Every so often, we are all lucky enough to stumble across the perfect partnership – a pairing that makes so much sense, we’d be crazy to let it pass by. We found that with Rachel & Reboot Yoga. I actually know Rachel from way back when – the old days when both of us were deep into the world of online ad sales. We connected then, knowing that change was brewing for both of us and that good things were on the horizon.
Since then, Rachel has stepped out of a successful career in media to focus on her true passion – yoga. Like Steph and myself, she sees a real need in today’s corporate world to help busy people create a better balance between their professional lives and their personal health. She has recently launched her new business, Reboot Yoga, dedicated to bringing yoga into today’s busy workplace. She and her team of yoga instructors conduct onsite classes designed to fit seamlessly into the otherwise hectic work day.
So, the great news… Rachel has agreed to team up with us here at Eat Life Whole. She will be joining us on the blog, sharing ideas and insights on how to use yoga as a tool to relax, release tension and rejuvenate. Something we all need in today’s busy work world.
Read on to learn more about Rachel and her path to starting Reboot Yoga.
What brought you to your first yoga class? And what kept you going back?
I was 23 years old, I was living in San Francisco, and I had just broken up with my boyfriend. I felt isolated because up until that point, my social circle was made up entirely of my ex’s college friends. So, by breaking up with him, I had broken up with my entire community. I decided to fill up my schedule with activities so I wouldn’t feel alone. I signed up for a book club, a gym, a pottery class, and a yoga class. Yoga was the one thing that stuck.
I actually hated my first yoga class. I spent the entire time feeling bad about myself because I wasn’t able to do most of the poses that everyone else in the room was doing. I left that first class thinking “maybe yoga isn’t for me.” But as I walked home after class, I felt lighter on my feet, more at ease in my body, and my mind was clear. That feeling was what kept me coming back, and now 10 years later, it’s what has made my yoga practice such an integral part of my life.
You recently stepped out of your career in online media to launch Reboot Yoga, a start-up focused on bringing yoga into the workplace. Have there been any “a-ha” moments along the way?
Definitely. I spent 9 years selling online media to advertising agencies and marketing executives, mostly in Manhattan. I spent long hours at my desk working on spreadsheets, crafting PowerPoint presentations and making phone calls. I made frequent trips across the country sitting in a cramped airline seat, to present in front of total strangers. I came to realize that I felt completely inauthentic in most of my interactions with other people in my work life. My yoga practice helped me find balance, and that was really the genesis of Reboot Yoga. My goal is to bring peace and ease to the minds and bodies of office workers so that they return to their desk refreshed, energized, and ready to face the rest of their day with a sense of health and well-being.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, you are also a mom to two little ones. Any secrets you’d like to share about juggling the demands of both?
My advice is to always ask for what you need. No one is going to say ‘Hey, go read a magazine while I’ll handle dinner.’ But if that’s what you really need in the moment in order to take care of yourself, then you need to ask for it. As mothers, we tend to take it all on ourselves. Then we are surprised when we completely lose it in the form of a short temper, a harsh word, or a total break down. It’s so important to pause, check in with yourself, and ask for what you need.
Has practicing yoga influenced how and what you eat? What are your go-to foods?
Yes! Yoga makes me much more aware of my body, and that includes the food I put into it. A few years ago, when I was living in New York City, my interest in healthy food brought me to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and I became a certified Holistic Health Counselor. The main thing I learned was to really tune-in to how food impacts my body, my mind and my emotions. My go-to foods these days are high protein snacks that I can take on the go – nuts, string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, hummus and pita. I just discovered 18 Rabbits bars– they’re delicious!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from yoga?
Yoga has helped me see the most essential and unchanging part of myself– my true nature. In sanskrit this is called Purusha. Often times my “inner truth” is clouded by a strong tendency to judge myself harshly, and to look to others outside of myself for approval. In a way, my yoga mat has become my laboratory. When judgemental or needy thoughts arise, I try to acknowledge, welcome, and meet them with acceptance and an open heart. By returning to my breath I can settle back into my true nature. I am working on translating that lesson to my life off my mat.