March 02, 2022

Modern Mana Wahine

Modern Mana Wahine

Know someone with infectious energy and optimism? For Satomi and I, it’s our yoga sensei, Laurie Hamano.  Laurie is a Certified Trauma Counselor, business owner, yoga instructor, cancer survivor and tea drinker.

See how the habits of this modern day Mana Wahine align with the 5 Pillars of Wellness.

Laurie, please tell us about yourself?

Yes, I am a yoga teacher.  I have been a teacher for the YMCA exercise classes for the last 39 years; of which the last 12 years I added yoga. 

I am a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor by trade and have my own business for the last 26 years.  But I found the YMCA because I needed to build back muscle after having endometrial cancer when I was 28 and having 3 surgeries. I lost 15 pounds through that ordeal and as a former swimmer I knew I needed muscle to gain back strength. I looked anorexic.

So I started swimming and then found the exercise classes that were burgeoning at the time. In 6 months I was asked if I wanted to join their volunteer team and they would teach me to be an exercise instructor and the rest is history.  I learned through all of this that you have to take care of yourself if you want to be any good in helping others.

As a counselor I am always talking to my clients about how to work through our issues and how we leave our trauma in our muscles. Yoga teaches us to breathe in the experience, face it and give us license to let it go.  It was a match made in heaven for me. It teaches us to remain true to ourselves, authentic and hopefully happy regardless of the issues we have in our lives. 

I have two beautiful daughters. One is a Doctor of Nurse Practice working with high risk breast cancer patients and the other a Mortgage Loan Officer; one husband who still hangs in with me for the past 41 years and 3 dachshunds that I walk daily and I cannot live without.  

Last thing, I gave up meat 3 years ago and am eating more fish.  This has kept my weight down (though I love desserts!). 

Life at 68 can only be said to be good; pandemic or no. It’s what we make of it. Thank you for asking!! Find Joy as Marie Kondo says!  No, my house is not organized but plenty of joy. 

Describe how and when during the day you usually have your tea.

Green tea is my after-dinner drink. I don’t really remember when this started but more so more often now. It’s soothing after dinner.  Satomi and Byron introduced me to their teas during this pandemic and I mix MANA and 'OLENA in a large pitcher and drink it throughout the week.

What do you enjoy most about your tea habit? Is it the quiet time you take to sit and sip, the lift it gives you in the afternoon, or something else?

The after dinner tea is my soothing go-to, but during the day having 1-2 cups of the MANA and 'OLENA actually helps soothe my muscle aches and keeps me awake while I work at the computer. It also keeps me away from another cup of coffee which I don’t seem to need. 

In what way has tea brought you health benefits, physically or emotionally?

Green tea seems to have a lot of health benefits but more recently because I have been drinking MANA (for increased immunity) and 'OLENA (for anti-inflammation) I have been feeling like it helps my aches and pains. I notice it when I don’t have any tea during the day.  With this pandemic, any help to keep up our immunity is a plus. 

What would you tell a friend about starting their own tea habit?

I don’t tell; I share. I always give my friends and family tea and tell them how I use it and hopefully they try it.  I buy a whole batch when it goes on sale for my meetings with friends or gifts when meeting new people or friends I haven’t seen in a while.  They always seem happy to get these teas.