I am Rachel, or Rach if you prefer! I am the founder of Humblebee Yoga. I know as well as anyone how important a relationship with a teacher is to the creative process and the depth of learning anything! In high school wasn't it always the classes with the teacher you liked least where you felt you were learning less!? Maybe that was just me, but I do feel the same way in the yoga environment. Now, there is less dislike, more like lack of connection with a teaching style or person, usually nothing personal (after all we are all just doing our best) but without that trust or connection, yoga classes can be a drag! So I thought I would write a little bit about who I am, where I am from, what I have done in the last 31 years of my life that led me to Humblebee....
1988.... 0 years old
I was born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, on a cold October day in 1988 at sometime around 12pm (ready for Lunch -as ever!) To complete the family of four including my parents, Susan and Andrew and big sister Faye.
The developing years.. I always lived in a small town called Downham Market until I was 18. In that time a lot happened, Mum and Dad divorced and I ended up living with my Dad from my 16th birthday until I left to go and give Drama School a whirl in London! Not the standard uni experience I can tell you, from 40-60 hours contact weeks of acting, singing, dancing, elocution, accent work, dialect and diction classes, working on and studying Shakespeare, classics, modernist and any other playwright you can think of! It was thrilling, hard work and was definitely a shock to the system at 18!
Forming years... My first summer loomed and I did not want to return back to Norfolk... London was so majestic! I googled, 'student summer jobs in London' first or second result was 'The Royal Collection' later to discover it meant Buckingham Palace. MADNESS I thought, so of course I applied! I got an interview and got the job, so there I was in London and got myself a full time gig with the Queen for the summer(mental!). Which then turned into the second summer too and into my third year as the Saturday and Sunday girl in the shop that is open all year around. Intense. Rehearsals in day, performances at night for another show and weekend 9-6 in this shop! Needless to say, something had to give... So I gave up the palace in 2010.
Early adulthood... I graduate drama school, high hopes of making it you know? I look back at my heady optimism and sheer balls to even attempt that world with pride and awe at myself to be honest! It is still the most competitive industry in the world, how much confidence and self believe I had to have at 21! Reality hit almost immediately after graduating I got myself a full time job pulling pints in a local pub in London. On your feet for hours, with next to no breaks and long hours. I decided it wasn't for me, and another googling happened this time -'acting jobs abroad', I don't remember why I added 'abroad' it was a calling I guess, my wild traveller rearing her head. December 2010 I auditioned for a company in Italy, got the gig and that was it for pulling pints for a few months. This is the year I first went to a yoga class!
I tour Italy for 6-8 months with various plays teaching english through drama. Intense BUT I was acting- #goals. End of the tour, I return back to UK and yep, you guessed it, back pulling pints! This time in the sister pub of the one from before. Novelty quickly wore off, so again got asked to go back to Italy for another tour. I still practiced yoga, irregularly with Netball and other things in the mix. Meditation was something I had heard of, but never practiced.
So, off I go again! Another 6-8 month tour around Italy, new group, new friends, new experience. I return again and back to the SAME pub pulling pints. I felt that a theme was occurring so, after little thought, I made the move to go FULLY SELF EMPLOYED and quit the pub. I began freelancing as an events manager, again, no idea why, someone told me about a job so I did it. With the change from frankly low but definite income, to uncertainty. It was a constant morning perusal of internet forums and Facebook groups for upcoming work, I still do not know how I did it, but I made it a full time job, 30-40 hours a week earning a loving, choosing my hours and living in London. Able to audition when I wanted and barely needing to ask permission for any time off from 'bosses' as I didn't have one! I did nanny for a few families in this time too, who I am still close with and I still practiced yoga but irregularly.
Life continues for a few years, as this is, living life, auditioning, acting a bit but finding MORE disappointment and rejection. Finally, I leave London due to a pretty rubbish break up. I return back to Dad's, got a job making cocktails, I was not ready for this lifestyle. Although I love going home, for me, there is zero opportunity for what I wanted to do here. So, AGAIN I googled "acting jobs abroad"! I NEEDED to leave the UK. Applied. Got a reply. They flew me out for audition in Barcelona (I didn't tell anyone) flew home the same day. 8am the next day, phone call to offer me the job!! 10 days later, I move to Spain and start my new life. Little did I know then it would be the making of me, it would be the death of who I used to be and the rebirth to someone who knew how to love myself, understand the world better and find peace from within. I flew to Barcelona for an initial 3 month contract with a theatre company which extended to 6! Then not wanting to leave, I got a job for Travelodge and a summer camp! I managed to grab another new acting job and stayed with them for a lot longer. WHAT A LIFESTYLE. It was seriously the best years of my life, the people, the location, the weather (of course) just living the best life. It all had to give when I fell in love. This person was from UK and decided long distance didn't work, so moved back. In was the years in BCN is where I found my daily practice, in a local yoga studio I devoted every weekday evening to a 90 min class and every Saturday morning to a 75 min and Sunday afternoons to another class. I was hooked. The movement, meditations, the veganism, the philosophy books (where I first started to read the Yoga Sutras).
Before returning back to UK to find myself in the Midlands (not home but where my new love lived). I made the leap and went to India for my 200 hour teacher training in North India. Arriving back in UK... I had no idea how I would earn a living, if yoga was even going to be something I was able to share. I knew I had it in me, I was living this life of yoga, on and off of the mat, but was it me that could deliver it accessibly and fully to other humans. IMPOSTER SYNDROME rears her head. I took classes where I could, taught for free and somehow studios starting contacting me and before I know it I am teaching 7 days a week morning noon and night, private classes, studios/shalas and in schools. Not really doing much else, my life had COMPLETELY changed. My self practiced of course suffered to start with but soon found it back after meeting a now close friend and amazing yoga teacher! This is where Humblebee was cooked up, with a friend who I met in Barcelona, we decided to just do a retreat! Not much planning, just booked a venue in Devon, Facebook event made and waited. We sold out in 2 days. MADNESS.
I moved out of Birmingham into Staffordshire where more retreats began to cook up! I then attended my second teacher training, this time in Mysore to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa. This was a whole new thing for me, my self practice had been Ashtanga for 2 years by this point so wanted to immerse myself to learn to be able to share this practice fully. When returning back I reassessed my current situation and how I saw yoga and decided to withdraw myself quite dramatically from teaching so regularly. I cannot pour from an empty cup also I needed to practice what I was 'preaching'.