Meet the women behind Mind/Body HAUS

In a new year and with new goals, we recently consulted with several wellness professionals across the South, and one theme emerged from their advice – “find a form of movement you love.” Jocelyn Brunotte and Rachel West, co-owners of Mind/Body HAUS Center in Cooper-Young, fortunately found a love of movement at a young age. Today, these lifelong athletes share that passion with Memphis residents through a variety of yoga, Pilates and cardio classes, regular retreats and a yoga teaching program designed to inspire a new group of teachers in the community. Meet these inspiring faces of Memphis!

Rachel West and Jocelyn Brunotte do yoga together.

Meet Rachel West (left) and Jocelyn Brunotte (right), the very talented co-owners of Mindy/Body HAUS in Memphis!

Tell us a little about your relationship with the South — are you both from Memphis?

Jocelyn: I grew up mostly in Tupelo, Massachusetts, but my mom moved to Memphis when I was a kid, so I was constantly moving back and forth. After college, I lived in New York City for eight years, and in 2016 I moved back south and settled in Memphis with my husband.

Rachel: I was born and raised in Memphis. I lived in Oxford, Massachusetts, went to Ole Miss for four years, and came back to Memphis after college.

Can you tell us about your background and what led you to develop Mind/Body HAUS?

Jocelyn: My mother was a dance and gymnastics teacher, so I grew up in a studio. I have always loved move

ment, whether it was dance, musical theater, or tumbling. I went to Birmingham-Southern College and studied ballet and graduated with a BA in dance and a BA in business. After college, I moved to New York City to pursue a dance career, but auditions were grueling.

In the meantime, I took several cardio dance classes at gyms around the city. I fell in love with teaching, which led me to explore other workout methods. Eventually I took a 200-hour yoga teacher training course (YTT). I taught yoga and group fitness classes for seven years before moving to Memphis. I always knew I wanted to open my own studio, and when I met Rachel, everything fell into place.

Rachel: I was a gymnast and cheerleader as a kid and became a runner in college. Since I started doing yoga in 2006, it has been therapeutic for me, both physically and mentally. Since then, I have been passionate about sharing its benefits with others, which led to teaching and eventually discovering Mind/Body HAUS.

two women reflecting yoga pose

Rachel and Jocelyn share a background in dance and gymnastics, a love of yoga and a passion for teaching.

As a lifelong athlete turned instructor, what advice would you give someone just starting their fitness journey? (Or working to renew their commitment to fitness?)

Jocelyn: Find a way to do a sport that you enjoy. When you first start, it may take a few tries to fall in love (or fall in love again) with an activity or sport, but eventually a pattern emerges and it becomes addictive-even addictive. So don’t give up too soon. Having a friend or an accountability partner can help you maintain fun and consistency. Working out doesn’t have to be hard or awful, so don’t punish yourself with something you don’t enjoy!

Rachel: As a working mom, I understand the tendency to put myself last. Self-care is essential to being the best version of yourself. It’s never too late to start over or take the time to take care of your body and soul.

women in yoga class

At Mind/Body HAUS, you can participate in group classes, including hot yoga and pilates, or sign up for private instruction. They will also be adding barre classes to their lineup in early 2023!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a small business owner?

Jocelyn: The biggest challenge for me is, without a doubt, combining being a mother of young children and running a business that never sleeps. Our business is open almost all day, every day, so it’s non-stop. It’s hard to have time to accomplish big goals because we’re constantly putting out small fires on a daily basis. But we recently hired a manager, Victoria Wood, who turned out to be an absolute godsend! We’ve gotten to the point where we can now confidently delegate other tasks to our team so that Rachel and I can focus our time and energy on big projects like our fitness programs and what we really love.

Rachel: Covid was a huge challenge, and like other small businesses, we had to adapt quickly to keep our business going. After relaunching, the biggest challenge was combining business growth and the teacher training program with motherhood. Learning how to delegate and assign the right people to help run the business has been a huge growth area for us this year.

exterior view of Mind/Body Haus in Memphis

Mind/Body HAUS is located on South Cox Street in the hip Cooper-Young neighborhood.

What’s next for Mind/Body HAUS? Any lofty goals for the new year?

Jocelyn: We are very excited to offer barre fitness classes this year! We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and hope to launch it in early 2023. Also, in April we will be holding our fourth yoga retreat in Florida. We have so much fun at retreats!

Rachel: Along with launching our new barre classes, we are excited to give our teachers more teaching opportunities and continue to grow our teacher training program.

four women sitting on the floor in a classroom setting

Jocelyn and Rachel are especially proud of their HAUS Yoga School, a teaching program they plan to expand in the future.

Jocelyn: Books, podcasts, and social media are always helpful when you’re not feeling inspired, but daily inspiration comes during classes and training with our teachers and students. Our YTT program is taught by brilliant educators who inspire me every time we go through new training.

Both Rachel and I love taking classes at other studios when we travel. As an entrepreneur, we are so interested in seeing how other studios work, look and offer. As a dancer, there’s nothing more inspiring than seeing live dance and musical theater performances in town. And, of course, music is always one of my biggest sources of energy for movement.

Rachel: Other teachers are my biggest source of inspiration. We have many incredibly talented teachers with unique gifts to share. Travel is also very inspiring to me. Seeing new places, getting out of my comfort zone and visiting local businesses energizes me. I really want to continue to make Mind/Body HAUS the very best for our community in Memphis.

Who are your favorite sources of inspiration right now?

Jocelyn: Books, podcasts, and social media are always helpful when you’re not feeling inspired, but daily inspiration comes during classes and training with our teachers and students. Our YTT program is taught by brilliant educators who inspire me every time we go through new training.

Both Rachel and I love taking classes at other studios when we travel. As an entrepreneur, we are so interested in seeing how other studios work, look and offer. As a dancer, there’s nothing more inspiring than seeing live dance and musical theater performances in town. And, of course, music is always one of my biggest sources of energy for movement.

Rachel: Other teachers are my biggest source of inspiration. We have many incredibly talented teachers with unique gifts to share. Travel is also very inspiring to me. Seeing new places, getting out of my comfort zone and visiting local businesses energizes me. I really want to continue to make Mind/Body HAUS the very best for our community in Memphis.

What are your favorite places to eat, shop and exercise in Memphis?

Jocelyn: My favorite restaurants are Acre and Catherine and Mary’s for date night. For casual dining, Maciel’s, Rawgirls and City Silo. For shopping I can be found at Shelby Jewel, Madewell, Kitty Kyle, Athleta and City & State for gifts. Exercise… Mind/Body HAUS!

Rachel: Yoga and hot pilates at Mind/Body HAUS are my main sources of movement. I’m looking forward to adding barre to my weekly classes when we launch in 2023. Some of my favorite restaurants include Bishop, The Second Line and Acre. Favorite stores are Indigo, Athleta and Shelby Jewel.

rachel west and jocelyn brunotte in dance position

Even if they’re not instructing, you might see Rachel and Jocelyn in your classes at Mind/Body HAUS — it’s their favorite place to work out!

What is the best advice you ever received?

Jocelyn: Have a mentor. Gain experience by showing up and doing the work. Never stop learning and understand the difference between an instructor and a teacher.

Rachel: My father has always been a mentor and inspiration to me. Ever since I was a little girl, he convinced me to never give up, to stay stable and true to myself through life’s ups and downs, in business and relationships.

Besides faith, family and friends — name three things you can’t live without.

Jocelyn: I am currently pregnant with my third child, so watching TV in bed at the moment gives me great pleasure. My husband and I love to travel, and I’m a real foodie, so both cooking and eating out.

Rachel: My puppy Farrah, daily exercise and Epsom salt baths.

All photography provided by Mind/Body HAUS.

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