“I started the The Sober Woo! podcast, which looks at the link between sobriety and spirituality, and I started following some sober accounts - including Alex as Instagram suggested her! I also put her name on a list of people I wanted on the podcast as a guest. When I shared my first episode an old mum friend, Katie, that I'd not seen for years tagged Alex on my post on Instagram (not knowing I had already noted her on a list or followed her) and said 'you need to meet Alex'. Katie had been practising yoga with Alex in the UAE and online. Crazy! But meant to be, I honestly believe that.
I connected with her, checked out The Mindful Life Practice website. And signed up to do the yoga teacher training!! I had already attempted a 200hr YTT, a year previously, but it was in person and very intensive - I couldn't cope with it, with my 3 kids being young and also my ADHD meant I found being in a classroom 10 hours a day for ten days really really challenging. So I had quit, thinking that yoga wasn't for me. How wrong I was! This online training sounded perfect. And it was!!” Rachel about meeting Alex.
We were interested in getting to know more about Rachel, her yoga background, teaching style and more. Read all about the amazing Rachel in this heartfelt and inspiring interview…
Where in the world are you? Tell us more about yourself?
Rachel: I’m in the Peak DIstrict, UK. It's in the heart of England, a national park and it's very green with lots of hills. It's gorgeous and I'm very lucky to live here. We renovated a farmhouse here 7 years ago after living in the city for 13 years. My husband and I are both from here so it was coming home for us. I'm a married mum of 3 kids aged 11, 9 and 3. Pre kids I worked in creative digital marketing for tech companies. I loved it and was very lucky to enjoy every day at work. I partied hard and worked hard too! When I had my son I knew I wanted to be with him more than I wanted to be at work, even though I loved it. So I made the tough decision to leave my digital marketing career behind.
I was a stay at home mum for the next 10 years or so. I started a blog when my first son was little, and that became quite successful. It was a family food blog, then I also went onto YouTube and made mummy lifestyle content. It was really fun and I even won an award and worked with some top names! Then, when my youngest child was about 1, a couple of years ago, I started to feel really unwell, mentally. I realised I had been masking over some mental health stuff with alcohol for years. I knew it deep down but I never felt sad enough or mad enough!
I quit drinking - a very on/off journey to be honest - and did a deep dive into my mental health. I was diagnosed with depression first, which I never really agreed with - then a year later ADHD. Then, very recently, Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder. Rather than these diagnoses being a dark cloud I feel like they have given me permission to really look after myself, get on the right medication, and have a lot of self compassion for myself and the turmoil I have experienced all my life. After the depression diagnosis two years ago I started to get serious about my own self care and that's when I got into essential oils, yoga, and developed a spiritual practice. These things have absolutely changed my life. I feel happier and more aligned and purposeful than ever. Like I am finally becoming my authentic self - I embrace all parts of myself. Now I want to help others do the same! I recently qualified as a holistic coach, I am currently doing my Reiki Level 1 & 2, and I am also now (thanks to the MLPC!) a 200hrs Yoga Teacher! I still create digital content as that's my thing, so I still have a YouTube channel, I also started a podcast called The Sober Woo - and I rebranded my blog from Mrs Rachel Brady, to Really Well Rachel. I am soon to launch my online healing space, Soothed and Supported, too! Exciting!
How was the Soul Aligned 200 Hour YTT with Alex and what pushed you to become an instructor?
Rachel: I cannot explain to you what the 200hr YTT has done for me. It has given me confidence. I found my voice. Everything I want to create now seems in reach. I have overcome my stage fright. I just feel like anything I put my mind to now, I can do. It has given me my mojo back, solidified my sobriety, given me connection and friendship. It's healed some pretty dark things in me - and it's given me the gift of a daily yoga practice. It's inexplicable - I can't put into words what the MLPC - and specifically this training - has done for me. It's miraculous. I will be forever grateful for Katie for introducing me to Alex - and of course to Alex for showing up as her beautiful self in the world and being such a light and support for so many of us in the MLPC community. I am now doing the sober curious YTT and the 300 hour YTT - that's how much I loved the 200hr! If you are thinking of doing it, I say just do it. You will not regret it.
When did you start practicing yoga (before you started teaching) and how did yoga change your life?
Rachel: In my 20s I would go along to the odd class. Then I started doing Yoga With Adrienne online occasionally in my 30s. Really I started in earnest during lockdown when I started to do Yoga With Adriene 30 day challenges. I also started doing Yoga Glo classes with Elena Brower (who is my DoTERRA team leader by the way) - she is an amazing yoga teacher and I still do classes sometimes on Glo. But - when I started practising with the MLPC I got something I'd never had before - community. Connection. It's more friendly than in person yoga, incredibly! There is lots of chat at the start of each class. Also they do circles where we share so honestly with each other. I feel like this is a group of friends - and the UK guys are even planning to meet up this year! I used to be addicted to online On Demand yoga. Now I'm addicted to Live Online Yoga with the MLPC!! It's so international and cosmopolitan too - I love that.
Yoga for me is a daily practice. That's when it changed for me. That's my biggest advice to anyone - practice daily. This discipline, and this devotion, it's brought about big shifts in me. I do yoga for mental health and the body part for me is about releasing tension and feeling good in the mind. The spiritual side really only starts to make sense once you study to become a teacher, when you realise the asana practice is a tiny part of yoga. The Yamas and Niyamas - they are a bit like 10 commandments for living a good life according to yoga - they show you that yoga is about a way of life, not just the practice on the mat.
If you had to describe your teaching style, how would you?
Rachel: I am only at the beginning of my teaching career. But I would say at this stage I embrace the multi sensory potential in yoga. I'm a creative at heart so I love curating a playlist, using essential oils, talking a lot in class about the theme - almost coaching actually - so that the people who come really take their yoga practice off the mat into their day. I love choosing a poem or reading at the end. I want people to feel something when they come to class - maybe it's to cry or laugh or just to think. I am not about headstands and being super bendy. I am more about showing up for yourself on the mat so that you can be the best person possible for yourself and your loved ones. I honestly believe yoga has the power to change the world in a ripple effect of love.
“It's inexplicable - I can't put into words what the MLPC - and specifically this training - has done for me. It's miraculous. I will be forever grateful for Katie for introducing me to Alex - and of course to Alex for showing up as her beautiful self in the world and being such a light and support for so many of us in the MLPC community.” Rachel
What is the intention you try to instil in your students?
Rachel: To be intentional. That's it. In their poses, and in their life. To show up for this.
What is your favorite posture? Your least favorite posture?
Rachel: Erm... anything that offers a deep stretch - or I love the balancing poses too. Headstand is my least favourite - because I can't do them - yet, anyway!
What is your favorite Mat? And why?
Rachel: I love my pink mat with alignment lines and dots on as they really help get aligned. I don't remember who it is by.
Set the scene for your perfect practice - paint us a picture!
Rachel: Ohhhh - maybe outside, on a warm day in Italy or somewhere warm, by the ocean, with some MLPC members, a good playlist, some nice coffee afterwards and a good catch up. Either that or the total opposite: yoga by a log burner in a barn on a cold starry evening, with candles all around us, and essential oils and some sound healing going on, maybe Nidra or Yin for that one. Either way - it has to feel connected and emotional for me. Again followed by a good cup of hot frothy cacao and a chat!
What’s the biggest myth about yoga instructors? Set the record straight!
Rachel: That we are all Matcha Latte sipping supermodels! LOL! That you have to be super fit, super amazing at yoga, or able to put your leg behind your head!! None of those things matter. The best yoga teachers are the ones that make you feel something.
“When I started practising with the MLPC I got something I'd never had before - community. Connection.” Rachel
What will you be teaching next?
Rachel: I am halfway through my Yoga For Mental Health series that has journeyed through the chakras. After that has finished I want to lead a sober circle and a candlelit let go session (which is gentle Yin). By contrast I would also love to lead a morning Mindful Flow session with a really joyful playlist and really bring some happy vibes for that one!
Any advice to newbies teachers/students? (And oldies?)
Rachel: Practice every day. Oh and read books about yoga too. Really soak it up. Alex recommended Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates which is AMAZING for really getting your head around the yoga philosophy in the real world and in your daily life. Also - to step into your power and use your God-given voice and lead - you can do it, even when you feel like you can't - you actually can, it's just about stepping up and doing it. Believe in yourself and you'll be amazed!
Where do you see yoga in the next five years?
Rachel: Much more about the philosophy - yoga as a guide to living. I think someone is going to make that mainstream. As humans we are going through an upgrade. An awakening. A rise in the collective consciousness. So things like yoga are going to be key. People want to feel good, to feel connected in mind, body and spirit. There is a massive growth in holistic modalities in fields like psychology. Spirituality is getting more popular too - in a mostly secular world people are looking for meaning - and things like Reiki are going to get bigger and bigger. I can't wait to see how this unfolds - and of course I think The MLPC is going to be HUGE!!
Thank you Rachel for sharing in this great interview. We’re so lucky to have you joining our community and team! Join Rachel this season in the FREE Mindful Flow and Let Go every Wednesday. Check out the schedule below for your time zone.
Hope you enjoyed this interview. Leave us a comment or question below.
Until next time, may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.