Rae Helsel

Whats your superpower?

I can sleep through anything...airplanes, earthquakes, loud roommates, you name it :) 

How do you express gratitude?

By pausing to let it well up silently, by journaling to name it visually, and most often by hugging it out with my people to share it physically. 

Why do you share yoga?

I found yoga while I was in chemotherapy for melanoma, and it created a huge shift in my body and perspective. I was hooked. It helped me to heal on a physical and emotional level, and I wanted to help other people find that too. 

What's your favorite pose?

Right now it's the restorative pose called 'Constructive Rest' - it drops me into my breath and mellows my circling mind in seconds.

When was the last time you laughed out loud?

At myself in class this morning when I accidentally cued "camel toes" instead of "camel pose." 

What always makes you smile?

Twirling. I'm not a very good dancer, but I'm a pretty good follow - put me with someone who knows how to sweep me around and I can't stop smiling. My face hurts. 

What does flow mean to you?

I tend to overthink things in life...getting into my flow means bringing my head, my heart, and my body all onto the same axis through a combination of movement, breath, and stillness.

What can our TGY friends expect from your class?

Creative and intelligent sequencing, loving hands-on assists, a well-crafted playlist, and grounding pranayama.

More from Rae:

I found yoga when I was going through chemo for stage three melanoma. In the midst of the chaos of surgery and treatment, it was the first time I experienced a release from the anxiety in my body and my mind through deep breathing and gentle movements. I was hooked. 

As I recovered I continued to practice, study, and train, and I loved the way that it brought more balance not just to my body, but also my life. My practice began to alternate between vigorous flow and grounding restoratives, and these continue to be my favorite classes to teach because of the way that they have helped me heal and shift my perspective. 

My intention when I teach is to hold space for my students through music, movement, and body awareness so that they can come further into THEIR practice. I'm fascinated by the scientific architecture of yoga and always try to weave that in throughout a creative sequence of asana, pranayama, and hands-on assists.

When I'm not on my mat, I like to be behind my camera, out in the mountains, or anywhere cozy with a mocha...