We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Fitzgerald and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renee, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Since I was young, I would use movement as a form of mental therapy. If I felt stressed, sad about something, or just couldn’t clear my thoughts, running, hiking, biking or any type of body movement, would make me feel better. One day I found myself in a yoga class, and realized yoga helped me with my body and mind stress the most. I then became a yoga teacher to help people feel this freedom from stress with the movement of yoga. Unfortunately all people don’t have access to yoga, as attending a yoga class is considered a luxury. Today, the cost for one class could feed a family of four. My foundation Health For Humanity offers yoga and meditation to the underserved community regardless of race, age, gender orientation or religion. I believe the science of yoga can help challenged individuals by relieving stress & anxiety, help with concentration & confidence and enhances overall physical & psychological well-being. Once people are free from this stressful way of living, the world will be a more peaceful place to be.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After being in the stressful corporate world for many years and being faced with a few set backs in my personal life, I felt that stepping into a yoga class offered a sense of calm, cleared my stress and helped me see what was going on around me more clearly. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher, to share this amazing healing science.
Once becoming a teacher, I received recognition from a local yoga news organization for being a ‘gem in the community’, and that’s when I knew my unique concept of teaching was what people needed!! From there I have designed my own online classes, trademarked a new yoga style, started my non profit and teach community classes.
Yoga has many faces, many modalities. The yoga I teach is focused on calming the mind, is geared towards everyone and utilizes the complete eight limbs of yoga. Yoga should help your body, mind and spirit!! I feel yoga should be accessible to all, it shouldn’t be a luxury or difficult to take a yoga class. Once people calm down, clear their minds and feel good inside & out, the world will be a much better place to be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite thing about Arizona is the beautiful outdoor locations it offers. If you visited me I’d take you to yoga, a hike or bike ride, then out to eat on some sunny patio! Here are my favorites.
Yoga – The yoga community is strong in Arizona! Some of my recent favorites are Niki Gonzales events (social -Barefoot Blonde Girl) with her sound bowls and lovely clear energy. Studio radio8 hot yoga is amazing, and are opening a location closer to my home in North Scottsdale. I also love the Wednesday night sunset yoga series at Fashion Square by Vikara Events. Practice yoga at sunset overlooking Camel Back Mountain!
Hiking – So much hiking in Arizona! The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has all the info for the trails. I live five minutes to the Gateway Trailhead and literally get up early and walk/hike there daily.
Mountain biking – Browns Ranch trails are so beautiful! This spring when riding there, I was literally riding in a full bloom desert with so many different varieties of butterflies, I lost count!
Restaurants/Drinks – Isabelas Kitchen in North Scottsdale is so fun to sit outside on the 18th hole at Grayhawk and enjoy the sunshine. Close by is the amazing Living Room, I love there comfy deck seating, and the menu is unique and yummy! In Old Town I love going to the rooftop of the Canopy at the Hyatt for drinks/snack and a view of Camel Back Mountain. Wine Girl in Old Town is super cute and fun, love the owner, great energy. The best mimosa flight is the Morning Squeeze in Old Town!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has been really the reason for my growth. Growing up in a bit of a non traditional home, having trials and tribulations with situations that have arisen along the way and being exposed to so many great teachers in my life, has brought me to a place where I know how if feels to be in a challenging time in your life and how to use the science of yoga to bring you out of it.