RHONDA URETZKY, E-RYT 200
Head Hottie, Riverflow Yoga
I had no intention of opening a hot yoga studio.
Even after 40 years of practicing and teaching and constantly being asked to open my own yoga studio. I wasn't listening.
But when I moved from the suburbs of Central New Jersey to a barn by the Delaware River, I suddenly realized there was no more choice: there was no hot yoga studio here.
As with most things, genius is the result of necessity. I walked by an old red barn in my new town, peered inside, and heard: Hot yoga studio.
I have no idea where I got the name, "Riverflow."
I grew up in New York, far from any bucolic rivers. I had no connections to rivers: I didnt canoe, had no swimming hole, didn't fish - at least not in Queens, NY. I grew up on the pavement, hiked through the weeds, played street games with bottle caps and popsicle sticks.
But I called my studio Riverflow.
It wasnt til years later that I heard of the Yunacei Indians, a tribe that lived by the Tennessee River. The native Americans believed that the river sang to them, the song of a sacred woman who lived at the bottom of the river. When they were displaced years later by the settlers, the Yunacei lost their ability to sing.
If you have ever felt displaced in your own life, I am telling you that it is not too late to hear your song again. At Riverflow Yoga.
How did I get started with yoga?
So there I was, doing yoga back when yoga wasn’t cool. Or hot. Circa 1971 when I was circa 14 years old, in high school in Queens, NY.
Fast forward 40+ years later, and now I am a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 and Certified Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Level 2 and finally, after all those years, I got it:
Life is supposed to be fun.
I dont want you to wait 40 years before you get it. So I am teaching all that I know about yoga, life, fun and what you need to unlearn to live the life you really want....and always deserved.
I have practiced and taught Sivananda, Kundalini, Radiant Child Yoga and of course, Hot Yoga in which I was personally mentored by the owner of the hot yoga studio onwer and Certified Bikram Yoga Instructor. I have taught thousands of students and trained more than 20 certified hot yoga instructors (and counting).
I am still a newbie.
PS - Yoga is ageless...and that works on people, too. I have never tried a spa, skin cream or youth-enhancing vitamin that worked better. And you can start anytime and reverse the aging process too. Hot damn.
I am a writer, an artist, a Buddhist, a teacher, a student.
Yes, my hot yoga classes are intense - a strange mix of total relax and absolute Warrior (I was cheerleader Captain in High School...let the jokes begin). And after 40 years and many, many teachers, I have learned some stuff, so feel free to ask me anything about yoga...or anything. And just try to stop me from talking.
Yoga is a place I come home to.
I also come home to Lambertville, NJ with my two kids a little dog-shaped-alien named Petey. My daughter Carly and son Zach are both yoga teachers at Riverflow. I love them more than I can express (and I'm a writer).
Life is elaborate. Hot yoga is simple.
The moment you walk in our front door, you are part of this yoga community. Just show up and let us show you that you are bigger than your limitations. Let go and take the heat. It's alchemy.
Once you get the hang of it, hot yoga - and life - can be fun.
And that's hot.
WHY DO I TEACH HOT YOGA?
On my Mastermind call this morning, we started telling scarey stories.
Nancy became a chiropractor to find a way to cure bone-crushing migraines - which she's had since age 10.
Kristen's ready to move to LA to be an actress; she's tired of at end of her driveway, unable to drive to her front door.
And me - why do I teach hot yoga?
Nothing scares me more than the idea that I might get to the end of my life and realize that I have not lived.
I was always aware that something about me didn't quite fit.
My father was an artist who believed that different was better, so I became an artist, too where the abstract world made more sense to me than The World of Real Things.
Then one night I turned on my TV and I saw Lilias Folan doing yoga;and I found the Mothership. I was fourteen.
I gobbled up hatha yoga over the next 28 years - Sivananda, Iyengar, Kundalini, Vinyasa. Many years later, I wandered into a Bikram Yoga studio. Within a year, I was asked to teach.
And that's when I knew: I have always been a teacher.
When I do yoga, I tug at that thread that holds things together. Who needs to hold things together anyway?
When I teach hot yoga, I catch a glimpse of all the pieces out of order. Looks good to me!
Maybe your life has been brought to you by well-meaning teachers, parents, colleagues and friends...who have no idea what you really want.
I teach hot yoga to help you reconnect with your Self who always knows that you're already good enough right now. And you're already home.
I teach hot yoga to remind myself to Play. BIG.
You're never too old start your big life. Sometimes I have to remind myself to wake up from the illusion that life is about playing it safe. Most Big Dreams take courage....and faith. Whatever your Big Dream is, you're not only worthy of it, it's what you came here for, and it's waiting for you. And if your big dream involves empowering others (is anything more delicious?) you might just be a budding hot yoga teacher, as I discovered about myself some 30 years into yoga. For me, inspiring others with my own love of hot yoga is my life worth living. And I can tell you from my own experience - it's hot.
What's your Big Dream?