The Yoga Loft Storybook: Rachel Perrella
Why/When/Where did you start practicing yoga?
My yoga journey started about three years ago. I will be forever grateful to my friend Anne Gilbride for encouraging me to take my first class. I knew after that class that I had been introduced to a whole new way of being, breathing and living. I was looking for a way to stretch out my body- and I discovered so much more. I’ve always been active- I played competitive sports in high school and college, and started to dance in my 20s. I’ve continued to stay active, and yoga has become such an important part of my life. Beyond the physical nature of the practice, the meditative and reflective part has resounded with me. As I have said to so many people, yoga has changed my life.
How has yoga changed/influenced your life?
Yoga has given me the opportunity to learn how to slow down, breathe, and gain perspective on my life. My days are long, busy, and often stressful, but since I began my practice, I have been able to use what I have learned to find some peaceful moments, even if they are fleeting. My time on my mat has allowed me to continue to grow mentally, physically and spiritually, and I know that there is still so much more to my journey. I have taken what I have learned about mindfulness and my yoga practice to my professional life; I have introduced mindfulness and yoga to my second graders, and have helped to lead a mindfulness initiative with the whole community at Tower School. I love sharing my experiences with others, and I hope that I am helping my students to learn some important tools for life.
What has been your experience practicing at The Yoga Loft?
The Yoga Loft is such a warm, wonderful place. There is a true sense of community, and everyone makes me feel so welcome. The instructors are fabulous- knowledgeable, caring, and masterful. I feel that I have learned so much in just a few years, and I am eager to learn more to deepen my practice.
Anything else you wish to share about your yoga journey?
As I mentioned earlier, yoga has changed my life. I am learning to calm my mind, be less self-critical, and give myself permission to rest (not easy for me!). My family knows not to ask me to do anything that interferes with my yoga classes (especially on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings). They are almost as happy as I am after yoga…