Laura Warf has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (Fitness) from McGill University, she is a trained coach with the certified coaches federation and a certified canfitpro fitness instructor. Laura is also the author of a mind-body specialist program, as well as a yoga-certified instructor tutored by Mark Whitwell, and a Canadian Certified Yoga Teacher CA-RYT-500. She has extensive training from the Kripalu yoga centre and is a certified Reiki practitioner specialising in energy balancing.
She is the founder and president of Laura Warf School of Happiness which focuses on holistic fitness and wellness solutions. She offers services in healthy lifestyle coaching, yoga, meditation, Reiki (energy balancing), stress reduction strategies, functional fitness and wellness programming. She teaches and inspires clients using her model “The 8 Essential Elements to Health and Happiness.”
Laura draws upon her 28 years of teaching experience in the fitness industry, she is the former editor of Beyond Fitness magazine and continues to write for various publications. As a former recipient of the canfitpro presenter of the year award, and the Distinctive Women Trailblazer of the year award, she continues to teach and present at conferences and in corporations across the country. Laura is passionate about sharing her knowledge and she has an engaging and skillful approach to make fitness, yoga and wellness accessible to everyone.
I have explored the fitness and wellness path all my life and have devoted myself to actively working in this industry for the past 28 years and have seen many trends come and go. The key to living long, staying fit and being happy includes a personal formula that encompasses the mind, body, heart and soul, along with gradual progression for successful integration. All things health and wellness light me up inside!
After many years of searching and trying all kinds of fitness and nutrition regimens and being too hard on myself, I finally discovered a healthy balance that feels just right. It doesn't always mean it is easy but I choose to make my well-being a priority. I honour my body, trust its wisdom and have a better understanding of what it is asking for, from the right type of activity to the most nourishing and healing foods along with balancing mentally stimulating time with quiet meditative moments. All of this is to live a happier, healthier more holistic life.
I focus my attention on my own lifestyle balance and overall well-being through the integration of numerous techniques I have learned over the years. This has helped me not only to find a wellness formula for myself but also to evaluate and ask the right questions to suggest wellness strategies for each person I work with. This is what inspired the creation of my 8 Essential Elements to Health and Happiness.
Besides spending time with my family, my passion lies in networking with inspiring people with similar values along with guiding others on a journey of self-discovery and to empower people to live in greater harmony with themselves, their community and the planet through the practice of wellness.
I have lived an active lifestyle all my life. My family owned over 96 acres of property in Lakefield, Quebec so I grew up as a country girl roaming the woods as early as six years old with my dog Albert (a loyal and playful Samoyd) and riding bareback on our horses as they grazed the property. Weekends were spent cheering my dad on at his baseball games. My mom even made us wear funky homemade bonnets on our heads claiming them to be good luck for the team. We looked a little silly, but we believed that it helped his team win!
In elementary school I got involved with the track and field team and cross country team along with other team sports. It was in high school that I was introduced to aerobics and weight training and immediately fell in love with those activities. I trained vigorously with a coach in body building as I entered CEGEP and university and also joined the rugby team and thought it was normal to feel sore all the time. Now I know better…
I always maintained a training regimen and earlier in my career taught numerous spinning classes per week. I now opt for more functional training a couple of times per week with an integration of cardiovascular exercise like swimming, hiking and cycling. I admit my favourite activities involve being outdoors in the woods or on the water with my dog Shiva (an energetic Golden Retriever) along with a yoga practice that varies day today to honour what my body, mind and soul are asking for.
I participated in my first yoga class in 1997 towards the end of university and immediately fell in love with the “yoga high”: a deeply contented, expansive feeling following the final relaxation period of the practice. I went on to attend a yoga conference at the Kripalu centre for yoga and health in Massachusetts in 2001 and every cell in my body resonated with a loud YES! Since that moment I committed to yearly teacher trainings in yoga and meditation to absorb and integrate all I could in order to authentically share the timeless teachings with others. This discipline has since opened me to the world of Reiki and energy work with various teachers, mentors and shamans which has sensitized me to my own intuition and the ability to assist others along their own healing journeys, emotional freedom and spiritual quests.
Since the age of 18 I lived with chronic lower back pain along with bouts of anxiety. My own back issues prompted me to focus on discovering back care methods through collaborations with physiotherapists and osteopaths. As for the anxiety, I have learned what the triggers are for me along with efficient techniques to successfully manage it. There are several factors that may contribute to anxiety and the pathway to emotional freedom can vary from one person to the next. I have learned that when I balance my schedule effectively, participate in meaningful work with people I enjoy being with, along with maintaining a whole foods diet, regular exercise, meditation, quality sleep patterns along with “living in the now” and being in gratitude, I feel happier, more optimistic, more vibrant, and motivated to share what I have learned with others. When I stay true to my own personal practices and make my well-being a priority, I have a greater ability to flow through the ups and downs of life with greater awareness, grace and joy.
I will always remain a student of life, I love networking and exchanging with inspiring leaders, I am driven to consistently research new methods, and create new projects that will help others live a healthier, happier life. Being active and inspired is what allows me to continually grow and evolve and subsequently share what I learn.
I am grateful to have been well guided and supported throughout my life by family, friends, mentors and teachers. I have had the experience of working for large organizations along with working in smaller teams and enjoy all my collaborations.
A pivotal quote changed my course of direction in 2013: “Build your own dream or someone will hire you to build theirs.” It is important for me to do what I love with people whom I trust. When the fun stops or if I am no longer evolving, I pay attention and make a move – as challenging as life transitions are, they are also highly rewarding and uplifting. Our destiny is shaped through our consistent daily thoughts, choices and actions. I choose to begin each day powerfully to get myself into a centered and vibrant state. My intention is to remain in alignment with my soul’s purpose which is in part guiding others to be conscious creators of their well-being mind, body and spirit. I trust that day by day, I am guided as long as I listen, trust and honour the voice that speaks to me through my heart, then cultivate the courage to keep moving forward.
I invite you to join me as I share the elements of a healthier, happier life in my signature programs around the globe so that you can also navigate your way through a fulfilling life with the tools you need to remain balanced, healthy and happy.
Healthy living is multi-dimentional; it encompasses a positive, solution-oriented mindset which includes engaging in uplifting projects that serve others well. Living with vitality requires daily movement (ideally outdoors!) to keep the body resilient and strong, fuelled by whole foods to nourish every cell optimally. A healthy, happy lifestyle also allows for time to connect with inner stillness giving the body/mind time to replenish and of course spontaneous play time with loved ones to keep our hearts light and filled with gratitude.
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