Rachel began her study and practice of hatha yoga in 1992, at the original Jivamukti yoga center in New York City, where she regularly studied with Sharon Gannon and David Life. Her scholarship then lead her to receive teaching certification through the Sivananda lineage. Rachel has been blessed with many strong teachers, in the styles of Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Iyengar methods. She has been strongly inspired by the work of Ana Forrest, specific alignment principles codified in the Anusara method developed by John Friend, and more recently the research on primitive posture and restoring the lumbar curve of the spine. Rachel will experiment with and consider most anything that helps more people practice with more ease, more joy, and less pain. Her passion is to facilitate graceful and compassionate growth through dedicated practice.
What do I do best?
I’m really good at connecting with people where they’re at, and engaging an interesting and inspiring dialogue about what brings them joy and fulfillment.
What makes me the best version of myself?
When I’m engaging all my practices in a consistent and attentive way, I feel most alive and capable of being in the world in a way that I like. These practices include cultivating spacious open awareness, eating well, sleeping well, moving my body through yoga/hiking/biking/dancing.
What are my aspirations?
I aspire to inspire. I love being a catalyst for people to shift their perspective, to engage in new practices, to move in the direction of deeper connection to spirit, and therefore to everyone and everything else. The more people I can meet in this inquiry, the better.
My Biggest Success?
I think this would be my marriage. My husband and I have worked hard over the past 25 years to become each other’s greatest allies and supports on the path to heartful awakening and the practice of love in many forms.
My Most Challenging Moment?
While preparing for the birth of my child, 13 years ago, I had many wishes and desires about how the birth would go. Almost none of them transpired! I learned about surrender in a huge way. I learned that yoga asana practice gave me tools to cope with a certain range of sensations, but I had to dive quite deep into my meditation practice to handle the overwhelm, fear, and profound pain (really, I couldn’t relate to it as simply “sensation”) that I was experiencing. After many hours of seeming progression and imminent pushing, a whole slew of complications ensued, and a Cesarean section was called for. By the grace of a very kind and lucid doctor, and my child’s steady heartbeat (after hours of instability) I was able to avoid the operation and instead delivered with the assistance of a vacuum suction. Again, NONE of this was in my plan, and ALL of it conspired to bring more humility, more “I don’t know”, more empathy, and more kindness into my life.
“May I live in compassionate service”
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My role models are women who live in service to what they believe, and take clear action to engage in the personal/political/local/global shifts they espouse. There are so many women who fall into this category right now! I take inspiration from dharma teachers, therapists, writers, artists, and philosophers who have shaped/are shaping the ways that we understand the human condition and the spiritual longing that is fundamental to our species.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Natural outdoor hot springs, anyplace with clear water I can swim in, spacious open landscapes. For urban fun, I love indoor bath-houses for indulging in sauna/steam/soaks.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Though I don’t use many cosmetic products, I love essential oil scents and luscious chemical –free moisturizing creams. Good hiking boots are essential, as well as outdoor gear that lets me enjoy camping and living outside for extended periods of time. I go for simple and minimal whenever I can. In my life, less is often more.
My Current Passions?
Singing harmonies with friends, spending time with my family, playing my ukulele, cooking, being outside, and again, hot springs!