Rachel Sylvester

Murphy, NC
United States

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I began practicing dance at the tender age of three and trained in LA under renowned instructor David Norwood before dancing professionally with the prestigious Atlanta Ballet at the Urban Dance Theatre. A severe ankle injury derailed a promising dance career and I turned my attention to Yoga. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Yoga and practiced the popular, yet difficult Bikram Yoga for five years. As my knowledge and practice of Yoga grew, I discovered a more fluid and dance like form of Yoga – Vinyasa Flow which was a natural progression considering my dance background.
A turning point occurred as my favorite instructor left town. Rather than allowing the small group I practiced with to die, I took the initiative to teach the class myself! That unlikely turn of events sparked a new love for me, the love of teaching which lead me to attain my Yoga Certification through the Asheville Yoga Center followed by the Yoga Alliance. I then added a Yoga studio to my existing natural body care business and the challenge began of introducing Yoga to a small town previously unexposed to Yoga.
The early classes regularly consisted of one or two people, but ever so slowly, an interest in Yoga began to grow in Murphy, NC. Again, injury would step into my life and alter my course of direction. This time a serious auto accident left me in constant pain and searching for some relief. An introduction into a relatively new branch of Yoga, Anusara, was be exactly what I was looking for. Anusara Yoga’s focus on the healing aspect of the human body not only relieved my pain, but ignited a true desire in me to help people not only move their bodies, but to do so with precise alignment for the benefit of getting faster results. I engrossed myself in the practice and studied under some phenomenal teachers, namely John Friend, Gina Minyard, Joe Taft, Stacey Millner-Collins, Kelly Gardner, Sarah Faircloth, Desiree Rambaugh, Doug Keller and Martin Kirk. This was a huge commitment considering I lived more than a three hour drive from any of the above named instructors. That effort simply illustrates my desire to provide those that practice with me the very best instruction possible. 

Today, my practice consists of a strong following of beginners to those far more advanced. I truly love my time sharing the wealth of being and feeling alive. Every body is different and realizing that each body may look different in each asana, I pay special attention to physiology and anatomy and believe in tapping into one’s own unique form in molding an individual feel to those attending even group classes. 

Now having taught over 1600 classes and 14,000 people, I exude confidence in assisting the nervous beginner, the more advanced practitioner, people with injuries to those that yearn to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Yoga.
In my classes, one will find a compassion for their body while providing an opportunity to step out of the norm mentally, to be available for change emotionally and to experience an expanding of your heart.

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