My yoga journey began when I was 12 years old and began to learn about Eastern religions in school, mainly Hinduism and Buddhism. I came home after the first class with a beloved teacher and declared to my conservative and observant Jewish mother that I was, in fact, a Hindu. The conversation didn’t go well (though to her credit those conversations go just fine now). That early exposure those teachings led me to explore mystical thought of all kinds and encompassed a broad spectrum of religion and philosophy. After the Universe decided that yes, Hinduism should in fact be a player in my life and brought me my husband Arjun (whose father is from India), I decided to delve more deeply into his family’s culture and read the Bhagavad Gita, which in turn led me to seek out a yoga teacher.
I started practicing regularly in 2001, did my first Teacher Training in 2003 in a Vinyasa-based studio in Westchester, NY and started teaching immediately even though I was pregnant with my first son. I met Todd Norian in 2006 and after one weekend workshop, with only a month to go until start time and the logistical challenge of a 14-month-old son who was still nursing and had never spent more than 2 hours away from me, I signed up for his Anusara Teacher Training on the spot, a decision that dramatically changed the course of my life and one I am eternally grateful for. I often say that 10 years of therapy had nothing on Teacher Training with Todd!
Although I am a Certified Anusara Teacher, I enjoy many different styles of yoga and have studied Iyengar, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and everything in between. I have been blessed to study with many amazing teachers and am so grateful to their wisdom and guidance. After training with Todd, I completed Prenatal Teacher Training with Janice Clarfield in 2007, Anatomy and Therapeutics Training with Sarah Starnes in 2010, and a Yoga and Jewish Spirituality Teacher Training with Diane Bloomfield and Myriam Klotz in 2012. I have attended and assisted trainings, workshops and retreats with Martin Kirk, Sadie Nardini, Ellen Saltonstall, Jason Crandell, John Friend, Noah Maze, Amy Ippoliti, Christina Sell, Ross Rayburn, Chaya Spencer, Desiree Rumbaugh, Sheryl Edsall, and many others, and continue to study with master teachers regularly.
My classes infuse teaching deeply rooted in scripture of all kinds, while also reflecting living as a modern yogi for a seamless integration of contemporary and spiritual themes woven throughout postural and breath instructions to integrate body, mind and heart in a powerful way. With an eye always on careful alignment, my classes also include dynamic sequencing and movement with breath to skillfully open the body and harness its unique potential to bring forth the most satisfying and beautiful pose each individual body can create. I particularly enjoy helping students achieve elusive or challenging poses with ease and grace.
My ultimate goal as a teacher is to help guide my students to recognize their own inner teacher, the aspect of themselves that already knows how to live the good life, but maybe has forgotten along the way.
"Rachel is creative, encouraging and fun to work with. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and she's willing and eager to share it. I'm so glad to have studied with and learned from her."
- Nancy Seeback,
RYT 200, Suffern, NY