My fascination with YOGA comes from my own experience with its rich and rewarding practices. I initially started practicing YOGA in 1987 to overcome intense back pain from a devastating car accident. As I witnessed my body grow increasingly stronger and my mind become more resilient and peaceful from the practices, I realized that YOGA was an integral part of my healing journey—my own journey back to a sense of WHOLENESS…
I began to read everything I could get my hands on about the YOGA tradition—its history, its philosophy, its practices, as well as the luminary figures behind its practices.
I sought the wisdom of a key mentor, Om Prakash Tiwari, an expert in YOGA practices and it philosophy, as well as the head of the first yoga research institute in the world, the Kaivalyadhama. Tiwari not only imparted a deep understanding of YOGA and its practices, he also provided a cultural context and a scientific perspective of YOGA, as well.
Realizing that I could no longer just let this journey of self-discovery be about me and my own healing, I became a YOGA teacher in New York City in 1997. In the midst of taking advanced teacher trainings, I started to look further into the scientific research being done in the field of YOGA, and applied this knowledge in my classes and with my students.
I started to teach students with special needs; people with depression and anxiety; people with chronic pain, like fibromyalgia and back pain; and I started working with corporate employees to help lessen their stress in the workplace. I also started to teach YOGA teachers, not only physical postures, but breathing techniques and YOGA philosophy.
And, best of all, my students began to report back to me their own deep sense of PHYSICAL, MENTAL and EMOTIONAL well-being from their YOGA practices.
At this juncture, I decided to get a doctorate in South Asian Philosophy and Religion to deepen my own knowledge of YOGA and the rich soil from which the practice developed, and in 2003, I moved to San Francisco to attend graduate school. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Swami Kuvalayananda, a pioneer in the modernization of the tradition of YOGA. Kuvalayananda was the first person to submit the practices of YOGA to scientific scrutiny in the early 1920s. Kuvalayananda also aided the Indian nationalist movement by helping top leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as the rank and file of the nationalist movement, with YOGA therapy and practice.
That’s why I am so passionate about YOGA as integral practice to the art of living. Over the last eighteen years I’ve been able to teach many people—literally thousands of people—about the art and science of YOGA, not only helping people heal from physical pain and lessen their mental and emotional tension, but to help them thrive through the practices of YOGA.
Keynote Speaker at Symposium in India, 2015
Research Trip to India, 2010
Yoga Teacher in New York City, 2000
BIOGRAPHY & EDUCATION
A student of Yoga for almost 30 years, Rebecca Polack is a certified Yoga teacher through Cyndi Lee and OM Yoga Center in New York City, in accordance with the national requirements of Yoga Alliance. Rebecca also holds certifications in Prana Yoga with Dr. Jeffrey Migdow, MD, and Yoga for the Heart with Nischala Joy Devi, a yoga and stress management system designed for cardiac patients, based upon the Yoga portion of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease....