Interviews with South Dakotans finding success outside their college major by Kyle Hallberg.

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Flashback to freshman year of college, the first weekend in a strange dorm, in an even stranger town. This is when I first met Rebecca Beu, a quirky health nut from Rapid City. Little did I know, this health nut would someday make a living out of being healthy, but not in the way you think.

Between transferring schools, finding her place in the college world and attempting to maintain long distance relationships, Beu and I sat down to talk about her journey through yoga, and how it has drastically changed her life.

Kyle Hallberg: When did you first get into yoga?

Rebecca Beu: It was my sophomore year of college, so two years this September. I transferred from the University of South Dakota to Chadron State College and saw a flyer for the class and decided to try it out.

KH: That must have been a little weird switching schools so early in your college career. Did you keep the same major?

RB: I started my freshman year at USD as an Addictions Counseling major. I decided to go to Chadron and switched to Criminal Justice, and then I switched halfway through that semester to Psychology. My junior year I continued with Psychology, corresponding online while I lived in Rapid City. I added a nutrition minor and am currently finishing out my senior year. I’ll be graduating in December.

KH: So it looks like you’ve always been interested in health or public service of some sort. Did you add the nutrition after you started yoga?

RB: Yes. My sophomore year was kind of difficult for me, since I didn’t have much of a friend group in Chadron. I spent roughly three hours every day working out and I started obsessing about what I ate. So when I started going to yoga, is was for a workout but it eventually helped me find a better connection with food – which is when I decided I wanted to learn more about nutrition.

KH: That’s so cool how you expected to get one thing out of yoga, and it ended up changing your entire perspective. Can you talk to me about your decision/path from starting yoga to getting certified?

RB: I loved doing yoga and would try to discover things on my own at home. I started going to The Yoga Studio in Rapid City and fell in love with the teachers and the atmosphere. The teacher I had in Chadron was also very encouraging. Once I left Chadron, the yoga studio was my social environment. They were offering a teacher training last fall and I played with the idea of certifying, but was a little hesitant since I’d only been practicing for barely a year. I started to study more about yoga and Sanskrit, so I would feel sure of my place in the training. That specific training ended up getting cancelled, but they decided to offer the training this summer/fall season. This time I was sure I wanted to be apart of it, because I wanted to share what yoga was and is for me. In a way, it was good for it to be postponed a year, as I gained confidence and learned so much about myself over that time.

KH: So you have really put a lot of time and effort into making this a reality. Talk to me about the balance yoga and everything else. Is it ever difficult?

RB: The balance between work and yoga is definitely more difficult than that between yoga and school. I have certain classes and times I like going to, and I try to make my availability work around those classes, but that doesn’t always work. I have no problems studying for school, so that’s pretty easy. As far as yoga goes, I really enjoy studying yoga, so that’s never a problem.

KH: You seem to have figured out a way to keep studying interesting, and having something like a yoga class to look forward to has got to help. Do you have any specific plans for after graduation in December?

RB: Well, hopefully sometime during this semester I will start a plant based cooking program, which is six months long. Then after I graduate I plan on getting my health coach certification, which is also six months long. My plan is to then teach yoga and be a health coach, and ideally some day I’d like to own my own studio.

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