person featured: Jo Rytter
business: Instructor at The Healthy Balance Center for Empowered Living
address: 104 Palmer Street, Tryon
phone number: 828-817-1064 or 828-894-6390; personal number: 828-859-7619
Operating hours: Stretch and Breathe class Mondays, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
nature of class: In a Stretch and Breathe class, participants begin by slowly stretching their bodies while coordinating the stretching with the breath. This is all done to music, which helps the body and mind relax, as does focusing on the breath. The class begins on the floor with getting centered, relaxing and breathing deeply to the music, which then flows into the stretching of the upper body. Participants gracefully work into an upright position and continue to stretch. During the last portion of the class, the lower body is stretched on the floor. The class ends with participants totally relaxed, breathing deeply. No experience is necessary. All ages and body types are welcome.
personal Background: I am a certified Kripalu Movement Instructor. The Kripalu Center (www.kripalu.org) is a world-renowned institute located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts and is dedicated to the advancement of yoga and health. I have taught classes at women’s conferences, nursing homes, the Saluda Center and at the Pavillon for its extended women’s program called “Healthy Journey.” I also teach workshops for specialty groups that may include women’s organizations, teen and children’s groups, etc. Workshops are created according to the specific needs and objectives of the group. A minimum of six people is suggested for individual workshops.
One thing you wish everyone knew about classes/work at the center: A variety of classes is offered, including various arts that support health and well-being. I especially encourage the public to meet and experience the gentle, caring and giving qualities for those who work there.
Something you offer that a customer won’t find elsewhere: My class is very flexible and can change each week based on the needs of the participants. At the end of each class, we sit in a circle and each participant gives feedback on what they liked or did not like about a class, what they would like to see more of, etc. I then use this feedback and create a new class for the next week based on it.
advice to young entrepreneurs: Do what you love and keep doing it. Don’t give up if things “appear” not to be working; be persistent and patient and know your dreams will come true if you trust, keep the faith and keep at it.
my first job: Working with my grandmother when I was 14 at a small, family-based grocery store in Baltimore, Md.
your role model (in business or in life generally): My grandmother. Her unconditional love, her simple lifestyle and her unwavering belief in me kept me going in hard times.
The key to a successful business: Believing in yourself and perseverance.
person featured: Jo Rytter