| Michelle Smith-Lewis

Learning Together

“Do what you have always done and you will get what you have always got.”

—Sue Knight, philosopher, educator, and academic

“Do what you have always done and you will get what you have always got.”

—Sue Knight, philosopher, educator, and academic

Real power comes through inner transformation—not by changing outside circumstances and expecting them to transform you. Yoga and mentoring are two compelling ways to access transformation through self-recognition. These paths can dramatically reshape your perception and ability in navigating life’s big challenges, often in unexpected and delightful ways.

Your capacity to radically love and respect yourself will flourish. Fresh opportunities will begin to present in your ordinary, everyday, extraordinary life. You’ll become aware of your inner teacher, the one that can guide you through anything, and learn to trust its strength.

In our shared time, we will talk candidly, practice breathing, and explore meditation. We will map a constructive, supportive path that broadens your sense of well-being, even amid demanding circumstances.

To discover if we are a good fit for your journey, you may contact me. We will discuss what you are looking to achieve and whether mentoring or yoga sessions—or a mixture of both—are appropriate.

Your health, happiness, and growth are the highest priority for me in our shared time together.


“When a limited soul is united with unlimited being, that is yoga. Yoga means union.”
—Swami Lakshmanjoo, mystic and scholar of Kashmir Shaivism

Yoga’s roots span thousands of years and are multivariate in their religious and philosophical origins from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Though yoga is not a religion—it is a spiritual discipline open to anyone—it matters greatly that the complex lineages of these practices are culturally acknowledged and respected.

Popular yoga is most familiarly known for increasing flexibility and strength while reducing stress. Doctors, physical therapists, and mental health counselors now readily prescribe breathing, stretching, and mindfulness techniques to aid their patients. This adaptation risks bypassing the crown jewel of yoga’s greatest promise: Union of the limited self with unlimited being.

Beyond āsanās (the popular physical postures of yoga), there is inner yoga, the subtle practices further readying one for dhyana (meditation). These are felt rather than seen, and they carry the profound power of self-integration and life-changing perspective. They grant access to increased wisdom, equanimity, and harmony.

To experience the union that yoga intends, you must learn how to interweave all aspects of yourself—from the mundane to the divine. The key to transformation is not far away in some distant place, it rests within and requires you to use your own physical embodiment and all its accompanying sensations in the here and now.

My teaching is inspired by the evolution and fruits of my devotional practice introduced by my father, a longtime meditation devotee. They’ve been greatly enriched by Sally Kempton, a former Vedic swami from my father’s yogic lineage.

My sādhanā (spiritual discipline and path) draws from Iyengar, Anusara, and Siddha Yoga, as well as dance, Reiki, and Qigong. I also incorporate lessons learned from my love of gardening, cooking, writing, art, and animals.


© Laeton & Sanderson

© Laeton & Sanderson


“We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so it’s best to remove weeds of anger, avarice, envy, and doubt, so that peace and abundance may manifest for all.”
—Dorothy Day, American journalist and social activist

Mentoring is the art of walking with another person as you learn to inhabit your best self or new experiences. Like a gardener, a mentor is only partially responsible for any harvest: They develop a plan to sow, and then observe, question, and troubleshoot throughout the season—from preparation to planting to picking. A mentee, like a seed, is a perfect, encapsulated blueprint seeking a little help and the best conditions to bloom.

Having been the beneficiary of many skilled mentors in my life, I find that providing mentorship is a natural, fulfilling extension of who I am. Each person I work with is singular in their own challenges, assets, and goals.

Should we choose to partner, we will explore the qualities that make you and what you offer the world exceptional, as well as the obstacles that limit you from experiencing your full potency. Together, we’ll discover practices that support moving your vision into reality.


Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis

Group Classes & Events

I look forward to meeting you in person or online.

Gentle Yoga & Meditation with Lara (Online)
Weekly offering via Zoom
Fridays 6:00 PM–7:00 PM

Yoga for Resilience (Online)
Monday, February 6, 10:00 AM–11:30 AM
Monday, February 13, 10:00 AM–11:30 AM
Monday, April 17, 10:00 AM–11:30 AM

Full Moon Mandala 2023: Monthly Immersive Yoga Practice at Lara's home studio
Monthly offering through December 26, 2023
7:30 PM–9:00 PM

At each Full Moon Mandala, we practice and honor the sacredness of our embodiment. Integrating the moon’s outpouring at this time can bring forth profound healing and stillness of being. These gatherings provide a safe place to release accumulated stress and prepare for the new month to come.

More events...