Inspiring Yogi | Rachael Pike
Can you believe it’s already August?! Sometimes we wish time would slow down, but then again – with a new month comes lots of exciting things…like the announcement of this month’s Inspiring Yogi – Rachael Pike! Rachael is a member of the Highland Village location and is also a current teacher-in-training through Inspire Yoga School. She is dedicated to her practice and is a kind and warm person to be around. We are excited for you to get to know her a little bit better through her yoga story.
My yoga practice began after high school in 2011 at a power vinyasa studio. Unfortunately, I wasn’t personally mature enough to focus on my own mat (in my practice or in my life), and as a result, I dealt with a lot of comparison-based struggles during that time that contributed to the on/off relationship with my practice and played a leading role in my decision-making process during that time. Having gone through the fire more than once before finding Inspire, I’d done a lot of the hard work of rebuilding one’s self after difficult life experiences, but I can’t say that there was a “lightness” to who I was, to my attitude, or to my outlook. Definitely not an effortless one.
This has all changed dramatically in just the 6 months I’ve been practicing consistently at Inspire and through my own practice. I remember one of my first classes with Mary, she told us (and I heard it often after that) it was our practice and we could do what we wanted rather than what she called…That instruction was freeing, and the empowerment I took from that to do what I wanted…what I needed on my mat, has really paralleled into my decision-making process off my mat and outside the safety of the yoga room.
While at first I was looking for a physical practice again 5 years later (and did I find it), I don’t think the physical practice would have stuck this time around either had I not also found this community. It’s been through Inspire’s unique atmosphere and leadership that I’ve grown the most. Focusing on which muscles to contract during an inversion is still a vacation from whatever worry I pulled out of the hat for the day, but learning to manage my mind, retrain my thought patterns, and undoing a lifetime of distorted thinking about who I am and what the world is, is the truly sappy, feel good, and ultimately rewarding part of my practice.
When I started at Inspire, the thing I most valued was that during every class I attended I found that my teachers were intentional about the things that they said to the group. They understood the power of the concept that what you listen to, what you ingest digitally, what you observe most often will be internalized and become a part of your thoughts and your behavior patterns. I found that every time I walked in, I was hearing truly positive encouragement directed over the room. I’m an adult, I should be able to tell myself I’m a decent person who does some decent things now and again, but even as an “adult”, it continues to be incredibly powerful walking into a place filled with people who sincerely believe in your capacity, your ability, and your spirit. I came to recognize that it wasn’t just the teachers, but the men and women around me as well. I found that as I recognized my value and my talents and grew in respect for myself, my relationship with others changed dramatically as if a greater appreciation for myself didn’t make me selfish as I had feared, but it expanded my capacity to care for and recognize the value of others even more.