Willow Street Yoga Center
Lakshmi Kanter, Yoga Therapist and E-RYT200, RYT500 Yoga Teacher, has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2009. Lakshmi strongly believes that everyone can do yoga! Her yoga classes are woven with kindness, precision, therapeutics, and stress reduction techniques - promoting health and healing in body and mind, heart and soul. Yoga and meditation have transformed her both energetically and physically, helping her heal from physical injuries and also from the loss of her mother to breast cancer in 1999. Her Sri Lankan mother often spoke about the incredible healing power of our own breath, and Lakshmi now understands the truth and profundity of that insight.
She has received Awakened Heart Meditation teacher training through Sally Kempton and the Dharana Institute, and completed Sacred Journey: Being Present with Aging, Illness, and Dying, a nine-month course offered by Insight Meditation Community of Washington. She was first trained through Willow Street Yoga Center, and is also certified by Jnani Chapman in Integral Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness (YCat), and is on the YCat training faculty.
Lakshmi has guided people to deepen their relationship with their physical, mental, and energetic selves in many different realms. In 2014, she wrote a series of award-winning guided art contemplations for The Phillips Collection. She has led yoga classes and retreats for people with cancer through INOVA Alexandria Hospital's Life With Cancer program, Washington Cancer Institute, and Yogaville, and worked with the Cancer Help Program at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, She has also taught trauma survivors and human trafficking survivors and assisted retreats at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. www.fullheartyoga.com.
What is your connection to Willow Street Yoga Center?
When I moved to DC from Alaska in 2005, my yoga teacher recommended I study at WSYC. I began with Moses’ Friday night class and had never laughed so much during a yoga class in my life! There was so much joy present, and it was a beautiful thing. I had already been practicing yoga for several years at that time, but this studio’s teachings and community made me decide to finally begin my immersion and teacher training.
What is your connection to yoga?
I’m half South Asian, so I have always had a vague awareness of and curiosity about yoga. When I was young, my mother often told me to stop and take a few deep breaths. I had no idea then how profound and yogic that wisdom was. My yoga journey began in earnest after my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 1998. Yoga was the only thing that consistently made me feel better in body and mind. So I just kept going and have never stopped deepening my learning and practice. Yoga has transformed my body, breath, emotions, mind, and perspective!
What do you love about teaching yoga?
Some of the greatest gifts of yoga are self-empowerment and self-knowledge – in addition to techniques for cultivating resilient health and wellness. Guiding students through the layers of this wisdom – giving back and sharing tools for accessing one’s own inner guidance and healing – feels like one of the greatest gifts of service that I can offer to people and the world.
What do you want your students to know about you?
What I offer - as a yoga and meditation teacher, as a yoga therapist, as an embodiment guide, and as an artist of inner transformation - is insight into how to cultivate your relationship with your own wisdom, your own knower and knowingness. I share a modern, tender and accessible approach to ancient knowledge – how to deepen inner listening, how to refine discernment, how to focus concentration, and how to harness the inherent energy accessible within change. I look forward to meeting you on your yogic path!