This week’s Yogi in the Community is a bright light that I’ve actually had the pleasure of practicing next to on the mat. Rachelle Knowles, a dynamic teacher at Tough Love Yoga shares not just her lovely smile, but her beautiful spirit in this week’s feature on Chelsea Loves Yoga. Enjoy!
Name: Rachelle Knowles
Location: Atlanta, GA
How long have you been practicing yoga? I’ve had a steady practice for 4 years. Before that, there was a lot of dabbling in different styles/studios without finding anywhere that felt like home.
What led you to your practice?
I vividly remember the first time I did yoga – I was 13, it was a Saturday morning and I was watching Rodney Yee in Hawaii or some other exotic locale. I was involved in a lot of sports & other types of movement and was looking to find a deeper connection to my body. I had no clue what that really meant, I just knew that when I popped in that VHS it would help quiet the chatter of my mind. That’s exactly what brings me to my mat 13 years later.
What was one of the most challenging lessons you learned through your practice?
My biggest challenge has been a blessing in disguise. As I dive deeper into my practice, I can’t shy away from what comes up for me while I’m on my mat. When I was younger & pumping out tons of hot yoga classes I would go in there, get sweaty, make shapes with my body and left feeling wrung out without really PROCESSING the practice.
I can’t say that I’m a pro at it now, but I am able to feel the subtle tweaks when I push myself too far, which means taking child’s pose while everyone else is flowing. I can’t ignore the emotions that come roaring into my mind during times of difficulty. Yoga is challenging because I HAVE to take care of myself and digest every part of the practice, the good, the bad & the ugly, so that I keep my body safe & my mind sound.
What tips do you have for people who think yoga is too difficult or not for them? I would encourage you to get curious about where those thoughts come from. If you’re nervous because you can’t touch your toes, I can assure you that with dedication your practice will bring you that and SO much more.
Give yourself a chance to come home to your body and know that you can experience that in any style of yoga. So just try things on – a restorative class, a super sweaty vinyasa flow or a Bikram sequence. Give yourself time to explore & find what suits you, and then dig in! ❤️
To keep up with Rachelle, check out her new Facebook page and show her some love!