wellness

Yoga Tribe Finds New Home at Castle Community

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Three years after launching her entrepreneurial vision, innovator Heather Ritenour-Sampson has found a new home for her business, Yoga Tribe. After growing her community for wellness in the former location of Cube Coworking on South Broadway, Ritenour-Sampson continues to expand her tribe alongside other like-minded creatives at the Castle Community.

Yoga Tribe, Ritenour-Sampson explained, is a yoga studio that provides a community for adults centered around health and wellness. The studio offers a variety of classes including restorative, yin, and vinyasa yoga and is open to people at all levels of yoga experience. 

“Fundamentally I want people to know that you are welcome here,” she said. “You are going to find all kinds of people [at] all ages and different physical ability levels.”

The first time Ritenour-Sampson tried yoga herself, which was incidentally from a rented VHS tape from her student union, she hated it. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first son that she got back into yoga again, this time having a much more positive experience through classes at the local YMCA. 

“It was hard. It was challenging. It confused me and frustrated me in a really good way because I needed that in my life at that time. And every single time I got done, I felt so much better,” she explained. “I feel that it started to get me more in touch with myself in ways that I hadn’t really considered before.” 

Propelled by a canceled yoga session at the YMCA, Ritenour-Sampson decided to get trained so she could teach classes herself. She enrolled in a weekend long training program to become a certified yoga instructor, eventually moving on from the “Y” to teach yoga classes with the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC).

Ritenour-Sampson said her time at RAC was incredible for mentorship and her own personal growth as a teacher. During this period, she also enrolled in an online coaching program to think about her career path. 

“What I realized from doing that process and kind of giving myself permission to dream bigger is that I was really treating my work like a hobby,” she explained. “I just had this feeling of really wanting to see what it felt like to do it on my own.” 

Ritenour-Sampson came from a very entrepreneurial family. She herself is artistic and innovative. Prior to opening Yoga Tribe, she was teaching yoga as a freelance instructor. She also does floral design and contract writing. In the end, opening up her own yoga studio, where she didn’t need to ask permission to do anything, didn’t seem like such a big leap. She felt the need to create something in the Rochester community focused on yoga that could bring people together to “laugh and cry and sweat and flow together.” Now, she has over five hundred hours of yoga teaching certification and is approved to teach others to become yoga instructors.

Three years after opening the business, Ritenour Sampson has learned multiple lessons.

“I feel like is has been baptism by fire for sure,” she laughed. “When I went into [Yoga Tribe] then and what it is now, the mission and values are similar, but the execution is different. I feel really grounded and I feel confident with what I am doing now compared to not really knowing and shooting arrows into the dark.”

A coach at her fundamental core, Ritenour-Sampson joked that “transformation is really my jam.” Connecting with people over a long period of time and witnessing their breakthrough moment remains her favorite part of yoga instructor life.

After growing Yoga Tribe for a few years on South Broadway, on April 1st Ritenour-Sampson moved her business just a few blocks north into the second floor of the Castle Community. She said the space and collective artistic community just feels right to her from a scaling standpoint. 

“For me being in a space with artists here, I feel like it’s going to help integrate who I am as a person because I am a writer, I play music and sing. I like to draw and paint and sometimes make things,” she said. “So I just feel this is more authentic to who I am. I really see yoga as a movement art and I see art as healing. So I just feel this is the right place to be.”

Rochester Rising Creates Online Communication Group to Support Entrepreneurial Mental Health in Rochester

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­After three attempts to hold our listening session on mental health needs in the Rochester entrepreneurial community, we have decided not to reschedule this event. ­However, we­ would still greatly appreciate your help and input on this important subject. If the mental health needs of our entrepreneurial ecosystem and creating solutions to support these needs is of value to you, please take a few moments today to fill out this brief survey.

The goal of this survey, and of the weather-thwarted listening session, has two purposes. The first is to better understand current mental health issues facing Rochester’s entrepreneurs. The second purpose is to brainstorm possible events or programming that may solve these pain points. Perhaps some of these events or programs could be provided by Rochester Rising

If this is something of importance to you, please take five minutes to complete the survey so we can create things of user-driven value in the community. 

While we collect these responses and have additional conversations in the community, we’ve created an online communication group to facilitate some of these needs. This group is not meant to be a place to offer medical advice or to provide professional mental health guidance. It is meant to be a platform for community-based communication to connect and share best practices, information, and resources related to mental health.

To request permission to join this closed group, search for “RochMN Entrepreneurial Communication Group: Mental Health” on Facebook.

Five Rochester Health and Wellness Startups Honored by Minnesota Business Magazine

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This month five Rochester businesses were honored by Minnesota Business Magazine as “Innovators in Health and Wellness” to celebrate local leadership.

Awards were given in sixteen different categories including: Startup, Software Web Application, Health and Wellness Campaign, Excellence in Facility Design, Health Care Executive, Medical Breakthrough, and Wellness Advocate.

Four Rochester businesses or startups were finalists in their respective categories and one local business came away as the overall winner in their division.

Charter House- Mayo Clinic Retirement Living was a finalist in the Health and Wellness Campaign Division.  Charter House is a senior living facility in downtown Rochester, operated by Mayo Clinic, that advocates for healthy aging.

Healthtech startup OneOme was a finalist in the Medical Breakthrough category. OneOme’s solution, called RightMed, is a gene panel that analyzes patient DNA to determine how an individual will respond to medications for a wide range of conditions. The company was co-founded by Troy Kopischke, a managing partner of the Twin Cities incubator Invenshure, and John Black, a consultant in the Division of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology at Mayo Clinic.

Joselyn Raymundo, Founder at Rochester Home Infusion, was a finalist in the Emerging Leader category. Rochester Home Infusion is the only home infusion provider in southeastern Minnesota, providing many in-home therapies including anti-infective, immunoglobulin therapy, transplant therapy, and pain management.

Ambient Clinical Analytics was also a finalist in the Excellence in Data Analytics category. Ambient Clinical Analytics leverages Mayo Clinic technology in clinical decision support tools to lower healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. This Rochester-based company is led by CEO and serial entrepreneur Al Berning.

Rochester startup Geneticure was the overall winner the Startup division. Geneticure takes the guessing out of hypertension drug treatment. This company developed a comprehensive panel of genes to analyze patient DNA and determine an individual’s response to certain drug treatments to tailor therapy. Geneticure was founded by Rochester natives and brothers Scott and Eric Snyder. University of Arizona genomics expert Ryan Sprissler and Mayo Clinic Professor of Medicine Thomas Olson are also on the Geneticure founding team.

Diverge Part 2.3: What Drives Rosei Skipper

"So I've thought a lot about what I wanted to do with my time before I actually made the change. It was hard to be patient, but you have to spend a certain amount of time, I think, just contemplating and investigating your options."- Rosei Skipper, Owner of Rosei Skipper Yoga and Wellness

Thumbnail photo credit: M Brandt Photography