Meet Rachel Webb, a pediatric registered nurse, fur-baby mama and recent graduate of The House of Yogi 200-Hour Teacher Training. Rachel is a sassy redhead who was initially drawn to yoga only for it’s physical benefits, and skeptical that it offered anything more, but who now continues her practice for the rich internal work and benefits it affords. Read on to learn more about her practice and why she loves the fact that THOY doesn’t have mirrors!
Rachel, what brought you to The House of Yogi for the first time?
The instructors! I had followed Gabrielle over from another local studio and clicked right away with the home-away-from-home at The House of Yogi! The studio illuminates with brilliant instructors, who not only teach the art of yoga, but also mentor and are committed to building a safe and fun community.
What’s your favorite thing about the studio?
Well… Two favorite things:
1. No mirrors! I believe there is something really powerful about using your senses to feel into your body to understand where you are in space, versus seeing yourself in the mirror. I find it unique and refreshing when a studio’s environment invests in the introspection manifested in the asanas versus promoting the look of the physical posture.
2. The Family! The House of Yogi Community is second to none that I have found. From the first few classes I took, I felt incredibly at home. The relationships with other students and instructors that I’ve formed, have sustained off the mat and into the world.
When did you begin practicing yoga & why? AND What has your yoga practice given you?
I feel like my journey with yoga and meditation has been unique, and then not so unique. I was never a dancer, or a gymnast, or ever did martial arts. I was never a “flexible” person in any sense of the word. I was brought to my knees, literally, multiple times when I first tried yoga. I scoffed at the breathing techniques and laughed at ridiculous sounding platitudes, like “the universe is glowing inside of you.” But…then I found that I truly needed yoga.
I had been seriously injured and suffered with chronic pain for multiple years in my early 20s. This experience made me realize that what I was doing for my body, my mind, and my soul was not working anymore.
So, at the advice of a friend, I tried yoga. Like many people I was initially drawn to the physical practice–the asanas, the postures, and the way they made me feel. A little more flexible, a little less pain, a little more tired so I could sleep better through the night–but that wasn’t really enough for me. I started really listening: when they said, “inhale,” I inhaled. And when they said, “exhale,” I exhaled. When they said, “slightly constrict the back of your throat, inhale and exhale creating an oceanic sound,” I did. And then, what was a “workout” became a practice, a meditation, a checking-in with myself, and a re-calibration of my body, mind, and soul, a coming back to who I really wanted to be…just me. Wanting to dive in deeper, I decided to complete yoga teacher training this year. Since graduating from The House of Yogi’s 200 hour teacher training, I look forward to the opportunities to guide others in their own practice and share in the collective community in a new way.
What’s your favorite pose?
Hmmmm… Favorite pose…probably any backbend. They used to terrify me— hurt my neck, crunch my back, tweak my bum, and ultimately left me feeling fearful for some reason. Then I just decided to be a badass at backbends. I’m currently working on Kapotasana (full pigeon pose), however my favorite go-to backbend is Mermaid pose (standing or sitting), a variation of King pigeon pose (eka pada rajakpotasana).
What’s your least favorite pose?
For sure, without a doubt, Standing splits AND Hanumanasana, which I know are two different poses but in my mind they are same…and I’m dying. I hate them. They say you should keep working on the postures you hate, but I’m not a believer yet.
What do you do when you’re off the mat?
On and off the mat I am a pediatric registered nurse. I work with acutely ill kids with cancer and blood disorders, and love my work. It’s stressful for sure, which is what brings me back to the mat, but it’s always worthwhile! I am also married and am a “fur mama” to the cutest, most lovable cocker spaniel poodle mix, Tetley.
Tell us something unusual about yourself.
I am a 100% guaranteed, genuine Redhead, which is not unknown to most, but unusual compared to others. Fiery, sultry, and with an innate propensity for sunburns, I can’t get away from my roots even though they’ve lighted up over the years! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even after being called a “witch,” “soul-less,” and told my freckles were “poo-spots.” I would never give up my mermaid hair!
What three words would your best friend use to describe you?
Intuitive, Conscientious, Sassy
What’s your guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure?
Wine. Or cheese. Or homemade bread. Or coffee. Or dark chocolate. Or dark chocolate covered anything. Or…do I have to pick just one?
What have been your biggest obstacles in your practice?
Biggest challenge… learning to stop caring what I look like, or what others think I look like, or what I think I think I look like doing yoga. So much of what we tend to focus on in yoga, or what studios tell us to focus on, is the physical asana or the posture. When I finally learned to stop caring if I may or may not be having muffin top peeking out of my leggings or if I was sweating too much, or looked like a hot mess, I could finally get into the actual work of the yoga practice–the internal work. I realized nobody cares what I look like anyway; they’re all too busy worrying about themselves to notice my messy hair.