Rachel LacourcierreSchool, Work, and Life in General

Despite taking many detours throughout my adult life, teaching to some capacity has always been the most enjoyable and unchanging aspect of my journey.

When I was in undergraduate school earning my B.S. in Management Information Systems from Binghamton University, I was also working at the local YMCA teaching swimming and diving. I moved on to become a computer consultant in New York City, and I volunteered at the International Center helping ESL students refine their English speaking skills.

Needing a change, I moved to Fremantle, Australia, where I obtained my work visa and worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Notre Dame’s satellite campus.

I have always felt most grateful for my time in Australia as it offered me a self-reflective opportunity most twenty-somethings rarely get.

It gave me the time to rethink my place in this world, which led me to apply to graduate schools focusing specifically on teaching and education. Upon being accepted to Columbia’s Teachers College, I traveled back to NYC and in time obtained my M.A. in Computing and Education.

After teaching at the middle school level for 7 years in North Carolina, I ended up in Vermont a stay-at-home mom, teaching my two children the ins and outs of everyday life. By far the most important job I have ever taken on, I still found myself looking for another teaching outlet beyond my homemaking career.

A Crash Course in Yoga

I was first introduced to yoga in 1999, after I was in a serious car accident on what should have been my high school graduation day.

Instead of walking down the aisle with high honors, flinging my graduation cap in the air, and celebrating with family and friends, I took a turn too fast after a spring rain, hit an oncoming minivan head on and spent the next 48 hours in surgery and intensive care.

What a blow to my 17-year-old ego.

With a broken femur, broken wrist, and several fractures in my face (this was before all cars were made with airbags) I could no longer do anything on my own. My family was left to care for me that entire summer; having to remind themselves when I was less than accepting of their help, that we were all thankful I was still here and didn’t suffer a worse fate.

While I was in the hospital many wonderful nurses brought me books to help me pass the time as I continued to build enough strength to be released. Two books stood out to me: The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra.

I’ll admit The Celestine Prophecy gave me hope that I was meant for greater things, having survived a car accident that could have easily taken my life, and I only took an initial liking to Ageless Body, Timeless Mind because it had a huge sunflower on the cover, which at the time was my favorite flower. Yet, it was this book that introduced me to the concepts of meditation and the power of mantras; tools I grew to use regularly that summer as I was healing.

Getting Back on the Mat

My love for yoga as a lifestyle only began to blossom as I moved through college, my career, and into parenthood.

I recognized when I was in regular practice (whether it was through breath work or the physical postures of yoga) I was a better teacher, daughter, wife, friend, mother, and all-around person.

However, when I became pregnant with my daughter it was recommended that I step away from my physical yoga practice due to a scare I had with placenta previa. Once my daughter was born, I not only had a nursing infant but a potty-training two-year-old and it seemed the days were filled with everything other than the yoga practice I once knew.

In 2009 my husband gave me a new yoga mat for Christmas, stating it was time I made space for myself again and make my yoga practice a priority.

Getting back on the mat, combined with the encouragement of my family and amazing mentors, I began studying under Kathy McNames of Yoga Vermont to obtain my 200 hour yoga teacher training certification, the initial certification recognized by Yoga Alliance.

Private Practice & Catered Instruction

Today, I am an E-RYT – Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, continuing to study under the guidance of Kathy, working towards my 500 hour certification.

I teach in a wide variety of venues, including gyms, studios, a physical therapist’s office, as well as privately in corporate offices as well as people’s homes.

I am continually striving to expand and grow my private practice, believing that when you are willing to bring yoga to the individual, through catered instruction, the benefits can be better understood and realized.

Yoga Alliance - E-RYT 200 Certification
Yoga Alliance - YACEP Certification

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