Jordan River, left, and Emilee Riggin on Jan. 22, 2024. The duo are the new owners of Hot Spot Yoga off East Winnie Lane, which they are in the process of rebranding to Grassroots Yoga Center.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.
Inside Fitness for Life, a personal training gym at 195 E. Winne Lane, lies a yoga studio that has given students and teachers strength over the last decade, physical and mental. New owners Jordan River and Emilee Riggin are in the process of rebranding Hot Spot Yoga to Grassroots Yoga Center in hopes of growing business.
“We want to build a community,” said River, maintaining that yoga is accessible to all.
“I really want to cater to people who are not fitness people,” said Riggin. “I want the people who are like, ‘I don’t really know if I want yoga.’”
River, 39, and Riggin, 35, come from different backgrounds. River was born in South Lake Tahoe and became a biologist who traveled extensively and studied plant life. He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Army. Riggin, a 2006 Carson High grad, is a high school teacher who has taken a hiatus but plans to resume English instruction in the fall. Both initially turned to yoga from different stages of grief and pain.
“I went through a death. My mom passed away,” said Riggin. “Coming to this class, and I would just… I mean, I’ve cried in that room for years. It was where I kind of processed grief.”
River, who also teaches meditation and Reiki, lost his father.
“First I grieved in very unhealthy ways for a couple of years,” he said. “And then I ended up finding a healthy way to grieve and a healthy way to process and through all those different ways I discovered, I put it all together and wanted to share it with other people.”
The business partners said they took over the operation from Rich King, owner of the gym, at the first of the year. The studio has numerous instructors, including both owners, and offers a variety of yoga classes in heated and unheated sessions. Since taking over, the partners said they have seen about 200 students a week.
“Growth has been huge since we started,” said River.
To get the business going, River and Riggin began offering “seed cards,” 10 classes for $100. They’re also offering discounts for students and those in public service: teachers, healthcare workers, first responders and veterans.
“It’s a really good way to cope with your stress,” said Riggin.
“Yoga is a lifestyle,” said River. “You discover it in class eventually, but everything that we teach in class are things that you bring into the world, and the world changes.”
Carson resident Angela Black started yoga less than two months ago. On Jan. 22, she was exiting the studio after a class.
“I had a medical year, and I’m looking to get stronger,” she told the Appeal.
Black said the new owners have created a space that is at once “sacred” and down-to-earth.
“You can feel comfortable in your practice here without pressure,” she said.
She added, “I find myself coming back regularly. I just feel like the community is growing.”
For information, visit https://www.hotspotyoga.info/.