Laura Muus Photography

Rachael Schauer ’17, Owner of True Earth Yoga
Major/Minor: PsychologyCommunication Studies

In a brief summary, what do you do?

I help people make the most of their everyday lives using their breath, body, mind, and time in nature. With that, I do a lot of different things. I’m a business owner, yoga teacher, meditation coach, and wilderness empowerment guide.

What would you say is the best part about your job?

I love the chance to get outside and have meaningful conversations with people who are interested in being introspective.

What skills are most necessary for success and growth in your business?

Resilience. A lot of business skills come in your mindset, especially being able to recognize and pursue challenges. Also, understanding that it’s important to fail fast is crucial. It’s absolutely a mindset tool. You can learn anything, but having that grounding sense of resilience in yourself and believing in yourself is first and foremost.

A lot of what prepared me for owning my own business came from my time in student government. All the different pieces that would be moving and the opportunities to be vulnerable were important, now being a place to feel comfortable owning my own business. Also, taking on the ups, downs, and all arounds that come with that.

What do you wish that you knew in college that you know now?

I wish I knew that there are a lot of paths in life. Your path will make its way there and there’s not necessarily a wrong choice. Often, I felt I was following something that was set out for me rather than listening to myself and what I wanted. The things I took most from college came from cocurricular activities and research opportunities.

What led you to Concordia?

I don’t have a profound “Concordia was the one for me” story. Once I got to Concordia, it was like, “Oh my goodness, this was meant to be.” Because of the choir program, the cocurricular activities, and the community around it, Concordia was the place for me — even if I didn’t necessarily know it beforehand.

As the owner of a yoga business, how do you feel you’re using your psychology major?

I’m using my degree in the sense of understanding that people are different and need support in different ways. I learned a lot in the psychology program, but especially when I started working in the mental health field. I’ve worked in residential mental health, chemical dependency programs, and residential emergency services for women. In those opportunities, a lot of what I learned in psychology definitely came back to me. I felt I was stronger in those positions because of what I learned at Concordia.

I first came to yoga as something very physical. Once I dove into my yoga teacher training, I realized it was so much more than that. I tell people now that yoga is so much more of a “work in” than a “work out.” Getting to have that focus on your lifestyle and the understanding that the more we learn about ourselves, the more resilient we are. Yoga made this all full circle for me. Yoga helped me come full circle, not only in my life but in the lives of the people with whom I share these practices.

Laura Muus Photography

What is your favorite Concordia tradition?

Jumping in Prexy’s Pond after graduation, for sure. I got to see it twice — once when I did it and two years later when my sister graduated.

What kind of research opportunities at Concordia influenced your experience?

Student government, I feel, was researching all the time. What the students’ interests are, how best to portray that to administration, etc. Through SGA, I was also a part of the Minnesota Association of Private College Students and eventually the president of that organization. Through that, I learned how legislation and funding work in Minnesota. That was really exciting to learn about and opened a door to something that I otherwise wouldn’t have known.

I also did research through music, learning languages, and taking vocal lessons. In addition to these, I did two separate research projects. The first was with Dr. Lemaster, which was really great. It also tied into the work I did at the YWCA Cass Clay. We focused on gender, fiances, and aging, and how it ties to emotions. When I was at the YWCA, I was leading the economic empowerment program, diving into questions like, “Why do we tend to see women subjected to financial violence in this way?” Being able to uplift people and have that experience of someone telling you, “I’m in my 50s and I never thought I could manage my finances until now,” was incredible.

The second was when I did a May Seminar trip to Rwanda. I was with a group that was teaching English to children, while I was with the school psychologist. Learning the different play therapy styles, the cultural differences, and then doing presentations for the mothers and aunties about those therapy styles was a great experience.

Did you have a favorite course or professor?

I loved Environmental Ethics with Tess Varner. For the Environmental Ethics course, we took a field trip to Buffalo River State Park and it showed me how connected I am to the outdoors.

How have you stayed connected to Concordia?

Definitely through the music program. I love to experience the Homecoming and Christmas concerts. And, of course, getting together with old friends.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’ll still be here in Cooke County, Minn. In terms of what I’m doing, I’d love to eventually lead Concordia students in the Boundary Waters as a professional guide.

What advice would you give to current students?

Do as much experiential learning as possible, especially entrepreneurial learning. Entrepreneurship allows for so much freedom, with the satisfaction of real life challenges. That way you get a feel for what it’s really like, as opposed to what it says it will be like in your textbook.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’ll be opening my summer 2022 retreat signups this month. Please visit my website for more information or to join the waitlist.

Published February 2022