Rachael has frequently assisted me as a guest teacher for the 200 hour teacher training certification. These assists have always been well organized, thoughtfully prepared, and presented with quiet passion. Often the discussions we have about yoga lead me to challenge my perspective. Rachael's active and inquisitive mind keeps me vital on this journey of yoga. She is my teacher as I am hers.
Joanne VandenHengel

My Philosophy


While I have extensive training both in terms of certification and continuing education, my philosophy of yoga is informed largely by self-study. I believe that yoga must be embodied and lived, and this is precisely what I seek to do in my day to day life.

Anyone can do yoga, no matter their ability or background. Its a matter of finding the right class and the right teacher to fit your particular needs. Yoga challenges us physically and mentally and we can gain incredible insights about our life as a result of this practice. More and more research supports the notion that a regular yoga or meditation practice can reduce chronic pain, stress-related disorders and illnesses, and is generally therapeutic. For more about the benefits of yoga for trauma victims, see this
interview with Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk.

In the west, we have a tendency to focus on the acrobatics of yoga. While there is certainly nothing wrong with having a little fun, we must also be careful not to reinforce bad habits. There has been a lot of recent attention given to safety concerns and yoga-related injuries. Check out this
New York Times article.

This shouldn't scare you away from practicing yoga, but it should caution you to find a class and teacher that best suits you. Having some awareness about the more therapeutic approaches to yoga might be a good place to start.

Key elements of my teaching practice include:

  • I'm 200 hour certified, insured, and a member of Yoga Alliance, the professional organization of this trade.
  • I design my classes to build gradually over the course of the hour. This is safer for your body and less intimidating for new people. It also works targeted muscles more deeply.
  • Both beginners and advanced students are nurtured in my classes—I give lots of options and modifications.
  • I pay careful attention to each person and give gentle adjustments to ensure that the postures are being practiced safely.
  • I cue the breath a lot, which means students learn breathing as much as movement.
  • I work closely with my mentors and read current research and literature to stay with the 'cutting edge' of yoga.

The bottom line is that I always endeavor to make learning and practicing yoga fun, challenging, and safe. If you have any questions about my classes or workshops, or would like to speak with me about private lessons, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Excerpts from a class I taught and an interview with a student. Recorded by Camelia Montoy.

Camelia also interviewed me for a short film about her own relationship to yoga.



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Services


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Private Lessons
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Yoga helps me be a stronger runner. I can lose track of my form, and yoga reminds me how important it is.
Danny Pudi