The Mind-Body Connection: An Interview with Fitness Coach Rachel

A little while ago we had a #shoutoutsaturday where we shared a bit about one of our community members, Rachel. Rachel is a regular attendee of our Friday night Power classes and a dog-lover.⁠ When she’s not at Ignite Yoga, she is a fitness and diet coach who is all about helping women feel like the best and strongest version of themselves. Rachel became the health guru she after her own personal struggles. Keep reading to check out her full interview!

1. Where can we find you on your mat?

I have been practicing at Ignite for a couple years now. I love the Friday night Power Jam class. It’s the perfect way to finish up a busy week! I’ll go for any opportunity to practice outside too. There is something so freeing about moving your body in open air. 

2. What is a challenge that has really helped you to grow?

I struggled with weight and resulting bad body image since elementary school. I started yo-yo dieting and my weight fluctuated a lot through my teenage years. In college, I spiraled into some pretty damaging disordered behavior, and I felt totally out of control of my body, exercise and food restriction. I was shrinking away and lost in an illness that threatened to destroy my life. I pulled away from relationships and became exhausted and anxious. The healing process from my eating disorder is the single biggest challenge that I have had to face, and has caused me the most growth as a person. I had to redefine what it meant to be healthy. I learned to love feeling strong and vibrant after so many years feeling low-energy and frail in my body. It sparked my love for fitness and helping women break free of bad body image to finally feel healthy and confident in their skin. 

3. Where do you feel most at home?

I have always been a homebody and family-focused person. I recently bought my first home and have spent the last 6 months filling it with family heirlooms and creating the perfect atmosphere where I can create, work, and coach. So, at the risk of taking this question too literally, my house is my favorite place to be. Specifically in my home office in the cozy armchair, curled up with my dog. 

4. What is one thing you’ve learned on your mat at Ignite?

The biggest and hardest lesson for me to learn was to not take it so seriously. I love challenging my body and pushing my strength and endurance, but sometimes, to hit the pose or balance, I just have to stop pushing so hard. Not every practice needs to be a kick-your-butt workout, and those classes tend to be the ones where I surprise myself by learning something new or letting the practice be a calming hour that I didn’t know I needed. 

5. What’s been your greatest adventure?

I am in my biggest adventure now! For the past 8 years, I have worked as a high school Spanish teacher. I really loved teaching, but as my passion for health and fitness grew, so did my desire to help other women make their transformations. Just recently, I decided to not return to the classroom and dive into my coaching and training business full time. It’s a huge adventure in trusting my intuition and creating a totally new life for myself. I am super excited about what is to come and the new women I will be able to help with all of my energy going into my passion. 

6. Where else are you lighting it up these days?

With the restrictions due to covid, I have started into the world of virtual instruction. I teach group fitness classes at a gym, but we have taken the classes almost all online. It has inspired a whole new kind of content creation and connection that I have never experienced before. I love the challenge of creating workouts and coaching packages that work from a distance, and most of all, being able to connect with women all over the country to help them reach their goals. 

7. What is something you aspire to do in life?

I aspire to have a big, bountiful vegetable garden! I would love to be able to grow my own food and feed my future family off of our own land. This is a big dream though, because I struggle to keep house plants alive and my current outdoor space is a 12×12 brick patio… but one day, I’ll get there!

8. Is there anything else about yourself you would like to share?

I want to pet your dog. 

9. What is one thing you know to be true?

Creating lasting changes comes from making many small decisions in the direction you want to go. Health, fitness, wellness, happiness are all about the small daily decisions that help you create the change. 

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