Laura Johnson (she/her), PhD, RYT-500, TCYM, is a critical cultural geographer, multidisciplinary lecturer at Cal Poly Humboldt, trauma-conscious yoga teacher, community rest and grief worker, small business owner, embodied activist, and freelance writer.
Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals like the Journal of Rural Studies and Gender, Place, and Culture, as well as publications such as Science and Nonduality (SAND), Tikkun, Taproot Magazine, the Journal of Wild Culture, Empty Mirror, Resilience.org, LionsRoar.com, Good Grief Network, and Deep Times: A Journal of the Work that Reconnects. She was honored to be an invited participant in the first Orion in the Wilderness Environmental Writers Workshop in 2019 with the Omega Institute.
Laura holds a PhD in Geography from Michigan State University with a specialization in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change; an MA in International Studies from East Carolina University; and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research centers on cultivating radical reconnections through agro-food systems and somatic practices, as well as the emotional dimensions of living amidst ongoing socio-ecological crises, systemic collapse, and justice-centered world re-making. She has studied, researched, and taught in Italy, France, Ghana, New Zealand, and Ireland.
Laura has taught many interdisciplinary undergraduate courses - in person, online, and hybrid - and graduate seminars centered on environmental justice and deep socio-cultural change such as: Emotions in the Anthropocene; Climate Emotions as Activism; Nature, Culture, and Food; Global Awareness; International Environmental Issues and Globalization; Community, Ecology, and Social Action; Women and Development; Power, Privilege, and Environment; Environmental Ethics; and Freshman Seminar Abroad programs in New Zealand and Ireland. At MSU she was awarded an Integrative Studies in Social Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
A 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, Laura also offers accessible yin and restorative classes with a focus on radical rest and collective grief. Her advanced training by Samantha Akers of TheraYoga Method is heart-centered and dharma-focused, and she is certified in the Trauma-Conscious Yoga Method and Yoga for Social Justice with Nityda Gessel. She also earned an Embodied Activism certificate through The Embody Lab, has studied with Shauna Janz of Sacred Grief, completed a Nectar of (Yoga) Nidra certification with Kaya Mindlin, and is a practitioner of the Work that Reconnects.
In 2021 Laura founded A Restful Space, offering post-capitalist Restorative Yoga and Community Grief Circles in Humboldt County as well as her signature online course, Yoga for Ecological Grief. She has been invited to share at the 2022 Sedona Yoga Festival, the annual Post-Capitalism Conference, Vipassana meditation retreats, and on the Sacred Community Project Podcast. In 2023 she received a microgrant from the California Dream Fund to support and expand offerings at A Restful Space.
Laura lives with her husband, Nick, and their young daughter, Cordelia Rose, in Eureka, CA, where they are tending a quarter-acre of unceded Wiyot land and cohabiting with their dogs and cat, chickens and goats, and many plants.