Rachel Lauderbaugh found yoga while stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany in 2000. At the time, she worked as an Airman in the United States Air Force. The yoga class offered at her local gym gave her an escape from her male co-workers who thought yoga was “too easy” to be considered a workout. From 2000 on, she practiced yoga on and off base. Then, in 2013, a teacher in one of her classes suggested she complete teacher training. Rachel thought it would be fun to teach on base and help other service members find yoga — a practice that made a powerful impact on her life.
With this in mind, she signed up for teacher training in India. Upon arriving, however, she discovered she knew nothing about yoga. “Yoga” encompassed much more than the physical postures. Never before did she consider the other aspects of yoga — like the eight limbs or Patanjali’s teachings on the subject. But she dove deep into her practice and after an intensive month in India, her yoga practice turned into her life’s path. She went from “doing” yoga, to truly practicing it.
In fact, yoga was her saving grace after the military as she battled with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The more she practiced yoga, the more she learned how to grow from her trauma; she began to listen to herself and heal. Her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program led her to many trauma-sensitive yoga trainings, including Warriors at Ease and iRest. Rachel completed all levels of Warriors at Ease training, becoming one of our first fully certified teachers. She’s also attended Warriors at Ease Veteran-Civilian retreats and is an active participant in the Warriors at Ease community in Colorado where she now lives.
It was through her training and self-healing that she found her true yogic path. This path of self-healing led her to helping others — which all started when she walked into a yoga class in Germany and continues to this day. The importance of yoga is paramount in Rachel’s life,
“If I miss a day of yoga or meditation, it’s as if I’ve missed my medication. I don’t feel right. I continue to teach yoga and meditation, to help others learn that there is healing and hope within them.”
We’re honored and grateful to have veteran yoga teachers like Rachel in our Warriors at Ease network. She’s a bright light that’s sharing these powerful practices from a place of love, deep passion and personal experience.
To connect with Rachel and work with her, visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IRYhealingfromtheinsideout/
Image courtesy of Shri Studios.