Jelena Hardy, Owner
The practice of yoga, which started as a purely physical experiment, became a doorway for me to open up fearlessly to all of life. After 30 years of seeking happiness through overachieving, I wondered why I still felt a deep emptiness and a yearning for something I couldn’t even name. Yoga guided me through a process of complete softening and surrender. On my mat, I learned how to love myself by quieting my mind enough to realize that I had not been kind to myself my whole life. The most life-changing realization for me was that all my suffering was a result of searching for happiness and love in all the wrong places: outside of myself. Completely transformed by this realization, I felt the pull to become a yoga teacher and share with others this astonishingly simple and beautiful practice of self-discovery. I moved to Reno in 2010, shortly after becoming a certified yoga teacher. After almost four years of teaching classes in makeshift “yoga studios” I rented, I opened Rishi Yoga with my husband, Daniel, in June 2014.
“My love for the practice of yoga is secondary to my love for helping people discover that the diamond they’re looking for is already in their possession.”
My love for the practice of yoga is secondary to my love for helping people discover that the diamond they’re looking for is already in their possession. This simple message is at the root of my teaching. The practice of yoga nowadays is often reduced to a form of exercise, in which only the young, thin and the flexible can excel, and the rest feel inadequate and even shamed. The true purpose of yoga is much simpler and more beautiful than any pose: It is the realization that all wisdom is within.
I teach yoga as a dynamic and physically challenging flowing practice that allows the internal movement of the breath to carry the external movement of the body. As the life force is intensified and stilled, and the mind is calm and focused, the physical practice becomes a dynamic form of meditation. Challenging the body and mind to find a balance between effort and surrender imbues the physical practice with lightness and grace. On the mat we learn to focus, to trust the breath, to still the mind and to invite the true self to guide us. The rewards of our yoga practice become evident as we take the lessons we learn on the mat and apply them off the mat, where our real practice is. This process of self-realization and union with the divine is the essence of yoga.