Rachel Hunter was born under a lucky star. The constellations sparkled a little brighter on the day she arrived on earth in late 1969. Curious and effervescent, her love of nature, ballet, and adventure was encouraged by her spiritually experimental parents, especially her metaphysically gifted mother.
Although she encountered some challenges while growing up in the splendour of her native New Zealand, it was only a matter of time before the tender-yet-captivating teenager caught the eye of a photographer while on a carefree beach outing. Next up, a whirlwind of magazine covers, television and movie appearances, and, oh yes, marriage to a rock superstar. To the casual observer, this is enviable enough. But Hunter’s true raison d’être was more incorporeal, yet simple, timeless and universal. She was going to show the world how to find, ‘the revelation of wisdom and the place where true beauty lies.’
Arriving at that destination of self-discovery, however, had more than its fair share of complications. But it opened doors. And windows. And whatever crevice she could crawl through. To escape an impending abyss, Hunter lunged deep into yoga and meditation. ‘There are those moments, special moments, that when a wise one speaks, those words strike the heart, not the mind, the heart,’ she recounts.
When the Tour of Beauty opportunity arose, Hunter jumped at the chance and on to the next flight to grab it. Traversing 23 countries over two seasons for Imagination Television, Hunter set out to probe the myriad beauty and wellness rituals practised around the globe. What she unearthed and experienced was something more profound and transformative: the beauty of the human soul, of nature, of inner joy. And though youth is something to cherish, the wisdom and serenity that come with graceful ageing are transcendental. ‘Youth is in the heart, it is the smile, the vitality, the vibrance and the inner light of a person,’ Hunter explains. ‘The wise person remains in innocence.’
As a follow-up to the popular series, the ‘Tour of Beauty’ hardcover delves further into the remarkable people and communities Hunter encountered and the expanding awareness she accrued with every interaction and the humility which ensures when joy and wisdom unite. There was one location on her sojourn, however, that touched her deeper than anywhere she had been, a sort of solar eclipse of the mind and soul: Sadhguru Ashram in Varanassi. ‘I had been practising for years before this, but this was an amazing inner connection,’ she explains. ‘I knew that I would be back. This was the first place I thought of as our Mum passed away.’
From the depths of sorrow at her mother’s passing, Hunter plunged into the depths of yoga and self-actualization. ‘When I arrived in India in late November 2017, little did I know that yoga went beyond the practice of the Asana,’ she expounds. Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, Hunter immersed herself at the Sattva Yoga Academy. Hunter confesses this was a challenge to her on a visceral level, but she unwavered in her dedication to a stronger self. ‘I dug deep, had resistance, but I stayed and kept returning,’ she affirms.
Surrendering control of the familiar proved not merely rehabilitative, but a reincarnation. ‘People have to find what moves them,’ states Hunter, noting that yoga moved, beckoned and wouldn’t let go. With over 500 hours of master training and certifications, Hunter has found her bliss, but is qualified to share her expertise with others. This includes workshops and retreats, and an online platform that will involve everyday rituals for practitioners at all levels.
Hunter’s love of India is a gift that keeps on giving, as an ambassador for Dah! yoghurt. ‘This is the dream partnership. Their philosophy of taking the time and slowing down correlates directly with how they make their yoghurts—they are artists in this industry,’ she asserts. Finding the ideal partnership takes more than serendipity and can be as rare as a blood moon. The collaboration formed through a mutual friend who made the introduction. ‘As soon as we met, I was obsessed,’ she reveals. ‘It happened organically and I'm fortunate that it all just fell into place as a natural synergy between us.’
The slow-cultured artisan yoghurts include traditional Indian lassi, grass-fed milk dahi, plus almond and an almond-oat-coconut blend in a variety of natural flavours. Prepared at a lower temperature with a longer cooling period, the result is a rich flavour, smooth silky texture, and an elevated probiotic content.
Of course, no story about a beauty icon would be complete without her postulations on staying youthful through the life cycle. ‘Life is life, so enjoy. Stop getting stuck on ageing, as you are missing out on living. Enjoy yourself, as trying to be something else is tiring and stupidly expensive. Do what makes you happy.’ •