On how childhood hikes inform our present; how awareness changes your perspective and priorities; how life takes unexpected turns…
Reiki healer, acupuncturist, and holistic health coach Lara Elliott has been a wise light in our lives for years — in her home in East Los Angeles, we visited with her on a spring day to discuss what it means, truly, to be well.
Photos by Ingalls Photo / prop styling by Lauren Spencer King
I grew up in Germany with three siblings and parents who share a great passion for nature, hiking, and travels to far-away places. It didn’t feel like a blessing at the time, but hiking as a child for weeks through the mountains and valleys of the Himalayas left impressions that are still influencing and inspiring me today. Being exposed to many different cultures, religions, and countries at an early age created an open-mindedness and curiosity to the vastness and versatility of this world. I learned that we only know places and things when we experience them.
Most recently I fell in love with two children books by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall:
“Everybody Needs A Rock” and “The Other Way to Listen.” Even though I bought them for our daughter (who is still growing inside my womb), to me the books in all their simplicity and graceful innocence have an immense spiritual value for all ages. “The Gift by Hafiz” was given to me seven years ago, and became for a while my daily spiritual companion. Also, poetry by other Sufi masters such as Rumi, “The Eight Gates Of Zen” by John Daido Loori, “The Reluctant Healer” by David Elliott (my husband’s first book), “The Wisdom Of Insecurity” by Alan W. Watts, “Five Spirits” by Lori Dechar, “The Spark in the Machine” by Daniel Keown, “Healing with Whole Foods” by Paul Pitchford, and “Beautiful, Bountiful, Blissful” by Gurmukh -has been a great support on my current pregnancy journey
Mornings are sacred to me. I feel inspired when I wake up, listen to music, and chant to kundalini and kirtan mantras. I began to chant six years ago and found it to be one of the most effective tools for clearing energetic blocks around the throat and heart chakra.
Harmony in all my relations
My sacred space
My family and friends
Growing my own family with my husband
Practicing loving-kindness, vulnerability, and humbleness
The yoga studio I manage
Do you have a mantra or philosophy you live by?
I trust the voice and guidance of my heart.
Healing is creative, and creativity is healing.
Life is sacred, every part of it is sacred.
My happiness depends on the qualities of my thoughts.
Give and receive with awareness.
Respect people’s free will.
Don’t take yourself, anyone, or anything too seriously.