Super stoked to be leading this King Pigeon posture clinic next month at YoYoYogi. Join us on Feb 12th as we break down this much-loved/loathed pose. We’ll flirt with a few cousin poses like Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose), too.
I’m delighted to be teaching three big fat days of Yoga History & Philosophy next weekend at YoYoYogi. Please join me for a little or a lot. This is gonna be goooood.
(I promise to keep it real.)
There are 3 options to participate:
1. The Full Weekend: $299
September 16 – 18
Curious about the roots of yoga, but not sure where to begin? Wondering what the heck all that Sanskrit’s about? Ready to dig in a little deeper? Here’s your chance. Join Rachel for a fascinating weekend packed with the wild, renegade history of yoga (for real!), the brilliant philosophy behind the poses, down-to-earth tools for working with a racing mind, and so much more. This stuff will rock your world, deepen your practice, and change your life.
2. The History of Yoga $49
Friday, September 16 from 6:30 – 9:30p
Did you know yogis were once such scandalous rogues that no decent person would be seen with them? Or that sun salutations are really a hybrid of British military exercises, Indian nationalist wrestling, and Scandinavian gymnastics? The yogic tradition is rich with mind-blowing history, most of which is news to us contemporary practitioners. Come on down for a glimpse of the dishy roots of yoga you never knew existed. Get the lowdown on all those lunges, the true story behind the Tantra, and so much more.
3. Foundations of Yoga Philosophy $49
Saturday, September 17 from 2-5p
Join Rachel for a down-to-earth look at the inspiring, powerful philosophy that underlies the asana practice we know and love. Here’s your chance to break down some of the key concepts and texts of yoga, both on and off the mat, in super-relatable ways. Learn how to apply yoga philosophy to your crappy job, your gnarly commute, and that pain-in-the-butt boss. You’ll walk out lighter than you walked in. And your practice will never be the same.
You can register here.
Just sent out my Spring newsletter. I rarely send these anymore because too much email. If you want to subscribe, there’s a button top left. Cheers.
Delighted to teach a Yoga Philosophy For Dummies workshop at YoYoYogi next month. Open to all, whether you know anything about yoga or not. I promise it won’t be woo-woo.
Yes, we’re doing it again!
I’ll be back in Northern California the last weekend of June, and summer should be bustin’ out all over. Looking forward to sharing another yoga + hiking retreat with you. It’s a great chance to get a dose of sky, bust out an old-school vinyasa, luxuriate in a long meditation, and ramble together over sunburned conversation in the woods.
So please do join us.
What: Day-long Point Reyes Yoga + Hiking Retreat
When: Sunday, June 26th, 12-5ish pm
Where: Toby’s Feed Barn, located at 11250 California Hwy 1, Point Reyes Station, CA. (About an hour northwest of SF and Oakland.) Drive up anytime Sunday morning to enjoy Point Reyes Station. Make your way to YogaToes Studio (MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini’s home studio) between 12-12:15pm for check-in and brief hellos. We’ll share a full vinyasa + meditation practice, take a quick break to change and refuel, and then head out for a 2-3 hour hike in the wilds of Inverness and Point Reyes National Seashore.
What To Bring: yoga mat, water bottle, solid hiking shoes, sunblock, rain gear (if it’s wet), and comfortable clothes. Wear layers, as temps can drop when the fog rolls in.
Registration: $50 covers a 2-hr hike and a 2-hr yoga/meditation class. Link is below! (Studio space is limited to 35, so it will definitely fill up.)
Questions: Email me at email@example.com
Peeps! I’ll be back in the Bay Area for a hot minute later this month, and am stoked to share the afternoon with you.
For our Yoga + Hiking Retreat Version 3.0, we’ll hike Bear Valley (a nice, flat, tree-lined stroll, perfect for catching autumn colors) and then we’ll head back to YogaToes Studio (MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini’s home studio) for a 2-hour yoga practice. Beforehand, come on up to savor one of the final West Marin farmer’s markets of the season. And after? Linger together at one of the many fab local restaurants for vino and oysters and serious comfort food.
What: Day-long Point Reyes Yoga + Hiking Retreat, Version 3.0
When: Saturday, October 24th, 12-5:30pm
Where: Toby’s Feed Barn, located at 112150 California Hwy 1, Point Reyes Station, CA. (About an hour northwest of SF and Oakland.) Drive up anytime Saturday morning to enjoy the farmer’s market between 9am-12pm. Make your way to the big Buddha mural behind the yoga studio between 12-12:15pm for check-in and brief hellos. We’ll gather for a couple of minutes and then head out to hike Bear Valley Trail, part of Point Reyes National Seashore. We’ll trek for about 2 hours, take a quick break, then head back to the studio for a classic Rachel yoga and meditation practice from 3:30-5:30pm.
What To Bring: yoga mat, water bottle, solid hiking shoes, rain gear (if it’s wet), comfortable clothes, and cash for the farmer’s market (if you want). Wear layers, as temps can drop when the fog rolls in.
Registration: $50 covers a 2-hr hike and a 2-hr yoga/meditation class. Link is below! (Studio space is limited to 35, so it will definitely fill up.)
Questions: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can’t wait to catch up with y’all and get our autumn on.
This time we’ll start with a yoga & meditation practice again at YogaToes Studio in Point Reyes Station, and from there we’ll head out to Limantour Beach to hike the Coast Trail.
(Have no fear: the Coast Trail runs a good 17 miles, but we won’t be doing the whole thing. We’ll hike for a solid hour or two and then head back to Point Reyes in time to stuff our faces and soak up some wine.)
The day’s agenda is above. It’ll be an ideal little summertime escape.
Due to an unexpected conflict, this retreat has been postponed until later this autumn. Thanks for your interest. Stay tuned for new dates to come!
Join me in Bolinas on Sunday, March 10th.
We’ll get our hands dirty. And leave with our hearts — and our bellies — full.
All photos courtesy WildSoul
A BOOK CLUB FOR THE URBAN YOGI
Do you dig a good read, but find it harder and harder to get through a book between deadlines and emails?
Has your childhood love of reading been lost to the time-suck of mindless Facebook-scrolling and YouTube-watching?
Do you wish you had a down-to-earth friend or two with whom you could talk about more than the weather? Do you tire of superficial small talk and wanna dig into the deeper questions?
Would you like to learn more about the philosophies behind yoga and mindfulness, but don’t really know where to start? Are you intimidated by, but curious about, the big words and esoteric concepts underlying your practice?
Do you dig drinking wine and hanging out with cool cats?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above — and, come on, who doesn’t like an excuse to crack open a bottle of red on a weeknight? — then you should join us for the first-ever gathering of OMpower’s new book club, ROOTS.
ROOTS gets at just that: the soul behind the schtick, the ideas behind the practice, the philosophy behind the asana. We’ll tackle one book a month from diverse genres, keeping themes creative, broad, and relatable, with an emphasis on the light-hearted and the down-to-earth.
Join us for our first gathering Tuesday evening, February 19th, 7pm, at OMpower Cycling & Yoga. Bring a little something sweet to share if you can. We’ll sip pinot and tawk books.
February’s debut book selection:
by Brian Leaf
It’s pretty simple:
Pick up a copy at your local indie bookstore, grab one at the library, or order it on Amazon here. Read it. Grab that friend you’ve been meaning to re-connect with for six months. Then roll on over to OMpower Tuesday the 19th at 7pm. We’ll take it from there. We just ask that you throw five or ten bucks into the can to help keep the lights on and the wine flowing.
Live far away but still wanna participate?
Have no fear; social media to the rescue. We’re working on a few slick ways for you to join in from afar. Start now by digging into the book, make sure to “like” the soon-to-come Roots FB and Twitter pages to receive updates, and we’ll have more info for you soon.
Happy reading! See you on the 19th.
Join us Sunday, December 2nd at OMpower Cycling & Yoga for an afternoon of:
Shiatsu massage. Restorative yoga with hot stones. Chai & cookies. Camaraderie. Realness. Yoga Ninja trunk show. Tools for surviving the holidays. Good company. And more.
Have you ever wondered what the heck “Bhakti Flow” is? And what makes it different from your usual Power Flow class, anyway?
Join Rachel for this lighthearted 2-week immersion exploring the Basics of Bhakti. Together, we’ll dive into the intertwining elements of sweat, breath, and song that combine to create a Bhakti Flow class. You can count on: an introduction to the basics of yoga philosophy, a down-to-earth overview of the Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, a story- and art-infused guide to the major Hindu deities (like Hanuman, Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna, and more), and lots of great music, including rad tunes from bhakti-rich singers like Jai Uttal and MC Yogi. Naturally, we’ll do a little of our own good strong chanting, too.
Whether you’re new to yoga or a long-time practitioner, this workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn a little more about the spirit behind the Bhakti yogic tradition, which is steeped in love and devotion. Bring your questions and your fears (if chanting makes you nervous, I’m talking to you!), your passions and your curiosities. This is an ideal offering for folks who might be flirting with the idea of a teacher training or just want to know a little more about the music, spirit, and philosophy that embody the heart of Bhakti Flow. Jai!!
Two Saturday afternoons: Oct 20th and 27th, 1:30-3:30pm
Will you have dinner with me and Solyoga Trips next Sunday evening the 22nd? Say, after spending the afternoon touring a sweet Bolinas organic family farm, practicing yoga together in a barn-turned-art-studio, and rounding out the day with a stellar massage?
I’m so happy to be returning to the East Coast for a weekend of workshops with my Northeast Pennsylvania yoga family next month. Please join me May 18-19th for three sweet asana workshops at Balance Yoga in Forty Fort, PA.
Friday evening, May 18th: 6-8:30pm
Open Your Heart with Rachel
Crack your heart open with Rachel in this evening workshop wrapped in love, laughter and devotion. Whether your heart feels rich with love or raw with regret, bring yourself — your whole self, your broken-hearted self, your questioning self, your most-hopeful self — to the mat for an evening of sweet heart openers, rich bhakti philosophy, heart-swelling melodies, and a whole lotta love. Rachel will guide you through a strong flow designed to breathe space and light into all the parts of your heart that might have shut down, tightened up, or closed off a bit over the years. Come for the sweat and the song; find the hidden heart-openers in everything from Warrior 1 to Ustrasana; and then stay for the softness to follow. Because it’s never too late to fall in love: with yourself, with one another, and with the world. All levels welcome!
Saturday afternoon, May 19th: 12:30-3pm
Bhakti in Bloom: Detox Flow
Spring is the perfect time to let go of the old and make room for the new. And if you, like many of us, have resolved to live lighter and more healthfully this year, then this workshop’s for you. Join Rachel for an invigorating, spring-inspired detox flow. We’ll build heat with a strong Ashtanga-inspired vinyasa and then move through a series of detoxifying, digestion- and elimination-stimulating twists to help your body better process and remove the sludge of day-to-day living. Learn to let go of both the physical and the psychological junk that’s weighing you down, and bloom into a new, lighter, more energized you. We’ll finish the practice with a few relaxing forward folds to give your mind a chance to empty out, too. Blossom into your summertime! All levels welcome.
Saturday evening, May 19th: 5:30-8pm
Soften Your Shoulders, Sweet One
Do you carry the weight of the world in your shoulders? You’re not alone. Join Rachel Saturday evening for a deep practice focused on shoulder softening and strengthening. We’ll build heat with a dynamic rock and roll vinyasa and then ease into some nice long holds, moving through a few arm balances along the way. With the help of some great tunes, we’ll cultivate a balance of strength and softness, connecting the sorrows and joys we often find stored in the shoulders with the “undoing” processes inherent in the emotional, physical, and spiritual heart of a yoga practice. Bring your soul, soften your expectations, and ease right into a deep release. All levels welcome.
Watch this space for full registration details: http://
I’m so excited to be partnering with San Rafael-based non-profit Beyond Hunger for an evening of sweet vinyasa, cameraderie and conversation.
Please join us for:
March 31st, 2012
Flying Yoga Shala
4308 Telegraph Avenue.
Temescal Area, Oakland, CA
— open to all, no matter how much or you little you can give!
The evening will begin with a brief informal introduction to the mission and the heart of Beyond Hunger, a non-profit whose work in eating disorder recovery encourages intuitive eating, mindfulness, and listening to the body. Rachel will then guide us through a lyrical all-levels vinyasa class from 7:30-8:30, and we’ll finish the evening with easy fellowship and light snacks.
Yoga teaches us beautifully powerful ways to better inhabit our bodies for the brief flash of time that we’re blessed to call them ours. So come breathe space and light into every corner of your life, on and off the mat. Join in community with other folks who are interested in what it looks like to live well in a body. All studio proceeds benefit Beyond Hunger.
Beyond Hunger is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals overcome the obsession with food and weight and find a natural, loving and peaceful relationship with their food, weight, and selves. We provide support groups, workshops and education for adults and adolescents with eating disorders. Beyond Hunger uses a non-diet approach to explore body hatred and the psychological, cultural and spiritual issues underlying disorder eating.
Here’s a sweet blurb on Beyond Hunger’s philosophy. They do such important work. I am so excited to send a little collective support their way.
Bring a friend or six! See you on the 31st.
I’m so excited to invite you to The Yoga of Fight Club.
Yep, you heard that right. You, me, Tyler Durden, and Marla Singer, baby. We’re gonna get our yoga on.
For over a decade now, I’ve been smitten with the complicated, smart, countercultural spirit of Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel. His 1996 Fight Club made a splash onscreen in David Fincher’s 1999 film of the same name, and though it garnered controversy, the movie starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter has gone on to enjoy a certain cult popularity in the years since.
I love this book (and Fincher’s stylish film) for its complexity, its sexiness, its embodiment, its grit, its willingness to dive into tough questions, and its fundamental theological richness. You can come at Palahniuk’s stuff from any angle: yogic, Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, capitalist, culture-jamming, gendered, queer, anti-consumerist, postmodern, sexualized — and find in it a screed, an inspiration, a challenge.
(Here’s an example. Hot stuff.)
So join me for for a chill evening at Flying Yoga. We’ll screen a few clips, and read a few blurbs. Tyler, Marla and I will knock out a few rounds of philosophy with you. We’ll dig into the hows and the whys of yoga philosophy, embodiment theology, and Adbusters-style culture-jamming, and consider what the hell those things might have to do with this ostensibly violent, angry, sexist film — and in so doing, argue that perhaps, in fact, that violence, that anger, that sexism, might in fact have deeper roots that might be kind of life-giving and progressive and radical (and yogic!) after all.
But, seriously? Just pay what you can. I’d rather you be there than worry about cost. It’s not about the money. It’s about the conversation, and the company, and the bodies, and the breath. Oh, and the sexy, and the smart, too.
The mechanic starts talking and it’s pure Tyler Durden.
“I see the strongest and the smartest men who have ever lived, ” he says, his face outlined against the stars in the driver’s window, “and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables.”
The drop of his forehead, his brow, the slope of his nose, his eyelashes and the curve of his eyes, the plastic profile of his mouth, talking, these are all outlined in black against the stars. ….
“You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need.
We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.“
Oh, baby! I’m so excited to invite you to join me and Solyoga Trips for Bhakti In Bloom, a weekend eco-yoga adventure at gorgeous Sierra Hot Springs, this April 20-22nd. We’ll soak in ancient hot springs, rock out some killer vinyasa, and drink a little vino under the stars. Just say YES. Full retreat invitation here.
Escape the urban grind for a weekend of yoga, fresh air, and mountain blooms. Join bhakti flow yoga teacher Rachel Meyer and Solyoga Trips for a rustic, heart-filled, revitalizing springtime getaway melding music, vinyasa and philosophy amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in Northern California.
This is not your usual chi-chi yoga retreat. You can leave your fancy-pants at home. This one’s all about keeping it real, kids.
Gather with a crew of like-minded folks who just wanna get their bhakti on. We’ll sweat, we’ll chant, we’ll hike, we’ll soak our sore muscles in the ancient hot springs that have been revered as sacred for hundreds of years. Join Rachel for an unpretentious, rockin’, Bhakti Flow yoga-filled, back-to-nature weekend under the stars — the kind of retreat meant for real people who wanna get their yoga and their nature and their big sky on, all at once. Sierra Hot Springs is based at the cusp of a lush national forest and a beautiful alpine valley, blanketed with wildflowers. Leave your cell phone at home and get lost on the edge of 700 acres of enchanted forest. Trade your soul-sucking commute for a midnight soak in 24-hour plunge pools under star-studded skies, or rise with the sun for a daybreak hike before getting your asana on in the fresh air. Any way you look at it, here’s your chance to bloom.
We’ll do our part to keep things grounded and authentic and rich and real, offering four badass yoga practices rich with music and philosophy; delicious, lovingly-prepared meals; and even a chance to “book club” it up with a little vino, lots of irreverence, and Neal Pollack’s Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude — but also giving you plenty of time on your own to get lost, to slow down, to unplug, to breathe, and to really soak up the hiking and the sunshine and the hot springs in their full springtime glow.
Friday, April 20th:
You are welcome to arrive anytime after 3pm on Friday.
5:30-7pm — Rockin’ vinyasa, followed by dinner
Saturday, April 21st:
8:30-10:30am — Rockin’ vinyasa, followed by brunch
Afternoon free for hiking, hot springs, and more
5-6:30 pm — Mellow vinyasa, followed by dinner
8:30pm — Book club & vino gathering (optional)
Sunday, April 22nd:
8:30-10:30am – Rockin’ vinyasa, followed by brunch
The retreat ends with brunch on Sunday, but you are welcome
to stay on the grounds until 5pm.
“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe. Your heart is that large: trust it. Keep breathing.”
Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy
Crack your heart open with Rachel in this special Valentine’s Day weekend workshop. Whether your heart feels rich with love or raw with regret, bring yourself — your whole self, your broken-hearted self, your questioning self, your most-hopeful self — to the mat for an afternoon of sweet heart openers, rich bhakti philosophy, heart-swelling melodies, and a whole lotta love. Rachel will guide you through a strong flow designed to breathe space and light into all the parts of your heart that might have shut down, tightened up, or closed off a bit over the years. Come for the sweat and the song; stay for the homemade heart-shaped bundt cake to follow.
Because it’s never too late to fall in love: with yourself, with one another, and with the world.
Join us for this cozy Sunday afternoon at Glow Yoga & Wellness in San Francisco’s iconic North Beach.
February 12, 2012
This California girl is braving a prairie winter!!
It’s so much my pleasure to announce two upcoming vinyasa workshops in, yup, my old Great Plains stomping grounds. January on the prairie is the perfect time to build a little heat with a strong power vinyasa. Please join Rachel Meyer Yoga for a little Bhakti Flow, Nebraska-Style in Omaha:
Guest teacher Rachel Meyer offers a music-infused blend of athleticism, dance, and spirit. She crafts an intense flow-based practice rich in yoga philosophy and sweaty goodness.
We look to the light.
Yesterday morning I breezed through the tunnel under the Bay on my way to teach in Oakland, and the sun broke clear and radiant across the urban skyline. It left me singing the Gayatri mantra for the rest of the day. I downloaded Deva Premal’s stunning version and it lulled us into the meditative rhythm of Surya Namaskar A as that same sun set over North Beach last night.
We look to the light. In spite of all shadows, in spite of all uncertainty, in spite of all difficulty or tumult; we look to the light. This is what the Gayatri mantra so beautifully reminds us; this is what yoga teaches us; this is what January brings to us, that reminder that, in spite of all sorrow, we always have the chance to begin again, over and over, brand new in every breath, every practice, every moment.
And if that ain’t radically gorgeous, I don’t know what is.
Speaking of radical…we had a most incredible donation-based New Year’s Eve jam session at Flying Yoga. Still swimming in gratitude for the over-capacity crowd that turned up at sunset to do a little yoga to benefit the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp along the way. Thanks to y’all for showing up, and for being willing to pair your asana practice with a little Lenny Kravitz, a little Bell Biv Devoe, and a whola lotta love. We could’ve filled two classes that night. I’m already looking forward to next year.
The new year brings with it all kinds of fab artistic, life-giving projects. I am blessed by the sometimes-overwhelming opportunities to serve.
First off, did you notice that the ol’ blog got a facelift? Raw Rach is and always has been my beloved literary practice mat, but she was waaaay overdue for a makeover. Check her out when you’ve got a few minutes to kill at work.
Secondly, I’m proud to announce a very exciting new undertaking. I’ve been blessed to know my dear old friend and colleague Jennifer Kartiganer since we first met as fellow yoga philosophers some three years ago. She’s a remarkable creature, a true Renaissance woman, and I am over the moon that she has asked me to join her and several other most-incredible teacher-friends in launching a hot new studio in South Beach. OMpower will be based at 64-66 Townsend St., just down by the ballpark, near and dear to many folks I love. It’s a charmed space with radiant two-story ceilings and lots of light. We spent the holidays knee-deep in preparation, and I can’t wait for you to be a part of it, too. Stay tuned for more on that to come!
Finally, the month will bring with it a sweet return to the prairie. Nebraskans, I’ll be teaching workshops in Omaha and Lincoln the weekend of Jan. 20th-22nd. Please join me at one of three studios for a few hours’ of hip music, powerful vinyasa, and a lot of laughter. I’m looking forward to sharing the practice with you all in that desolate (and much-beloved) tundra that is the prairie in January.
In the meantime, please continue to join me at Urban Flow on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-6pm. It’s such a beautiful space, resonant with sweat, breath, and song, and it has been so much my pleasure to share a few chants with you all there. Full teaching schedule here.
I look forward to seeing you on the mat soon. Until then, so much love your way. Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.