Rachel is an amazingly calm and patient teacher, her knowledge of the human anatomy and how this relates to yoga practice has really helped me to develop and grow my practice. Her classes and courses are informative yet fun, I can thoroughly recommend Rachel as a yoga teacher, and I'm very grateful to her for the help she has given me with my practice!
I came to Rachel’s Ashtanga Therapy as a beginner. My body had many ailments, and i had very little hope. Rachel was very personal and took great care of me. First she helped me in her compassionate way to become aware of the locks in the joints of my body that over time had such an adverse effect on my health. Then she encouraged me to begin the practice in the most gentle and suitable way. Rather then looking for a quick solution for my long standing ailments, i realised after a short time practicing with her that to love and believe again in myself was the first step to healing. 6 weeks later now my hips are beginning to open, my all over vitality is noticeably increased, and i have reasonable hope that thru her therapy my body may come back into alignment. Thank you Rachel, for showing me that no one part of the body can really heal unless all parts work again harmoniously together.
There are not enough words to thank you for everything you taught me these three weeks. Undoubtedly one of the best blessings I found in my journey is you. You definitely are an inspiration for me. I wish you all the best, a lot of love, light, peace. Keep sharing your knowledge, because you are a kind of angel in yoga. I hope our paths cross over again. Lots of love and gratitude.
Dear Rachel, How I enjoyed your energy! Like an aum, permeating through our whole group. I feel you have access to a wealth of knowledge, and are blessed with good intuition. Thank you for sharing and caring, being strict and soft at the same time. I wish the path that you are on will bring you unprecedented joy.
Thank you so much, it was a pleasure and a gift to have your presence. Your help with my practice was amazing ~ you seem to know the body so well. Your smile and energy are contagious. I really enjoyed and hope to see you again soon. Thank you again
When I arrived on this teacher training I had no idea really of the impact that my life and job were having on me both physically and mentally. By Friday week one, I wasn't even sure I'd even make it to the end based on these issues. I can't thank you enough for your kind and gentle approach to not only my practice but to impact of all that was consuming me. You've been amazing, thank you for showing me that less is more and it's ok, for helping me to soften and accept that my practice will grow over time and for pointing out that to be strong from my feet upwards would make all the difference. I still have a long way to go but I know that if every time I step on my mat and listen to your advice one day my hips and back will recover. You have been a real inspiration and I hope one day I will practice with you again. Ashtanga is my love in yoga, you've inspired so much more
Yoga Therapy helped me with my back ache; L4, L5 Arthosis and stiffness which I had been suffering with for 2 years and been intensely treated by doctors in CH with little result. That was a huge surprise. Many thanks to Rachel!!! She is the best!
Yoga with Rachel was not only physically rewarding, her emotional knowledge of why we do certain physical stances with our body was very wise I came away feeling 100% happier and healthier
One of the most fantastic things about Samahita Retreat is just how much support there is. There is no judgement if you're going through a tough time, just alot of love and understanding and not just from the course leaders, but also from the staff especially the women in the wellness centre. I would definately return.I loved the yoga, Rachel is a brilliant teacher.
A fantastic experience in every aspect to meet people from all over the world, which highlights how we can get so caught up in the small box we can let ourselves slip into. Opened my eyes to how exciting life can be by just stepping out of the comfort zone to try something that you've never done before. I have grown so much as a person in one week. Thank you. Love to you all xx
There is alot going on in my body, mind, heart and soul at the moment... And I can feel it, yes I'm starting to feel myself again. That's only possible I guess because of the Yoga, Qui Gong and the thoughts and knowledge of Rachel and Dorien. Thank you both so much! I am sure now that I will find the right place and mission in my life to feel just happy and really good.
I wanted to find, decide, honour, love, live - and I did. It was a true transformational week; I came in stiff, tense and shy. I found my flexibility and beauty again. My body and mind learned a lot from Rachel, amazing experience! 2 beautiful women and 10 beautiful circle members; a holiday for body, mind and spirit in a marvelous respectful environment.
When I began studying with Rachel, I had been doing Ashtanga self-practice on and off for a couple of years, but had little to show for it. Furthermore, I had restricted movement in my knees, which I had had for years and years, and this was limiting not only my practice but also other activities in my life. I had become used to skirting around the knee issue, trying not to go near it, and was convinced I had countless hours of work on hip opening and lower back flexibility ahead of me before I could hope for any improvement. I had studied on occasion with a couple of other reputed teachers, but they too had encouraged me not to put my knees to the test, thereby reinforcing my pattern of trepidation and fear regarding how I related to these joints.
Rachel was very different – rather than avoiding ‘going there’, she encouraged me to reconnect with my knees, and to learn to trust my body more. She too was of course careful to make sure I didn’t get hurt, but from day one suggested various yoga therapy exercises I could do to regain full use of my joints. In the space of just a few weeks, I have experienced a considerable opening, and improvement beyond anything I remotely expected. Also, aside from the benefits of the physical side of the therapy, it has been great to see the mental blockage I had around my knees also dissolving.
More generally speaking, Rachel encourages her students to slow down, to pay attention to each stage of getting into and out of the postures, and to not be in a hurry to move through the series. In this way she is constantly teaching one of the main principles of yoga, which is to practice without undue concern for results. But of course results do come – going more slowly may make progress seem imperceptible, but then there are breakthroughs. For me some of these came because Rachel had even taken me “backwards” a little, in order to review some basics and approach certain asana with more physical and mental integrity, and the benefits of this were not long in coming.
After Rachel’s “Foundations of self-practice” course, I said that I had really gained a lot from her teaching, and she replied that it’s a pity some people seem not to have such a great interest in foundations, even though they are fundamental. I thought for a moment, then remarked that perhaps if we go deeply enough into foundations, they in fact contain all the essential aspects of the practice. I think Rachel was glad of this comment, because she doesn’t just teach asana, or Mysore classes, therapy or modifications to suit each individual – she teaches the whole of yoga. And just as William Blake saw the world in a grain of sand, Rachel’s way of teaching points to the possibility of seeing that the essence of yoga can be experienced in a single posture, a single breath.
I studied with Rachel for one month, taking her daily Mysore classes as well as Foundations 1 and 2. I found my time with Rachel to be invaluable. She has changed my practice; I am stronger and more flexible than when I first started studying with her. I also have a better understanding of my body and safer ways to practice without getting injured.
Rachel ticks all the boxes I would expect for an experienced yoga teacher:
- Deep understanding of the asanas, human anatomy, and yoga philosophy
- Gentle, confident, and accurate adjustments
- A knack for knowing exactly when I should be pushing forward in my practice
- Clear instructions for getting into asanas
Here’s what distinguished Rachel from other yoga teachers I’ve studied with:
1. Rachel provided deeply personalized instruction in the group Mysore setting. She carefully watched me in areas I had questions and gave me detailed feedback that really helped my practice.
2. Her therapeutic approach to Ashtanga. Rachel has a deep understanding of the Ashtanga tradition. But instead of rigidly adhering to those traditions at all times, she also taught modifications that helped me strengthen or stretch particular areas of my body; these modifications made it possible for me to ultimately do the asana “normally.”
3. Her therapeutic sequence. As someone with a pelvic imbalance, I found her sequence helped me practice with greater awareness of and balance in my body. I have incorporated her therapeutic sequence into my daily practice.