Yoga is a way of life for supermodel and actress, Rachel Hunter. Here, the former wife of rock star Rod Stewart talks to OM about her yoga journey, how she fell in love with India, and what she’s up to now
Rachel Hunter has graced the covers of pretty much all the top fashion magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. A model since the age of 16, she’s also appeared on a wide range of other titles, such as Rolling Stone, Playboy and Cosmopolitan.
Originally from New Zealand, her modelling career has taken her all over the planet and she remains a keen traveller today. She’s currently the host of Imagination Television’s Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty, which sees her talk to wellness experts around the world to gain inside tips and tricks on health, longevity and beauty.
Her home today is in the USA, where she has two children, Renee and Liam, both from her former husband, singer Rod Stewart. She’s even starred in a pop video herself, appearing in the ‘Stacy’s Mom’ music video by the American band Fountains of Wayne.
As someone with a life-long passion for health and wellness, it was perhaps inevitable that she would turn to yoga at some point, but it is now a massive part of her life. “This is a way of life! Yoga means union and to create unity. So this is a full-spectrum practice, from awareness to mantra, as a meditation, the eight limbs of yoga, self-study and experiencing.”
After 16 years on the mat, her practice has evolved into a whole yoga experience, encompassing all the many different strands of the ancient discipline, extending now into the work that she does worldwide. She’s a keen supporter of a number of international charities and projects including the Born Free Foundation and Save the Elephants.
“I first got into yoga in 2004. My back wasn’t doing that well so I took some advice and started yoga. During the first month, I saw the changes but more importantly, I started seeing the inner change. This expanded and led me into more curiosity.”
In fact, it took her to India, the birthplace of yoga. As a keen yogini and international traveller, it is now a country that has a special place in her heart.
“I went to the foothills of the Himalayas in 2017 after my mother passed away to go on a pilgrimage. Little did I know that I would not only do a teacher training course, but later teach. My love for India unfolded and I returned to India over and over again.”
As well as teaching, she has also hosted yoga retreats in beautiful locations and regularly blogs on all aspects of the practice, from the benefits of breathing to the magic of mudras. Again, like other teachers, she’s keen to encourage more people to give yoga a try. She’s keen to foster a different attitude among those who might be put off because they may feel that they are not suited to yoga, for whatever reason.
FAVOURITE YOGA BOOK
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
[Satchidananda, Sri Swami]
Truth, Grace & Love
FAVOURITE HEALTHY DRINK
DAH! Alphonso Mango Lassi
“I spoke about this on an Instagram post as so many people say: ‘I can’t touch my toes’ and ‘I’m not flexible’. We have seen this visual of what yoga looks like – and it isn’t that. Feel comfortable where you go. See how great you are. Meet yourself where you’re at. Doesn’t matter how flexible you are.”
“I spoke about this on an Instagram post as so many people say: ‘I can’t touch my toes’ and ‘I’m not flexible’. We have seen this visual of what yoga looks like — and it isn’t that. Feel comfortable where you go. See how great you are. Meet yourself where you’re at. Doesn’t matter how flexible you are. I can have great classes, then I’m humbled as a beginner some days. Be kind, listen and experience.”
Away from the yoga mat, and when she’s not working or travelling, there is beauty in simplicity for this International supermodel. That includes a love affair with the natural world. “I really like being at one with nature. Going for a nice swim or a hike is always enjoyable too.”
As you’d expect, she also has plenty of other things going on as well, supporting like-minded people and projects. “Late last year, I had the good fortune of meeting with DAH!
America’s number one Indiastyle USDA organic yoghurt — by an amazing and organic circumstance, becoming the official brand partner. There was a great synergy and our outlook on health and wellbeing aligned. DAH! is a leader in the probiotic food market, supporting gut health, with 15 billion live probiotics per serving, and we all know how amazing probiotics are for us! Such a great message!”
It’s all good advice from a renowned health and beauty icon. Yoga, probiotics — and what else are the magic ingredients for looking after yourself and maintaining that inner radiance and vibrancy through the years?
“Keep learning, listening and loving,” she says. “And remember to meditate!”
Find out more about Rachel Hunter at: rachelhunter.com