Our Top Yoga Blogs directory is full of inspiring and original yogis, all sharing their love with us through their yoga journey. We thought they could use a bit of love from us, too, so we're featuring one of our top bloggers each month in a Q&A style. This month we interviewed Rachel Scott of Rachel Scott Yoga. Here's what she had to say.
Q: What brought you to yoga?
I started yoga as a stressed out New Yorker! A friend looked at me and said, “Dude, you really need to chill! Come with me to yoga!” He was taking yoga classes at a studio near Union Square. I took my first class and was hooked. I loved that yoga was a non-competitive space to feel my body and finally unhook my brain.
Q: Why do you continue to do yoga?
Yoga is a place for me to get out of my mind and arrive authentically in my body and my feelings. Being an academic and an entrepreneur, I can over-intellectualize and am prone to anxiety. Very practically, yoga roots me back in reality, and helps keep me from getting caught up in all of my stories. With yoga, I’m a healthier person. Yoga also provides a context for asking the really big questions, such as “Why are we here?” “How do I live my best life?” Yoga philosophy provides such a rich and powerful framework for living life and being human.
Q: Why do you blog about yoga?
I am an educator and love sharing what I know! My blog is focused on helping yoga students, teachers, and teacher trainers excel in their practices and in their yoga businesses.
Q: What’s unique about your blog?
I have a unique niche given my experience as a teacher trainer, director in a corporate yoga company, and my academic expertise in education. I left my position as the Director of Teachers College for YYoga near the end of 2017 so that I could focus on helping yogis and studios globally with their education and businesses. There currently aren’t a lot of resources that support yoga studios and teachers to excel as educators and entrepreneurs. My blog combines these three areas of expertise in order to provide tangible, practical tips for thriving as a professional yogi.
Q: What is your most popular post and why?
My post, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body: A Response” was written as a response to a New York Times article and got a lot of reader engagement – likely because the topic was so controversial at the time. A more heart felt blog called, “Not everyone who practices yoga is happy, and that’s okay” also has received a lot of attention, I think because it speaks to the power of the authenticity of the practice. The yoga practice – in my opinion – is not a place to need to smile or feel particularly happy, it’s a place to be authentic. (Pet peeve confession: it drives me crazy when teachers tell me to smile!) Having a place to arrive truly and openly in your body and feelings is vitally important – particularly in a culture where emotional expression can get squelched and we often have to social masks to fit in. In the article, I share my own journey with anxiety, and how yoga is a safe place to be kind and open to all the colors of the human experience.
Q: Do you have a favorite go-to pose? Why does it resonate with you?
Oh, handstand! Because it freaks me out! Handstand is such a mental pose. In my early days, I fell out of the pose and hurt myself, so whenever I come back to practicing it, I have to have a little talk with myself to try to separate reality from fiction. It’s a good place to practice gently addressing self-limiting beliefs. For my students, I know many of them are strong enough to do the pose, but can’t get upside down because of fear. Absolutely normal! But if we gently nudge into those places in class, we’re better able to do it in real life.
Q: What has yoga brought to your life?
So much. Yoga is a life-long companion, and helps provide me with a positive context for living. Yoga helps me to get out of stories and into the NOW. Yoga has brought more health and self-awareness to my life, and provided me with a beautiful community of humans. Most practically, yoga has given me a space to breathe, move, and feel.
Q: What yoga lessons do you still consider a work in progress?
All of them! I don’t think that I have perfected any yoga life lessons - LOL. I actually wrote a whole book about how the lessons of yoga (non-violence, truthfulness, purity, duty, love, the mind crazies, etc.) show up in our romantic relationships. I think that living my yoga in my relationships is a lifetime for practice. (Practicing yoga on the mat is relatively easy compared to how we live our yoga off the mat!) Specifically, I am working on expressing compassionate honesty and seeing love everywhere.
Q: If you had to give one tip about living the yoga life, what would it be?
Showing up is enough. I feel that we naturally make better, more positive and more aligned choices with our highest selves when we get out of the automatic hamster wheel/stress cycle of our minds and are able to be in the present moment. We are able to listen to our friends, take a deep breath, help someone across the street…. When we are present, we can be alive to the immediate reality of the world and participate more fully in our own lives. So just showing up in the present moment. And being kind to ourselves when we forget! Because that’s the glorious dance of being human.