1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
My name is Rebecca Alexander and I am a psychotherapist in private practice in NYC. I live with a genetic condition called Usher syndrome that causes progressive deaf-blindness and now, without the use of my cochlear implants, I am completely deaf. I have approximately 10 degrees of vision (a normally sighted person has 180) and I am fluent in sign language and tactile sign language—the language of the deafblind. Having a condition that forces me to live in a perpetual state of grief and loss has allowed me to deeply appreciate the present moment and embrace that we are all experiencing our own version of the human condition.
2- What inspired you, if any, to join the Warrior Flow 200-Hour Yoga Training’s faculty?
I began practicing yoga many years ago with Adrian in NYC and always found his teaching and communication style to be incredibly grounding. I was thrilled when he asked me to join his faculty so that I could share my expertise in mental health, trauma, grief/loss, and disability with his community.
3- In simple words, what does yoga mean to you?
To me, yoga means creating space for myself to breathe, to sit with my discomfort, to process, to grieve, to practice self-compassion, and to be humble.
4- What is the main difference between learning yoga now and when you took your first yoga training?
When I first started practicing yoga, I thought it was an exercise for people to prove their superiority in handling stress better than others. Over time (and skilled teachers), I learned that yoga is a place where I can truly find my sense of belonging and feeling of being at home with myself.
5- In your opinion, why is this a key moment in time to learn yoga?
As a mental health provider, I must be present for my patients when we are in session. I am often amazed by the lack of awareness and connection people have of their breath, their bodies, and their minds. Developing more effective coping strategies to self-soothe, self-regulate, and hold ourselves accountable can only be accomplished when we align our breath, body, and mind.
6- Who would you be without yoga?
A much more reactive, judgemental, and critical person—not just of others but of myself.
7- Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are today?
My role models have all demonstrated to me the importance of self-advocacy, resilience in the face of adversity, and what it means to have grace and be humble.
8- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
Living with a disability means that most of the ways in which mainstream society operates is developed for people who are able-bodied. Because of this, I have generally seen roadblocks as ah opportunity for me to be creative and resourceful to figure out how to create accessibility in an inaccessible world.
9- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
Develop awareness and accountability for your role in each community you are a part of. Her Communities that thrive most are those that rely heavily on interdependence rather than independence. What role do you play in the communities you are a part of? What does interdependence mean to you?