Today we’d like to introduce you to Brynn Rybacek.
Brynn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As Valedictorian of my high school and top of my Chapman University graduating class, it may seem strange that I have chosen yoga as my full-time job, but I have been a lover of yoga since age 11 when I stumbled upon my first yoga book.
A couple years later, my mom brought me to my first yoga class. While I found the moving and stretching to be quite enjoyable, it was Savasana (Corpse pose) at the end of the class that really sparked my interest. As the teacher mentally guided me through my body, I drifted into a state between sleep and dream that I had never before experienced. Fascinated, I started reading every spiritual text I could get my hands on and got a job working at the desk at a yoga studio in Costa Mesa with the perk of free yoga classes.
The gifts of inner peace, self-acceptance, and joy that my regular yoga practice brought me over the years naturally led to my desire to teach others. By the time I was 17, I had saved up enough money to enter a formal yoga teacher training program through Yoga Place (now Yoga Works), under the tutelage of Karin O’Bannon, a dedicated student of BKS Iyengar. I received my Yoga Alliance certification in 2002 and became a Registered Yoga Teacher.
As a Social Science major at Chapman University a year later, I investigated humankind on a social and emotional level, studying philosophy, sociology, religion, leadership, and psychology. Realizing that Chapman offered no courses in yoga, I created a Yoga Club on campus in which I acted as both president and teacher. Then in February 2004 I got my first real teaching position at Triad Yoga in Irvine, California. Shortly thereafter I graduated summa cum laude from Chapman University with a degree in Social Sciences.
A year later, I went back to school to fulfill an aspiration to learn more about the science of the human body. I studied anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physics with the hope of obtaining my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. In my heart though, I was unsure if science alone was my true path and vacillated between an interest in Western medicine on the one hand and spiritual studies on the other.
As fate would have it, I was contacted in 2008 by National Yoga Institute in regards to taking on a position organizing and leading courses for their accredited 200-hour yoga teacher trainings at the newly founded Orange County location. This job would require that I not only teach, but also design all of the daily lessons plans for the course. I knew this would be quite a demanding undertaking and indeed a full-time job. Seeing this as a chance of a lifetime, I quit my job waitressing, discontinued my Physical Therapy studies, and jumped into this new position.
Leading teacher trainings for NYI turned out to be a life-changing decision and a dream come true! I got the unique opportunity to marry my love of science with my passion for philosophy. I taught my teacher trainees everything from anatomy, physiology, and the nature of the human body to the history and philosophy of yoga. They learned the Sanskrit names of yoga asanas (poses) as well as their benefits and modifications, proper breathing techniques, kriyas (cleansing techniques), and even the business and leadership aspects of becoming a yoga teacher.
In 2009 I created my own independent yoga school, True Flow Yoga, through which I am capable of certifying students to become Registered Yoga Teachers at the 200-hour level (RYT-200). I also currently teach regular weekly classes at various yoga studios and health clubs in my own True Flow style. In addition, I offer private yoga lessons by appointment, teach topic-specific workshops, and host yoga retreats in the most beautiful places in the world!
Teaching yoga is so rewarding for me. Because the practice has so many dimensions and layers, the learning never ends. After 20 years as a student of yoga, I am still eager to dig deeper. I continue to enjoy practicing many styles with an open heart and mind, extracting the nectar of what each has to offer: Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bhakti, Yin, Viniyoga, Restorative. More importantly, I have found my own voice and style that blends anatomical precision, philosophical eloquence, and spiritual curiosity. True Flow Yoga ©, as I have coined my style, is an innovative blend of traditional yogic disciplines combined into unique and vigorous vinyasa flow sequences that synchronize breath with movement. I strongly believe in the personal benefits of yoga but also hold that the true purpose of yoga is not just to make an individual feel better, but also to make the world a little better by bringing more consciousness and compassion into it, one yogi at a time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Running my own business definitely has its challenges! Mostly I feel blessed to be doing what I love for a living. I love organizing retreats, teaching yoga classes, and inspiring new yoga teachers. However, part of running a business is also marketing and advertising. When the product that you are promoting is yourself, this can feel a little strange and I have always struggled with this a bit.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
True FLOW Yoga is founded on the belief that there is more than one right answer.
Through my teaching, I encourage students to look inward to discover their own Truth.
The deepest level of wisdom, I believe, comes from learning to listen to the teacher within. In my 23 years of being a student of yoga, I have studied with teachers from many varying traditions (Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow, Viniyoga, Yin, Restorative, Shadow, Power, Bhakti, Insight Meditation) and instead of emulating what I have learned from others in some sort of cookie-cutter, structured way, I have always strived to take the best pieces from each style and merge them into something beautiful and unique and entirely my own. I am very proud to say that my teaching is very inclusive rather than dogmatic. I believe that people need to have a little space to explore and feel what resonates most authentically for them without feeling like everything has to be the same for each person.
What really sets us apart as a company is our intimate teacher trainings. Trainings have gotten so big and corporate and I absolutely think that having a small class and personalized attention is crucial to the learning process for teacher trainees. We cap our classes at just 10 people. Each student gets the opportunity to teach real full-length classes and receive honest, constructive feedback from me.
The other thing that sets us apart is our affordable yoga retreats all over the world.
Because we don’t use any middle-men to help with retreat planning (all of that glorious work is done by yours truly!), we are able to really keep prices down and offer at incredible experience for a fraction of the cost.
What were you like growing up?
I was shy growing up, definitely an introvert. I think maybe that’s why I threw myself into my books and my studies so hard and did so well in school. I was always very nervous about being the center of attention or being on display when I was young so I absolutely hated sports because I was always afraid people were watching me and judging me. When I found yoga, whole new worlds opened for me. I finally had an outlet for all of my creative energy and physicality without feeling judged. Yoga is all about keeping your attention inward and being present in yourself and I loved that. It is pretty ironic a shy person like myself ended up basically doing public speaking for a living!
Pretty much every day, I get up on a stage or at least in front of a classroom of 20-50 people and lead a yoga class. When you find your passion, you really can overcome all of your fears.
- 200 hr. Yoga Teacher Training course (3 months) $2999
- Costa Rica Yoga Retreat (March 2018) starting at $1450
- Private lessons $110/hour
- Address: True FLOW Yoga
3848 Campus Drive, Suite #114
Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Website: www.trueflowyoga.com
- Phone: (949) 396-1763
- Email: Brynn@trueflowyoga.com
- Instagram: @trueflowyoga1
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trueflowyoga/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/true-flow-yoga-teacher-training-newport-beach