Meet Rachel Garber

Rachel Garber is such a regular fixture at Reach yoga, we’d be genuinely surprised if you haven’t met her yet. She comes to her mat to create calmness in her busy day-to-day schedule, satiates her need for a well-balanced yet physically challenging practice, and also adopts her teachers mantras to share with her loved ones at home.  Whether you know her or not, read on for an enlightening peek into Rachel’s world.

 Q. How long have you been practicing yoga and how did you get into it?

I started practicing yoga in 2005 at Equinox in the city.  I was really into cardio classes (I LOVE a good step aerobics class) but decided to try something new.   After one yoga class with Allison English I could not believe how sore my core was, and was surprised how challenging it was.  I was hooked! I took 4 – 5 yoga classes a week all with the same instructor for about 5 years until I moved to Highland Park and had my daughter.  Then despite my love of yoga I was not able to find the same type of class I was used to (you get really set in your ways with one instructor) and found that getting a babysitter for 3 hours to take one class didn’t feel right for me.  So I pretty much stopped for 4 years and I always missed it.  As soon as my second daughter started preschool I knew it was time to get back into it.  I went to Pam Gross’s class at Reach and I really liked the laid back vibe, proximity to my house, and that it was not hot.  I started coming regularly and sure enough as my first teacher always said “your body remembers”.

Q. Why do you practice yoga? How does it benefit you?

I practice yoga because it makes me feel strong, gives me energy all day, and most of all, it just feels really good! Other exercise classes often leave me hurting and with a headache.  I love that there are always new things to try, new goals to reach and how different each class is.  I also love the message of yoga – I do try to take my yoga off the mat into my daily life (it doesn’t always work…but I try).  With two energetic, spirited daughters at home we take lots of big yoga breaths in our house.  I love repeating some of the end of class yoga quotes that really resonate with me when I get home as well.   My kids and I love this one from Lauri’s class years ago “If you have to choose between being right or being kind, always choose to be kind because then you will always be right”.  

Q. How do you occupy your time outside of Reach Yoga?

I am a busy stay at home mom with two kids in full day school this year for the first time – Yay!  Besides the daily trips to the grocery, Target, the laundry, and all that other fun stuff,  I am the PTO president of Ravinia School.  On weekends you’ll find us bike riding to the botanic gardens or the beach when the weather is nice – or hanging with our cousins and having family movie nights at home.  

Q. What was your first job?

Besides babysitting and camp counselor type jobs – my first real job was at Baby Guess in Northbrook Court.  It is now where Galt Toys is next to Sephora which used to be Guess. I worked there for 3 years and it was very fun – although we never had customers so not sure how it lasted that long!

Q. What is you favorite food to cook or eat?

I think my favorite thing to cook is anything my kids want to make with me – especially if it’s related to a holiday or something they love.  For Rosh Hashannah this year my 8 year old and I made a round apple challah.  That was ambitious and time consuming but beyond delicious.  She has already told me we are making it every year and that makes me happy.  As for my favorite thing to eat – unfortunately it’s dessert.  

 Q. What was the last live performance you attended? How was it?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the family – it was excellent.

Q. Do you participate in any sports or fitness activities other than yoga?

I love walking with friends and biking in the summer.  I also go to Orange Theory 1 – 2 times a week which I pretty much dread but it’s a great workout and I am always happy when its over!

 Q. What are you currently reading/watching/doing ? 

 I just downloaded The Kitchen House to read during jury duty but I was released after two hours so didn’t have a chance to get very into it yet – I will pick it up again soon!  

 Q. Coffee or tea? 

 Neither! I enjoy a vanilla latte a couple times a year however if I drink one (even in the morning) I’m up until 2 AM.  Plus it makes my arms and legs feel numb so I’m laughing thinking about what I’d be like if I ever drank coffee before yoga…it would not end well!

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