Apiece Apart Woman: Lara Elliott

Apiece Apart Woman Lara Elliott


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

Lara Elliott Apiece Apart Woman
Lara Elliott Apiece Apart Woman

Can you share more about your upbringing, background, and work?
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.
 
In my mid-twenties I moved to New York City where I slowly began to wake up to a more aware version of myself. The city always felt inspiring to me and the people I met there shaped and transformed me in amazing ways. I worked in fashion, gained confidence in my skills and talents; those years also taught me to make better and healthier choices…to say “yes” to energies that uplift and support me, to say “no” to what felt draining and negative. I realized how easy it was to run around town, mind and body completely disconnected from one another. I started feeling a strong pull toward pursuing a healthier lifestyle and found a Zen Buddhism temple in my neighborhood. I practiced Zen daily for a couple of years and then decided to become certified in holistic health coaching, which turned the page to yet another chapter in my life. I cleared my body and mind from dysfunctional eating habits, learned how to help others to do the same, and followed the unexpected calling to go back to school and study Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
 
The world of meridians and points, the Tao, my teachers, the books, the patients, the interconnectedness of the human body, mind, and spirit - it all made complete sense to me, like something I learned before, many lifetimes ago. After that, I went onto become certified in Reiki and cranio-sacral therapy. In the summer of 2013, I met my now-husband in New Mexico and moved a year later to Los Angeles to live with him after nine years in New York. California’s license requirements for acupuncturists brought about further studies especially of Western medicine, and I became an herbalist of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Next to my private healing sessions, I currently teach Reiki and Breathwork meditation.

Lara Elliott Apiece Apart Woman
Lara Elliott Apiece Apart Woman

What books have you read that have stuck with you and been most impactful — recently or in general?
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
 
As well as classics like…”Letters of A Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke and “Siddharta” by Herman Hesse.
 
What moments or practices make you feel most well or personally full? Are there any daily practices you have implemented in your life that have made a profound impact? Either something physical or just resulted in a mindset shift...
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. 
I try to mediate and practice yoga every morning even if just for 10 minutes. Six years ago I started a daily kundalini yoga and mediation practice, which has been incredibly transformative. Meditation and walks in nature help me to ground and tap into silence.

 

What matters most to you ?
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
Creative expression
The yoga studio I manage
Grace

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.
Daily reminders:
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.