Tuesday Teacher Spotlight - Rachel Los

Name: Rachel Los

Hometown: Coon Rapids, MN

Teaching for 4 1/2 years

Why I became a teacher:

I struggled with major depression from ages 15-21. Depression led me to addiction which led me into some pretty dark places. Through yoga, I found a way to let go of the stress and pressure I constantly put on myself to be happy. Instead of happiness, I found santosha- or contentment. I want to inspire others to also lift themselves out of whatever 'funk' they may find themselves in. I want to help people find hope.

Favorite pose and why:

I have a new favorite pose all the time. Right now, it's plank. Once I figure out how to adjust myself into a place of work AND ease, I truly find joy in my strength. I also have to be hyper-aware of how I talk to myself during plank. I have to keep reminding myself that I am a strong able-bodied woman and be careful not to talk myself out of how awesome plank is!

Favorite tune to hear in class:

Honestly, I prefer silence in my current practice. I love the 'tune' of my ujjayi breath.

Favorite tip or quote:

"You are not a body, you have a body. You are a soul." -Picasso

Advice to beginners:

When in doubt, breathe. When stressed out, breathe. Bored? Angry? Sad? Happy? BREATHE. Everything you feel in yoga is real and your breath is your greatest tool to get past all of the discomfort of the asana (poses). Keep on going to class, working hard, and the clarity will follow. Trust.

Where you can find me when I'm not at Heat:

Whole Foods. It's my second home. Or you can find me at my real home in New Hope with my husband , our 10 month old son, and kitty Eskimo.

Fun fact:

My husband and I got married at Pizza Luce in downtown Minneapolis. Then we ate pizza and drank beer.

What do I emphasize in my classes?:

I emphasize that every body is different. Yoga is primarily to let go of the attachment and image of the body. We are here using these bodies as mobility, to get around. The asana practice is for maintaining that body, and it's a way to thank it. Meditation is for maintaining the soul. I also emphasize the way you talk to yourself. What do you tell yourself when the asana gets tough? Do you build yourself up or break yourself down? It can be powerful either way, and getting used to making no judgment towards your practice is even more powerful.

Other jobs:
I have had many jobs. I was a toddler assistant teacher at a daycare, followed by a Certified Nursing Assistant at a memory care facility, then an infant assistant teacher, and now I am a birth and postpartum doula, mother, and wife. Teaching yoga has been in the mix the entire time. 
What have I learned on my mat?:
I have learned that I do not have time to be angry. I have wasted a lot of time and life being a very angry, anxious, and sad person. I have lived in my body too harshly, and I have been a sour pickle to be around. Once I took my two 200 hour trainings, a lot of my issues were released and I felt lighter. I feel free. I am definitely not done working- probably will never be. That's why we call it a practice. I practice patience, love, and trust now... and it's so helpful as a mother to live yoga.
Difference in my overall health and body:
My health is pretty fantastic. I don't attribute it all to the physical practice, more to the mental pieces. I am so aware and mindful of what I eat, how I live, and releasing stress that I hardly ever get sick. Healing with foods as medicine has become a huge part of my family's life. My sister leads these mindful eating challenges that bring my to my mat more and force me to take deep breaths before I eat, which, believe it or not, is the hardest part. Plus, I LOVE cookies. I really really love cookies. One could say I am a bit addicted. I have to be hyper-mindful about how I consume cookies. As of right now, I have not eaten a cookie in about 6 weeks. That's big.

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