My name is Rachel and I am originally from Canada. After having lived and studied in several cities around the world including London and New York, I made the move to Israel in 2011.
My journey with yoga was borne out of my experience as both a child and teenager living with epilepsy – a neurological disorder that causes regular seizures. Even today, many years later, I fail to be able to describe what it feels like to have a seizure, how it impacted my daily life, and how I felt about myself and my body. While epilepsy is not trauma, there were many experiences in parallel.
I was 10 years old and at summer camp when I first stepped onto a yoga mat, and never forgot the effect it had on me. My life was changed forever when at the age 16 I had surgery to remove the area of my brain responsible for causing the seizures. I was very lucky and never again had another seizure, however the general anxiety and depression as a result of the epilepsy remained. As a teenager I forgot about yoga, but in my first year living away from home I noticed a new yoga studio around the corner from where I lived. Remembering the experience I had as a child at camp, I signed up.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Me with the rest of my graduating class
I became a yoga teacher in 2011 and taught for several years (vinyasa & ashtanga) during which time I would frequently feel empty and unfulfilled after my classes. It caused me a lot of distress. Eventually I came to the difficult conclusion that while I love and still practice mainstream yoga styles, teaching them just isn't for me.
It was during 2014's Operation Protective Edge that I read David Emerson's first book "Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga" and heard about the TCTSY certification program. As the saying goes, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't at that time know how or when it would happen, however I knew that somehow I would enroll and become Israel's first facilitator of TCTSY.
I graduated from the certification program in 2017 and haven't looked back. Since then I have worked with multiple organizations serving trauma-impacted populations in Israel, as well as mental health treatment and rehabilitation centers. When not facilitating I provide lectures and presentations on Trauma Sensitive Yoga within yoga studios, mental health conventions and organizations.
I love what I do and have endless admiration, respect and empathy for the people I work with. I am grateful for every moment I facilitate, for every experience I have in life and in yoga, and for the privilege to be doing this kind of work.
Education & certifications
2017 - 2018 Professional Traumatic Stress Studies | Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute | 70 hours
2016 - 2017 TCTSY Facilitator Certification | Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute | 300 hours
2011- 2013 Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Training | Miri & Gili Harouvi, Tel Aviv | 700 hours
2011 - Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training | Atlas Yoga Studio, Canada | 200 hours
2007 - 2009 - Associates Degree in Acting | American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC