May Studio Of The Month

This month, we have chosen to interview River Yoga Studio based out of Rocky River, Ohio. This studio is run by Elcin Riza, who had a passion for turning her yoga studio into an all over wellness space. Read on to find out more about what makes River Yoga Studio one of the top yoga studios in Ohio!

Introduce yourself and River Yoga Studio a bit.

Hello! I’m Elcin, owner of River Yoga Studio. My studio is located in Cleveland, Ohio. We are a boutique-style studio that started out as just a plain old yoga studio. We have evolved since opening to now offer Pilates on the Mat, Reiki, and Wellness Coaching too!

What initially made you get into yoga?

Yoga is such a necessary complement to my fast-paced lifestyle outside of the studio. It has always been a constant throughout the ups and downs -whether they be mental or physical- of my life. Whenever I am going through a change in my life, yoga has been consistent in helping me move forward in my life by creating and cultivating a healthy mind, body, and soul. I especially love that yoga can be done anywhere, and at any time. The healthy practices I’ve learned on the mat, I’ve carried with me beyond the mat.

What made you want to open up a yoga studio?

The opportunity to move from yoga instructor to yoga studio owner presented itself, and I couldn’t think of a good enough reason to say no. Yoga has made such an impact on my life, and I wanted to be able to offer this practice by creating a community within an already established community.

My vision was to create more than a studio, but a collaboration. I mean, let’s be honest, there is a lot of down time wherein a studio is empty. Why not create a collaborative space for those in your community to use to help them reach their personal goals? Whether it be helping them level up their hobbies, side hustles, or follow their passions?! We took that idea and ran with it, and now we have River Yoga Studio!

How does River Yoga Studio differ from other studios in general/other studios in your area?

We are a boutique style studio that practices alignment-based yoga. We believe yoga is for everybody, and we really mean everyBODY. Upon entering our studio, you will easily recognize that there is no judgement or competition on the mat. We have a beautiful collaboration of instructors that make up our home team. No two are the same in the way they lead classes. They are all encouraged to be free and be their authentic selves, and they each connect with our studio goers in their own ways.

As previously talked about, the intention behind opening our studio was to create a collaboration. Yoga being in session is a collaboration of energies in the practice, and in the space. A space where the mat can help push passions and take members to their next level through flow. When yoga is not in session, we offer space to collaborate with our community. Whether you’re a photographer, artist, designer, or anyone that needs a space to “pop up” every now and again, you are welcome! The intention is to be able to not only offer our space, but also to align with and support those that are really pushing their passions to reach their goals.

As we like to say, we put the unity in community!

How is River Yoga Studio staying busy during the pandemic?

In addition to our yoga class offerings, we have recently introduced Pilates on the Mat. We’ve also increased the number of classes we offer and added different styles of yoga, i.e. restorative, reiki, sounds healing, prenatal, yoga nidra, the list goes on. We also started doing special events. We’ve used this time to really integrate yoga challenges, wellness events, and fun socially distanced weekend events into our practice.

Describe River Yoga Studio in one word, and why that word?

Warm. Many clients describe our studio as warm, inviting, and welcoming. It’s a smaller space, but it offers a warm embrace just by stepping in. The calm colors on the walls hug you, the dim lights provide comfort, and every smile you get is warm whether it’s from an instructor or your fellow yogis in class.

Any advice to entrepreneurs looking to open up their own studios?

Practice what you teach. Attend classes within your own studio, be a part of your community, and support and respect your instructors. It’s easy to let the rest overwhelm you (becoming an owner carries a lot of stress along with it), and make you obsessed with the numbers of what comes in and what goes out. Flowing in your own space with those that have helped you build the space will bring all the reasons of “why” back into perspective. The gratitude will outweigh the stress.

Also, Make yourself approachable. One thing to never forget is that the culture of a studio comes from the top.

What would you like future potential members of River Yoga Studio to know about your studio?

We believe that everybody is different, every body is different, even our own bodies differ from day to day. Let go of the idea of your practice and poses needing to be perfect - we have and we’re here waiting for you to join! We believe in putting the pose into your body rather than putting your body into the pose. We do the best with what we have in each moment, inside and outside the studio. Come as you are, and leave how you want to be.

For more information on River Yoga Studio, you can head to their website at, check out their instagram page - @riveryogastudio, or email them at [email protected]

To get your studio featured, send an email with your studio name and the subject line: Yoga Studio Of The Month. Make sure to explain why your yoga studio should be featured! Until next month, Namaste.