: Rain by Clean Reserve
Heels or flats? Flats
Favorite room in your home: I converted an extra bedroom to an in-home studio where I do yoga, Pilates, barre, and other at-home work outs.
Antiques, modern, or a mix? I suppose a mix, but I love mid-century style.
Last item bought for your home: Macrame plant hangers. We have plants everywhere!
Next planned purchase: Fresh paint for the walls
Favorite way to entertain: Excellent food (which my husband makes most of), good music, most of the action outside, and most importantly, wonderful guests!
Clutter-free or well-lived in? I dream of clutter-free. We’re pretty minimalistic, but we have three little kids, so the stuff we have doesn’t stay where it belongs.
Wallpaper — yes, totally modern or no, so dated: Love it!
Your go-to work-out: Classes at Mind the Mat Yoga and Pilates! I like a wide variety of body movements, and I can find it all there: gentle flow, power flow, pre/postnatal, Pilates, barre, stretching classes, etc. Anything I’m craving, I can find it there with an incredible, qualified teacher.
Most fun way to exercise: The louder the music, the better!
Group exercise or solo: I do both equally, but I love a group class!
Fitness goal: Equal physical and mental strength— I strive for balance. Also, just as much flexibility as strength.
Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching/encouragement: A handstand for more than one second! Taking an inversions workshop at Mind the Mat was extremely fun and helpful for me to learn some balance poses like a headstand. Now I’m eager to take another to progress.
Proudest fitness achievement: A super brief handstand
Favorite spot in Alexandria: The Loop Coworking office
Last purchase in Alexandria: Bread from Mason and Greens
Best coffee / happy hour/date night spot: Date spot, on the water in the family boat
Favorite charity: Casa Chirilagua— I volunteered for them for years and love their mission!
Favorite annual Alexandria event: Does restaurant week count? 🙂
Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.
Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.