Emily Garrett has been hooked on yoga since she was 16, when her father and step-mother began taking her to Kripalu classes on Saturday mornings. From the start, she was intrigued by the concept that it was OK to love herself — something she hadn’t experienced before.

This interest turned into a passion and she became an instructor. And when the main studio she had been teaching at closed, leaving her needing a place to teach, she became an owner. 

“I never intended to open a yoga studio,” said Garrett. “However, at that time I had been teaching for 10 years and I had a following. We needed a space with clean floors and clear energy.” 

This was the beginning of Laughing River Yoga in Burlington, Vermont. 

“Laughing River is unique in its commitment to sharing the authentic yogic teachings, which includes integrating the mind and heart,” said Garrett. “It is also a place where tremendous healing is possible.”

When creating the studio, the staff was very intentional about cultivating a space where yogic teachings are communicated as part of every class and where people are inspired to explore their relationship with themselves. 

Garrett said running a studio is a wonderful way to practice compassion and create honest relationships, not only with herself, but with all the teachers and students. 

Another one of the things she loves about yoga is that there is always more to learn. 

“As I continue to practice and study, my understanding of the teachings has evolved and my practice has adapted to a changing body and climate,” said Garrett. “There are always deeper layers to uncover.”

Garrett plans on developing workshops and trainings based on the work of conscious relationship, including teachings on communication as a spiritual practice, parenting and sharing circles. She also plans on expanding her work in pelvic floor yoga, which she has found empowering. 

As for the studio, it will continue to offer classes, train teachers and develop their social justice work through education around the history of yoga, looking at oppression through a yogic lens, and creating a space for honest conversation.