Rebecca has been teaching yoga in Cairo to classes and individuals since 1997 and is a member of the British-based Association of Independent Yoga Practitioners , as well as a registered 500-hour teacher with the Independent Yoga Network. She has continued her development as a Yoga teacher since completing her two-year teacher training in 2001 with Mary Stewart, herself a student of Iyengar, and Vanda Scaravelli, through workshops and trainings in the UK, France and the USA, all the while supervised by her primary teacher, Catherine James.
Mary Stewart and Vanda Scaravelli
Over the last few years Rebecca has completed the 9-month Principles of Yoga Anatomy course given by the acclaimed New York-based yoga therapy teachers Leslie Kaminoff, a student of Desikachar, and Amy Matthews, a student of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen; a 40- hour training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Dr Bessel van der Kolk, David Emerson and Jen Turner of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts and an intensive training in Yoga Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma and PTSD with Heather Mason at the Minded Institute in London. In addition to Yoga teaching, Rebecca is a licensed practitioner of the movement education approach, Trager®.
Rebecca teaches Trauma Sensitive Yoga to individuals and small groups. In this capacity she works with adult survivors of domestic and political violence at Dawar for Arts and Development in Central Cairo, and spends one day a week teaching classes at Banat Al Ghad, a shelter for Egyptian street children. She has regular clinical supervision for this side of her work.
In January 2016 Rebecca presented a workshop on Trauma Sensitive Yoga at the biennial Egyptian Association of Group Therapies Conference in Cairo. She also organised a visit by Dr Bessel van der Kolk to Cairo, where he spent a morning teaching two hundred people at Cairo University Medical Faculty on advances in the understanding and treatment of trauma, and expanded on this subject in a two-day workshop with trauma specialists from Cairo, Alexandria and Beirut.
Since then Rebecca has organised other workshops and retreats in and near Cairo for those interested in personal and professional development in connection with trauma treatment. She is on the faculty for the two-year Trauma Spiral Model Training programme run in Cairo by Ben Rivers and Ahmed Sawahel, teaching the theory and practice of healing trauma with Yoga.
Rebecca is a fluent Arabic speaker. With her husband and two children, she lived through and took part in the 2011 Egyptian uprising from her downtown home a few blocks from Tahrir. In 2012 she suffered from trauma-related illness which she addressed through her own yoga practice, Trager® work, regular psychotherapy and Trauma Release Exercises® developed by David Bercelli. Rebecca’s experience of political violence, combined with the natural affinity that both yoga and the Trager Approach® have for addressing trauma, have led to her increasing interest in and development of this side of her practice.