We are thrilled to introduce Laura Merlo; Long Island transplant, now Glencoe mom and new owner of Glencoe’s Reach Yoga! The yoga instructor knows a thing or two about living in the present; “I’ve finally decided to stop apologizing… and now I focus on my own happiness.” Truly a great reminder for all moms!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I am originally from Long Island, NY. I moved to Illinois for college (University of Illinois, Champaign) and never went back! My family moved from the city to Glencoe in early 2010.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
My daughter is 10 and my son is 9.
Favorite things to do with your children?
Even though I’ve always been an on-the-go mom since the kids were babies; taking them to every kind of class, playground, gym, movie, local play, beach, pool and carnival, we all really thrive on just hanging out at home. We appreciate down time, doing puzzles, playing clue or connect four, watching a movie, baking brownies or just jumping on the trampoline in our yard. This weekend my daughter has me trying a “doga” class with her (yoga with rescue dogs!) I’ll let you know how it goes!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I am outgoing and social by day, but I am truly an introvert and a homebody. Once I turn off the “yoga instructor/studio owner” persona, I am more than content to be in my jammies, sitting in my bed reading or watching tv (sometimes with a glass of wine!). I am up way before dawn enjoying that quiet time of day just for myself to sit still, drink tea, go for a jog or practice or teach the 6am class at the studio. I spend my day on the go go go.
That sounds like most of us mamas! As a yoga instructor, how do you practice living mindful or present?
I try to practice yoga on my mat everyday. I am trying to meditate everyday. I try to find time to breathe purposefully everyday. I try to reach out to my closest friends via text, email or phone everyday. I am trying to find balance in all areas of life (key word “trying”). I am human. I eat salad for lunch and cake as a snack. I’m trying to drink green juice & smoothies as often as I can, but I love wine. I have a stack of books on mindfulness next to my bed, but I do love to watch the Real Housewives. I am usually exhausted and asleep between 8-9pm. I rarely go out past 5pm to my husband and all my friends’ dismay. A friend recently said, “Life is what fits you.” I’ve finally decided to stop apologizing for not wanting to do things to please others and only focus on my own happiness.
I love that raw and honest answer! What mantra do you live by?
“In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind.” This mantra has really helped shape who I am today. It has helped me become the yoga instructor, studio owner, mom & friend that I want to be.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Parenthood is a unique experience. And I mean that by saying that it is different for everyone. I’ve always been surrounded by really good friends who have been there to support me, laugh with me, commiserate with me through all the ups & downs I have encountered over the years raising kids. By having a great group of like-minded women by my side every step of the way, the “job” hasn’t seemed quite as daunting! Another quote that expresses how I feel about this topic, as well as so many other things is, “Your journey is not the same as mine, and my journey is not yours, but if you meet me on a certain path, may we encourage each other.” Amen to that. Parent in a way that works for you and your family.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I recently took over ownership of Reach Yoga in Glencoe. I’ve been teaching in the North Shore for the past seven years. Yoga has completely changed my life for the better! When the opportunity arose to purchase the studio, the decision was an organic one. When I walk through the doors, it feels like home! I invite you all to stop by for a class or to shop in our lifestyle boutique! Reach Yoga has something to offer everyone! I’m really excited to embark on this journey… another chapter in my story!
How has the North Shore community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I have made tons of friends from the North Shore at college for starters. I have also met a lot of great people from the city when I worked in the nightclub business & clothing industry; I just kept in touch with them over the years. I like to keep connections with people, I see no reason not to. I feel very lucky, very blessed. Thank YOU for wanting to hear more about ME. I am so grateful.
Reach Yoga is located in beautiful downtown Glencoe:
688 Vernon Ave.
Follow Laura’s journey at Reach Yoga on Instagram and Facebook
Stop by Reach Yoga to shop in the beautiful lifestyle boutique and be inspired to try a yoga class or two! For the month of February only use coupon code CNSM10OFF and take10% off New Store Merchandise at Reach (not valid on sale items or classes)