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Life and Work with Laurel del Camino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurel del Camino.

Laurel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I always thought I would be a singer. Having a mother who is a musician and being surrounded and involved in music my whole life, music was my main focus. I was involved in sports growing up, but never a star player or athlete. Even though I played sports as a kid, I battled with weight issues, bullying, and self-confidence. In college, while studying music, I started running and found a love for movement. I started by running a few times a week to eventually running everyday. I would run on the beach barefoot for up to an hour and a half, inspired by movement and nature. I felt amazing. I decided I wanted to learn more, so I took a running course from the head of the Exercise and Sports Science Department at UCSB, Amy Jaimeson. I would ask her questions about movement patterns and running gaits. The thought of changing my studies or life trajectory had never occurred to me until she approached me and said she saw something in me. My life completely changed after this moment. Amy saw and identified something within me that I could not identify or see, I only felt it. The next quarter, my study focus shifted. At the same time, I had been practicing yoga off and on after stepping into my first class as an adult in 2002 (my mom has a yoga practice). I did three internships while at UCSB with Amy, a Sports Performance Center and Dr Michael Luan, DC. After I graduated, I taught classes there to students and faculty after I graduated. I eventually left Santa Barbara while my passion for body mechanics and mindfulness continued to grow. I traveled the world for over a year, living and traveling through various countries, continuing to practice yoga. Eventually, I landed in San Diego and thought that I would move towards the field of physical therapy, so I went back to school to work on remaining pre-requisites for this field. At the same time, I completed a 200hr yoga teacher training and was working in various personal training and injury rehab settings. After completing my 200hr yoga training in 2012, I started teaching as much as possible, eventually transitioning into a professional position with a national yoga chain managing a yoga studio, leading trainings and facilitating teacher education. I also had decided physical therapy wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, it had too much mechanics and not enough perspective into who the person in front of you is, the whole picture. While chatting with some fellow yoga instructors I discovered the Yoga Therapy Program at LMU in Los Angeles. I originally went into this program thinking that it is physical therapy using yoga poses and what I found is that this field is so much more. With mentors like Larry Payne, Ph.D and Dr. Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, this program helped me find a balance between the Yogi Mindfulness and my western science education. My journey has resulted in thousands of hours of education and countless amounts of experience which gives me perspective to serve each persons needs. I love all that surrounds yoga, mindfulness, and healing. I love sharing knowledge and serving others on their journey.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always moments where what appears to be a roadblock pops up. I have had to work for my knowledge and all of the professional positions I have gained. Sometimes I have had to take more courses for credentialing or applied for positions and not attained them. If I had to give any advice, it would be persistence. If you are passionate about something, you will continue to strive for it. Trust your passions and go for it. There will be challenges and they make your successes so much sweeter!

Please tell us about Laurel del Camino, E-RYT, Yoga Therapist, NASM-CPT.
I am a Yoga Therapist, training facilitator, personal trainer, yoga instructor. I am known for my vast knowledge of body mechanics and interweaving that with eastern yoga. I provide private yoga, lead 200-hr. training for a national yoga brand, host workshops for teachers and students to learn, and teach yoga classes. I am known for working with injuries, chronic pain clients, and lifestyle diseases. What sets me apart is my personal, educational, and professional experience. Yoga is such a vast study which truly requires more knowledge than one training can give you. Currently, the requirements for education to be able to teach yoga are very limited. I love to teach whether it is mentoring a teacher, a client, or a class.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
I had a very unique childhood. I was onstage singing from the time I was 9 and I was at art fairs helping my dad sell his sculptures. The stories could go on and on. I grew up in front of and around many different types of people, in different capacities and this gave me the ability to read people and connect. At the same time, I was bullied and had several hard moments that I didn’t know I would survive, which gave me empathy. I was raised Tibetan Buddhist, which instilled a sense of compassion. All of these stepping points and more importantly, the people along the way helped shape my sense of perseverance and passion.

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Image Credit:

Natalie Colunga, Todd LeVeck

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