A surreal and unplanned yoga session in a cage atop a huge ferris wheel in Las Vegas several years ago was a pivotal moment for Beckie Rutherford.
A longtime Smith County resident and former nurse, Rutherford was in the city with her husband, Dr. Richard Rutherford, and while he was at a meeting she saw a billboard outside her hotel window that advertised “YOGA IN THE SKY.”
“I had never done yoga before,” she said. “But, I was at a point in my life where I was searching and I called the number the next day.” Rutherford found herself in a large cage, teetering in the Vegas sky with a yoga instructor. She was told to stand up only when they reached the top.
“I looked out over the city, and suspended there I was peaceful and I cried,” she said. She and the instructor both had on headsets and the instructor talked her through the poses. She said at that moment “vibes” came over her and she knew “something in me had changed.”
This pivotal, life altering experience catapulted Rutherford to a new career path and now she is owner and instructor of Namaste 37030 yoga studio in Smith County she opened Nov. 16, 2020.
After years as a nurse, she trained non-stop in this new-toher discipline and today is just a few steps away from attaining the highest pinnacle of training in the practice you can achieve. Call it close to a PhD. “From the moment I stepped on the yoga mat I knew there was something about yoga that was changing me,” she said.
By July 13, 2020 she put in 334 days, 109 books, eight states, zoomed, saw many Master trainers and completed 500 RYT (Registered yoga teacher) and was accepted into The Yoga Therapy program at YogaFit. As owner and instructor of Namaste 37030, Rutherford teaches a plethora of yoga classes, barre, paddle boarding and more.
“I teach 13-17 classes a week,” she said. There are about 150 people registered on her APP and about 35 active clients. She teaches from her home at 337 Lebanon Highway. My life got me to where I am now This exciting life-fork for Rutherford came only after a long journey. It’s a life path that she said led her to now, and unexplainable joy and renewal at age 57.
The road was paved with many joys, a lovely family, a career helping save lives, but also full of heartbreak, some unexplained health issues and other hurdles.
Born in Japan (her dad was a Baptist missionary) Rutherford came to Smith County at age 2. Her parents were former Smith County residents and they came back “home”.
“Missionaries made no money,” she recalled. “My mom and dad had four kids. No money. They borrowed the money to buy a house that had no running water, no indoor toilet. We raised the meat we ate. We had spring water that dried up in the summer, froze in the winter and when it rained got muddy.”
Life was rough. Her brother was diagnosed with cancer at age 15. Her mom, who was a factory worker, quit to care for her brother. Financial trouble caused them to lose their home and a divorce followed. But, her brother recovered
“My dream was to be a nurse,” Rutherford shared. “I watched the nurses take care of my brother and I knew. They looked like angels from heaven taking care of him. In my eyes, they had saved my brother so …. I was going be a nurse.”
She graduated nursing school in 1986, but prior got married at age 18 and they lost one child at 22 weeks, but she gave birth to Zach and Jacob. At age 25 she was divorced. She met and married Rick and they are going strong now at
31 years married. After their marriage Rutherford was a stay at home mom to five children.
“After the kids were all in school I was asked to start the Health Science Program for the Smith County School System,” she said. She did and also received her Master’s Degree in Education Instructional Leadership from TTU. She next worked for UMC in Lebanon in the OR for 11 years and was the ENT Coordinator. Managing her career, children and marriage was challenging. Her brother, who was the Ag teacher for Smith County was diagnosed in 2008 with a severely damaged heart from childhood radiation and chemo. After a heart transplant that failed, Rutherford tragically turned off life support for her
“In six months, I lost three amazing people in my life,” said Rutherford. “Grief is hard. It touches everyone. Yet society does not want to acknowledge it. After the loss of a brother, you are expected to return to work the next day. No one wants to talk about it. They want you to act as if nothing ever happened. It hurts to smile. It hurts to laugh. My life changed.”
At age 48, Rutherford struggled. She lost her voice, had trouble swallowing and her body was tense. She quit her job. Her relationships were falling apart. She sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic and had two years of TMJ treatment.
Path to Yoga Tired of physical therapy, Rutherford turned to exercise at
her local Senior Citizens Center. Then came barre work.
“I began to get stronger and made time for myself,” she said. Then came her epiphany up in the sky in Vegas. What follows is a triumph and a return to “self” and opening Namaste 37030. “What I found in Yoga is how to breathe again and healing on the inside. I was broken,” said Rutherford. “I had to learn to love who I was… and that it was OK. I had to learn that it was OK for me to be happy again, even though I had suffered so much loss.”
It’s about quieting the mind and giving yourself permission to have one hour to yourself. “We have no competition, no expectations, no judgement,” said Rutherford. “You have to do you. If you want to come and lie in child’s pose the entire class it is OK. You are not required to come to so many classes a month.”
Her philosophy is the more you move the more you can move. “The number one thing is to shut your mind off and breathe,” said Rutherford. “It’s not about a bendy and stretchy, it’s about meditation. One hour of forgetting about work,
going to the grocery store or what you have to do tomorrow.”
Rutherford has clients from Hartsville, Lafayette, Lebanon, New Middleton, Gordonsville, Cookeville, Mt Juliet and more. “Just because my name is Namaste 37030 doesn’t mean every zip code isn’t welcome. Come and visit!” she said.
For full list of classes, times and prices, visit