On her first trip to Cuba, Laura Powell entered the 69th Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament with the crew of The Duke, which included other visiting Americans.
Laura Powell was the first woman to capture a billfish during the year’s event and won the prize of the first catch and release of the third day of the tournament.
Laura Powell an expert in yoga and Ayurveda, helping clients achieve lasting peace and a healthier mind and body through these practices. She’s also a passionate traveler and recently took a trip to Cuba and competed in the 69th Annual Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament.
“I really wanted to win at this tournament and was determined to try my hardest, but made peace with the fact that we may not win any trophies,” says Laura Powell. “Things really took off on the third day, though.”
In the early morning of the third day of the tournament, Laura Powell and her American team piloting The Duke earned the prize of the first catch and release. In addition, Laura Powell was the first woman to capture a billfish for the entire event that year. She was dubbed “The Duchess of The Duke” by tournament leaders after reeling in a blue marlin just minutes into the third fishing day.
Competitors from The Duke celebrated the marlin catch before 10 am, and it gave them an advantageous 1000 points for placing in the tournament. Thanks to this catch, the crew of The Duke became one of the five teams to capture a blue marlin that day and catapulted to fourth place in the tournament. This placed them very close to medaling with only one day left in the competition.
Laura Powell at 33 became the first woman to catch a billfish for the tournament, wherein some years that achievement was never made. This fulfilled a great dream for her beyond what the representatives behind the 69th Ernest Hemingway Fishing Tournament expected.
“In 1960 my great grandmother Hallie Nixon won a tournament in the Gulf of Mexico and my father inherited that trophy. I have lived all my life admiring that award and I always wanted to put a prize of mine next to it,” said Laura Powell. “It’s very exciting, it’s my first time in Cuba. I will cherish these memories.”
Powell also said that she felt tremendous pride in achieving the feat––especially at an event honoring one of the most important figures in literary history, author of celebrated works such as The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Jeremy Williams, captain of The Duke, said he was accompanied on the trip by two sailors and five fishermen, including Laura. Their craft was a 70-foot-long Hatteras yacht which is typically headquartered in Pensacola and featured two 1550 horsepower Cat engines.
In addition to a vigorous yoga schedule, Laura Powellbalances her professional life by practicing Ayurveda, a whole-body system of living. Through this practice, she is able to manage the stress of day-to-day life easier and better prepare for her duties as a professional and as a mother.
Through Ayurveda, observers learn to naturally eat healthily, strengthen their digestive system, and live a more wholesome life. Ayurveda and yoga teachings together can encourage a much healthier state of being than the average individual experiences with increased core strength alongside a range of physical and mental benefits.
She’s learned that combining Ayurveda with yoga is a resourceful tool to rid the body of impurities and achieve a healthier well-being. From that, she says, flows a more peaceful mind, body and spirit. The practice has survived for thousands of years as a holistic form of medicine with millions of people around the world regularly practicing today. By following Ayurveda, people often overcome common illnesses and achieve a happier, more positive life.
After following Ayurveda instruction and discovering real results in her own life, Laura Powell decided to officiate her expertise through a certification course that would prepare her to help others achieve the same wholeness.
“Not all health solutions require expensive medications, especially if people just want to be healthier in general,” says Laura Powell. “With Ayurveda, we learn things like how sleep affects our overall health and how what we put into our bodies will have direct effects on how we feel.”
To earn her certification, Laura Powell spent hundreds of hours in a program where she learned the fundamentals of the approach to wellness and completed required training to work independently with clients. Half of her program was dedicated to presentations and course readings totaling dozens of lessons, which was necessary before moving onto the second and more specialized half of the teachings. Once students completed fundamentals, they enter a period of clinical mentoring where they take on clients in paced and observed teachings.
The program is hands-on and intensive to ensure that each graduate can successfully practice as well as teach Ayurveda to others. It required students like Laura Kathryn Powell to apply practical knowledge of the fundamentals such as diet, sleep patterns, lifestyle choices and more. In addition, they learned about various herbs that can be used to achieve a healthier digestive system and a clearer mind among other benefits.
“As a certified instructor, I use Ayurveda to help others achieve the wholeness and healthy living I’ve achieved,” says Laura Powell. “The course opened my eyes to the health potential in Ayurveda’s teachings, and I’m glad to share what I’ve learned with my clients through tailored instruction.”
Laura Powell is a yoga master certified in a range of subject matters that she shares with her community, encouraging a healthier, more peaceful lifestyle. Through Yogapeutics, she can help children and their parents learn the basics of yoga, aerial yoga, and how to de-stress by practicing poses.
When Laura Powell first began to practice yoga, it was largely for exercise and to help her build up core strength. She quickly learned that it had plenty of other health benefits that improved her overall well-being and so immersed herself in studies and practices of many different aspects. From this, she developed an expert understanding of yoga teachings and how the various techniques and approaches can have a tremendous impact on physical and mental health.
“The first thing I have to break to people is that yoga will have major health benefits for everyone,” says Laura Powell. “And the second thing is that yoga isn’t just for adults. Kids can benefit just as much, and the lessons they learn while they’re young help them improve their physical and mental health as they grow.”
Many yoga techniques and poses are too difficult for kids to accomplish. Some require more strength or balance than the average adult can muster. However, Yogapeutics works at a comfortable middle ground for children, delivering a well-rounded yoga primer that is both challenging and practical for their age.
Yogapeutics began when Lindsey Lieneck, a sensory integration occupational therapist, decided to use yoga and aerial yoga practices to enrich and regulate the brain and nervous system. The result was a therapeutic experience that she believed could be taught to kids and adults alike. The practice of Yogapeutics blends science and yoga with tools to strengthen the mind and body, which together help children achieve mental clarity and peace. Mindfulness is a large aspect of Yogapeutics and it teaches kids early on to treasure their time and to keep an open mind.
“Using the tools of aerial yoga, we can create a fun way for kids to play and be creative that in turn has a positive effect on their mind and body,” says Laura Powell. “It doesn’t feel like exercise or a chore, yet it still provides balance to the nervous system and encourages tranquility.”
Just as in aerial yoga, Yogapeutics utilizes a fabric sling hung from the ceiling that is often called a “yoga hammock.” In addition to the hammock, kids use props to balance and practice aerial yoga poses in a uniquely fun way. They also partake in sensory games that feel exciting and novel while helping the nervous system function optimally.
“There’s nothing extraneous or boring about Yogapeutics,” says Laura Powell. “It’s a powerful extracurricular activity that teaches mindfulness and perseverance while clearing the stress out and building strength for healthy growth.”
Laura Powell has studied yoga techniques and Ayurveda practices for years, learning how their physical and mental benefits can improve overall well-being. She shares her insight with readers in the hopes that they will adopt similar practices to achieve greater wholeness for them and their children.
Laura Powell is a graduate of St. Edwards with a degree in Communications. Pursuing a passion for dance in her spare time, she experimented with various styles and eventually gravitated towards yoga as a regular activity. Yoga sessions helped increase her core power, but by studying the different aspects and teachings she learned that yoga could play a larger role in her mental and physical health.
“Yoga can lead to mental clarity and calmness, firmer muscles, and increased strength as well as alleviate stress and anxiety,” says Laura Powell. “And Ayurveda practices work with yoga to rid the body of impurities and achieve a healthier mind, body, and spirit.”
Ayurveda (also known as Ayurvedic medicine) is a whole-body system of healing that was created thousands of years ago and remains one of the oldest holistic forms of medicine in use today. Ayurveda is focused on a delicate balance of mind, body, and spirit that contributes to good health and overall wellness. By promoting good health from head to toe, Ayurveda helps people overcome common illnesses and health problems that may prevent them from living their best lives.
By combining yoga sessions with Ayurvedic teachings and practices, Laura Powell believes anyone can achieve a greater wholeness and sense of peace without having to rely on supplemental medicine. She became an avid student of both yoga and Ayurveda and developed mild forms of each to help kids achieve greater peace.
“The more I’ve learned, the more I realized that the techniques I was learning could help kids in so many ways,” says Laura Powell. “As a mother, I quickly saw the value of teaching these principles. The creativity, bonding of all different types of children, and positive affirmations made a noticeable difference in not only their behavior but how they interacted at home, school, and with each other.”
She looked to various studies to understand how meditating in school vastly improved students’ performance and behavior. Focusing on aerial yoga, she discovered unique aspects that are especially beneficial for children with sensory and attention deficit issues––mainly because it opens their eyes to mindfulness and body awareness.
As a mother of two, Laura Powell began using yoga methods to improve her own children’s’ well-being, teaching other parents useful yoga techniques along the way. This helped her to grow in her own understanding of yoga as well as give her kids a new and exciting extracurricular activity that benefits their health.
“I think parents doing yoga alongside their kids and teaching them different poses and practices will go a long way for a healthier, happier existence for everyone,” says Laura Powell.