WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING
"As a professional classical pianist, I was suffering from upper body stress and fatigue. Rachel designed fitness sessions geared precisely for my needs and level. Over the course of a few months I noticed radical improvement not only in my core strength, but also in my upper back and arms. I was able to reach an entirely new level of fitness without ever overtaxing my muscles which might have compromised some of my musical performances. She is incredibly competent, knowledgeable, and inspiring. She made working out fun and enjoyable while also pushing me to my highest potential."
Dr. Bridget Hough – Classical Pianist
WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING
Dr. Jonathan Morgan – Concert Violist, Executive Director & Violist // Now Hear Ensemble
"I trained with Rachel for the better part of 3 years and she is a consummate expert in so many varieties of functional movement, physical fitness, and mind/body integration through constructive and positive awareness. Rachel took me, a lopsided hunch-backed couch potato without any knowledge of functional movement, and taught me how to feel capable, strong, and knowledgeable about how to activate and coordinate my mind and body in and out of the gym. Through Rachel’s instruction, I finally understood what the term “self care” actually means, which I’ve now integrated into my daily yoga practice and have experienced transformative results – I owe this to her."
WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING
"To anyone needing an extra fitness push or a re-set after an injury, Rachel is your person. I first met Rachel through Santa Barbara CrossFit as one of the coaches. I’m not a crazy CrossFitter or really consider myself a competitive athlete. However, increasing my fitness is a daily goal and I use CrossFit to maintain and build strength in the off-season from fighting fire. This last winter, I managed to strain a quad muscle and was at risk for having to sit out a season from my hotshot crew. I started working with Rachel one-on-one. She was able to assess what flawed body mechanics had led to my injury and (with her diverse skill set of dance, strength training and Feldenkrais methodologies) was able to create a unique training program that specifically addressed my needs. Some of our initial visits were very different. I had to learn how to break down my muscle memory and utilize full range of motion, engaging muscles in movements I didn’t even know I had. She did a great job of explaining the science behind what we were doing and gave me all the tools I needed to really make the changes ‘stick’.
"For a long time, I was under the impression that if I wasn’t on the verge of passing out or didn’t hurt for 3 days after a workout… I wasn’t working hard enough. With Rachel’s gentle guidance, I was able to ease back into training after the injury and do workouts that were extremely productive. Eventually, I was able to do way more sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups than I ever had before the injury… and not suffer while doing it!
"It was a pleasure to work with someone who really listen to my fitness goals and come up with a program to fit my specific needs. She is flexible and professional (always getting back to me when I had questions and would frequently check-in to see how I was doing). She was even able to coach me remotely when I returned to work, assigning detailed workouts and personalized videos. She is an amazing coach and amazing person. She will be there to support you with whatever fitness journey you pursue."
Terra Perkins – Wildland Firefighter for the Forest Service
ABOUT DR. RACHEL WHITE GALVIN
WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING
"Rachel is one of the two or three best teachers I have had in my life, in any subject—academic, athletic, or musical.
"As you may know, Crossfit classes are high intensity workouts that involve a constantly changing array of functional movements drawn from weightlifting, gymnastics, rowing, running, yoga, and other training regimens. It is very challenging, both physically and emotionally. It is even more so when you start in your late 50s, as I did. At my age, there are many problems: keeping up with athletes in their 20s and 30s (and by keeping up, I mean not dying on the spot!); learning how to do Olympic lifts correctly, so you do not hurt yourself; and regaining some of the mobility that was lost along the way. It is also bewildering when you first start—at least it was for me, having been a sedentary academic for the previous 15 or so years.
"Rachel was a godsend. It does not matter whether the Crossfit class has four people or 25—when Rachel is coaching the class, it feels like you have a personal trainer. She is a master of taking complex physical movements and breaking them down into their component parts. When Rachel is teaching, you realize that the Olympic-style lift (barbells) you are trying to do is composed of eight separate movements that need to be combined into one flowing motion. Rachel figures out the component parts, and then trains us on these first, as if it were a dance class. Her explanations and graceful demonstrations of these sub-movements are crystal clear. Having taken seven years of violin lessons a long time ago, I can see how useful her approach would be in musical training.
"Rachel invites questions at many points (cheerfully tolerating the many that come from me), and her coaching is punctuated by witty puns and gentle humor. Importantly, Rachel is alert to when someone is moving incorrectly, no matter how many people are in the room. Her sense of personal responsibility in this regard is key: it is easy to hurt yourself by lifting heavy weights incorrectly. Rachel notices immediately when I am in danger of hurting myself. She immediately tells me what to do differently and, if she sees I am not capable of doing it yet, she figures out a modified version in keeping with my level of strength and mobility. In the past two years, I have never injured myself at Crossfit, and Rachel deserves most of the credit for this. She is so good that I try to modify my schedule to attend Crossfit classes when she is coaching. At a gym with many kind and talented coaches, Rachel stands out as the very best.
"Rachel is always learning, adding to her knowledge of anatomy and skills for increasing strength and mobility. I have also taken classes from her—some of them individualized—in Foundations (a low impact method to increase the strength of your posterior chain of muscles from heels to head, especially your back) and Feldenkrais training, a method that leverages body awareness to increase your mobility and let you move with less effort. (She has obtained specialized Feldenkrais training in the past year.) Rachel has worked wonders with me. To give just one example: I could not get my arms completely straight above my head, level with my ears, with my elbows locked. They were always angled forward, which makes lifting weights over your head very difficult (you don’t have your bones providing some of the support). I had assumed this was skeletal and unchangeable in me. But one day Rachel said, “let’s try something”. Using Feldenkrais methods, which involve very small, slow movements at first, she had my arms straight up within 30 minutes. She worked magic. At the same time, Rachel makes these movement classes (and her Crossfit sessions) into anatomy lessons. She has a deep causal understanding of how the bones and muscles of the body work, and uses this to explain why some movements are easier and safer than others. Her delight when everything makes sense is infectious. Rachel’s classes are a treat for the mind as well as the body. As a result, I am Rachel’s willing and eager test subject for new teaching methods. Most recently, she has been increasing the mobility of my somewhat creaky, late-50s body in something she is calling “Movement Lab”. The anatomy and techniques she taught me proved invaluable when I had a series of surgeries this winter—when the surgery had severely compromised key muscles, I knew exactly how to go from a lying to a sitting position using what Rachel had taught me. Her knowledge of anatomy and mobility-increasing techniques would transfer exceptionally well to teaching stringed instruments. Indeed, I know she has taught classes geared to increasing mobility and preventing repetitive injury for musicians—a great idea.
"What more could you want in a teacher? I recommend her strongly, and with no reservations."
Dr. Leda Cosmides – Distinguished Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara