bloom from within
series 2: rachel
Yoga therapist, Educator and Doctor of Psychology.
Basd in California, the United States.
"When I feel stuck in an intense emotional state; anxious, depressed, overwhelmed - I pause and I go into the physical sensations in my body. I breathe slow and I listen to what comes through."
I’m Rachel a Certified Yoga Therapist, Educator and Doctor of Psychology. I’m a California native and currently reside in Berkeley, but work with clients from all over through online platforms.
I began studying the human mind and emotions through the Western lens of psychology in my teen years, and later through the practices of yoga, as a way to understand and heal myself, but more so because I wanted to offer a place for others to go to feel seen, heard, understood and held; a place I never fully felt I had until I discovered yoga.
I’ve battled with anxiety and depression for much of my life, and for a long time it was something that was overlooked and not addressed in my family of origin, nor paid much attention to in the dominant culture aside from to paint in a negative light. I felt very alone, misunderstood and often overwhelmed by my emotions. I self-medicated with substances and sought out community and love in unhealthy places, betraying myself endlessly - something I am still coming to grips with and fully healing from now 20 years later.
Moving in the body as a form of expression and release was not something new to me when I found yoga. I grew up a dancer and physical movement, along with other creative mediums, continues to be one of the key ways in which I move through mental health issues. Now, with the knowledge of how the brain and nervous system work to process our emotional world, something I learned extensively through my studies and practice of yoga and psychology, I am able to harness the power of movement in all forms to help work through emotions, both in my own life experiences as well as in the work I do with clients and students.
When I feel stuck in an intense emotional state; anxious, depressed, overwhelmed - I pause and I go into the physical sensations in my body. I breathe slow and I listen to what comes through. I ask how it needs to move through me; sometimes this is dancing, sometimes it is writing words on a page or speaking them aloud, sometimes art, sometimes crying or yelling, sometimes sitting quietly and just listening. All of these things are a way to move energy, and emotions are energy which needs to be moved.
Yoga in and of itself is a healing art form. It is holistic in its nature and is about much more than breath practices, physical postures, and meditating. Yoga encompasses creativity, diving deep into who we are through practices that help us to connect with ourselves in a loving, free, and thoughtful manner. When we are able to connect to ourselves in this way we are also then able to build healthy relationships and communities with others. This is the driving force behind why I teach and why I practice; creating a sacred and safe place for others to land, myself included. Yoga helps me to open my heart to myself, and to others.
To learn more about Rachel and her work as a Yoga Therapist visit: http://www.racheljenninewellnessandyoga.com/