About Rudy & Gentle Yogis - A Short History
Drawn to its ability to calm anxieties and self-doubt, Rudy has practiced and studied yoga and meditation since his college days. In the summer of 1982 he joined the resident staff at Kripalu Center beginning his journey as a Yoga Teacher. He became certified as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher in 1983. Rudy was soon invited to join the teacher trainer faculty, and has since directed dozens of yoga teacher trainings over four decades, one of the most fulfilling aspects of his career.
Today, Rudy’s passion is helping people discover steadiness, ease and new possibilities in their practice of yoga – especially those who may not feel they’re able to do yoga. His gift is leading Dynamic Gentle Yoga™, a particularly accessible, yet deep and effective style of yoga he has developed over the years. Rudy’s joy is leading an empowering, encouraging style of yoga that ultimately draws students into deep states of stillness and meditation.
For years he had been bringing yoga and breath practice to students in studios in the eastern U.S. Along with his wife, Joyce, he was a traveling teacher, taking monthly and sometimes twice-monthly road trips. While they were away in February 2020, news about the impending coronavirus pandemic hit.
Doing the "Pandemic Pivot"
In March, as the pandemic worsened, Rudy and Joyce’s on-the-road workshops and local classes cancelled. They thought about how much having a daily breath practice the past year had changed their lives. They had been studying with their friend and colleage, Tom Gillette, and realized that people needed what this practice had to offer – access to grounding and peace – now more than ever. Joyce mused, “Even if we can’t go out and teach, we can offer online classes from our living room.” After very little thought, Rudy and Joyce looked at each other and said “Let’s do it!” Rudy’s intuition told him that a 30 minute breath practice every morning would be the best way to support people. Joyce hopped to it and got them up and running on Facebook Live and Zoom.
Filling a Real Need
So that’s how it began…a new lifestyle routine, offering Breath Practice / Chair Yoga every morning beginning on March 19, 2020. Soon after, they added weekly yoga classes: chair yoga, mat yoga, and two weekly MELT classes. They didn’t realize that the necessity to stay at home would last so long and that what they had decided to offer would meet such a tremendous need for activity and human connection.
Home Livestream Yoga Studio
Given the widespread impact of the pandemic, Rudy and Joyce felt honored to be able to be of service and to be part of a growing and supportive online community.
Over time Joyce began professionalizing their living room – she upgraded the audio with a new microphone system, improved the lighting, moved furniture, upgraded the camera lens to improve video quality, painted walls, replaced decor, and learned to simulcast to improve the quality of broadcast on Facebook.
With joy and fervor they built their home livestream yoga studio in the service of this growing and deepening Gentle Yogis community.