Vida Calma Wellness is Rachael Harper and husband Neal, and we can't wait to share Costa Rica fun and healthy living with you!
Rachael Harper, E-RYT 500: I am grateful to have the opportunity to introduce myself as a full time yoga teacher and student, Thai yoga therapist, and facilitator of good vibes.
*How did I get here?
I am a middle child with one brother and one sister, born and raised in Charlotte and Denver, NC. I have always been in love with the arts whether it was music, photography, film, drawing, painting, etc. I met my husband, Neal, in 2005 when my band was playing at his nightclub. We started dating in 2006, got married in the fall of 2010 and we still live in the Queen City with our three pit bull babies, Boose, Chico, and Roxy.
*My yoga experience thus far...
I stumbled upon my first actual yoga class in early 2009. I had never been a fan of exercise or moving my body much, but somehow loved this experience so I kept coming back. It wasn't long before I realized major changes in my life, not just my body. I felt better, I quit smoking, I was nicer, more patient. Other people noticed too. I knew then that I wanted to go deeper, to try and understand the more subtle aspects of yoga, and possibly even share what I was learning. Nervous and (extremely) unprepared, I enrolled in yoga teacher training.
What a life-changing and perspective-altering experience. By the time I finished my initial training in November of 2010 I knew it was exactly where I needed to be - serving others by helping them to feel supported and feel better in their bodies and their own skin. By February, the first (tiny) physical location of Vida Calma Wellness was up and running. I began teaching small group and one-on-one classes there in addition to teaching at a few Charlotte area yoga studios for a couple years while continuing my education. Since my teaching journey began, I have completed 1000+ hours of training in different applications of yoga and related healing arts, including the ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda, vinyasa, 5Elements Flow, anatomy, hands-on assisting, yoga for trauma/PTSD, Holy Yoga, meditation, therapeutics, prenatal, aerial, and AcroYoga, all of which work together to inform my personal style of teaching and allow me to cater to the needs and desires of each of my students. I have also completed advanced training in the hands-on healing practice of Thai Yoga Therapy and am grateful to share this deeply relaxing tradition with my clients and loved ones on a regular basis. I have enjoyed studying and teaching Ayurveda along the way and look forward to more in depth education with the future intention of building a clinical practice.
In spring of 2013, my little Vida Calma Wellness studio expanded and became On Track Yoga, a small studio in Mt Holly, NC. I have since discovered how much I enjoy teaching strong, alignment-based slow flow classes among other styles of yoga, but I especially adore empowering beginners in their practice, challenging them to safely and mindfully step outside their comfort zone. It is my intention to teach students to practice with integrity and confidence, and to offer classes that build a strong foundation for a lifelong yoga practice on and off the mat. My students are encouraged to be their authentic, wonderful selves and to find joy and compassion in their practice, but most of all to make the practice fit their unique needs. In addition to yoga being a personal practice and a place to heal, I have learned over the years that it is also an important place to foster community, to connect with and serve others, and to PLAY! As adults, we just don't play enough - for that reason, I have now joyfully added Aerial Yoga and Acro Yoga to my regular teaching and personal practice. Come out and play with us!
*Other loves of my life...
Traveling - Road trips, trips overseas, all of it. Neal and I (and the dogs!) will soon have one home in an R.V. in The States and one on a farm in Costa Rica. I love food, I enjoy being comfortable, slightly disorganized, and working hard at what I love. In addition to yoga, I am a photographer and partner with my sister, Laura, at Chicks with Cameras. I'm a freelance still-life photo stylist and musician when I want to be. My brother, Josh, has a severe traumatic brain injury and lives in a nursing home in Charlotte where my family and I take turns visiting him every day. He is a miracle and my hero and inspiration for facilitating healing for others. I am best friends with my parents and have an amazing relationship with my in-laws. I am blessed to be joined by my family on this beautiful journey!