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Hidden Gems: Meet Lauren Johnakin of The Take It Easy Project

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Johnakin.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Everything that has happened in my life has shaped every part of who I am today. For the past eight years, my career was spent in the dental field until last year when I decided to pursue my passion for healing the world through the benefits of yoga.

I found yoga in 2016 in Austin, TX while on my journey of self-discovery and reflection. Yoga was everything I never knew I needed. It touched my soul in a way that no other fitness class had ever done. I remember leaving that class feeling so alive for the first time in a very long time! I needed to share this with everyone! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before and even more than that, I couldn’t believe everyone wasn’t doing this!

In 2019, after nine months of training, I became a certified yoga teacher! My first opportunity to teach and where I currently teach full time was at Alchemy Hot Yoga which is located in Wake Forest, NC. Over the past two years, my philosophy of how I teach has evolved into a direct representation of the person I am and what I want to represent for the world.

My classes are always a judgment-free zone! No rules! Nothing is “right” or “wrong” but instead “safe” or “unsafe”. Emphasis is always placed on the breath first and then the pose. The shape that you make with your body is uniquely yours and it is encouraged for you to listen to what your body is needing from you in that moment and not just what the teacher says to do. We never worry about “if you can touch your toes” or “how flexible you are” or “if your legs are straight” or “if you can stand on your hands” if you want to just come to class and sit on your mat – that is absolutely okay!! We welcome you!

I’ve seen the benefits of yoga work in my very own life. I’ve pulled myself out of a dark space using the power of yoga and conscious living techniques. It’s not just the poses. It’s the breath.

I believe it is my purpose in life to heal the world through the benefits of yoga and conscious breathing. No matter your shape, size, age, gender, no matter who you are I can show you how to use yoga to change your life and that is what I will do.

I’m so grateful to be able to share these teachings with my community and with that passion, I created and founded “The Take It Easy Project” which is my way of bringing yoga to the world in an inviting and inclusive way. We have pop-up events around the triangle area and next year, we will have our very first yoga festival, so stay tuned!

My classes are always designed to leave you feeling inspired and uplifted! With the daily reminder that; “You are prepared and capable for anything and everything that comes your way.


Alright, 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?
My journey to becoming the person I am today wasn’t met without obstacles, pain, loss, heartbreak and setbacks. Anything that could disrupt your train of thought was thrown my way and sometimes those situations got the best of me. Yet, here I am helping other people tell their story and heal their lives.

Traumatic situations have tested me since I was seven years old and honestly, it didn’t stop until about three months ago. Every single thing I’ve been through has prepared me to be able to relate and empathize with just about every person and their story. There is very few things that I can’t empathize with and even then, I always try to find the root of the real problem.

The road was never smooth but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the creator and founder of “The Take It Easy Project” which is my way of bringing yoga to the world in an inclusive and inviting way. We host pop yoga events around the Triangle offering yoga in a way that has never been done while offering creative spaces for networking opportunities, healing spaces and transformative experiences. I’ve been practicing yoga for seven years and teaching for two years. I’ve dabbled in many different forms of yoga and right now my specialty is Vinyasa yoga, which is a free-flowing type of yoga with emphasis on connecting breath to movement.

Who I am as a founder and creator is what sets my brand apart from other yoga experiences. I try to keep it as real as possible with the students that I teach. My approach is always genuine, hard-fought, lighthearted, and inclusive. I want everyone to feel welcome and accepted in my presence! That’s what I’m the most proud of! Knowing everything I do is coming straight from my heart.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
There are so many parts that come together to make this a successful offering. Gratitude is always first. Recognizing the good in every situation even the setbacks! Staying humble is also a key factor. In this business of yoga, the student/teacher relationship can be a tricky one where students may look to you for validation or as a teacher, you may look to your students for validation so it’s important to stay grounded and humble and understand it is a privilege to share this practice of yoga. Keep pushing but also know when to rest! I know it sounds confusing but that’s what life is, creating balance through push and pull, ebb and flow.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
JennyRosellPhoto Logan Fahey

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