“It’s been a dream of mine to own a yoga studio,” said Tiffany Kenny of Napa.
It looks like that particular dream came true. About 14 months ago, Kenny bought Browns Valley yoga studio Yoga Passion.
“I’ve always been really drawn to the benefits of yoga,” she said.
“It’s more than just the movement. It’s (learning) how to breathe. It’s letting go of the stresses of daily life. It’s focusing on the here and now. It’s very centering.”
In addition to buying the studio, Kenny recently completed the 200-hour Vinyasa yoga certification. She is now a registered yoga teacher.
1. What was your first job?
My first job was as a cashier at the old Giovannoni’s Market on Brown Street in Napa. I loved working there!
2. How did you get into this business?
I’ve worked in the wine industry for nearly 20 years, but I have always had a love for yoga and fitness.
When the opportunity arose to buy Yoga Passion from the prior owner, I didn’t hesitate to jump in with both feet. It’s a small neighborhood studio with exceptional teachers and loyal students.
It has been a fun and challenging adventure that has brought many wonderful people into my life. I feel incredibly fortunate.
3. You also work as sales and marketing director Signorello Estate in Napa. How do you have time to run a small business?
It’s a lot of nights and weekends but I have a wonderful manager, Lisa Ackerman, who handles the day-to-day operations for me. She’s amazing. I couldn’t do it without her.
4. What’s a common question you get about the studio?
“Do you have a class for beginners?” I get that question so often, especially from women in their 40s or 50s.
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We do. We have 15 classes a week geared towards beginners (with) more gentle options.
5. Do you have a favorite class at Yoga Passion?
I love the gentle yoga with singing bowls (class). It’s amazing. It just so relaxing and allows you to take in the moment and not have to worry about what pose you’re in.
6. What’s new at your business?
Last week we launched a dedicated beginner’s yoga class on Fridays at 4:30 p.m. We have an amazing instructor that will speak to each person and give them a personalized yoga experience in a small group setting.
7. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
With so many now realizing the immense benefits that yoga provides, competition is one of the biggest challenges we face. There are a few dedicated yoga studios in town, as well as larger gyms and even cross-fit studios which now offer yoga classes.
Ultimately, it’s wonderful that Napa Valley residents have so many fantastic options to explore their personal yoga practice.
8. If you could change one thing about the yoga industry, what would it be?
Many people have a preconceived notion about yoga that holds them back from trying a class.
I hear that it’s intimidating, too stretchy, too spiritual or too easy, to cite a few. There are so many different types of yoga from yes, stretchy, to incredibly powerful and everything in between.
Yoga offers benefits that reach far beyond the asana (physical poses). I would encourage people to be open to it and at least give it a try.
9. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I love reality TV – there, I’ve admitted it. Trashy, murder and mystery, HGTV, real estate — I’m not too discriminating.
10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
I would be in the redwoods with my husband, Eric, and daughter, Ella.
Northern Humboldt County is our happy place – hiking in the redwoods, breathing in the cool coastal air and being completely disconnected from the hurry and pressures of the outside world – for me, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Yoga Passion is located at 3243 Browns Valley Road. Kenny can be reached at 707-637-4774.