Can you tell a little about your first VR experience?
I was overwhelmed with all the options. The ability to learn, explore and create, really feels like the options are unlimited!
What makes VR yoga different from a regular yoga class?
Yoga in the VR medium allows people to try yoga without a lot of pressure of going to a typical class. For students, it creates an opportunity and the freedom to move how it feels good in their bodies. Teaching in VR is not much different beyond not being able to see the students’ bodies to adapt the class to meet the students where they are in the moment, i.e., if I need to slow down, offer modifications, or fully physically represent the movement.
What motivates you to lead sessions with EvolVR?
I am new to Yoga in VR, and this gift gives me the freedom of a beginner’s mind instead of knowing limitations. I love being innovative while teaching and the big bonus is finding a creative, eclectic community that is like-minded. Living on a small island in the Caribbean, plus COVID, my opportunities to cultivate my kula has been very limiting, I’m wildly thankful for this piece.
How would you describe the session you lead?
My sessions tend to be playful movement with breath. Yoga is a very personal practice with no right or wrong — it can be whatever resonates within at the moment. My personal practice runs the gamut from finding stillness to a dance party. My teaching style is a combination of many influences, modalities and continuously evolving. I have been very fortunate to practice many modalities for over 20 years, gaining these experiences and living a corporate to nomadic life in many countries has enabled me to teach in a relatable modern way.
What is your hope for the future of VR meditation?
I’m a new kid on the block here and my hope for the future of VR yoga is vast. My main thoughts currently are how to bring movement with breathing to people who may have never tried yoga however curious.
What’s your favourite thing to do in VR, besides meditate or do yoga?
Hands down being in VR and building a community that deepens my practice while creating friendships. Isolation has been heavy for me recently and VR bridges that gap easily. I also started Beat Saber and I can play (talk smack) with my friends that I haven’t seen in ages!
Does your avatar look like you?
Almost, my hair is way curlier and I have legs ; )
Do you have one piece of advice for someone new to meditation?
This is called a practice not perfect. To be forward, VR has been challenging for me mostly from a logistics standpoint. Am I speaking or moving too fast, where is that button, how do I face the right way while standing how I want — the list is long at the moment. I am overcoming the anxiety of getting it right the first time. It’s simply about showing up and being present.
Where can we find more of your work and offerings?
I live in Roatan so if you’re ever on the island, drop me a line! I also teach and Health and Wellness Coach via video calls upon request. Yoga With Rachel D is my online presence, @yogawithracheld on IG, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Rachel now streams video into her VR sessions so participants can see her physical body demonstrating the postures, as well as her avatar leading at the front.
Find Rachel’s Breathe & Stretch EvolVR sessions in AltspaceVR.