Welcome, my name is Rachel Nicks. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA and reside in NYC.After 5 years of full time training at MIRROR, I have decided to commit my time to my boys, the expansion of my nonprofit Birth Queen and the Birth Queen brand. 2023 is all about ME doing ME to the fullest without the limitations of fear. In February, I launched the Birth Queen podcast and April will be the launch of my own fitness classes on RachelNicks.com. I was a founding MIRROR trainer and lululemon ambassador, and had the gift of working at a few of the top boutique fitness gyms in NYC for the past 12 years. I was represented by Wilhelmina models and enjoyed a chapter as a fitness model including being on the cover of Women’s Health Magazine. I trained for Nike. I have learned a lot for more than a decade in this career but continually growth is paramount for me. Filling my toolbox is a top priority which enables me to meet my students where they are in their journey and help them achieve their goals. The pelvic floor is my favorite muscle group so expect to learn loads about it. My certifications include: 500 hour Hatha yoga, 275 hour barre, TRX, kettlebell, Pilates, FlexFormer pilates, pre/postnatal certified yoga and fitness. Since I was a young girl I dreamed of becoming a mother which I believe is a huge reason I have such a passion to support and empower mothers. I became a doula and location counselor before having my sons. I am an actor and graduate of The Juilliard School. Acting is my soulmate. I have appeared in many plays and TV shows. I am excited about my new roles in Anthony Mackie’s film Elevation and Albany Road by Christine Swanson.
Movement has always been a part of my life and I enjoy dusting off and flexing my skills with my busy boys. I was a gymnast for 12 years, I played soccer for 8 years, basketball for 5 years, and volleyball for 3 years during my childhood.
In 2021, after suffering severe anxiety about bringing another Black son into this unjust world I was called to found my nonprofit Birth Queen to combat the Black maternal health crisis. I am committed to empowering Black mothers and families to thrive and live a life of joy and abundance.
As a student of mine I want you to equip you with the tools to have the courage to dig deep and heal and fall in love with yourself. My approach to fitness is inside out. None of us can love what is reflected in the mirror until we love ourselves on the inside. I will absolutely whip your body into shape but we must include the mind, body and spirit. I am a stickler for form and alignment in order to keep you safe and successful. I speak to the importance of the pelvic floor so that you are clear how to utilize your core to support yourself while you move through life. I am here for you on this journey called life and never want you to feel alone. This life can be challenging but remember you always have the choice to “Choose Joy daily”.
I look forward to having you in my class. Everyone is welcome. All genders. All Ages. We will challenge and achieve together.
Yolanda Banks’ most important role is that of mother to her 16 year old son Anthony. She has been passionate about making an impact in the world for as long as she can remember. She worked as Executive Director of Child Nutrition in the Charter school world for nearly a decade. She is an Integrative Nutrition Coach and RYT200, specializing in Restorative and Vinyasa yoga practices.
She serves on the Texas Health Resources Community Impact Board and partnered with their initiative, Yes Dallas, teaching yoga and culinary instruction to underserved communities in West Dallas. She is Committee Chair for YMSL (Young Men’s Service League) 11th grade boys and is involved in countless other philanthropic efforts. As a member of the Chef Relief team for World-Renowned Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, she has cooked for the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism in Haiti.
Her personal struggle to get pregnant, and subsequent Graves disease diagnosis, resulting in a hypothyroid diagnosis, led Yolanda on a quest to seek alternative methods to overcome the health issues that she faced. For over two decades, she made it her mission to educate herself on natural, homeopathic remedies in order to provide insight to others on their journey for optimal wellness. Her approach is one that incorporates “nutrition, movement and mindfulness”.