Lara would be, in my opinion, an advanced practitioner of yoga. She is clearly very athletic as she spends a lot of time running, swimming, being very active, and of course doing Yoga. However, her interests lie in the full concept of yoga and not just the physicality. You don't come across that very often especially in one as young as her.
When we started doing yoga together, of course, she (like myself & most practitioners) always hated the poses like navasana, where your stomach would burn and your thighs would feel like they were going to fall off. However unlike me, she had a determination to continue through these poses that I never had. More importantly she always had this keen interest to learn why we would put ourselves through these constant rounds of vinyasa and what the purpose was for each. Me, being the big yoga geek that I am, and a self-proclaimed hippie often told stories of the energetic and emotional bodies, that Lara seemed to pick up on with comparative ease. Not only that but the Philosophy behind the practice.
I think this stems from the type of person she is naturally, as exhibited by the work that she has chosen to do with underprivileged migrants. Lara has a tendency to naturally embody what so many yogis work their entire lives to embrace. If yoga is a practice that's done off the mat, then Lara is a yogini to be sure. Being a vegetarian and being a strong force for change, for migrants, even so early out of University, demonstrate the most fundamental principles of yoga; ahimsa or nonviolence. Compassion for everyone around her was a virtue hard to miss in Lara, and compassion underlines all ahimsa. Greedlessness or aparigraha was another trait Lara naturally possessed.
I remember my first visit with her at the hospital when she was first diagnosed in Bangkok, the first question she asked me was "How was your wedding?" That really struck me because if there was ever a moment when she should have been focused on herself, she took the time to ask me how I was doing and what was happening in my life. Even more so, when I read K Pia's blog about her niece, she said Lara thought that maybe this was the reason she was going through this.....to bring more awareness to the very important cause of stem cell registry. Even though mired in this ordeal, she is still able to see the greater good that comes out of it.
For me it was such a pleasure to do yoga with Lara because she was fun, athletic, and dedicated; but more so it was a pleasure to meet a true yogini and life practitioner, which I find is a much rarer gem.