Aloha and welcome! We bring our true Hawaiian Aloha to every session we offer.
A message from Laura...
I love transforming my client's lives through GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® sessions mixed with a healthy dose of Contemporary Pilates along with my advanced skills as a manual therapist, while weaving in my vast and deep well of knowledge (both Eastern and Western) of Yoga, Breathwork and Chi Kung allowing me to offer my client's a depth of study and experience rarely found. My sessions are playful, educational, inspiring, and transformational. I believe that health comes from harmony of mind, body and spirit, and that exercise is a vehicle for self exploration, healing, wholeness, and joy. Ask anyone who knows me what I am passionate about, and they'll answer: Pilates Gyrotonic Yoga and Dance. For me, teaching the joy of mindful movement is my life’s path and I look forward to sharing this gift with you.
About Laura ~
As a third generation Los Angelean, Laura Crittendon first developed the love and joy of mindful movement while studying ballet, modern dance, choreography, martial arts and theatre as a child and teen in Arcadia, California.
Laura's first job at age 17, following a severe skiing accident, was as a physical therapy assistant at the very same sports rehab center in Arcadia where she received therapy to heal her injuries. She had the honor of working with several amazing Therapists who taught her how movement changes neuropathways in the brain, gut and spinal cord and how movement can heal and strengthen from the inside out. At the rehab center, Laura worked with all levels of rehabilitation from athletes to stroke patients. Laura was deeply moved by the progress she witnessed her patients make as they recovered from life altering injuries and illnesses. So Laura chose to pursue a career that would deepen her understanding of the way the human body is intended to move and heal and that would allow her to share this gift with more people outside of the physical therapy realm. This journey began with Pre-Med school, Massage School, Graduate School and finally opening Blossoming Lotus Studios (formerly Kona Pilates LLC and GYROTONIC Kona in Kailua Kona, Hawaii).
Laura and her husband Steve shared their love of helping people heal and transform their bodies and lives through mindful movement, massage, dance and martial arts in their home base of Kailua Kona, Hawaii for 25 years. Laura and Steve worked with clients of all ages, including those with neurodiversities, older adults, learning difficulties, special needs, athletes, dancers, performers, artists, people with injuries (TBI, whiplash, broken bones, sprains, strains, etc.), and individuals from all walks of life and abilities.
Laura is grateful to now share her passion and love of mindful movement at Blossomng Lotus Studios (with three amazing studio spaces in the Foothills area). Her passion is empowering others to connect with themselves and teaching them how to create new patterns of movement, creating space for transformation.
Professional Training: To date, Laura has accumulated over 30 years experience and thousands of hours of advanced clinical training and education in body-mind-spirit health, therapeutic exercise, and manual/massage therapy. She is Hawaii state licensed and board certified as an Integrative Medical Massage Therapist and Movement Therapist. Laura graduated from the Hawaiian Islands School of Massage with 1,250 hours of advanced training in Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage, CranioSacral, Myofascial, NeuroMuscular, and Exercise Therapies. In 2002, she graduated as Valedictorian from the University of Hawaii with an Honors degree in Psychology, a minor in Hawaiian, and a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. In graduate school Laura studied Transpersonal Psychology, Mind-Body Medicine, Integrative Health, and Consciousness Studies. Laura has trained with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) founder Jon Kabat-Zinn. In addition, she trained professionally as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, a professional Hula dancer (having danced in three Merrie Monarch Hula Festival/Competitions under Kumu Hula Etua Lopez), professional belly dancer, cabaret dancer/choreographer and show producer, 2nd degree black belt martial arts instructor and martial arts school owner. Laura is a Resident Dance Movement Therapist/Master Teacher for HD Dance Co & Performing Arts in Corona. Laura has been honored to be a visiting Master Teacher for a variety of Corporations and Wellness-oriented academies across Southern California and Hawaii. Passionate about community service, Laura has volunteered thousands of hours working with the severely mentally ill in Kona and served for three years on the Board of Directors for a local Kailua Kona non-profit organization.
Steve Von Hargett has over 20 years experience teaching movement and 7,000+ hours of training in therapeutic exercise and massage/manual therapy. He is state licensed and board certified as an Integrative Medical and Manual Massage Therapist and is the Studio co-owner. He graduated from the Hawaiian Islands School of Massage with advanced training in NeuroMuscular, Spinal Muscle Therapies, and Structural Manual Therapy techniques. Steve applies a firm pressure in his work, yet balanced with incredible sensitivity and "amazing heat" (healing Chi Kung) from his hands. As a full scholarship recipient, Steve's undergraduate education was in the fine arts giving him "an eye" for proper structural alignment in both movement and massage.
Steve is a comprehensively trained, internationally licensed STOTT Pilates® Instructor, trained extensively in the STOTT Pilates Rehabilitation Program (with head physical therapist Melanie Byford-Young). (He also holds the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor in mixed martial arts). Steve brings to the Studio a unique blend of knowledge and expertise of movement and the mind-body connection. Steve is the head instructor at our sister school Hawaii Freestyle Martial Arts (bringing character development and fitness to the youth and young-at-heart of Kailua-Kona.)
As a movement instructor, Steve brings to the Studio a unique blend of knowledge and expertise of movement and the mind-body connection. He exemplifies how Pilates helps an "X-games" athlete (surfing, motocross, skateboarding, BMX, kickboxing) age gracefully and perform better (as well as rehabilitate from injuries and surgeries as a result of sports injuries).
As a massage therapist, Steve specializes in Onsen® Structural Manual Therapy sessions (aligning the human structure so that the movement arts have their greatest affect). Steve is the only Hawaii Certified Onsen Technique® Therapist. In addition, Steve is our "shoulder specialist" (Both for learning new patterns of movement as well as therapy treatments to address chronic pain and decreased function). Steve's specialty is combining Onsen Therapy with the Movement Art of Pilates so that what is released and balanced during the bodywork session can be re-educated into proper bio-mechanical movement to ensure pain-free results that last.