Riva G@riva_g_

Creative Director
Inspired by yoga, art, nature,
style, the beauty in little things
mom. geek. free spirit. NYC
📧 [email protected]


1,399 posts 423,968 followers 450 following

What made you fall in love with yoga? Was it purely the physical practice, or did something else draw you in? ♥️
When I stop to think about it, so many reasons come to mind. If I had to list some of the ones at the top, they would be...
Why I fell in love with yoga: 🙏🏼
1. I learned how to love my Self and appreciate my physical body... to see all of its strengths & capabilities, where I once could notice only its weaknesses & flaws.
2. I found a way to sit with myself, without the need to create distraction, even when it felt uncomfortable.
3. I discovered what it meant to be present. It was a place where I could drown out all the noise of the outside world and just be in the moment.
4. I leaned how to breathe through the physical discomfort when I was on the mat, which taught me how to do the same during life’s many stressful moments off the mat. 🧘🏻‍♀️
I could probably go on for awhile, and I may just do that in another post, but in the meantime I would love to hear some of the reasons at the top of YOUR list. 😍

New York, New York

Have you ever wanted to take a yoga class without doing any of the sweaty hard work? 😅 Would you like to increase your flexibility & de-stress at the same time? 🧘🏻‍♀️
The good news is that you can do all that & more in a Yin style practice.
While I used to enjoy only the faster, sweatier classes, lately I’ve been appreciating the slower, juicer ones even more. 🙏🏼
If you’ve never heard of Yin yoga, it’s basically a series of passive stretches held anywhere from 1-3 minutes (& sometimes up to 5).
The theory is that this helps to increase circulation & flexibly by targeting areas that are rich in connective tissue. 🙌🏼
If you feel like giving it a go, here are some poses you can start with:
1. Toe Squat - Sit on your heels with all 10 toes tucked under. Try to relax. 👣 I added some Cat & Cow to warm up the spine here too.
2. Ankle stretch - this one can be intense, so take it slow. Gently lean back while sitting on the heels. Use your hands for support & balance. Hold for 10 breaths only.
3. Upper Back Opener - place a block between the shoulder blades, or just under the shoulder blades (you can have a second one under the head). Arms can be open to the sides, or up overhead for a slightly deeper stretch.
4. Supported Forward Fold (Caterpillar pose) - a passive seated fold with a block placed under the head. The back is rounded, & legs are relaxed.
5. Thread the Needle - a great shoulder stretch. From Tabletop pose, reach one arm across & through to the opposite side until the shoulder rests on the ground.
6. Puppy pose - melt your heart toward the earth as your hips reach back. Use a blanket under the head or chest as needed.
7. Rag doll - helps release tension in the low back. Hold opposite elbows, & keep a small bend in the knees. Breathe into the hamstrings.
8. Legs up the wall - legs can be straight up or straddled (to work inner-thigh flexibility).
Did you guys find this interesting or helpful? Tag a friend who is working on their flexibility, & let me know if I should keep sharing more of these tutorials! ❤️
Happy practicing! 😍
ps. Scroll through the hashtag #yogawithriva to see my other tutorials.


When there’s just the faintest hint of sunshine in March... #beachday 😂
Haha, what are you guys up to today?
We have two family birthday parties & school volleyball practice... I may not be a fortune-teller, but I foresee lots of pizza and cake in my near future... 🎂🙊#notmadaboutit

Long Island, NY

In my happy place, dancing in a sea of the most beautiful blooms 🌸💙🌼
Last night I got to visit the @nybg for an exclusive look at their newest exhibit, The Orchid Show. There is something so magical about being surrounded by vibrant, exotic flowers everywhere you turn... definitely had me feeling like I was in a dream.
I must have been walking in circles all evening, just staring in awe at all of the beautiful plants, because by the time I got home I was more than ready to kick off my heels... 😂 Of course that didn’t stop me from doing a wobbly dancer in them before leaving the show - but with all of this natural beauty can you really blame me? 🌺🙈👠
ps. more pics from the show on my stories
pps. the show is going on through April 22, definitely stop by if you can! 🌸

The New York Botanical Garden

Some real time movement, which I like to share because it gives you an idea of just how slow a flow usually is...
Speeding up videos is often necessary for IG, to get it to fit under 60 seconds, but it doesn’t give a realistic timing of the movement and all the wobbles that are part of it... all the best parts! 😍
What do you guys prefer to watch - flows in real time, or ones that are sped up & can fit more of the flow in?
ps. I like both, depending on the flow 😊
pps. 🎵 an old cover of ‘syrup and honey’ (but I can’t recall the name of the artist 😭)

Studio B

‘A gentle reminder that
your heart is a muscle
and so should be
exercised regularly.
Love often and love deeply.’
~ @beautaplin
Love finding new ways to open my heart.
Shape inspired by the lovely @fitqueenirene
#heartopening #💙

Studio B

Dear Mother Nature,
Thank you for this beautiful little snowfall you sent us this morning... it was just lovely. I wanted to remind you that the first day of Spring is actually next week, in case you forgot... 😉❄️🌷
Haha, one last snowy hurrah before Spring officially begins... #fingerscrossed
#iloveyousnow #butimreadyforspring


Monday morning + Daylight Savings time got me like.. 😴
Haha, I’d like to put in a request for a yoga class that consists of Savasana only... 🙈
#butseriously #whoswithme
Anyone else find it harder to get out of bed this morning? 😹
#mondayvibes #daylightsavings
#bedyoga #savasana


‘Most of what I know,
I’ve learned by falling
and getting back up.
The ground has taught
me more about flight
than the clouds
ever could.’ 💙
~ @rudyfrancisco

New York, New York

Forward folds.. they tend to get a lot less attention here than their more elegant cousin, the backbend. But the truth is these poses are just as important, & here’s why. Aside from giving your hips, hamstrings, & calves a nice stretch (areas of the body that are usually tight), they also create length & counteract compression in the spine. Best of all, folding forward has been known to relieve stress - & who doesn’t need a little more of that in their lives? 😁
So first let’s talk about some of the common misalignments in Uttanasana:
1. Too much rounding in the back to get ‘deeper’ into the pose
2. Shifting the weight too far back into the heels
3. The exaggerated swan dive: over-arching the lumbar & neck - which I’m pretty sure I was guilty of at one point in my practice 😹
So how do we make sure to keep our forward fold deep but healthy? First we warm up the hips, hamstrings, & calves. Here are a few ways to do that (hold each for 10-12 breaths):
- Down-dog (pedaling one foot at a time, then both heels down). It’s ok to keep a bend in the knees here.
- Pyramid pose - use blocks if your hands don’t reach the ground.
- Wide-legged forward fold. (use blocks as needed).
- Seated forward fold (use a strap if you can’t reach your feet).
Then try any of these variations:
- Use two blocks (set to whatever height you need). Keep your spine straight as you lower.
- Reach your hands to your shins or ankles. Feel free to bend the knees, it’s totally ok!
- If you’re feeling more open, Padanastasana is a fun variation - slide your hands (palm side-up) under your feet. You can massage your hands with your toes 😜👣
- For an even deeper stretch, reach your hands around to your calves & lower. Lengthen the spine & relax the shoulders.
Also, remember that it’s totally Ok to Bend the knees - it can make this pose more accessible! And lastly, never force anything - listen to your body. There’s no rush to get anywhere. 🙌🏼
Did you guys find this helpful? Tag a friend who is working on their Uttanasana, & let me know if you want me to keep sharing more of these tutorials! ❤️
Happy practicing! 😍
ps. For more of my tutorials scroll through this hashtag: #yogawithriva


What pops into your head when you hear the words SELF CARE? 🛁
Is it spa days & bath salts? That’s pretty much what I used to think it meant. And while those are still some of my favorite ways to pamper my body, (especially with a bath as beautiful as this one at @andazpapagayo 🙌🏼), I‘m learning that there are other, just as important ways to take care of my heart, mind, & soul.
Today is International Women’s Day, and I wanted to share a few reminders I made for myself with each of you, because honestly these are things we all need to be reminded of every now and then. 😊
ps. If you have anything that you’d add to this list, I would love to hear!
Self care for your Heart, Mind, & Soul: ❤️
🔹 Forgive yourself. You are human and will be making mistakes for the rest of your life. It’s ok. Learn from yours, forgive others for theirs, and then move on.
🔸 Keep your distance from negative people. Negativity is contagious. Don’t let anyone take away your happiness or bring you down.
🔹 Stop comparing yourself (or what you have) to anyone else. All that does is rob you of whatever joy & appreciation you DESERVE to feel. We‘re all on our own path, and we don’t know what obstacles others may be facing.
🔸There is no such thing as perfection. And besides, perfect is boring. Accept your imperfections, learn to embrace them, because that’s what makes you unique and different from everyone else.
🔹 Slow down. Breathe. There’s no rush. Just because this world moves at a crazy pace, doesn’t mean you have to.
🔸 Accept the things you can’t change. Fighting them is a waste of good energy.
🔹 Its ok to not be OK. You’ll have good days and crappy days, and that’s just the way it goes. It’s ok to be down if that’s how you’re feeling... let it run its course, and then let it go.
🔸 You are loved. You are enough. Right now, right here, just the way you are. Stop hiding your magic from the world. 🙏🏼
Happy International Women’s Day, loves! ❤️

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Sister time in the Costa Rican sunset ☀️
More often than not @tditty2 and I try out a new partner pose and it turns out to be a lot harder than we think. 🙈
So when we attempted this new entrance & exit into our ‘Loop’ we were definitely expecting it to be super challenging and tricky...
Surprisingly, it turned out to be more accessible than we figured (though the exit is a little trickier than the entrance). Of course that didn’t stop us from having to record this more than once - but that‘s only because the strong sun was messing up the lighting on my phone 😂... so we ended up waiting until the sun went down and caught some pretty colors still left in the sky. 💜
Would you give this a go? Tag a yoga buddy that you want to try this with! 😍
#sistertime #costarica #sunsetyoga

Costa Rica