Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Renee Meena Fitzgerald.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

I got started in the yoga lifestyle growing up in San Francisco and being exposed to yoga and meditation at a very young age. My best friend’s parents were Buddhists and meditated, so my best friend and I one day thought it was cool to meditate and started. The Asana (yoga poses) came a little later, around 13 years old, when they offered basic yoga at Mill Valley Middle School where I attended. My serious yoga practice started in college when I kept getting injured running and I found going back to the practice of yoga and meditation I learned at an early age cleared my mind and helped heal my sports injuries.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

My yoga and meditation trainings are YTT 200, mindfully working on my YTT500, 40 hour Yoga Sutra Training with Rod Stryker, received a scholarship to attend GOOGLES SIYLI in San Francisco (meditation and leadership training), studied extensively at UCLA’s MARC institute (meditation). I’ve studied Reiki and have completed my Master training. I’ve trained in person with some the best yoga and meditation teachers in the world via conferences and workshops, including Gurmukh, Dharma Mittra, Sarah Powers, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Gary Zukav and Eckhart Tolle. With over 4,000 hours of teaching public classes, I’m still and always will be a student of yoga!

HOW HAS YOGA INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE & WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

Yoga has always been a part of my life since I was a little girl and I believe my life would be very different if I hadn’t found and embraced yoga and meditation at an early age. With all the challenges I have faced, and we all have them, from divorced parents, trials and tribulations in my career as a training manager and my bout with infertility, yoga has given me the tools to deal with these issues gracefully, with breath and a wider vision of why the world throws things at you when it does. I’m able to see the lessons and embrace them to learn. I literally use the teaching of yoga and meditation all day, every day.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE YOUR STUDENTS?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

As yoga teachers we have so much advice! But the main theme I think I like to thread through my classes and my life towards my students and my children is that we are here for a short time on this planet. Love yourself. Do the work to raise your vibration in this world and then you’ll have the ability to love others. There’s a lot of self loathing in the world and it’s hard to come from that fear based place and then be kind and compassionate towards others. Work on your self love and you will naturally feel love towards humanity. Tough concept to grasp, but the idea is starting to spread.

WHAT’S YOUR MISSION AS A YOGA INSTRUCTOR? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO REACH AND WHY?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

My mission as a yoga teacher is to create a peaceful world one person at a time. Sounds cliché, but enlightened energy is here. With the #metoo movement and others helping people open up, yoga is also changing the course of many people lives. The arm balances are fun, the six pack abs are groovy, but when all that is over because it’s not sustainable, I’m hoping my students grasp the true meaning of yoga, which is to bring back the peaceful, free and loving human being that we were all meant to be.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AS A YOGA STUDENT? AND HOW ABOUT AS A TEACHER?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

My students inspire me. Their stories about their lives, how they’ve overcome hardship and how they still may be struggling. I love my students and believe they teach me as much as I teach them. They are my inspiration as a teacher AND a student of life.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST DEFINING ISSUE FACING THE GLOBAL YOGA COMMUNITY TODAY AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT IT?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

I think the biggest challenge facing the global yoga community is that the end goal of yoga is changing. It is a billion dollar industry and growing. Chain studios on every corner, expensive clothes, big conferences, huge online presence and many style modalities. This can be good, as yoga is touching more lives. But I believe that if we don’t keep the traditional goal of yoga alive, the real reason yoga was created, we’ll lose our portal to create world peace. Yoga is an IN, a way to get to human beings to touch their hearts and have them come back to their true peaceful selves. It’s OK for Yoga to be a big business, but we can not forget why we are practicing and teaching. We as a global yoga community should be focused on making the world a more peaceful place, not a better dressed place.

WHAT YOGA RELATED BOOKS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOU?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

My favorite books I revisit again and again are –
Light On Life – Iyengar
A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
Spiritual Growth, Being Your Higher Self – Sanaya Roman
The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
The Instruction – Ainslie MacLeod

  • Light On Life – Iyengar

OTHER THAN PRACTICING YOGA, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR WELLNESS & SELF-CARE HABITS?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

My daily health regime – ten minute morning meditation which includes breath meditation, visualization and Reiki. Some sort of daily movement, yoga or hike with my dog, Coco. Eating healthy whole food and drinking my homemade non dairy Kefir (which has changed my life!). Being with people I love.

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT AND WHY?

Renee Meena Fitzgerald

Renee Meena Fitzgerald:

The next teacher you should spotlight is Lisa Black. Being a yoga teacher, teacher trainer and studio owner for years, she has given so much to the yoga community. I’ve taught at her yoga studio for years and she has helped me tremendously as a yoga teacher.

Renee Meena Fitzgerald’s Bio: Renee is a Seattle based yoga teacher, teaching yoga, meditation and Reiki in the area and online for ten years. She believes that humanity is good as a whole and just needs to come back to their true essence, which they have forgotten. She loves her family, friends and dog, Coco, dearly and she is loyal towards them to a fault! You will find her either teaching, taking classes or out with her loved ones having fun in the beautiful North West’s abundant nature. When asked what her secret is to her healthy lifestyle, her answer is, ‘yoga, people, love of Mother Nature and my homemade Kefir!’. You can find her teaching classes at Hot Yoga Experience, Bala Yoga, Pineapple Life Yoga and Life Time Athletic Bellevue.


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