'The times are urgent, let us slow down.'

-Bayo Akomolafe

In this time of intersecting systemic crises and layered personal and collective traumas, we are being called to resist urgency thinking, the fight-or-flight stress response, and to act instead from a deeper place, one accessible only from a grounded place of pause and quiet, slowness and rest.

Inspired by brilliant teachers, thinkers, and activists like Bayo Akomolafe, Tricia Hersey, adrienne maree brown, Francis Weller, Joanna Macy, and many others, A Restful Space is dedicated to holding compassionate space for folks to embody deep rest and slowness; to acknowledge and honor heavy emotions and ecological grief; to access innate equilibrium and loving-kindness; to cultivate courage and resilience; and to nourish, support, and gently open the heart, all within a safe, trauma-conscious container.

'Rest is a meticulous love practice...Rest is a balm.'

-Tricia Hersey, The Nap Ministry

Meet Laura.

Laura Johnson, PhD, is a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher with advanced training by Samantha Akers of TheraYoga Method and certification in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method (TCYM) and Yoga for Social Justice with Nityda Gessel of the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Institute. A yoga practitioner for more than a decade, she has offered yoga classes, workshops, and private sessions in Northern California since 2018.

A Geography and Environmental Studies lecturer at Humboldt State University, Laura teacher undergraduate and graduate courses such as Global Awareness, International Environmental Issues and Globalization, and Emotions in the Anthropocene. She holds a doctorate in Geography with a specialization in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change from Michigan State University.

As an instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at HSU, in 2019 Laura began developing her Yoga for Ecological Grief course, a heartfelt offering intersecting her background and passions and rooted in her belief in the transformational power of yoga as a relational practice for personal and collective healing.

Laura is also a community rest worker, Reiki practitioner, sound healer, novice permaculturist, toddler/dog/chicken momma, and freelance writer with essays and poetry published in Lion's Roar, Tikkun, Science and Nonduality (SAND), Taproot Magazine, Resilience.org, and Deep Times: A Journal of the Work that Reconnects, among others. She lives on Wiyot land in Eureka, CA, with her husband and their young daughter.

For more visit www.laurabjohnson.com or www.arestfulspace.com.

'Yoga is a way of life. It changes you and therefore changes the way you relate to other people and influence your environment.'

-Vanda Scaravelli

Yoga, a Sanskrit word meaning 'to yoke' or 'to unite,' is an ancient layered and relational practice with Indian and African origins. Now popular (and too often inaccessible) in the West, yoga in many places has been reduced to a fast-paced fitness program.

Restorative yoga, on the other hand, features slow, long-held (5-10+ minutes) poses, all seated or lying down, that completely support and nurture the body with props like blankets, bolsters, and blocks, allowing for softness and deep relaxation while gently nudging the body toward equilibrium.

Restorative yoga promotes holistic well-being and can be an antidote to stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout, particularly when paired with meditation and breath practices to balance the nervous system, cultivate mindfulness, deepen compassion and loving-kindness, and increase prana or chi - life energy.

Yin yoga similarly features longer-held (3-5 minute) floor poses that seek the experience of being with sensation over time, allowing us to turn toward rather than away from our physical and emotional responses and develop yin qualities of observance and surrender.

Working with the yin organs of the body via the meridians that flow through them, this practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to cultivate harmonious balance in bodies, hearts, and minds.

'The earth is not just the environment. The earth is us. Everything depends on whether we have this insight or not.'

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Sliding Scale

Many of the healing and regenerative practices so needed in these times have been colonized, commodified, and appropriated, and rest itself has been marginalized and privileged within the dominant culture of capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy.

Inspired by The Nap Ministry and their understanding of rest as a social justice issue and a form of resistance, A Restful Space aims to make its offerings as accessible as possible by offering a privilege-based sliding scale.

When deciding what amount to pay for our offerings, please consider your current available funds as well as your structurally determined access to rest, breath, and self-care.

And if you find yourself unable to access any of our pricing tiers without hardship but would benefit from our offerings, please email us at [email protected].