Laura Burns is the founder of Radical Body Love and this month's Body Positive Superhero! Each month, we are highlighting the work of one of our heroes of the Body Positive Fitness community. Laura is a fierce, fat, feminist Yogi and the Fat Girls Hiking Ambassador for Houston. Read our full interview below.
Who is your superhero?
Fat Liberation Activists!
What's your favorite activity?
Yoga after a long hike.
Do you set fitness goals for yourself? Why or why not?
I set pretty loose goals for myself when it comes to fitness and movement. In yoga, I think about getting stronger in certain poses, and more focused and open in meditation. When hiking, I think about ease per mile - making it through hikes with gradually less exertion and stress on my body - before hiking longer or more challenging trails.
What did 13 year old you think of your body?
Ugh, poor 13 year old me! I was a mess of internalized fatphobia, anxiety, depression, bullying, and a desperate desire to be wanted. I hated my body because it was larger than the other kids'. I was a dancer and the largest one in my studio, which made me very self-conscious. I just wanted to be thin so that I could be accepted, loved, desired, and applauded - I thought making myself smaller was the only way.
What motivates you on bad days?
Remembering the lessons I've learned through my yoga practice. That nothing lasts forever, and there's something to be learned from each and every experience. It helps me engage in the self-care practices that I've come to depend on to pull me out of my bad days.
Who is your perfect client and why?
My perfect student is someone who wants to explore their relationship with their body through the powerful intersection of yoga and body positivity. I love working with folks who have had negative body-image because of oppression, injury, or illness. My goal is to help people who, like me, want to honor their bodies as they are in this moment and stop waiting to live their lives.
Is there anything special you're working on that you want to promote?
I'm so excited to be hosting the My Courageous Heart Retreat, which will be my first yoga and self-care retreat! It's a weekend of community, yoga, hiking, body positivity, and fun in a secluded section of the piney woods in East Texas. The retreat is January 31st through February 2nd and registration is now open with accessible payment options.
What’s your super power?