Episode 59 – Powering Through and Mellowing Out
Listen to this episode here!
In this episode Rachel reflects on her latest weekend trip to LA to teach a yoga class at a fitness festival. She talks about the different mindset she had being separated from her baby girl compared to previous solo trips, and how this allowed her to turn on the fiery side of her personality so she could tackle an intense weekend with a strict run of show. She shares how staying in the here and now reminded her why she travels to teach yoga for a living – to have fun and connect with her community. Rachel then dives into discussing the flight home, how exhausted she was, and how she lost connection to the here and now. Realizing that her softer side emerged just as she was reuniting with her husband and baby girl, Rachel comes to an epiphany that everything happens in perfect timing.
[001:06] Hi, and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. I am actually, today, right here right now, recording my first ever podcast outside. This is kind of the challenges of being on the road while committing to this podcast. It’s always challenging to find a really quiet place to be, and for the first time ever I’m outside. But I think we’re going to do okay, because it’s a really quiet garden. I’m right here, there’s a beautiful little pool and there is trees and bushes and like all the trees everywhere, it’s really beautiful. But if you hear something weird or random, it’s probably not the baby but … I don’t know (laugh) some random person might walk in here any moment.
[001:53] But, as I said, I am outside, so it’s really nice for a change to just be in fresh air. If this works well I might actually commit to doing this all the time, because being outside just so … so needed for me right now. I am currently in Maussane-les-Alpilles which is a tiny little village in the south of France, and I just landed after what might be there world’s most insane trip of all time.
[002:25] So, yeah, we’ve been here in France, I think, now almost two weeks? I think almost 10 days at least. My best friend is marrying Dennis’ best friend, Olivia and Patrick. I’m sure you’ve seen them on social media, our very best friends in the whole world. They’re getting married on Friday, which is just absolutely wild. It’s crazy how crazy it is! I mean, my best friend, my oldest best friend is marrying Dennis’ oldest best friend. It’s such an amazing thing. And we’re here for the wedding, Olivia grew up here in south of France, so the whole family, and there’s about 100 people that are flying in from all over the world, from mostly Aruba and Sweden, and it’s going to be a three day wedding. It starts on Thursday, so, tomorrow. And yeah, this podcast will release on the day of the wedding, and I’m super excited.
[003:09] But I just had the craziest trip of all time, and really reflecting on why I kind of choose to do these insane things all the time. So, Friday, I think Friday morning, really really early, I think I got up at four or five in the morning, I drove here from Maussane to Marseille, which is about an hour drive. Really early, I kind of woke the baby up and I said goodbye to the baby, and I drove to Marseille and I flew from Marseille to Paris, which is about two hours, or and hour and a half, and I had a couple of hours in Paris, and then I stepped on the plane to go to Los Angeles. And the reason I went to L.A. is because I was teaching a class at a festival there. It was something that I kind of committed to spur of the moment. It was definitely not part of this Europe trip, clearly. You know, we’re already … we’re in the middle of nowhere here in the south of France. It’s really kind of hard to get here. So going to L.A. over the weekend, or for just two days, it wasn’t at all part of the plan. Just going to L.A. from Aruba, actually, is a pain in the ass. It’s really hard to get to the west coast if you’re not on that side of the world. So, going from Aruba to Los Angeles, it’s a pain.
[004:17] And I was thinking, you know, I’m used to doing that, and I go to Los Angeles all the time, I have my brother there, I have lots of friends there, I teach there a lot. Usually once a year, at least, I teach in Los Angeles. My agent is there, you know, we have a lot of reasons to go there. So it’s usually not that bad of a trip. So I said, “Yeah, of course, I can go there and teach. That’ll be fun.” And it was a long time ago since I did this kind of big public class. I had to actually sit down and think about that, like, when was the last time I did like a tour or a big class? The last time that I taught anywhere that was Island Yoga or the Luna Shala, my home studio… Teaching at home, it’s the easiest thing. I kind of roll out of bed and I roll into the studio and there’s, you know, the same people or similar people. I teach two or three times a week at home. It’s very comforting and easy and just routine to teach. And the last time I had a class that was big and kind of out of my comfort zone, I was six or seven months pregnant and it was in this super weird venue in New Jersey. There was like a last minute venue change, it was supposed to be somewhere else, but the class was too big, so it was in something called The Bubble. It was literally a bubble, blown up. I think they use it for track and field and for running … I don’t know what they do. It’s like sport events. I remember we got there, we had almost 1,000 people, I think 950 or something. It was a really big class. We got there and I was, you know, pretty pregnant. They were like, “Okay, we’re sorry we had a venue change, this is the stage, it’s going to be great! We’re going to put super beautiful lighting and the sound and music and this and this and this and that.” I was like, “Everything looks great! You know, all I need really, you know, I’m pretty pregnant, I just need a bathroom, in case of emergency, that I can just go to the bathroom,” because it was a long event. And they were like, “Uhhhh … Yeah. Bathroom? Yeah, there’s no bathroom in here.” (laugh) So, the entire venue, there was no bathroom anywhere, which just kind of brought me into this slightly panicky mode. Anyone that’s been pregnant knows that … Especially Lea Luna, like, at that trimester, she was just kind of jumping on my bladder. That’s what it felt like. I had to pee all the time. I remember opening the class, there was like 1,000 people there, literally, and I said, “You know, you guys know I’m pregnant, and if there is an emergency and I am about to pee my pants, I’m going to put you into the longest child’s pose of all time, exit the building, go across the street into this … there’s like a locker room somewhere, and I’m going to go to the bathroom and pee. So just bear with me if that happens, I really hope it doesn’t!” (laugh) And luckily I didn’t. I think I just got so into teaching I didn’t have to pee, and I was fine the whole way, but I was really panicked about it.
[006:58] But for this class in Los Angeles, I just thought, you know, it’s been so long since I did something like that I really actually miss it. I miss the intensity of teaching a big class. I miss the community. I miss meeting all of you guys. That’s literally, that’s just my favorite part. So, for this festival, there’s supposed to be this class and then also a meet and great where I got to kind of hug people and say hi and meet and take photos or just talk and connect. So, I said yes, and then, as I was kind of planning me escape from France, I realized, like, whoa, this might have just been sort of a little too crazy, even for me.
[007:33] So, what I decided to do was … the hardest part, of course, for me is leaving the baby. I’ve only left the baby once before. That was also Los Angeles for two days (laugh). But let’s see, four months ago, three months ago, and I shared that a lot, because it was such a panicky thing for me. I was so terrified to go, I had never left before. It was just … it was so so so so hard. This time around, you know, then also I was breastfeeding, so I was panicking about pumping and leaving enough, you know, a huge stash of breast milk for her, because I was scared that breastfeeding would sort of end if I left, which actually in the end it kind of did. I don’t know if it was because of that trip. She was already over it for a couple of weeks. But it was sort of the beginning of the end. But it was not a good time. That trip to L.A. was just … that trip to L.A. was just … no, no. It was so intense, so short. I was so nervous the whole time. I was calling Dennis like every hour. I was totally unable to relax.
[008:26] So for this trip, you know, she’s much older now, I mean, she’s 14 months, not breastfeeding, and she’s really, really comfortable just being with Dennis. She’s also super comfortable just being with my mom and my sisters. So, Dennis was away for Patrick’s bachelor party on the west coast of France, like a surf trip. And so the baby was alone with my mom and her aunts, my two sisters that were here at the same time. What I decided to do was, okay, I’m going to go, I’m not going to freak out about it, I’m not going to make a big thing. I’m just going to go and completely immerse myself in everything that’s going on over there. So I’m not even going to call her, which was just this drastically different approach than I had last time. Last time I was like, “Okay, I need to know what the baby is doing at all times.” Is she sleeping? Is she eating? How long did she sleep? How much did she eat? What did she do all day? How is she feeling? You know, I totally overdid it, for sure. This time I decided, okay, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to just relax and I’m going to immerse myself in Los Angeles and just be where I am and not even call her. Maybe check in, like, once, you know, or maybe twice the whole trip. That was my plan.
[009:31] So I make it from Maussane, I get to Paris, and then I stepped on the plane in Paris, and I had this idea, I mean, I wasn’t really thinking, I’ve never really flown the exact trip, you know, Paris to Los Angeles before. Usually we fly through Amsterdam, or we fly Amsterdam-Aruba, or we fly to New York or, you know, we go Europe to the States a lot, but just trip, I’ve never taken before. And then I sit down on the plane and the pilot goes, “Okay, we have about 11 and a half hours, clear skies, it’s going to be a smooth ride.” And I said what?! Eleven and a half hours?! And I’d already been traveling for like seven hours. Eleven and a half hours just on this one plane. Like, that’s an hour and a half longer than Aruba-Amsterdam, which is just the longest forking flight. So I was completely unprepared.
[010:24] As I realized that, I was like, oh my god! This is really crossing, like, nine time zones just to get to Los Angeles to teach this one very short class. Like, it was a 45 minuter. I stretched it to an hour, I managed to get a little extra time. But it was like an hour class. Who flies all the way from France to Los Angeles to teach an hour class? I was just on this plane, like, “Oh my god, okay, I have to remind myself just Be Here Now, Be Here Now.” Which is a challenge for me! I like to think it’s a challenge for most of us. I try to be very open honest about this.
[010:55] I got a comment the other day, and I’m going to talk about this a little bit too in this podcast, because there has been a lot of talk about negative comments, and I have been sort of unable to put negative comments … I not just negative comments, but I guess people that don’t agree with what I do when I do things. Normally I’m pretty good at just kind of soldiering on and I do my thing. There’s this saying that I love to share which is, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” And the reason I share that saying all the time is because I need that reminder, because I constantly get kind of sucked into this idea, like, “Oh my god, that person doesn’t like me!” Or, “Oh my god, I can’t believe that person said that about me!” And then I have to bring myself back to, “Hey, that doesn’t matter, for me. At all. It’s none of my business. Really, really.”
[011:39] But lately, like the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a hard time really letting go of the naysayers. My good friend Jen Pastiloff, she has this beautiful saying where, you know, if there’s 100 people talking to you or leaving you a comment on Instagram or sharing something, telling you what they think about you, there’s 99 great ones where they tell you you’re awesome, and “We love you,” and “You’re beautiful!” and everything is great. And then there’s one comment that’s just like, “Oh my god, you suck.” You know? The tendency, for us, the human ego, the human mind, is that we always get stuck on that one, right? So, her thing is she does a beautiful class centered around, you know, “Focus on the 99.” Really. Don’t let yourself get stuck in that very, like, tiny bits of negativity that usually comes our way. Because when we focus on the good and the gratitude and everything that’s already abundant, with me personally, how much support I have, then that one person doesn’t matter! I forget they exist.
[012:36] Sometimes, of course, getting constructive feedback, like, I really thrive off of that. People that take the time to email me, when they have a thought about something, I always answer. Either me usually, it’s more or it’s someone from my team. But if it’s something that I feel like, “Wow, this person, they’re disagreeing with something that I’m doing, for whatever reason, and they felt the need to sit down and right me an email about it.” Sometimes it actually opens my eyes to something completely different that I’ve never thought of, maybe like a new perspective, or it opens up discussion where I can learn a little bit or grow. Because I think constructive feedback is always great, and it’s also how I run my business. That’s how we improve and change things.
[013:13] But sometimes there’s just a lot of, like, total negativity. Ugh. And sometimes it’s the same thing again and again, and it’s just … I don’t know. I’ve been getting comments like, “Ugh, your voice is so annoying!” What the hell am I supposed to do with that? I can’t change my voice. My voice is my voice, it is what it is. But then I had a moment where, like, “Oh my god, is my voice annoying? Am I high-pitched?” Like, I asked Dennis, “Do I have an annoying voice?” He was like, “Yes. Stop complaining! Whenever you tell me to do, like go fold the laundry, or do this, do that, yes, your voice is very annoying.” (laugh) I mean, he’s joking of course, sort of. But, you know, there’s lots of comments like that that actually in the big scheme of things, they don’t mean anything. I can’t do anything with them. If I get stuck with them, it’s just going to pull me down this pit of like, “I need to change to accommodate other people,” which is just not how I roll and not how I want to live my life.
[014:03] So, these past weeks, it’s been kind of that, you know, for me, moving back and forth. I’m constantly reminding myself to get back to the 99. Or in my case it’s like, a million amazing people telling me amazing things. Which also, of course, isn’t necessary. None of this. Feedback is just feedback. Comments on the internet, it’s just that. It’s just comments on the internet. It doesn’t really mean anything. Anchoring in a place where you just know, okay, I’m okay the way I am no matter what, I don’t have to feel better if people tell me I’m great, I also don’t have to feel worse if people tell me I’m not. So just feeling good in who I am and in my own skin regardless of what goes on around me. Because there’s always going to be those kind of cycles, right? Like, cycles where you feel more supported and then cycles where you don’t. So, keeping your feet on the ground as you are in this moment is just the most important thing.
[014:55] So anyway, I knew that going on this trip and teaching this class in Los Angeles, it was a really important thing for me to do as well, because it’s been so long since I’ve taught a big community class. You know? A class where the public is invited and everyone can come, a place for me to connect and meet and hug. I really thrive off of that, and it kind of brings me back to this place where I remember why I do what I do. Because I can get really isolated. I live in Aruba, it’s tiny island. I have a studio, but it’s Island Yoga in Aruba, and then I do a lot of stuff online. If I never get to meet and connect with the people who are in the community, you know, it’s really a rare thing. Sometimes I can kind of forget, that, oh wait, like, this work that I do, it spreads out into the world, and then maybe it changes some people. Maybe there’s people out there that are taking my classes online or following along through social media, or participating in our nonprofit initiatives. There’s just so much good stuff that happens. I am one of those people, I need to be reminded in real life. Like, I like to touch people and hug people.
[015:59] Something that I decided, I can’t remember which tour this was, it was one of the bigger yoga tours that we did a couple of years ago, and always after class I would always stay and make an effort to connect with and meet as many people as possible and never turn a single person down. So even in a class of 1,000 people, maybe, say 700 would stay and would want to connect or say hi or hug or whatever, which is a lot of people of course. I could spend an hour and a half or two hours teaching, and then four or five hours hugging people. In the beginning when I was doing that and the classes were so big, um, kind of everyone, almost everyone, and I kind of course understand that it’s not a weird thing, but a lot of people would want to take a photo or kind of remember that they were there. The class was, for a lot of people, it can be a super life changing thing. Just the sheer, if I take myself out of the equation and what I teach and how I teach it, but just the sheer energy that takes place in a room of 1,000 people breathing the same breath, moving the body in the same way, setting the same intention and just really getting together for the greater good of just, you know, the individual, and me, wanting to heal as a person. But also with this bigger purpose of wanting to bring something great out into the world. There’s something super, super magical about that. So, of course people want to remember that they were there. In the beginning, I mean, this was years ago, I would spend hours and hours and hours just taking photos with people. And it took me a couple of classes, or a couple of big classes like that to realize that, okay, honestly, I don’t enjoy that so much. (laugh) Really. It’s a really hard thing. I don’t know if anyone has been in a similar situation. This is probably kind of an absurd and rare thing. But standing in one place and smiling for like 1,000 photos in one go … I think I can take maybe 50 and then that smile, it just kind of sticks to my face, and it’s not really genuine anymore, because it’s exhausting, right? It’s just super tiring.
[018:03] So, after every one of those classes, and after I’d just taken 1,000 photos and selfies, I kind of noticed how people, they would be so quick to leave the practice, we would join our hands to our heart, Anjali Mudra, and kind of bow to the moment and seal with something really beautiful, and then as soon as it was over, people would just kind of grab their phones and run on off the mat and kind of, you know, “I want to take a photo! I want to take a selfie!” You know, connect, connect, connect. But it’s this outward connection all of the sudden. So what I found was that people lost this inward connection of here I am in my breath, with my hands to my heart and my practice for me. And how can I take that into the world with keeping my hands to my heart in this space. So that was kind of lost with this idea of, “Oh, I need to share on social media that I was here.”
[018:51] So, I did this thing, which was really challenging for me at the time, like, super super hard, because I felt like I was letting people down, and I wanted everyone to be super happy and not to feel like, I don’t know, I felt like … I’m kind of blanking on the word. I felt like it was almost a stuck up thing to do. But I decided I wasn’t going to take any more photos in big classes when we’re on tour with anyone. And in the beginning people were super upset! And it was really hard for me to communicate. They’re like, “Well, I drove all the way here, it was like a five hour drive,” or some people sometimes fly in for these classes. “And now you can’t even take a photo with me so that I can show that I was here?!” And it was really hard for me to explain. It was just something about, you know, what I did instead was I would still meet everyone and talk to everyone and hug everyone. Like, I would give 700 or 1,000 hugs, no probably. Like, literally, no probably. I mean, it’s still tiring in another way. I think spending four hours hugging people is totally different than spending four hours with this kind of big smile plastered on your fact, taking selfies. Which I knew. Because people just aren’t present when the phone is up. That’s just how it is. When there’s a photo taken … everyone does it, everyone wants to look their best and smile for the camera and pose a little bit, and as soon as there’s a phone or a camera in the equation, we get automatically pulled from our hearts and from our bodies. You know, versus when we hug and when we connect and we look each other in the eye and we can talk and ask questions, you know? Then I can engage as well, and I realize I have so much in common with all of these people. So, whatever it is that a person that was there would want to share with me, I can really listen to that and take it in and feel it too.
[020:27] So, I made that decision and a few people were really upset in the beginning because, you know, it’s kind of this … yeah, this social media thing of course. This has grown through social media, it’s still yoga, it’s really hard to merge yoga with social media. It’s hard. I still don’t know if it’s really doable at all. But what I found was once I set that rule and I would say it at the beginning of class, like, “Sorry, I don’t take any photos any more. You can take a photo of Ringo if you want. Dennis is walking around, you can go take a selfie with him (like, throw Dennis under the bus). But I would just love to hug everyone.” And as soon as that become kind of the thing, people stopped bringing their phones into these practice spaces. It became a totally different thing. I don’t know, at our studio we don’t allow phones in the shala. Like, that’s a crazy thing. I don’t know any yoga studio that would allow phones in the studio. Like, sometimes in class I’ll see someone pull out a phone from underneath the mat and they want to shazam the music or snap a photo, and I’m like how is that … To me that’s just the biggest contradiction of all. Like if I have a phone somewhere close to my mat, I cannot be present in my body. At all. And I want everyone who walks into the shala, into the studio at Island Yoga to be present in their bodies. That’s why we opened the studio. That’s why we practice yoga. So separating these things, it’s just, it’s so so so important.
[021:44] So, this was the part that I was really excited about for this L.A. class, just to connect with people, because it’s been, I mean, this was 2016, December, I taught that class in New Jersey, and I haven’t taught anywhere … I taught at Olivia’s bachelorette party last week. That was like the one class I taught outside of Aruba, basically, in this whole time. Otherwise, other than that, it’s been just Island Yoga. So I was really excited about that.
[022:12] I kind of got on this plane, you know, I love to get sidetracked all the time, but I always find my way back! Hmm? So, I get on the plane, I realize it was an 11 and a half hour flight after already having been up like, I don’t know, forever. It was just already I was kind of done. It was a long travel day. 11 and a half hours. And I sit back and I’m like, “Oh my god!” And the first hour of this flight, just knowing it was a much longer flight than I thought, almost twice the length, and I was really agitated and I was kind of like couldn’t relax. I had my phone in my hand and I brought my computer up, and then I was like, no … They have little screens so you can watch a movie or whatever. I couldn’t get stuck on any, and I’m like, “What am I going to do with myself? What am I going to do?” And then I kept repeating that. “What am I going to do for 11 and a half hours? What am I going to do?” And then, as I was repeating it, I was like, “Wait. There’s something very, very different about this flight right now.” And I kind of looked around, and I … it just dawned on me, I’m like, “I have eleven and a half hours without a shrieking toddler on this plane!” I have 11 hours on this plane alone! I have 11 hours where I can do whatever I want! (laugh) For however long I want! Because I have 11 hours! And it just kind of, I don’t know how it didn’t sink in before, but it just completely turned from this like, “Oh my god, I’m going to be stuck on a plane for so long. How boring!” To like, “Holy shit!” (laugh) And I got so excited.
[023:42] I mean, it’s really weird that … I mean, I’ve never really enjoyed flying. I’m not one of those people that gets on the plane and is all excited to be on a plane. I like arriving where I’m going. I love traveling. I used to love traveling, at least. I don’t know if I can stay that still. But I’ve never been, like, a plane person. Dennis is a plane person. He’ll get on a plane and just sleep, and he enjoys airplane food, and if he can order a glass of wine he will, and kind of watch a movie. He normally enjoys that. But, of course, since having the baby, yeah, there has been zero enjoyment of any flight we have been on since the baby was born. I’m not going to drag on about that anymore because a lot of these recent podcasts have been about the challenge of traveling with Lea Luna, and I’m starting to understand. Lea Luna is … like, not every child is this challenging to travel with, like definitely. Now I’m talking to people about it, and some kids sleep well on flights. Some kids are kind of agitated but they still … They’re not like screaming, shrieking, crying for 10 hours straight. Lea Luna is definitely … she hates the airplane. So every flight for me that I’ve had over the … I mean, over the past 14 months has been just total hell and super stressful. Like, so so so so so stressful. And when I had that realization, “Okay, wait, I’m on this long flight and I know she’s taken care of, I know she’s with grandma, she’s in France, they’re going to have an awesome time. Dennis is great, he’s bachelor partying it up somewhere. I can just sit here! I can order a glass of wine and no one is going to bother me. No one is going to disturb me. There’s nothing I have to work about. Not even Ringo is on the plane! Because Ringo is really funny with me too. Ringo stayed with Olivia in France. So, what did I do?
[025:17] I just kind of leaned back in my seat a little bit. I kicked me shoes off and put on socks. I ordered a glass of wine, and I just kind of … fully immersed myself in this plan. Like, it was just … I watched, everybody listening, if you have not watched Money Heist on Netflix … Holy shit! You have to watch it in Spanish. You cannot watch, I mean, I don’t know how people can watch dubbed things. You have to watch it in Spanish with subtitles. It’s called La Casa de Papel, it’s the show of the year. I’m not even kidding. I kind of wish I hadn’t seen it so I can just watch it all over again. I’m definitely going to watch it again with Dennis, because he hasn’t seen the whole thing yet, but it’s the best show oh my god it’s the best show. It keeps you on your toes. So, I watched an entire season of the show, an entire season of Money Heist. Almost an entire season. I think, like 8 episodes or something in a row. Completely immersed. I had a little bag of chips. Oh my god, I was so enjoying myself just watching this show. It was so good. And then I pulled out my computer, I got so much work done. Thing that I’ve put on a to-do list that I have on my computer that’s just, I mean, it’s longer than … it’s so long. I started checking things off. I went through all of my inboxes. I got like 600 emails squared away. I was super productive, but I also totally relaxed and did nothing at the same time.
[026:45] So when the flight was done, I was ready to roll. The feeling of feeling complete in a day, do you guys know what I’m talking about? If you know you have a lot of things to do, whether it’s work or family or house or home or yourself or whatever, we all have things we want to complete. I haven’t had a day where I’ve felt like, “I did everything I set out to do today.” I haven’t had a day like that since I gave birth. For sure not. And that day, I mean, it was a really long day of travel, but I got to have a day like that where I was like, “Oh my god, I am done with everything that I’m supposed to do.
[027:19] So, I landed in L.A. and I had my friend, one of my super close old friends, Rose, she came with me to kind of explore and have a … I merged this work thing I was doing with a little bit of a girls weekend. So she was there when I landed. And I land and then I don’t have to think about anything! I don’t have to think about the baby, because she’s fine, she’s cool. Dennis is good, Ringo is good, work was done. I could just be in Los Angeles and enjoy. So, we really had an awesome, awesome, awesome time. It was just … and I feel so glad to say that, because normally when I have those busy, intense, short work trips, I don’t enjoy myself. I mean, I’ll have enjoyable moments, for sure. Like teaching, I always love teaching if that’s what I’m doing. But the trip I had, when was this, December? When the baby was eight or nine months. It was for a shoot, for a cover shoot for Women’s Health. There was not five minutes of that trip that I enjoyed. It was just no. No no. I missed the baby so much. It was my first time without her, I missed her so much. I didn’t enjoy anything.
[028:20] But this trip in L.A. I got to fully immerse myself. So, I spoke to the baby on FaceTime once, okay? I was gone for five days, four nights. I spoke to the baby once. I got little updates, of course. I would watch my mom’s Instagram stories. She shares a lot about the baby. She sent me little updates about what they’re doing, like, once day. But we barely spoke. I was not agitated, on my phone, waiting to see what was going on with Lea Luna. No. It was just if my mom wrote me, then that was cool, and if she didn’t, that was cool too. I just really trusted that everything was totally fine.
[030:09] The thing about L.A., or France to L.A. is that it’s a nine hour time difference, so I would wake up in the morning and it’s nine o’clock, that would means it would be like six p.m. Lea Luna’s time, so she would have only one more hour to be awake. So the time and space for us to interact and chat throughout the day, there was none of that, really, no space. And of course the time difference, of course, I mean, for anyone, it’s a challenge. Yes yes yes. A lot of people were asking, “What are your best tips for jet lag,” and things like that. I mean, I do a couple of things and I always do them no matter where I’m going or how big the time difference is. So now it was like a complete reversal of day and night. But it was such a short trip so it wasn’t … you could say it’s not really necessary or purposeful to turn everything around. What I find is it’s just best to sink into the rhythm of the place you’ve arrived in right away. So I arrived like three or four in the afternoon. I was super tired I was late late late at night France time. But I made an effort to stay up until like 10, so when I slept I slept the whole night. And yeah, I woke up at like 2 am and then 3, and then I woke up at 5, and then I managed to sleep all the way through 8. So when I woke up at 8 a.m., I’m already on L.A. time. Which doesn’t stop you from, of course, getting super tired later in the afternoon or later in the day. But I just try to … I don’t hold onto the time zone of where I came from, I just immediately get on the time of wherever you are.
[031:35] I mean, time is just such an abstract thing as well. It’s more about, okay, what does my body need in this moment? So I do that, I reset the clock right away, and I’m just on L.A. time. And then drink a ton of water. I’ll overdo water. Already on the plane, I’m one of those people, I need to sit in an aisle seat because I drink so much when I fly, I need to go to the bathroom a lot, and I don’t want to climb over someone. So, just hydrate, hydrate. And then when I land I drink insane amounts of water. I feel like it helps to flush everything out of your system and get your body to balance with where you’re at.
[032:06] So I do that, and then I try to not think about it too much. Like, don’t talk so much about, “Oh my god, it’s the middle of the night for me right now.” Or, “Oh my god, I’m so tired.” You know? Just kind of do what you do. (laugh) Yeah, if you get exhausted and you feel like you need to take a nap, take a nap! But it’s just all those things, at least, help me adjust a little bit more.
[032:24] We got there and it was my friend Rose, it was her first time in Los Angeles ever, and my brother is there, so he came to meet us. We had a really nice … what did we do? We had a really nice dinner the first night, kind of took it a little bit easy. And then in the morning we walked the whole boardwalk, like Santa Monica, Venice. Went shopping a little bit. We got our palms read, which, okay, I always do on the boardwalk. And I know, people are going to tell you, like, “Ugh, those boardwalk psychics and tarot card readers, it’s just full of shit.” Maybe it is, but I like to do those sort of crazy wacky things whenever I travel, specifically because I find people tend to tell me the same things. I don’t know. So of course a lot of this is also being good at reading people. But, I don’t know, she said some really interesting stuff. And Rose’s palm reading, Rose is a very specific person, and the things she told Rose, it was like, “How did she know all of this about you? Like, everything about you.” So, she’s a psychologist, and she was like, “How is your relationship going?” And she was like, “Yeah, it’s going pretty well.” She’s like, “Huh. Make sure that when you speak to him, you speak from your relationship heart, not from a therapist heart.” And she didn’t know that she was a psychologist. And she was like, “What do you mean?” Like, don’t overanalyze everything he says, you know? Like, if you were a therapist you would do that. Don’t do that. And we were like, “Okay.” (laugh) How does she know all of this stuff?
[033:48] She told me that, one of the first things she said was that, “You need to keep your life more private. Don’t overshare everything with the world.” And I was like, “Do you follow me on Instagram?” (laugh) “Are you an Instagram follower? Is that why you’re telling me these things?” And she was like, “No, I don’t have Instagram.” Which maybe she does. She also said some really specific things like she said I would have two kids for sure, maybe three if I would feel up for it, she said. And that I shouldn’t be such a hard-headed person, so stubborn. I need to learn to relax and trust a little bit more and go with the flow, also, of other people. So some of these things are very generic and feel like they could fit on a lot of people. But I don’t know, it’s interesting. And it was ten bucks, you know? It’s not that big a deal.
[034:38] So we did that, and then we had, of course I taught the class, which was in West Hollywood, I think we were. It was Propel had their big fitness festival, and there was a bunch of yoga and different fitness instructors of different kinds, and Ludacris was playing, and Mark Ronson was there. There was just a lot of fun stuff was happening. So I thought I would I would just kind of walk you through how one of these events go, because people ask me this a lot. If you’ve ever taken one of those types of classes with me, you know, a big class, which of course is very different from the studio class or a private class or just a regular yoga class overall. So, how does it work just putting one of those things together? And also how to keep the ambience intimate and special, which for me is just the single most important thing.
[035:25] So, kind of the run of show, and I always get sent something like this before getting there, it’s very very very intense. And for me this is the hardest part. The hardest part … what’s the word I’m looking for? You know, functioning on a schedule that doesn’t allow any space for something unexpected. You know? Especially when I’m dealing with my own community and people that are coming to practice with me, I usually don’t plan my classes a lot, but I’ll see what’s the energy of the room and who has shown up and how is everybody feeling? Are people emotional? Are people ecstatic and joyful? What’s going on, and how can I work with that to bring us all to the same place and to bring out what’s needed to come out in this moment?
[036:04] Someone asked me, because right after everything I had press interviews and some media, and someone asked me, “Do you get nervous teaching a class of this size?” And I said, you know, really honestly, “No. When I teach a class that I produce, a class that I’m creating myself, so like one of my own tours or my own classes or events, no. Because then I’m in charge and I get to decide everything.” So the sound check can be an hour long if I want. Of course I choose the ambience in terms of stage and lighting and how I get on and off the stage so I can adjust people in the room. I’m kind of in control of how everything works, making sure that that intimate space is created.
[036:41] When I teach for someone else, so like at an event that I’m not putting on, so say right now, a festival like this, then I’m not in charge of those things, but I have to try my very best to communicate all of those things and how important it is, because it’s not one of my classes. It’s not fitness. It’s not like … What else did they have on the schedule? They had like some really cool fun stuff on the schedule. But, like, a workout class, for instance. It’s not at all the same. But for me, I’m very specific about what’s required so that I can create this ambience and the vibe that I want, to make it intimate, which is at the end of the day the point of everything.
[037:16] So, for this class and how it went exactly. So, run of show was something like this. It was leaving the hotel where I was at, there was a car service to pick me up at 1:30, and arrival had to be exactly 2:30, no later. And then 2:30 to 2:45, there was a little bit of space for like social media stuff, some things that I was doing for the festival when I was there. Then 2:45 there was a Meet & Greet, immediately. And the Meet & Greet was structured, of course, because it was within the realms of this festival and they decide how much time you have and how much space there is for each person. So I think the original plan was at least 100 people. The class was 200 something, and I think half of those people had space to kind of join. There was space for 100, I think, to join this Meet & Greet. So the Meet & Greet, and it’s going to be 30 minutes long. 30 minutes? That’s really short! You know, 30 minutes, that’s kind of crazy. I would rather have like at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half. And they were like, “No no no, there’s no space for that because there’s another class right before and then there’s a class right after, so it has to be within this space and within this time. So that means you have … it’s going to be very normal, just how everybody does it.” Because they’re doing this with all of their influencers and people that they bring in to teach. “Just, there’ll be a line and then you’ll take a photo and then you’ll see the other person, take a photo,” you know? And I was like, “You know? That’s not really how I do it. I’m not just a photo, like I’m happy to take photos (and I took photos this time) but I’d like to meet every person and really hug them, and sometimes there’s questions and they want to share something with me. I would love to have more time with each person.” And it was just, you know, there was no space for that.
[038:54] So, when we arrived somehow we managed to, I arrived 30 minutes early, so we managed to push everything 20 minutes or something earlier, so we could start the Meet & Greet earlier. There’s a line, which is always weird. It’s always really weird. If anyone has been part of an event like this, it’s just weird to have a line of people lined up to say hi to you. It’s super weird. If I had to choose we would all sit around the fire and drink a glass of wine and hang out. That would be the more natural way for me, but this is just how these things go. And then I’m meeting everyone, and I felt like, okay, I’m trying to really slow things down as much as I can, but they were kind of speeding things up. I’m hugging everyone and connecting with everyone, and some people had questions and got some extra time to speak and really kind of be with each other. And some people just wanted a quick photo and then they ran off because they wanted to go to class and all of this stuff. So, it went really well. I think at the end of the day no one felt rushed. I really hope so because, you know, to me it felt really really good.
[039:57] Then immediately following that, like, I hugged the last person and then it was like, “Okay, we have 5 minutes to do sound check, or 10 minutes to do sound check.” So it’s into this room where they’ve put all of the mats down already, and whoever was on stage before me had done something completely different, so they were changing the stage up completely and removing all the sound equipment and everything. Then, you know, I get to put my mic pack on and test the sound together with my music, and I used this little Spotify app for everything. Then we test that and it’s super intense and super quick. And then it’s, “Okay, go into the green room, we’re opening the doors,” and then they shoved me into the green room, which is just in the back. And then all of the people run in and they, you know, go to their mats and they get ready. Then I had five minutes in the green room as they filled the room, and then it’s like, “Okay, ready? Showtime!” And they pushed me out on stage.
[040:43] Then I’m like, “Hello!” (laugh) Hi everyone, you know? It’s a really strange … and this is just how it is. And this is, I think, where it gets really contrasting. And this event was amazing. They were on time for everything, it was super structured. They were really on point with everything. The quality of everything was great. They listened to everything I said in terms of lighting in the room and how I wanted the music and how I wanted the stage. They did everything really, really, really, really well. They were super, super sweet. But this whole concept of merging a performance … because it kind of … it sort of is like that a little bit. I mean, I’m teaching, so it’s not a performance. I’m not there to perform, I’m there to guide people into themselves. But this idea of merging yoga with kind of a performance or with an act or with an event in this way, it’s super contrasting, of course. It’s really a hard thing to merge. So, when I’m teaching a normal class, like when I’m home at Island Yoga, I mean, I say I can roll out of bed and just hit the studio, but of course, I always take a moment before getting in the classroom where I can sit and ground and gather myself, right? And it’s also this kind of home environment where I meet people, I meet them in the café beforehand, and I see them every week. It’s my home, it’s my space. It’s very easy for me to just be there. But in this sort of event, you know, this energy of performing and this event they flew me there and it’s a big deal, and then I’m on stage and I’m wearing a mic and there’s 200 something people sitting there looking at me with expectation of like, “Oh my god, Yoga Girl, how are you?” And I am just Rachel, right? I’m jet lagged, I’ve left my baby in France, and all of the sudden I’m on stage. You know, that exact moment for me, it’s always like this make it or break it moment where, okay, how can I, in just one breath, I have one breath now to really arrive and just to be here and to put all of this other stuff aside and to not let anything get to my head and to not, you know … And I say this all the time, like, everyone on a pedestal is pretending. Everyone. So any teacher or any famous teacher or well-known teacher, or anyone who is teaching is big classes who is kind of there thinking, like, “I’m the greatest person in the world. Look at all of these people. They’re just here because they adore me and they’re just here because they want to take part of my amazing, god-like teaching.” You know. No! That doesn’t work.
[043:05] And I know the reason people follow me and the reason people make an effort to come to these types of classes, it’s because they resonate with who I am at my core. It’s not just this idea of this Yoga Girl person, as if I was some artist or something on stage, but like, you know, I am on everybody’s level, all the time. Usually, like, below. I get stressed out, I go through pain and I share that. I go through grief and I share that. I’m very human and I share all of that, and that’s why I’ve made this connection. Not because I’m better than anyone, but because I am so very much exactly the same as everyone listening, as everyone who is there in the room.
[045:39] So, if I would enter with this idea of like, “I’m a person on stage now,” I would never be able to make a connection in that intimate level that’s required for a class of that size to not become a show, right? For it not to become a circus or some sort of performance, which it’s absolutely not. So, I do a couple of things. And I think, all of this, I mean, it works on all scales, I guess. I’ll take a breath, I sit down and I always kind of … I say hi and I say hi like three times until everybody says hi back. I do something to break the ice which usually involves sharing either something embarrassing, something hard, something crappy, I curse a lot. I’m just myself, as much as I can. Actually, in a class at Island Yoga I would probably be a little bit more teacher-like, but in a big class I make the effort to just immediately drop to ground level of like, okay, I don’t have to play the role of the teacher. Right now I’m just playing the role of a person who connected everybody here today, which is awesome, but the point is to connect all of us together, and to connect back into our own bodies. So it’s not about me, right? And if I was on stage talking about me and here’s what I’m doing, and I’m going to do this, it would be really hard everyone to drop back into their own space and to remember why they practice and why are they on the mat today? And most importantly, what do they have to work with? Is it a hard day? Is it a good day? What’s going on in my body, in my heart, in my soul, in my life? And how can I use this practice and this room full of people in the same practice to elevate, right? Because that’s the whole point.
[047:17] So I usually kind of make a little bit of an ass of myself at the beginning. As soon as I start guiding the first pose, whatever it is we’re doing, the first breath of the practice, I’ve forgotten about everything else. Then, you know, it doesn’t matter if there is 2,000 people in the room or 2 people in the room, it’s the same for me. The teaching is just always, always the same. I wonder if you guys can hear that, there’s dragonflies here right now. I just got goose bumps!
[047:50] So I teach the class anyway, and this was a particularly short one that I stretched a little bit. And then, I guess, here was the one challenging thing was that after class normally I would stay and everyone who wants to say hi, I would make the super effort to just connect with every single person. And now there was a few people that kind of walked up and, “Hey!” and wanted to share something, and then the producer grabbed me and was like, “Oh, you’ve got to go, you’ve got press interviews!” And I had to just leave immediately. That was the one part of the whole event that I was like, “Ugh.” Didn’t feel great. Because I really wanted to stay and connect with every single person. But then I thought, okay, I had like 50% of everyone I met already beforehand, and I like to think everything went really well.
[048:24] So immediately after teaching, normally in a normal class I would decompress, I would take a moment. I would drink a cup of tea or some water, but no, I was kind of thrown into these interviews with some, I don’t know, news outlets and some bloggers and things like that. And then, you know, it was done. And then he was like, “Okay, we have a car service for you outside. Thank you so much! Bye!” And I grabbed my stuff and I’m out, and then the car … the car, by the way, had the license plate “Luna 1.” How crazy is that? And I spent a whole day kind of talking about signs, because there was just so many signs. I mean, if you look for signs you will find them. But yeah, that was like the end of the day full of signs was I got a Luna car, which was totally random and so so amazing.
[049:06] And then that’s it! The whole … everything is like maybe 3 hours I spent at the event, total, and it’s of course very intense and a super whirlwind, and all of the sudden I’m back in my hotel and, you know, some of my best friends live in L.A. I think we had dinner with the same people every single night and had lunch with the same people every single day, pretty much. Then I had like a glass of wine in my hand … Oh no, we had … Oh, it was Cinco de Mayo! So we cooked dinner at home with some friends of mine and had grapefruit margaritas, and it was awesome.
[049:40] And then I go to bed, and then it was the last day and then, you know, we did a little bit of shopping, and we got to see Liz Arch, who is a really good friend of mine who just had a baby, and her little Sky, and it was so great. So, all in all, like, this weekend just flies by, and the event, the reason that I’m there, essentially it’s like an hour of teaching. So I’m going across the whole world, literally, to the other side of the world to teach this one hour class, and then I’m back.
[050:01] But everything, I think because I was able to not think of the baby and to just be really, really, really there the whole time, I had such a good time. I literally had just such a great time. There was not even a moment where I felt like, “I wish I was back in France,” where of course, you know, my whole family is here, and my friends. Olivia is getting married here, so it’s just filling up with people. I didn’t feel once that I missed out and I’m going to do this crazy thing across the world. I felt really good all throughout.
[050:30] So what I’m getting at, anyway, is the trip home. And then it wasn’t until I got on the flight home, of course the flight was as long, the trip was as long, so it’s like 20-something hours total to get back to where I was. And I’m getting on the plane, and then I started kind of thinking about the baby. I was like, “Oh my god, I’m going to see her today.” And then I realized, “Wait, it’s Monday. I’m going to arrive, it’s going to be Tuesday. Okay, wait, I’m going to see her tomorrow. Okay, I’m not going to think about her because it’s too much time. It’s like a whole day left. Nope, I’m not going to think about her.” So, I’m on the plane with Rose, and again I did my emails which wasn’t that bad because it had only been a weekend. We watched a movie together. I read a book, I bought a book at the airport. I had not bought a book, like a book book, like a novel just to read leisurely for fun, I mean, in forever. I started reading this crime novel, it’s so good, oh my god. It’s called, what is it called? Magpie Murders? It’s really complicated, and it’s like a British novel, so if you’re not into complex British crime stories, you’re not going to like it. But I really like that kind of stuff.
[051:31] So I’m reading that, and then we get to Amsterdam, and when we land it was the date of the baby. So we landed at 9 am and then we land and I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m going to see the baby today.” And then, suddenly, like when I realized, okay, it was sort of like I switched it on. I put this on switch of baby in my head, and baby switch had been off the whole weekend, which I think is how I was able to really enjoy myself so much. But we land in Amsterdam and it was 9, I knew I was going to see her exactly at 4, or maybe 3:30. I started thinking about the baby. And then all of the sudden I’m like texting my mom. “How is she doing? What are you doing?” She’s like, “What? This is day 5. Why are you asking all these questions now? Everything’s been fine, great, every day. It’s great today too. See you later.” Then, you know, I get on the plane, I got to Marseille, and I didn’t have a phone because I left my French SIM card in L.A. accidentally. So I kind of … I really wanted to make sure that they were going to be there at the hotel, or at this little apartment that they’re renting when I came there, because one, I didn’t have any internet or a phone, so I couldn’t reach them. I didn’t know how to get in because it’s kind of a gated thing. And I was counting down the hours to see the baby.
[052:33] So I sent, like, I don’t know how many, three or four voice messages like, “Okay I’m arriving at 3:30, between 3:30 and 4:00, I’m arriving exactly then, so make sure you’re home. And then as I leave Marseille airport and the car, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to lose internet now, don’t forget I’m there. And just the last little flight, and then arriving into Marseille, then I got super stressed. I got super stressed, and I noticed it in myself. Like, “Oh my god, I’ve been so calm and so chill and so relaxed and so content this whole trip. Even though it’s been very intense, I’ve been very content. But getting into Marseille airport, I can feel my stress levels rising because I felt like, “I’m so close to the end goal now,” you know? I’m almost there. I’m almost there.
[053:16] And I just, I really tried, because I could sense it coming. Okay, wait, I’m not there yet. I still have to get off the plane in Marseille, go through Customs, get in the car, and then it’s a 45 minute drive, and then I’m going to see the baby. I can still be here now. I don’t have to go and be over there. I can still be here, and I can try to really be here until I’m there, which will also be hear, then, you know? You know what I’m saying?
[053:38] But I wasn’t able to. I don’t know what happened. So, I land in Marseille and I’m like, “Oh my god, baby is almost here. Oh my god oh my god oh my god.” I start realizing, when I started missing her, I started realizing, “Oh my god, I am so tired.” And I hadn’t really felt that tired feeling all week. I had been on this super high, like, really hyper, working super hard, doing so many things, having a lot of fun. And then I realize, “Oh wait, I’ve gotten really exhausted. Hoooooly shit.” And then I get to Customs and there’s this automated thing where you just put your passport and then you can go through, which normally works for me all the time. It doesn’t work. And I’m standing there, and I had a lot of hand luggage, and it just, it won’t take my passport. And then there’s a line behind me, so I can’t get anywhere, and I also can’t move forward. So I was like stuck. And I’m sweating, and I just started getting a little bit panicked like, “Oh my god, I just want to get out of this fucking airport!” I had to make my way through all of those people and then go through the side and then stand in line forever to get through Customs Control.
[054:32] And I finally make it outside and then this car service is there and I get in the car and he’s like driving so slowly. And I’m sitting there, and I’m like, “Oh my god,” I’m just looking at however fast he’s driving instead of just can I just be here? And I kept, you know, okay, where’s my breath? Where’s my body? And then I’d find myself glancing at the dashboard, like, oh my god, can you drive faster than like 30 miles per hour? Like, come on. Come on. Come on! I just couldn’t … it was just so so so so hard.
[054:57] And then I realized, even though it felt like he was driving so slow, we had landed early , so we got to Maussane early, to this French town early, and then I thought, “Okay, I can go to Olivia’s house and get our suitcases and get Ringo, and then I’ll get to the place and it will be exactly the time I set, so they will for sure be home, and then everything is great, and I don’t have to go and get luggage later. That’s great.” So I go with this guy, get our luggage, get Ringo, so it took an extra 20-something minutes. And then I get to this, finally, like we’re outside this hotel where we’re going, and I know I told my mom that we’re coming at this time, and it’s exactly the time I said, and … they’re not there. It was just this total, like, is this an English word? In Swedish was say [anticlimax], which is like you’re building the suspense and it’s building building building building building, and then everything falls flat. It’s like this anticlimactic thing. I don’t know. And then, you know, there’s a gate there and I can’t get in, and no one is there. I’m trying to get this French driver who only speaks French to see if they can call the hotel and let me in, but they’re like, “We don’t have anyone checking in today.” And I’m like trying to explain, “I’m not checking in! They’re already checked in. I’m going to see the baby, my mom,” and they don’t understand, so it took forever. And then finally they let us in. And there’s another gate! Behind the gate! And then no one is picking up, and I’m standing there, like, in the car, all my stuff, and this driver is getting really agitated, super tired. He was like, “You know, I took an extra round just to pick up your stuff. I’m just going to leave you here.” I’m like, “No, you can’t leave me in the middle of the street!” I had all the suitcases, and then I had Ringo, and I had Dennis’ suitcase. Like, I had like eight items. “You can’t just drop me hear in the heat.” It was super super hot. I’m like, “No no no! Please please please please, call again, call again, have them open the gate.” And then it took another, I don’t know, forever and then finally they go open the gate.
[056:41] And I come inside and the guy is just pissed with me at this point, so he just takes my luggage out and he dumps it on the side. And I don’t know where I’m going. There’s a bunch of rooms, there’s a little pool area in the back, but I’m just there. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll just go knocking on all of the doors,” because there was no reception! I don’t know if this was an AirBNB or like and apart hotel. There’s not reception or anything. So all of the stuff is there, I’m sweating and I’m kind of smelly. I’m on the verge of tears because, I mean, it’s been such a suspense getting there, and I just want to hold my baby. That’s all I want. I want to hold my baby, say hi to everyone, and take a shower and just arrive where I am. But still in my body, I can’t arrive. I can’t be here because I’m waiting to see my baby.
[058:24] So I go knocking on all of the doors, no one is answering, there’s no one anywhere. Then I managed to find which room, or which apartment is my mom’s, because I find Lea Luna’s bib outside. And then, you know, it’s locked and no one is answering. So I go around the back, and then that door is randomly open. So it is their place, and all of their stuff is in there, but no one is in there! And by now I’m like almost in despair. I’m like, “What the fuck man!?” I had a 24-hour trip to Los Angeles, two intense days there, and now all the way back, and all I want is to hold my baby. And now you can’t even be here? And something inside of me just kind of snapped! I don’t know how else to describe it. And I didn’t have a phone. I couldn’t reach them anywhere. So, I dig through some luggage, and I find Lea Luna’s iPad, which we use for flights, for her to watch the Lion King, and see like, “Can I use this iPad for something? Because I don’t have internet. And then that iPad was connected to the Wi-Fi, because they had been using it. So I download Skype off the iPad and log onto skype on the iPad, and then call my mom. And my mom is like, “Hello?” All casual. And then I’m like, you know, on the verge of complete meltdown. I’m like, “Where are you!?” She’s like, “What do you mean? We’re in town, the girls are at a market.” And I’m like, “But I’m here! I’ve been outside … I’ve been here for an hour! I’ve been in the sun on the stoop trying to … what do you mean?” She’s like, “Oh! I didn’t know you were coming now!” And she’s like completely surprised! And I’m like, Dude, I sent you so many messages, and I was so clear, and I told you I wouldn’t have a phone, I’m coming at 3:30,” you know …
[059:58] And then, of course, because she was in a totally different space than me, she was like, hey, have I not been watching your baby for five days, four nights, and then you arrive and you’re going to be guilt tripping and angry? So, I was disappointed, I kind of still am, we still need to have a talk my mom and I. But I was like couldn’t she show me a little bit of compassion in that, okay, I had a horrible, intensely long trip getting here. And yeah, maybe I’m a little bit tired and cranky, and she could be a little understanding of the fact that I just wanted to see my baby. But she wasn’t. She was like, “Dude, screw you! Why are you giving me this tone! We have a life and we do what we want,” and then she just hung up. And I just sat down and cried. (laugh) I just cried, and I just cried, and I just cried. And it was a really good cry, you know, one of those cries where everything kind of releases all at once, and then, you know, you kind of can sense your tears are fading a little bit, and then, “No, I’m not done crying yet!” So you make yourself cry a little bit more! (laugh) Like, one of those hyperventilating intense cries. And then it ended and the tears were gone, and I was like, “Okay.” You know? There is a pool here, it’s freezing cold, and I just jumped in and dipped my face.
[061:09] And as I was in the pool I realized, like, okay, I have been managing this really well all throughout. I managed to have a great time, I managed to be present, I did my thing, I worked. I did this whole cross the world trip in no time. But actually it’s been sort of like I was holding my breath the whole time. I don’t know if anyone resonates with this, but it’s sort of like I knew I had to do this thing, I didn’t want to do it. I mean, no, no. Looking at it now, no, of course I didn’t want to do it. I don’t know why I said yes to it in the first place. I’m really happy I did now. I had a good time, I love teaching, everything went as well as it possibly could have. But, it’s sort of like, I don’t want to be away from my baby. Of course I don’t! Leaving my whole family here to go and do this crazy trip, like, no! That was a really challenging thing. But for me to be able to do that and to go and perform and be my best self and teach my best class, I can’t be in that space. It’s sort of like I put on a little shield of armor, and I take a really deep breath, and I soldier on, and I head out to Los Angeles, and I’m like, “Everything is great!” But then I came home, and then all these things in the very end, and I’m counting the minutes now, like when the guy was driving here, it was like, “Seven minutes, six minutes, five minutes, three minutes,” and I’m like, “Two minutes to Lea Luna. One minute to Lea Luna! Yay!” And then I get here, and no one’s fucking here. It was just all the suspense was there, and then it just fell flat, and I just like … yeah. And I was really upset with my mom, all this stuff.
[062:36] And yeah, you know, in the big scheme of the world this is not a big thing, but I could really see how, I was kind of, not pretending, you know, but there was a side of me where this was all really, really hard to do. Where yeah, I don’t want to leave her, and where taking a trip this intense, it’s so exhausting. But allowing myself to feel tired just wasn’t an option because it was such a short and intense trip. So I kind of elevate and I go to this other level of like, “I can do everything!” And I really felt like this power warrior woman, like, all weekend. Like “Oh my god, this is no big deal. I can be a mom, I can travel, I can leave my baby, I can teach and I can still feel awesome and still have fun,” and all of those things are true, but there’s one level or one part of me that’s sort of a little bit heartbroken at the same time. And it’s important that I let myself feel that. That’s really my big takeaway from all of this, that it’s important that I let myself be in that. That I let myself be tired, feel tired, that I let myself deflate completely, that I let myself break down a little bit, and that I let myself cry and feel sad and remember that, yeah, I miss my baby and my husband and my dog. Yeah. Oh my god. Because I have this tendency to stay at that level of like, “I can do everything,” and then eventually I’m going to have a big crash, and I don’t want to have a big crash.
[063:51] I can see now that of course, you know, them not being home and all this stuff. And yeah, I need to have a little clearing with my mom, because I think that I was more upset with her than I should have been. But if that didn’t happen exactly the way it would have, I would still right now, I would be recording this podcast feeling like Warrior Rachel, like I’m going to war. Like I have to have this armor on. And I’m super energized and everything is so great. But there is this side of me that just needed a total release and a cry and feel tired and sad, and let all of that just be there.
[064:22] Yeah, last night, thanks to the gift of my mom not listening to me when I speak, ever (laugh) …. This is definitely part of our relationship, oh my god. Sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall. Do I need to write things down and kind of put it on the fridge? It’s really, it’s a challenge sometimes. But thanks to this, you know, now I’m thankful for her and now I’m thankful for this, because I got to have that release and it was really important.
[064:49] So when I saw the baby … I could cry now. When I saw the baby, and it wasn’t what I had to imagined, like oh you know they would be there and everything would be great, everybody happy, but then, yeah, I was kind of fighting with my mom because I was stressed and tired, and all of this stuff. And then my mom came here, but the baby didn’t come! So then someone opened the door and I was like (gasp!), and she’s like, “No, I left the baby, she’s asleep in the stroller, she’s downtown.” I was like, “Oh my god, okay.” And then I get there, and I was already feeling so vulnerable and kind of tired and sad, and there she is, and she sees me and her whole face just breaks out into this huuuge smile, and she’s like, “Momma?” (laugh) I got to pick her up and just squeeze her and hug her and hug her and hug her and hug her and cry into her little neck. And I’m so happy I didn’t see her for the first time after five days, which is the longest we’ve ever been apart, as like Soldiering On Rachel, you know? But that I got to be soft and kind of tired Rachel, because of course that’s where I relate the best. That’s where I can be vulnerable and just be me and squishy and soft, which is not my natural state. I’m working on it to be more of my natural state, the softness, but I’m grateful for every chance I get for it to come out.
[065:59] And now we’re all united. So actually five minutes after I saw her, Dennis, timed so well, he was in this car with 13 guys driving to Marseille, and they were just driving by town exactly then. We’re hugging and then Dennis comes, and then she turns and she’s like, “Papa?” (laugh) And then we all hug and kiss, and Ringo is there. We’re just all back to the family unit, the way things are supposed to be. Well, the way things are supposed to be … They’re supposed to be the way they are, right? So really my challenge all the time is being here now, being here now. Yeah, I did a great job this weekend, and then at the very very end, it was like, okay, letting myself be soft and be sad, that’s also being here now, and that’s where the gold is, right? Being here now, being appreciative for what we have and how it’s brought to us, and sitting with sadness if it’s there. Being hyper and being on work mode, and going through everything and having fun when that’s there, and then going through the cycles of up and down and down and up, because that’s how it goes.
[067:04] So I’m really, really, really grateful for every single person who came out to practice with me this weekend. I’m really grateful that life gives me these amazing opportunities. Like, holy fucking cow! Really, thanks to Propel for bringing me out for this amazing festival. It was so much fun. To Rose for coming with me, all my friends in L.A. and my brother. It’s been such a great thing. I’m going to look back at this and be like, “Oh my god, I did the coolest shit!” (laugh) Look at that! And then something, at the end of that, something hard happens just for me to open and feel what was hard, and then get right back into gratitude. So grateful grateful grateful grateful.
[067:42] And! I have goose bumps now, tomorrow the wedding starts and on Friday I get to watch my two best friends get married, and it’s going to be just so magical. So next week’s podcast will definitely be wedding oriented. I’m going to see if I can get Olivia on the podcast next week as a newlywed. Until then loving you, holding you, thank you for listening.
[End of Episode]
Transferwise – transferwise.com/podcast
Daily Harvest – daily-harvest.com (promo code YOGAGIRL)
FabFitFun – fabfitfun.com (promo code RACHEL)
ZipRecruiter – ziprecruiter.com/yoga