Street Style: Laura Rose Schwartz

Everyone who knows Laura Rose Schwartz loves her, so we thought what better way to introduce her than to have one of her (hundreds of!) fans do the honors. Here’s Layla Masri:

It’s nearly impossible to be shy when you live or work in Del Ray. As a twenty year resident and business owner, I can barely walk the block to my bank or the post office without stopping to catch up with several passersby along the way.

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And yet somehow, I hadn’t managed to meet Laura Rose Schwartz until two years ago, even though she works right across the street from my office. I had been meaning to try out Pilates, and one of our staffers invited me to join her for a lunchtime class at Mind the Mat.

As fate would have it, it was a class that Laura was teaching, and though I was a quivering, sweaty mess by the end of that hour, I was hooked. Over the past two years, I’ve gone from seeing her as a zany and inspiring Mind the Mat instructor to counting her among my Del Ray family.

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In class, Laura cracks corny jokes, embraces her love of Britney Spears, encourages you to be your best self, and on occasion, pushes her students so hard that I’ve been known to throw my yoga ball at her (honestly, sometimes I think that is her barometer for class success!).

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And outside of work, Laura is a passionate supporter of the local community, helping to inspire wellness and encouraging everyone to love themselves and see the beauty in all life’s moments. She is a true Alexandria ambassador.

If you don’t run into Laura at Mind the Mat, you will most certainly see her practicing yoga inversions all over town. Seriously, this woman will handstand on *anything*, as you can so clearly see from these photos!

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How do you spend your time? I love to walk my dog Colonel, go on adventures with friends to do things like trapeze, and also take time out to read and binge watch Netflix.
Neighborhood: Del Ray!
How long have you lived in Alexandria: Since 2008
What is your hometown? Albuquerque, NM
What brought you to Alexandria? I came out here fresh out of law school in 2008 to work for a big law firm in D.C.  Most of my friends lived in the city, but I fell in love with all that Alexandria has to offer.
What would surprise people about you? I’m really shy! The thought of just speaking in public used to terrify me, much less it being my day-to-day normal!
You’re a superhero: what’s your superpower? Flying
Favorite cocktail: Diet Coke!
Last book read or movie seen: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Guilty Pleasure: all things Bachelor/Bachelorette
Phrase you overuse: I literally use the word literally way too much.
Facebook or Instagram? Both, but Instagram is my outlet
Latest binge-watch: Alllll the Greys Anatomy seasons
Bucket list travel destination: extended sabbatical in Costa Rica
If you only could have one for the rest of your life: wine or coffee? COFFEEEEE

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Define your style in three words or less: Yoga-ready
The go-to piece in your wardrobe: Lululemon Align leggings. Once I put them on I never wanted to wear anything else. They’re like wearing clouds.
Favorite trend ever: Um, yoga leggings as pants of course!  Jeans are leg prisons.
Favorite current trend: Hats and belts and accessorizing (to enable me to dress up yoga pants).
Beauty product you can’t live without: Beautycounter eye cream
Favorite fragrance: DKNY Be Delicious
Heels or flats? Flats, though I own an abundance of heels from my lawyering days.

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Favorite room in your home: All of them!
Antiques, modern, or a mix? Mostly modern
Last item bought for your home: Bookshelf
Next planned purchase: I think I’m set for a while!
Clutter-free or well-lived in? I would love to be clutter free, but have trouble getting rid of things.
Wallpaper: yes, totally modern or no, so dated: Totally depends on the wallpaper


Your go-to work-out: haha
Most fun way to exercise: With a friend!
Group exercise or solo: I love trying new classes with a buddy.
Fitness goal: I like goals, but I also don’t like to set expectations that I might not meet. So, I try to listen to what my body wants, and like to focus on feeling strong.
Haven’t yet, but might be willing to try with coaching / encouragement: Anything! I love trying new ways to stay fit. They always inspire me.
Proudest fitness achievement: I feel accomplished after I take any class.

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Favorite spot in Alexandria: Dyke Marsh or anywhere along the water.
Last purchase in Alexandria: Sunglasses from the shoot at The Shoe Hive
Best coffee / happy hour / date night spot: Stomping Ground
Favorite charity: Animal Humane Society of Alexandria
Favorite annual Alexandria event: Art on the Avenue

Photo Credit: Sarah Marcella Photography

  • The latest from Megan
Megan Brown, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, mother and co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga in Alexandria, VA, likes to goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate in the profession. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty–she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.

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.     

2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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