On February 28, 2019, Laura Hernandez of Yoga et Mouvement received the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Artistrisud, a Montreal-based charitable organization that provides entrepreneurship training for women around the world. The award recognizes Laura’s work in the community. Founded 15 years ago, Yoga et Mouvement is more than just a yoga centre.

Laura has made it a haven of peace where all are welcome and free to express themselves and share their experiences without being judged. The centre welcomes men and women of all ages, including people with cancer, through its Yoga for Cancer (Y4C) program. It has created a very active community through its holistic philosophy. Laura explains that “as women, we are asserting ourselves more and more, we are redefining leadership by creating opportunities for others to express their talents, by having compassion, by being really present and by following our intuition.” She adds that “when I came to Canada 19 years ago, more than once I asked myself why I was here, especially at minus 25C in February. But this recognition is part of the answer. I am proud of my roots, of working so hard and of my persistence in making a difference as an entrepreneur.”

Laura’s leadership over the years has created opportunities for other women to teach and share their knowledge at the centre while earning an income. She thinks there are new ways to view businesses and that Yoga et Mouvement has fulfilled its mission when she sees a group of students laughing and chatting in the lobby after class.

A holistic approach goes beyond a yoga class. By prioritizing real contact between people and accepting each person on his or her own terms, Laura has created a chain of connections that extends into the wider community. We could all use more kindness in our lives and Laura’s award proves that it’s possible to do business differently. TBL salutes her achievement and is proud to number her among its residents.

Translation: Brian McCordick