“I didn’t make It’s Yoga, it made me.”

– Larry Schultz

Meet Our Founder

 

Larry Schultz  (1950-2011)

Larry often the story of when he first was inspired by Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.  He was in Jamaica, West Indies, at a happy hour with friends, while off in the distance he saw a man on a rock doing the most dynamic movements he had ever seen.  The following day, he saw the same man in the town, and asked him, “Dude, what were you doing on that rock?” And the man, with some hesitation finally shared with him that it was Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.  Larry said he was surprised as he had never seen yoga expressed with so much movement and strength.  The man was with a young woman, and this also intrigued Larry. He wanted to know who she was, and was surprised to learn she was the man’s girlfriend as she was significantly younger.  He said in that moment he knew, “I wanted some of that Ashtanga Yoga.”  It turns out the Master of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India, was going to be in Austin, Texas the following week, and that is where Larry just happened to be living. As Larry would later say, it was an “It’s Yoga” Moment!

When I first heard that story during my training in 2004, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, until he explained what he witnessed.  He realized in that moment, he could have both love and health, late in life.  And that is what he experienced.  Love and health, late in life.  Little did we know that late in life for him was from 54-61.  He passed away February 27, 2011 from natural causes in my hometown, of Toledo, Ohio.

I am honored to be a part of the destiny that Larry created for himself.  He was dedicated to the practice of Ashtanga way before we met, in what Pattabhi Jois had predicted for him, “all is coming in 25 years.”  Pattabhi believed there were 3 kinds of students.  One, all is coming in 7 years – very good student, practices daily and is advanced.  Second, medium student, all is coming in 12 years.  And then he looked at Larry, and said, “That man is bad man.  All is coming for him in 25 years.”  Larry took it as a blessing, he said he knew if he kept practicing, he would receive all that was coming his way in 25 years.  What he wanted was love and health.  We met in his 25th year of practice.

For me, it was very much the same “aha” moment.  I just knew we were meant to be together and that It’s Yoga was my purpose.   It was incredible to watch all the obstacles that presented themselves to us – age, religion, distinct family differences, all begin to dissolve on the path as we walked hand-in-hand towards manifesting our dreams.  It is with this sense of gratitude, that It’s Yoga International has established, with a sense of knowing that there is a plan for each of us, and we have only to be brave, trust the flow of the Universe and be open to new possibilities.  Larry would always say that the “inner teacher” speaks to us in a voice that is kind and encouraging, and that is the voice we tune into as we move through our days and nights here on planet earth.

Larry was many things to many people.  For me, as his wife, student, and partner in business, he was, and remains a true master.  Strong, committed, loving and dedicated to the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Larry’s love of the practice transcended everything he did.  Everywhere he went, people loved to be with him because he had this energy that was like a magnet.  He was fun and joyful and made everyone in his presence delighted and honored.   Many of his former students have gone on in their own direction and continue to share his legacy under different names, and we bless them in their endeavors..  I can say with great certainty that our only purpose in creating It’s Yoga International is solely to honor It’s Yoga and manifest the goals Larry shared with me during our time together.  It is clear and that I am to manifest his dreams and it is going to take a significant amount of dedication and creativity from a team of talented and gifted people.  Our team is establishing itself to take the Rocket to the next level, and we are gearing up to make a real and lasting imprint in the Yoga World.  The Rocket will get us there faster, one step at a time!

Thank you for your interest in It’s Yoga International. We are so grateful to have this path to follow and this journey to take in this life.  It is a time to be happy and free, and to share the love of the practice.

Namaste,
Marie Russel
It’s Yoga International

In His Own Words

Larry was a master at one-liners.  He loved to inspire students to keep it simple, have fun and go with the flow.  In fact, one of his most famous quotes is, “relax and breath, go with the flow.”  Thank you Larry, for all the “lines” that remind us to stay in line with the practice.  We love and honor you and remember you each day.

Nauliland is about Freedom

Practice what you teach. Teach what you practice.

Keep breathing.

Study the phenomenon of Life.

You’re doing great.

Your opposition is your protection.

When your plan and God’s plan align, you know you are going in the right direction.

Do yoga so you are less miserable to be around.

Turn your ambition into intention.

Share the love.

Quiet your inner critic, wake up your inner teacher.

Write it down.

Live in the Question.

San Francisco Twinkle Toes.

Rocket babies.

Give your breath a color.

You are stronger than you think you are.

Don’t blink!

We do the practice to love ourselves so we can learn to love others more.

Everything you think is make believe. What you see with your eyes open or closed is real. Pay attention to what you see, hear and feel.

Watch things appear and disappear.

I’m not my car, I’m not my house, I am my breath.

Start on your own.

Larry's Bio

Larry Schultz, dubbed the Rocketman by his friends and students, studied with luminary Shri K Pattabhi Jois for seven years. Establishing It’s Yoga in 1989, he is known as one of the foremost Yoga enthusiasts in the West, and It’s Yoga one of the oldest Ashtanga schools. As the third yoga studio in San Francisco, It’s Yoga served to raise the torch by creating a vibrant hub for the yoga movement in the Bay Area. Larry taught tens of thousands of classes in his career at It’s Yoga SF, across the U.S. and abroad and shepherded more than 5,000 Ashtanga Vinyasa students through his life- affirming 200-hour It’s Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Born of his time sharing yoga to the band, “The Grateful Dead”, Larry developed his much beloved “Rocket” routines which are a variation of the classical first, second and third series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. He was one of first to step out of the box by stretching the boundaries of the classical Ashtanga System with modifications of the advanced poses. When looking for a name for the new routines, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, dubbed them the “Rocket” because, “it gets you there faster.”

Over the years, yoga students of all kinds flocked to his studios. He facilitated the opening of over 15 It’s Yoga studios and affiliates that teach the “Rocket Routines” and the “It’s Yoga Teacher Training Program.” Advanced students could join Larry practicing early morning, while new students that included Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, artists, students, and entertainers came to explore this mysteries practice. Larry could be found most days at 4:30 for Rocket classes. It’s Yoga served the community in San Francisco for twenty years, officially closing its doors in 2009.

From 2009 – 2011, Larry spent in “Nauliland,” his dream of the ultimate American Ashram.  Days and nights were filled with yoga, outdoor life, and great food and friends in Sonoma, California.  He achieved his goal, of love and health late in life.

He passed away February 27, 2011 in Toledo, Ohio while visiting his wife’s family.  His memory will be eternal.