This is the third in a series featuring Yogi(s) of interest to the Yoga Community. This is an introduction to Rudy Mettia in the form of a Q&A.
Rudy is the centerpiece of Udaya Entertainment’s home DVD practice “Yoga Warrrior 365”, Creator and Director of the Yoga Alliance certified “PowerFlow360” Yoga teacher training method, and proud father. Rudy has been practicing Yoga for 20 years; teaching for 13.
This is a far cry from his beginning, yet, is a testament to the transformative power of a consistent Yoga practice and individual determination.
Rudy was born in Greensboro, NC. Orphaned at the age of nine; Rudy spent a significant amount of his early life in foster care. He would go on to lead the life of United States Marine, Police Officer, celebrity body guard, actor, long-time biker and in his own words, “loser”.
So, here we have it: a Q&A with Rudy Mettia:
William Hunnell: Rudy, what lead you to practice Yoga?
Rudy Mettia: I’ve always been physical and a very good athlete. I was working out at the famous Golds Gym in Venice California and one day I looked into a room full of people: mostly women. They were doing what to me, at the time, seemed to be stretching.
Seeing that the class was full of women I became interested and looked at the schedule. The schedule said Hatha Yoga level 1. The very next day I came back and tried it. Then and there I understood the practice; or so I thought.
It would be two to three years before I met Bryan Kest and became serious about Yoga and the possibility of teaching Yoga as a career.
WH: You’re a former Marine, Police Officer, celebrity bodyguard, bouncer, biker and now you're a Yoga teacher...how did that happen?
RM: Fate or destiny I believe. Imagine coming from being orphaned at 9 to foster care, to Marine, to Police Officer, to celebrity bodyguard, nightclub bouncer, long time biker, to loser, to actor, and now yoga teacher and a father to my three year old daughter. Now finally, I hope, to victory over my life's circumstance as I move toward my life’s higher vision.
WH: Sounds like the making of an interesting autobiography…
RM: On that note, Yariv Lerner wants us to write a book about my path tentatively titled “The Unconventional Yogi”. Once we figure out the statute of limitations I’ll tell my wild story in full detail…so I’ll wait for that venue before going on the record and perhaps going on the run!
WH: In what way or ways do you feel that your experiences in those different environments influenced you?
RM: Most of those things have one thing in common: discipline. I learned long ago “It’s better to suffer the pain of discipline now” vice “the pain of regret, later.” Also, I’m relentless: I’ve had to be.
WH: What lead you to teach Yoga?
RM: Good question, I once read that motivation came from two places: desperation or inspiration. I’m not sure which fueled it, but I think it was my dharma; it seemed like I was born to teach. I always believed that I could have made a great coach so here I am. I’m probably as much of a coach as a teacher but I think those two things are one and the same.
WH: Where and under whose guidance did you receive Teacher Training?
RM: I hold the Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 certification. I was originally trained by Maty Ezraty, the founder of the Yoga Works studios, and Lisa Walford; one of the highest ranking Iyengar teachers in America. I’ve studied extensively with Bryan Kest, Annie Carpenter, and John Friend. Also, I’ve trained and studied with many of my peers here in California: the mecca of the American Yoga scene.
I firmly believe most of what I’ve learned is from 33 years of self-discovery and inquiry. I rely on that and teach mostly from my own theories and principles that I’ve discovered and developed through my own yoga practice and physical endeavors in these last 33 plus years.
WH: If you could give someone new to Yoga just one piece of advice what would that be?
RM: If you’re talking about aspiring teachers: I’d tell them to be themselves and keep it real as students can smell the bullshit. Also learn your craft and never stop your inquiry into yoga and life, stay humble and don’t become a teacher-less teacher. As far as a new student, I’d say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yoga is a lifelong inquiry, so what’s the hurry? The old yoga adage holds true here, “Practice and all is coming”.
WH: Who or what inspires you?
RM: Life, and it’s possibilities.
WH: You were the centerpiece of the Udaya Entertainment production of "Yoga Warrior 365". What was your experience in that endeavor?
RM: Long, and beautiful. I’d been ready to move into the next stage of my career and was looking for guidance and creative support and out of nowhere along comes my producer, champion, and now close friend Yariv Lerner.
Funny, years before I ever met Yariv: I met Yariv’s father who is one of Hollywood’s most prolific film producers. As a struggling actor I used to bug the Hell out of him for film roles. Years later his son, Yariv, and I team up for yoga projects, funny how fate works.
During YW365 I was given free reign; although now Yariv probably looks back and regrets not having a shorter leash on me. But, he believes in my message and me as a creative person so for that alone I’m forever grateful.
Again, trust: Yariv trusted me and in return about 30 of my students had enough faith and trust in me to travel around the globe and make "365". Up to this point the it’s the highlight of my career. However, with Udaya I know that this is just the beginning; we have much more to do. I can’t wait to see what Yariv has up his sleeve.
WH: What would you like folks to know about you or your practice?
RM: I’m pretty much an open book: what you see and hear is what I am. I love the practice of Yoga and feel that I am gifted with the talent to articulate it so that though my teaching others will love it as well. I think that the practice gives us a chance, and a chance is about all you can ask for.
I lead Teacher Training, workshops, and Yoga retreats worldwide. I do six other relentless non-yoga workouts a week. I treat my practice as a “healing” vice "workout”. However I understand that it’s STILL a workout; I just consider it more of a healing at this stage of my practice.
Lastly, I’m a lover of fast cars and big dogs. Great speaking with you William, keep on spreading the good word of yoga.
WH: Thank you for your time. “Loser”? I think not.
There you have it, an open and honest look at Rudy Mettia.