"Ruthann's classes have changed me from the inside out. Beyond the benefits of physical exercise, Ruthann instills mindfulness within and I experience the deepening dimensions of my inner being. Her natural ease and presence create a nurturing space to embrace my body, mind and spirit with fascination and grace. I recommend Bliss Yoga as a total care package. It's a gift I give to myself."
Yoga with Ruthann is very special to me because Ruthann has a true spirit of connection and compassion. Ruthann has helped lead me home to myself and helped me to understand that everything I need is available to me from the inside out… great gift and a practice that will be with me for the rest of my life."
Andi S. 7-year Ames Yoga Center Student
"It goes without saying, the joy and benefit of Yoga is amazing. It’s an ongoing personal journey of finding self as well as improving flexibility, balance, awareness and strength. I love it!
Of course, this cannot be achieved without the professional teaching and guidance of a true Yogi. Ruthann O’Brien Hadish is all that and more. Her passion and knowledge of the art of yoga makes each session a new and exciting personal experience. There is so much to learn and it’s addictive in a wonderful way.
My husband and I are rapidly approaching the glorious 60’s. It’s important for us to stay active, mentally strong with a positive attitude for our young grandchildren, each other and most importantly for self.
With that said, this is what yoga has done for us.
Several years ago, my husband was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of his hands and forearms, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Wow, we thought, turning 50 is serious business. Not wanting to take medication, he turned to chiropractic treatment to help relieve his discomfort. These treatments (more often painful) seemed helpful but relief was always short lived. He then tried acupuncture and loves it but he knew he needed to do more.
Several weeks ago, he started taking a weekly yoga class instructed by Ruthann. (We had been doing yoga DVDs at home but had no idea the proper way breathe and/or do an asana let alone what the term meant.) He has finally found relief by gradually relaxing, strengthened and lengthened his muscular system. This has allowed him to move more freely and do the things he enjoys doing such as woodworking, swimming and water skiing.
His restless legs are no longer. His breathing has improved tremendously which allows him to relax after a stressful work day, get a good night sleep and avoid all kinds of sinus issues. Through yoga and Ruthann, he has greatly improved his well being.
This all may sound unbelievable, but if you talk to him, he will assure you that he will not give up yoga for anything. He feels like he has his life back.
He’s also learning letting go of tension and stress isn’t easy but a must if a person wants to stay healthy and live a long happy life."
Lynette L. 1st-year Ames Yoga Center Student
“Yoga is what brings balance into my life. As an athlete, I have always been able to remain physically active. However, it is yoga that has taught me true mind/body awareness.”
Karen Y. 9-year Ames Yoga Center Student
"I started out taking the class in January to help my breathing to prevent an asthma attack, which I had had the previous two winters. Thanks to the class I have been asthma attack free 18 months and counting. It has helped my breathing tremendously. It has increased my upper body strength also. I have never been able to hold the plank pose very long, much less lower my body down. Now I can do that. The upper body strength I have gained has also helped my golf game!! I also enjoy the calming peace it provides. As you know I always look forward to class.
Thanks for being a great instructor!"
Karen A. 1st-year Ames Yoga Center Student
"For nearly a decade yoga has been an important part of my life. I live a rather provincial life in
Peggy E. 9½-year Ames Yoga Center Student
"I started taking yoga with Ruthann about 2½ years ago. Even though I was physically fit, I found that yoga challenged me in a different way. I slowly developed a new kind of strength – one that blended body strength with flexibility and balance. Ruthann’s introductions to yogic philosophy and the various forms of breathing and meditation help quiet my mind in the face of a hectic work and home life. With Ruthann’s assistance, I now have a home practice that extends the benefits I get from her classes. It takes some time for the novice to grow into a yoga practice, but I have found it to be well worth the patience and effort."
Sarah N. 2½-year Ames Yoga Center Student
Kelly P. 6-year Ames Yoga Center Student
"It is hard to put into words what has become such an essential part of my life routine.
I began taking yoga from Ruthann in 2002. I was having a lot of turmoil in my personal life and was looking for some type of peace in my life. I found that and much more. Yoga has grounded me and given me a great perspective on what really matters in life. It is all about balance in every part of your life. There are other benefits as well. As a fifty five year old woman who experiences all of the aches and pains that come with getting older, I have achieved flexibility that I haven't had since my twenties. I used to lift weights, but find that yoga is a much more enjoyable weight bearing exercise.
Ruthann’s yoga is very inclusive, making everyone feel welcome and accepted, regardless of ability or experience. I participate in other types of exercise as well, but yoga is the activity that is the most rewarding for me. I look forward to each session and hate to miss. I always leave feeling like my yoga session provided me with exactly what I needed on that particular day, whether it be reflection, a good workout, or a good stretch. It's amazing, but I always feel that way after yoga with Ruthann."
Deb F. 7-year Ames Yoga Center Student
“I worked in the construction industry until I was in my mid 30’s. Then I decided to make a living with my brain instead of my back. I took a sales position. I was always in good physical condition until I started driving around the state stopping at the local convenience stores for the occasional refreshments. I started to put on a few pounds and didn’t have the energy that I used to. Now in my mid 50’s the sugar fixes have led to health problems including osteoarthritis in my hands and knees. I was told that many people learn to live with the condition and to just get used to it. Less than a year ago my wife started taking a Yoga class and encouraged me to attend. I have been going for at least 12 weeks and have noticed a huge improvement in my flexibility and joint function. I am always amused at the positions that we are taught to assume as well as how much exercise I get out of each session.”
Frank L. 13-week Ames Yoga Center Student
The Many Pleasures of Yoga with Ruthann
In the past, I dabbled in yoga, took a few classes, bought a few videos and how-to books for use at home, and occasionally used some of my minimal knowledge to incorporate yoga into my efforts to stay fit and injury-free. I encouraged my husband who had chronic back pain to do the same. But I never knew the deeply transformative power of yoga until I started taking classes from Ruthann.
As a mother and a former teacher, I know the difference a good teacher can make. And Ruthann is truly a remarkable teacher. In any given class, she works with people who have dramatically different physical abilities and whose ages can range from twenty to sixty-five. Without fail, Ruthann gives each student individual attention. If you observed a class, you would see Ruthann moving among her students, quietly giving encouragement during a demanding pose, placing her hand gently in just the right place on a student’s body to correct or support or intensify the pose, showing someone how to change a pose to make it more appropriate for her achy knees, or injured shoulder, or lagging stamina or confidence. She demonstrates, gives clear oral instructions, and always observes closely to see that her students have understood. She uses her wonderful sense of humor to encourage her students to challenge themselves. She can read the bodies and the faces in the room to detect confusion or doubt. And she takes evident pleasure in all there is to be learned through yoga.
I am always amazed to find that just when I think I have struck a pose well, Ruthann will say to the class, “Now, relax your jaw,” and I will notice that my jaw is tightened, or she will say, “Now, keep your abdomen activated,” just as I have begun to rely on my lower back to do the work of holding a pose. And I say to myself, “How did she know that? She can’t have seen me tightening my jaw or my back.” Then I realize that she is anticipating how my body will behave. Sometimes when I am feeling strong or confident in a pose, Ruthann will say, “Do you feel that in the back or your thighs?” or “Do you feel that in your shoulder blades?” and I will know that I have struck the pose in a way that is good for my body, on that day, in that moment.
If you have come to Ruthann’s classes to increase your flexibility, or your endurance, or your physical strength, you will. If you have come to relax your body or your mind after a stressful day, you will. If you have come to have more energy for the day ahead, you will. If you have come to experience the unity of your mind and body, or to deepen your spiritual connection to all that surrounds you, you will. This is an important lesson in yoga. What you intend is what you will achieve.
When I arrived at my first class with Ruthann, I had recently finished treatment for breast cancer. I brought to that class a body that had become alien to me. I had come to view my body as a burden, a weight that had dragged down my confidence, my physical and emotional comfort, and obstructed my way forward. I enrolled in class in the hope that yoga would help solve some of my bodily problems, decrease my pain, improve circulation, get me moving again after being injured by other forms of physical activity, maybe even lift my spirits. Yoga certainly provided these hoped for results. But through yoga, I have received so much more than I had hoped for.
Through yoga, I am transforming my relationship with my body; I am learning that physical balance improved through yoga can bring balance into many parts of my life; I am becoming stronger in body and mind; I am regaining a sometimes childlike delight in the wonders of what the body can do; I am discovering the laughter-inducing silliness of the body as I imitate the leg spreading ability of a frog, the one-legged balance of a crane, the toe grabbing rocking of a baby on its back, the open-mouthed, tongue stretching roar of a lion. I am discovering the pleasure of spending more than an hour in a room full of women moving in unison and mostly in silence, save the sound of our breathing, the occasional laughter, and Ruthann’s whispers of “Beautiful ladies, just beautiful.”
Julie F. 8-year Ames Yoga Center Student
“In my early 50’s I experienced menopause. Well, I didn’t expect to gain 30 pounds or experience a hypothyroid condition. The extra weight made my knees, legs and feet ache continuously. My upper body strength has never been anything to brag about but it started to dwindle. I became a heavy breather just walking up stairs. What was happening to me?
Then I noticed an advertisement for Ames Yoga Center. I asked a girlfriend, who was experiencing issues of her own, if she would like to join me on a new adventure. She said yes and life began to change tremendously for both of us.
After a short nine months, I’m learning to breathe deeply, stand on my own two feet without pain, I’m watching my cellulite disappear and my tummy flatten without any sore muscles or complaining about exercising. I sit tall in my chair and have returned to running the hills of the Ledges with our grandchildren. I’ve learned to say positive things to myself and to appreciate all that I am. Yoga is a life long journey to enrich your life and to share with others. My husband and I enjoy it more than going to the movies or out to dinner.
We can’t thank Ruthann and yoga enough for making it fun, challenging, rewarding and pain free.
Yoga with Ruthann is truly amazing.”
Lynette L. 9-Month Ames Yoga Center Student
Ames Yoga Center LLC - 327 Main Street Suite 3 Ames Iowa