Not quite 30-years-old, Lauren Johnakin has a maturity and wisdom that belies her age. As she sees it, “she has an old soul but a young spirit.” Lauren says she has faced a lot of challenges in her life that made her grow up fast. She’s not complaining, though. She says it was through those life lessons that she gained invaluable knowledge, courage, and resilience that helped mold her into the inclusive, compassionate yoga teacher she is today.
Just when Lauren was starting to feel the stress and pressure of adulthood – no job, no car, and little money - she discovered yoga. Lauren, who is biracial, says she also discovered that nobody else in the class “looked like me.”
Despite that, she was drawn in and surrendered completely to the practice that left her feeling peaceful and focused as she had never experienced before. It also left her determined to find a way to make yoga a part of her life. She traded work at the studio for yoga classes, and eventually got her RYT-200 certification. With it came a healing and an awakening that now drives her to be the teacher who welcomes everyone, regardless of their shape, size, gender, color, age, or socioeconomic background, to discover the power of yoga.
Lauren says Jennifer Wagner, owner of Alchemy Hot Yoga, took a chance on her and created the space for her to find her footing and voice as a teacher. Now, Lauren wants nothing more than to use the space to pass on the healing and relatedness she discovered and leans on every day to help transform her life. Lauren believes everyone is dealing with some kind of issue or pain, and she loves that Jennifer offers a safe, non-judgmental place because “you never know what others are going through” – and everyone should feel confident that they can come to Alchemy no matter what.
Lauren strongly believes the influences of her different cultures and different ways of life help her break down the barriers that make yoga feel out of reach to so many. It is from this place, without distraction or judgment, that she shows up to class and holds space that allows her to connect with all ages, genders, races, cultures, and anything else that a person holds as an identity.
Lauren embodies the very essence of what it means to hold space. By being fully present, authentic, and vulnerable, she creates a space for students to focus on themselves. She responds to the needs of each student while she guides them as they explore their movements, breath, and feelings based on where they are in the moment – it’s never about taking anyone where she wants them to be.
Lauren has taken her yoga practice into the world as the creator of "The Take It Easy Project." She is on a mission to bring people together from different backgrounds and cultures to share their experiences to inspire and heal the community in a fun, inclusive, and safe environment. She dreams of bringing yoga festivals and conferences to others all around the world who wouldn't otherwise be exposed to yoga. Lauren says this vision came to her through yoga, and it is something she has to live out. "If I’m going to do something, I'm going full out – 100%."
“It is such a privilege to wake up and teach this gift to others!” ~ Lauren Johnakin
Join Lauren most weekdays at Alchemy Hot Yoga for Hot Vinyasa Flow or Hot Slow Flow.
Certified RYT-200 instructor - Spring 2018
Certified Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga - November 2021
Engaged to her best friend
Bonus Mom to a wonderfully, amazing six-year-old
Creator of "The Take It Easy Project"
Check out Lauren's website to schedule private yoga sessions and to access her YouTube channel