Rachel Hector, ERYT-500, has been teaching yoga since 2002. She holds a Master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she is currently completing her doctoral degree with a focus in yoga-related research.
Thanks to the guidance of an aunt, Rachel was introduced to a book of hatha yoga techniques at the age of sixteen as a method of physical pain management. Like many chronic pain sufferers, she battled depression and found yoga to be a key ingredient in her treatment. At nineteen, Rachel found the practice of Ashtanga and began training to become a teacher.
After many years of teaching and practicing, Rachel began to notice differences in body types and the prevalence of injuries as related to those differences. She stepped away from teaching for a summer and reset her intention. Rachel returned with a focus to reduce injuries and to improve integrated, effective movement in her students.
Rachel began training teachers after eight years of full-time teaching. In 2011, she led the first hatha flow teacher training at Yoga Yoga, an Austin-based studio. The success of that program offered her an opportunity to begin a more targeted teacher training for healthcare professionals. Rachel spent the summer of 2012 studying with Dr. Timothy McCall, author of Yoga as Medicine and Nischala Joy Devi. She has completed Nischala’s Yoga of the Heart program geared towards individuals with cancer and heart disease.
At the university level, Rachel studies anatomy, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, and neuroscience. She went back to school at 28 for the explicit purpose of bringing yoga techniques into modern society via research. Her master’s work focuses heavily on inversion techniques and mechanics while her upcoming research tackles yoga as a vehicle for positive behavior changes. Although she is interested in the science behind yoga, she concedes that the magic of it is what keeps her coming to the mat.
Rachel leads trainings with Yoga Yoga, Global Yoga Shala, and Zingara Yoga. You can find out more by visiting her website.