During the coronavirus crisis, Rachel's regularly-scheduled classes are held virtually over Zoom. The logins for all classes are on this password-protected page -- email Rachel for the password.

Longing & Light

A picture of a cardinal on a branch with the text:" Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.' Rabindranith Tagore.

Longing & Light



6:50 AM. The morning light is slowly brightening through the orange curtains into my yoga space, formerly my home studio. Prior to this slow turning toward the sun, in the quiet of dark, a lone bird chirps on a branch. The sound opens a tender space in my heart.

Is it vulnerable and courageous to be this lone bird? It is not a lone bird for very long. The thin lightening of the sky is joined by birds all over the tree lined streets of my neighborhood. Traffic noises start to pick up. Kids shuffle their feet looking down as they head to school perhaps shaking off the cobwebs from dreams.

In the midst of the grief and helplessness in the face of climate change and the extreme weather patterns, police brutality, racism, the intense polarization of these times and the absurd theater of politics, this tender birdsong takes hold of my heart. This taking hold creates an expansion of my Being that has space for grief and wonder, heartbreak and holiness.

This season is also in Christianity, the time of Lent, a time of humble reflection. I think of the early Desert Mothers who lived a day to day existence in relationship with longing/pain/joy/. I contemplate how to be a Desert Mother as a householder as we say in the yogic tradition. How to live in this world and not be of this world. To me, this is a process, not an outcome but a daily turning towards the grief and the wonder. The heartbreak and the Holy. Allowing, Noticing. Feeling. Responding. Finding the oceans of grace that exist in that daily turning, like the earth towards the sun. Again and again.


Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.