Yoga, Pilates and Dance saved my life. That may seem dramatic to you if you have yet to experience a moment in life where everything feels truly alive. Without yoga, pilates or dance I felt I was just a robot with a heartbeat. Yoga has given me time to reflect on and gain a better perspective of what really matters to me. It has helped me discover that I should be less concerned with what I feel I “should” do, and more concerned with what I really “want” to do with my time and energy. Yoga has encouraged me to listen to my heart and intuition. Pilates helps me feel empowered, and find the strength and courage to make major changes in my life. Born extremely shy, I found it hard to speak my truth and be my authentic self, but dancing helped me find a confidence that allows me to express myself in a creative way. Yoga, pilates and dance made me who I am today. They helped me realize that life is a true gift, but it’s one we need to give to ourselves.
Before I started dancing and practicing yoga and pilates, I had several close friends pass away back to back and also got seriously injured. My nerves always felt shocked, my stomach was always in pain and I got sick a lot. I immersed myself in my university education and then a career job. Looking back, I realize I doubted my choice, but I was afraid that if I didn’t see it through, I would have wasted a lot of time. I now feel that logic was absolutely silly: to avoid admitting I’d wasted time, I was willing to keep wasting it.
I started getting more and more into yoga, pilates and dance. Whenever I was taking a class I felt present, peaceful and happy; the more I did these activities, the more joy and love I felt in my life.
I decided to do my yoga and pilates teacher training more for personal development and a deeper understanding and knowledge. As soon as I began teaching, one teaching job led to another and my classes became very popular. I realized that my enthusiasm was like a magnet, attracting others to my passion. This gave me the courage I needed to be fearless and to create the life I really wanted deep within.
I wanted to spread my passion for yoga, pilates and dance in a big way by opening a studio and hiring like minded instructors that have the same intentions: to make people happier and healthier, and improve the quality of their lives. I never told anyone my dream, however, because I was scared people would tell me it was silly and that I would never make a financial living at it.
I shared my dream with my family and best friends, and was surprised with the support, love and encouragement I received. I started to really believe things would work out if I manifested what was deep in my heart. I visualized what my studio would look like – what it would be like to touch, what sounds I would hear, what it would smell like and how it would make me feel. Within a year everything started to fall into place, and my dream became a reality. I opened up my own yoga, pilates & dance studio in March 2008. I called my dream “Exhale”.
Stress forced me to take moments for myself, and that’s when I learned to relax, release and let go. In life we take in so much (inhale) and an exhale is all about letting go. Rather than trying to struggle your way through life thinking you’re going to enjoy it once you get this or that, enjoy the journey by doing what makes you happy every moment. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Because you never know what tomorrow may bring, all you have is this moment. Enjoy it!
Through “Exhale” I want to inspire others to be courageous and to believe things will work out if you manifest what is deep in your heart. I truly believe you are the creator of your own destiny.
My heart feels like it’s going to explode with happiness whenever a member leaves with a glowing smile on their face – because it’s then I realize my dream is now a reality!
Now Exhale has evolved and is offering transformational 1-month Yoga teacher-training programs and 1-week retreats in Nicaragua and Bali! I intend for these programs to help others tap into their talented gifts, maximize their full potential, discover their true purpose and inspire them to start living their life with more meaning. My goal is to help others turn their dreams into reality. Helping others find more clarity, confidence, courage, peace, love and happiness – brings me total joy.
Practicing Yoga, Pilates and Dance brings balance into my life. I do face many challenges of owning and operating my own business, but the belief for what I offer and love for what I do always helps me find a way to keep my dream a reality.
Rachel Wainwright, Creator of Exhale Studio & Retreats