Dawn M. Rivers, owner

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My yoga journey began in 1999 when I bought a Rodney Yee VHS yoga video. I would practice yoga in my basement as a way to bring fitness and stress relief into my life. A couple of years later I joined a gym and practiced yoga. Boy was I challenged! It was my first time being adjusted, cued and practicing with others. 

This led me to seek out a yoga studio that was centered solely on yoga. Taking this path, I realized that this was what I needed to settle my restless, distracted mind. In 2009, hot Power Vinyasa Yoga became my practice of choice and transformed my life. The physicalness of power yoga helped me to get stronger and lose weight in addition to applying new information that transformed my eating habits. 

I loved practicing yoga so much that I became a “karma yogi” which meant I could take classes for free as long as I maintained a clean studio. The benefits of free yoga outweighed the commitment of working several days a month. The community of yogis is what I needed. I felt safe and loved. I was challenged and grew. I knew one day I would become a yoga teacher!

With the council, support, and guidance of many, I made my way to becoming a yoga teacher. It did not happen quickly. I had to eliminate toxic relationships, grow in confidence and envision myself teaching yoga. I finally completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Cleveland Yoga in 2013. The style in which I was trained is that of Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga.

My style of teaching yoga is mindful, energetic and fun! I use vinyasas to warm up the body and mind for more challenging poses while helping my students find their edge. They learn to build confidence, become self-aware by staring fear in the face. I bring them to a place of stillness through yin postures for a release of their connective tissues or fascia. Yin yoga helps to calm the nervous system and open joints where most stress seems to be stored in the body. Overall I use the influences of power yoga and adapt it as needed for my students and clients because I  believe that every “body” can do yoga!

Check out my spotlight in FreshWater Cleveland.