Rochester yoga studio ranked among Minnesota's 10 best
Less than a year into business, Heather Ritenour-Sampson's new yoga practice is already receiving statewide recognition. This month her startup studio, Yoga Tribe, was ranked among the best in Minnesota — the sole Rochester studio to make the list.
To find out their secret to success, we asked the Yoga Tribe to fill us in on what's going on at 328 South Broadway. Below are 9 things that stand out about this locally-owned business:
1. We are the only Prana Vinyasa™ based yoga studio in the state of MN. Why that matters? Prana Vinyasa yoga is a full spectrum approach to embodying the flow of yoga cultivated by yoga master and activist Shiva Rea. Students are empowered to experience "prana," the universal source of breath, life-energy and conscious intelligence as the navigating source of yoga practice and vital living. This style of yoga offers both Solar (vigorous/activating) and Lunar (restorative/relaxing) practices that are rooted in the teachings of Krishnamacharya, Tantra, Ayurveda, Bhakti and Somatics. This style of yoga takes a student far beyond the confines of the physical body to address deeper wisdom, energy and healing. Teachers are trained to teach mixed level classes with modifications and options to inspire the beginner and beyond with equal worthiness and transformation.
2. We offer the only Prana Vinyasa™ 200 hour yoga teacher training in the state of MN, and the only yoga teacher training program in Rochester. This teacher training program is offered one weekend a month, so that even 9-5ers can find time in their schedule to attend. It culminates with a graduation retreat in a luxury cabin on the north shore Lake Superior!
3. We are deeply committed to tribe-building -- to creating a space where people feel a sense of belonging and community. We know our students by name. Everyone is seen and welcome. We truly believe that we are the ones we've been waiting for!
4. We are a yoga studio. Period. Most yoga that is offered in Rochester is being offered in health club or fitness setting where the primary focus is physical. While we totally agree that the physical benefits of yoga practice are awesome, we are more into the holistic benefits of yoga that cultivate deeper strength and flexibility in the mind, the heart and the soul.
5. We teach a variety of styles of yoga. Though Prana Vinyasa classes take up a good part of our schedule, we are proud to offer a diverse variety of yoga classes to appeal to all kinds of people. We believe that yoga is for EVERY BODY, and that no one should ever feel intimidated or not good enough to show up and practice.
6. We have depth in small numbers. We employ a small team of committed talented yoga teachers that are interested in teaching several classes a week to build their tribe within the tribe. Not only do we offer 18 classes a week -- including 2 donation-based class and one discounted drop in class -- but we also offer a variety of special weekend events including Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, Desire Map Urban Retreats, Restorative Yoga + Acupuncture, and special yoga classes that include live music.
7. We offer a "big city" feel in the heart of downtown Rochester. One-hundred year-old hardwood floors. Check. Vaulted ceilings. Check. Exposed brick. Check. Big windows that face the busiest street in Rochester. Check. This is a truly urban experience. What to grab a coffee before class? Cafe Steam is across the street. Want to grab lunch after? Mango Thai is two doors down! Want to shop? Primp is just a few blocks away! (and we will be launching our yoga boutique soon!)
8. Heather Ritenour-Sampson, the owner of Yoga Tribe, has over 10 years of experience teaching yoga in the Rochester community, and is also one of the most highly certified yoga teachers in town. She is fully committed to Prana Vinyasa yoga as an essential tool for daily life, and also incorporates mindfulness meditation practices from her studies with Tara Brach, her wisdom as a licensed Desire Map facilitator, and her 17 years of passion for healing as a certified massage therapist to her teaching style.
9. We don't offer cookie cutter yoga. We don't force our teachers to teach a certain way. We don't restrict what they can wear, what they can say, what kind of music they can play, or what type of spiritual influences they can incorporate into their teaching. Our teachers teach from their hearts, from their wisdom, and adapt their teaching to the moment they are in -- to what's happening in the world, in the weather, and in the studio -- to who shows up, how they are doing, and what they need.
Cover photo by Corrie Strommen