Yoga Instructor Interview: Rachel Brodeur

Chasing Nirvana Yoga is spreading mindfulness from coast to coast as we bring more corporate yoga classes and events to Los Angeles. We’re thrilled to welcome Rachel Brodeur to the team, who taught her first CNY class at 515 South Flower Street in June.

Rachel, a Massachusetts native who moved to the west coast two years ago, has been practicing yoga since college. Learn more about Rachel and check our her amazing Instagram!

Q: What interests you about teaching corporate yoga? What’s different about it?

A: You’re often working with people who don’t really do too much yoga, so it’s a different mindset. The students’ skill level and yoga knowledge are the biggest differences. They may have less body awareness because they don’t connect mind to body regularly, even if they do other forms of fitness. Teaching corporate yoga requires finding the balance between different skill levels.

Q: How did you get involved in yoga?

A: I found yoga at my most unhealthy point. I was in college and dealing with mental health issues and I developed bad habits. I was being extreme in college. I was eating and drinking too much, and I wasn’t sleeping enough. But I didn’t feel good being in the gym. I just didn’t resonate with gym culture. I wanted something that was a workout that resonated with my mental side and spiritual side.

Over one winter break, I started doing Ashtanga Yoga video and then tried a class back at school. The class was super hard because I was a beginner. Yoga is an entire body workout, and I didn’t have the strength in so many places. At the end, the guided meditation was awesome. I grew up Catholic so I knew praying, but meditation was never taught to me. I felt better after that class and decided it was something I can do.

Q: What do you like about being a yoga instructor?

A: My creative and artistic side is more powerful than my logical side, and I like to pass that down. I take what I feel about yoga and bring it to my students. I recommend you bounce back and forth between beginner and intermediate classes to get really comfortable with all the poses when you start.

Rachel Brodeur

Q: Did anything surprise you during your first Chasing Nirvana Yoga class?

A: Every time I teach, I’m always surprised at how amazing my students are. Attentive, focused, and willing to try something new -- that to me is surprising because there are so many people that hear “yoga” and think, “Well that would be easy for him or her. Definitely not me though!” To be an adult and get outside of your comfort zone, trust a new teacher and enjoy your time on the mat is always an awesome surprise.

Q: What was your favorite moment of the class?

A: The best moment, for me, was the end when I was chatting with the students. Hearing the joy in their voices, especially the ones who had NEVER tried yoga before, is what it’s all about for me! Second best moment is the excitement I feel when I start a class. I love how every group is different, and keeps me on my toes! When we’re all flowing, breathing, and elevating ourselves, there’s nothing better.

Check the Chasing Nirvana Yoga West Coast schedule for upcoming events with Rachel Brodeaur!