Matrikas & Mahāvidyās Battling Against Demons

Matrikas & Mahāvidyās Battling Against Demons

Welcome to lauradunnyoga.com. This site serves a few purposes. Initially, it began as a site to promote yoga classes, but evolved into a site that provided information on yoga, creativity and topics that existed where those two lines of interest converged. Most recently, blog posts act as a catalogue and database of Indian art and philosophy centered around śakta-tantra traditions—most specifically those traditions that revere the devī in the form of any one of the mahāvidyās (great wisdom goddesses), like Kālī and Chinnamastā. 



About Laura

Lineage & Backgrounduh_manoa_lighting (2)

Laura’s first exposure to yoga was in 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii. After a few years of dabbling around she began practicing asthanga yoga in earnest in 2001 under the tutelage of Rupali Embry and Tania Ingrahm. From Rupali and Tania Laura learned the importance of having a strong sangha, spiritual community. Soon thereafter, she completed her first formal training with Certified Ashtanga teacher Anthony “Prem” Carlisi. Laura studied with both Sharath R. Jois and Pattabhi Jois in the United States and in Mysore, India in 2005. She has been an ongoing student of senior ashtanga teacher Cathy Louise Broda for the past 10 years, and underwent a one-year Mysore-style apprenticeship with Cathy in 2009. From Cathy, Laura continues to learn the intimate art of physical adjustments as well as the nuance of traditional mysore-style instruction.Laura has also spent time at Richard Freeman’s studio in Boulder, Colorado and studied various forms of meditation since 2000—most prominently Buddhist shamatha and vipassana. For more information on the asthanga yoga lineage, please visit: www.ashtanga.com.


Laura studies Indian religion and philosophy at the University of Hawaii and is currently completing her Master’s in religious studies. She is undergoing her fourth year of the academic study of Classical Sanskrit and is learning Hindi. Her yoga practice and scholarly pursuits mutually inform one another. Laura is primarily interested in the relevance and meaning of traditional Indian spirituality in modernity, and how yoga, tantra, and devotional practices have been reimagined and reinterpreted. Currently, Laura is researching Hindu goddess theologies and the relevance of the Hindu devī for women and in today’s industrialized, post modern societies.


Laura’s teaching methods are informed by the wisdom of Gurdjieff, Buddhism, and Yoga. A large part of Laura’s efforts in both teaching and practice involve the “bringing together” of the fragmented self.  Laura has developed a method of teaching that emphasizes both steadiness and ease in an effort to strike a balance between the tension of opposites in life as well as in yoga practice.  She teaches students to cultivate the longevity of their practice through adopting an attitude of discipline, patience, and non-attachment.

Contributions & Classes

Laura has been a contributor to Parabola Magazine on the topics of yoga, consciousness, and creativity. She speaks semi-regularly on yoga to students, educators, and the broader community. She also hosts monthly, community-based satsangs exploring the relationship between yoga theory and yoga practice in the postmodern world.


“Dear Laura, You help me be present in the moment, be aware of what’s going on in my body, my thoughts and emotions, and let go of mental fixations and physical blocks. In every single one of your classes, I learn something new – practice in the truest sense. Without complete confidence in you as a teacher, I could never do what I am doing now. You are truly inspiring.”

W.K., physician

“I appreciate the way that Laura channels a beautiful energy into her classes- I find they are always changing and evolving, and offer the opportunity to expand my practice along with whatever divine energy is present that day. I leave both grounded and exhilarated.”

Kristine Cuthrel, nutritionist

“Whenever my husband and I travel, especially when we visit cities like Los Angeles and New York, which are known for their famous yoga studios and instructors, we try to take a few yoga classes at the places that have been recommended to us.  Although it’s fun to try classes at the various studios, we always come away with a sense that, although we live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we haven’t had to compromise on the quality of our yoga instruction.
Not only is Laura technically skilled in teaching the nuts and bolts of the practice, she also has an intuitive sense that allows her to read her students in order to guide them more effectively through their practice.  Her instruction is shaped by her knowledge of and respect for the tradition of yoga and her studies in Sanskrit and religion
Even first time students benefit from Laura’s sincere effort to assist her students in developing their practice.”

Cookie Shimizu, creator of Cookie’s famous “OM cakes”

“I have seen Laura’s yoga expertise continue to blossom, first hand and from afar. This woman is a fantastic source of inspiration, strength, and of course, yoga guidance. I’m proud to know her and hope to attend one of her classes next time I’m in Hawaii!”

Stephanie Hickey, marketing consultant

“Laura has a great degree of social aptitude, care and sensitivity in her relations. She inspires a drive towards true humanity, compassion, balance, and health. She has a sense of spirituality that is strong, along with a deep grounding in reality.”

N.B., artist


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