More to Love FAQ
More to Love FAQ
About More to Love Yoga
Hi Rachel - what is your yoga story?
In short, I've been practicing yoga for a decade, received my professional training in 2015 and began More to Love Yoga in 2015, too. For more into my yoga-story read this and this.
What is More to Love Yoga about?
More to Love Yoga puts a premium on helping you feel comfortable, capable and confident in your body and yoga practice. We blend lessons of body-acceptance and yoga so that you can learn how to make yoga poses work for your unique body. On top of that, More to Love is a community of women who value a welcoming and inspiring place to share yoga and meet new people.
Where do you teach?
We’re based in Somerville, MA for regular classes and workshops, but travel around the area when invited by other places and studios.
I’m totally new to yoga, what should I expect in your class?
Awesome! I'll be honest with you...you'll experience a range of emotions - from nervous, curious, frustrated and also excited, calm and deeply relaxed. All of them natural and normal. Like anything new, give yourself permission to learn and be open to what yoga (and your body) is telling you.
I often say that give yoga at least 3 tries so you can settle into what the practice is all about. And to help you, I offer a More to Love Yoga Starter Pack, designed to help you get comfortable and familiar with yoga, your body and more. It's a great first step!
What supplies should I bring?
Clothing-wise, be comfortable above all else. And a water bottle too. A few yoga mats are available for use too if you don’t currently have one. All other supplies – blankets, blocks, straps – are provided.
I’m not plus size, but love the mission - can I still join?
First, thank you for being honest about this. More to Love is open for all to join and enjoy, but please respect the intention behind it: to help larger bodies feel more welcome and cared for in yoga. If you’re not sure, ask yourself “Have I truly felt uncomfortable in other classes/spaces based upon my body-size/age/ability?” If that answer is “no”, there are many yoga classes that speak to broad issues of body-love that you might want to explore. As I mentioned, we are open to all but please respect that MTL has its commitments to supporting a body-type that feels left-out of a standard yoga class.
Isn’t yoga really for everyone?
Great question and the answer is simply this: yes and no. Yes, it’s true, yoga is an established practice with a rich and important history, approach, and benefit for all to understand and respect. That said: all yoga classes are not created equal, at least, in image. The perception of a “yoga body” - a thin, very flexible, effortlessly graceful body through poses – can also intimidate people from trying it out. So while yoga is yoga, there are ways to bring the practice to more people that honors and respects the realities of their unique experience in body, ability, background and more.
"Aren't you stealing another culture's religion?"
The conversation of cultural appropriating yoga is important, necessary and complex. More to Love Yoga is, for the most part, a secular practice of yoga - meaning, I do not use the language or symbols of the classical yoga tradition.
Yoga is part of a rich and long history interwoven with ancient Indian and Hindu practices derived from a code of morals, ethics and spoken in the native language of yoga, Sanskrit. How yoga is experienced in the West is less about the cultural-roots of yoga, and more about the physicality of it. There is a lot of debate around this, but I find that being respectful and inspired by long-standing traditions can co-exist.
While I am trained in the lineage of traditional yoga, its language and history, I felt that it was not appropriate to recite the Sanskrit names of poses or use terms meant for a more religious and spiritual setting. More to Love Yoga adheres to the essential core of yoga but is respectful and sensitive to the historical and cultural lineage of this wide and amazing tradition. A student of yoga can always continue to explore the history and depth of the practice, which I advocate.
For those interested in the business side of More to Love...
How did you start More to Love?
Officially, August 23, 2013 because this was the date I openly shared with the world that I was fat and wasn’t going to keep beating myself up over that. More to Love’s origins begin with my own quest for body-peace. Working on this for myself, I soon realized I wasn’t alone and then began to write, teach and share More to Love’s message with more and more people.
What training have you done?
In 2008, I lost my job due to the recession and found myself 23, unemployed and freaking out. But honestly, I wasn’t happy with the career path I moved into post-college so I took this period in my life as a major opportunity to focus on what I did want to peruse, which was something in the realm of coaching, teaching but on personal-growth area. I decided to skip grad school and got trained as a life coach in 2011. I started my own small side business helping 20-somethings navigate life. I've taken courses in mindfulness, meditation, positive psychology, leadership development, and I've worked with coaches on marketing, business plans, branding, social media use. And I went to one of the best yoga schools in the world on full scholarship. Essentially I created my OWN graduate program of how to make something out of myself. I am constantly learning and pushing myself.
So looking back: I have over 1,200 hours of professional training across coaching, yoga and other personal-professional development related fields. I have taught over 1,000 individuals since fall 2015 in yoga alone. And personally, I spend a bulk of my own time developing my skills, personal-growth, mindset, ect via reading, writing, and learning new things that interest me.
What is your “success” secret?
There is the success of the external-world and success of the internal-world and sometimes, if you're lucky, they will overlap - but that is not by accident, it's by design. So before you can even think about "success" you have to understand yourself, your values, your talents - but most important - how all of that can serve the needs of others, in some way.
And your own definition of success should evolve....or else you're not.
So what might increase your odds of having those external-internal successes overlap? Accept and own what you’re good at and put most of your time, energy, resources into developing what you naturally do well - that'll be what you'll hug onto when the inevitable struggles come. And what you don’t do well, well get it to a place where you can be decent enough so that it doesn’t slow you down – forget even that 80/20 rule more like 60/40 rule is just fine. And fill your life with people who compliment your style, but also fill in your gaps.
Focus on your process, not being perfect.
Are you More to Love full time?
This is the big shocker for people: no, I have a day-job unrelated to MTL. And then next question I get is “HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT?!” and honestly, part of it's necessity (healthcare!) and part of it's I am extremely good at balancing my time and priorities. The second part is because of trial and error (re: 60/40 rule!) and I am a fairly patient person, I play the long-game and make sure that what I am moving towards is a sustainable, good move for me. My goal is to transition to full-time for More to Love, but I have to ensure that it’s going to sustain me so this past year I’ve been very focused on learning profit structures and the real-deal back-end of businesses beyond “hey, this is a neat idea!”
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Creating and running a passion-inspired business is not easy, so don’t beat yourself up when you start to compare yourself to other people further along the way than you. Most of what we see online is a hyped-up version of the truth, usually used for marketing. Embrace this. Be inspired, sure, but don’t replicate. What no one sees is the behind-the-scenes that honestly, without going through the grind yourself, is hard to convey. My advice is pretty simple: own and accept your unique contribution to the world, listen more than you talk, and let it all evolve as you do.
Can I “pick your brain” sometime?
I get asked this often and it’s why I have a very small (like only 1-2 people a year) mentor-coaching program for people who are really serious about working on their passion-business intersections. As you can see from above, I’ve spent years and thousands of hours (and dollars) on my own skill set, and am extremely proud of the success I’ve had from it. I’ve personally hired coaches, annually join a business development program and much more – all to work on myself, my business, and future. I invest. I hustle. I put myself out there because I believe in my value.
So it’s almost impossible for me to give all that away in exchange for a cup of coffee - nothing personal! So, while you cannot “pick my brain” you might be able to work with me directly – just ask and we can explore how that might look.
"Hi, we've never met but I've read/saw your work! Can you connect me to your [insert prestigious media name] connections?"
Is this the part where you consider me selfish for not handing over the relationships I've worked years on to nurture? If so, please re-read the above :)