Afternoons: Tuesday 16:00-17:00 and Friday 16:00-17:00 at Forum Mare Nostrum, in Alfaz del Pi, Alicante, Spain. Don’t worry, although it is a seniors’ centre, my students range in age from 35-60. Having said that, I have a
Hi. My name is Rachel Rose and Alteayoga is my blog. I am a qualified yoga instructor. I studied for about 550 hours (5.5 years) in the Viniyoga School of Spain. My teachers were Claude Maréchal and Carmen Sánchez Segura. I have been practising hatha yoga since 1999. I am also a qualified masseur, technician of Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Chemistry graduate.
My approach to yoga is, at once, humanistic and scientific. I am a humanist in that I adhere to the central Viniyoga philosophy that “the yoga adapts to the person, not the person to the yoga”. I am a scientist in that I believe that a thorough understanding of not only anatomy but of contraindications and postural modifications is essential to safely teaching yoga. I also believe that yoga is a kind of science. There is a clear protocol set out in the philosophical texts, and the student needs to adhere to the protocol and observe the results in order to “prove” the theories. I often quip that “I don’t do yoga, yoga does me”. Indeed, I use humour in all my classes, as I believe that laughter is not only the best medicine, but the closest one comes to meditation in daily life. Here is a photo of me. Sorry if I am not in a spectacular yoga pose. You will just have to go on faith that, yes, I can stand on my head. 🙂
I am 45 years old, born in Canada in June of 1972. I am an annoying Gemini, I hate boredom and I am always looking for fun and laughter. I speak four languages (English, French, Spanish and Italian). My interests, aside from yoga, are singing and song composition, vegetarian cookery/nutrition, and gardening. My favourite flowers are peonies and roses, although I am a passionate cultivator of orchids. If you would like to join my yoga classes, you are welcome. However, I will interview you first, at no cost to you, in order to understand how best to serve you. I have a Facebook page called Alteayoga, and I keep it up-to-date, so you can snoop around there for a while, if you’re not sure.
Want to know more about me? I hope I am not oversharing:
My adventure in health and fitness began as a child. My father had two heart attacks before I was ten years old and seeing his suffering affected me deeply. Later, after my parents divorced, and Dad left, and years passed, and somehow we later regained a (kind of) contact he said “I had to choose between my health and my family.” The sadness of that whole situation weighed me down something awful. I lost my dad because he was sick. So, I set out to understand how we can prevent sickness. I got into weight-lifting at the age of 18 and was a dedicated follower of the routines in Bill Pearl’s book, Getting Stronger. I lifted six days per week, riding my bike to the gym in the dark of the morning, and yes, got really strong. But I was not happy. I suffered from anxiety and depression and loneliness and a tendency to run from itchy situations rather than resolve them. I became a personal trainer through the YM-YWCA of Canada, in 1995.
I scraped through my final year at Uni, not because of bad marks (I was in the highest percentile, studying Chemistry on scholarship), but because a break-up sent me into a tailspin. I moved to London in 1997, and after partying far too hard for a couple of years, I chanced to meet an acupuncturist. She needled me and massaged me. Upon returning to her treatment room a week later, it dawned on me that I had never in my adult life been simply happy for an entire week. I think that there are a lot of people who, upon reading that, will nod their heads ruefully and totally get it. How tremendously tragic.
Cheryll Davies, the acupuncturist, said to me on my third visit “You should do yoga“. Just like that, as if a message from another dimension, her words hit me in the deepest part of my soul, a place I didn’t even know existed, and I simply recognised the command. That same day I searched for “yoga London” (yeah, I am an early Internet adopter, I was working in telecomms at the time) and found the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Centre in Putney. A month later I was on their introductory course. There, Radha, my smiley blonde teacher said “the objective of this course is to establish a home practice. We have just published a book (Yoga Mind&Body) with the sequences and instructions.” Me, being me, I bought the book and a yoga mat and bag and started practising at home. Every day. At dawn. Alone. I fell out of poses and I am sure my alignment was terrible and I routinely overstretched. But I did it. I sustained a home practice in complete solitude for over eight years before I found my teacher training, here in Altea, in 2008.
Did I find out how to prevent sickness? Kind of. I do believe that right-thinking, rest, reduction of stress, increased tissue oxygenation, group work and kinship, and a philosophical recognition of one’s own mortality goes a long, long way to palliating the worst ravages of illness. I think that yoga is a complete system that, when done right, grants us all these benefits and more. The “and more” part is the most interesting one because what you get out of yoga will be highly personal and completely yours. You might not even know what yoga will bring you, prepare to be surprised. And I certainly won’t know what benefits you will derive but can show you what path to take…
So, namasté brothers and sisters, namasté. We all are one, your happiness is my happiness. Love is all around and everything will work out fine. Breathe, love, be.