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Do It Like a Wahine: Yoga Instructor, Rae

In Hawaiian, the word Wahine means woman. The Do it like a Wahine blog was inspired by women, for women. In this section, we give women a platform to share their stories and artistry.

By fostering stories, we gain respect and understanding of where people come from, which expands our thinking and insights in our own perspectives. Our mission is to highlight women from all around the world to support their journey, empower others and honor them with exquisite island jewelry.

Yoga instructor, Rae, started her yogi journey 5 years ago on a whim and now has blossomed into a business owner with her company, Yoga with Rae. She loves to give back to her community and continues to be an advocate for body positivity and self-love. Read on to be inspired by this amazing Wahine!

yoga instructor rae in Anjali Mudra position where your  hands meet together by the sternum in a “prayer position”

How did you become a yoga instructor?

Rae: I was born and raised outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I began my personal yoga practice at the age of 14 and began seriously studying the physical and mental aspects of yoga about five years ago. I began teaching by accident as an in-bunk summer youth counselor - the program I worked for encouraged me to keep providing lessons to youth throughout that summer. I then taught yoga as well as gymnastics to the youth. I have had my yoga business, Yoga With Rae, for less than a year, and it started out as a way to give back to the community, but now it has grown to the point where I can start giving to myself.

Yoga Instructor Rae doing a three-Legged downward Facing Dog yoga Pose on the beach

What type of yoga do you teach?

Rae: I teach vinyasa flow style yoga classes! Vinyasa yoga pairs sequenced yoga positions with the breath which is such an important aspect of yoga, especially when adding meditation into your practice. I also focus on teaching beginner-friendly classes that introduce students to all 12 of the main asanas of yoga. My classes focus on body positivity, self-love, and releasing negative energies.

What inspired you to be a yoga instructor?

Rae: The person who introduced me to yoga was a kind soul and although I was not ready at the time to receive all of what she was saying, she still gave her all teaching me.

As I mature, I look back on her character with so much respect. She was so physically and mentally strong, and genuinely an unforgettable female role model. Yoga also helped me facilitate and maintain 100 pounds of weight loss. When I began losing weight, yoga was an enjoyable way to get into shape & learn how to love my body. I want to share this joy with others when they are ready to receive it.

yoga instructor rae doing a "Wheel" yoga pose on the beach

Besides yoga, you also run a modeling agency. What inspired you to get into modeling?

Rae: Like a lot of girls, when I was younger I always dreamed of modeling or acting; I was dramatic, I loved to pose, play with makeup, and I was always wearing a princess costume. I’m still that little girl on the inside today, but now I’ve realized that I really can do anything I want. There was nobody ever telling me I couldn’t model except for myself. I decided to create an account on Instagram one day and ever since then I’ve had photoshoot opportunities coming in, just because I said yes to what I really wanted out of life. My modeling agency represents natural talent. I love having the opportunity to show the world Oahu’s unique beauties of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

do it like a wahine yoga instructor rae wearing the rose gold sand dollar jewelry set of pendant, bracelet, and earrings

What were the challenges you faced throughout the process of becoming a yoga instructor and creating your own modeling agency?

Rae: It’s definitely hard to get your dream to be a reality without any support - so you have to be willing to give it all your 100% of the time. When starting a business you’re going to naturally experience setbacks but that being said I think that a lot of those setbacks taught me lessons that made me better overall. Instead of choosing to accept adversity, which is something I have faced my entire life, I continue to persevere and try again - I will always wake up every single morning and try again. Every single day really is a new opportunity. The next day could be the best day of your life. And your best days are definitely ahead of you.

In 2023 I’m taking both my yoga business & modeling career to the next level - you guys will have to stay tuned for that. I want nothing in life more than comfort, happiness, love, and people to share it with.

Yoga instructor rae wearing pavé crab heart jewelry set with earrings and pendant, lined with white topaz

What advice do you have for others who want to start something for themselves but do not have the confidence to?

Rae: JUST DO IT! Stop telling yourself what you can’t do and just start doing whatever you can. Age is just a number, seriously. And lastly, think about the person you want to be. Start making small choices every day that you think that version of you would make.

yoga instructor Rae enjoying her time running on the sandy beach of Hawaii

What do you love most about living in Hawaii?

Rae: The aloha spirit is alive and well if you are willing to receive it - that’s one thing that always drew me here. To wish for it and read about it is one thing, but to experience the love and life on this island with your own senses is an amazing & indescribable experience. I love the smell of fresh flowers everywhere. I thank Pele every day for the ground I walk on.

yellow gold sea turtle pendant in a Alamea box

What is your favorite jewelry piece from Island By Koa Nani and why?

Rae: The Honu necklace in 14k yellow gold. I choose this dainty piece to represent my late grandmother, who was affectionately known as Poochie. She left this earth in 2016 and has inspired me beyond words in life and in death. My grandmother spent a large part of her young adulthood on this same island and I often feel like I connect to her through the land, the water, and when Honus stop by to visit.

1 comment


Love how she chose the dainty sea turtle necklace to represent her Grandmother, I would have done the Same.

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