Through hard work, ingenuity, and determination, alumna Rebecca Pacheco ’97 has turned her avocation into a successful career. A former master-level teacher at the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, Rebecca offers classes, workshops and private instruction, working with everyone from beginners to experienced yogis to Olympic athletes. Loomis Chaffee is partially responsible for Rebecca’s interest in yoga. A member of the Field Hockey team, she recalls coach Linda Smurl employing yoga poses during team warm ups. Rebecca’s first teaching experience took place during a Semester at Sea program her junior year of college. She and a classmate suggested that yoga classes would be a good on-board activity; the program director replied ‘great—you teach it.’ Three girls attended the first class, and before long the class gained a massive following with more than 100 participants.
Though she has continued teaching yoga ever since, it was not always her full-time career. After college, Rebecca worked in marketing, as a teacher for at-risk youth, and in publishing. Her current career path took off after she created a yoga & fitness blog, OmGal.com, which quickly grew a sizable following. (OmGal.com was voted Best Yoga & Fitness Site in the 2010 Intent Web Awards.) What started as one blog has blossomed into a full brand, including speaking engagements, ad work for national campaigns: Reebok, Ryka, New Balance, and lululemon. Success has not come easily, nor is it something Rebecca takes for granted. She works relentlessly to keep growing her brand, but she feels lucky that opportunities exist today for anyone with passion and drive. In this world of self-publishing, she says “You can blaze your own trail. You have the opportunity to put your material out there and let people choose.”
When asked for a favorite Loomis Chaffee memory, Rebecca couldn’t narrow it down to just one. How did her Loomis Chaffee experience impact her life? It taught her the value of sheer hard work, developed her creativity, gave her the freedom to pursue diverse interests, and impacted the way she interacts with people. She sites Jeff Scanlon, Martha Hess, and Dom Failla as instrumental teachers and mentors. “Jeff Scanlon influenced how and why I write. He helped me to gain confidence in my writing ability, which served me well in college and beyond.”
In June, Rebecca will return to the Island to celebrate her 15th Reunion. She is pleased be leading a fun run and yoga session on Saturday morning and is looking forward to sharing her passions with fellow Pelicans.
Always seeking new experiences and challenges, Rebecca shared three goals for her future. She is currently in the early stages of writing a book, which will be an outgrowth of her blog. She hopes it will become a guidebook for the modern yogi. Finishing the book and getting it published is Rebecca’s top priority. Another important goal is cultivating OmGal.com as a place for inspiration and guidance. An avid runner, Rebecca hopes to run another marathon, having completed Boston in 2009. One thing is certain as she works to achieve her goals, Rebecca takes all that she learned at Loomis Chaffee with her along the way.