I met with the owner of Zen Valley Yoga, Ivana Walker, on February 14. When I walked in, there was a sense of calmness right away. It felt as if all the stress vanished the second my feet passed the threshold.
Beginning the interview, I asked how long she had been in the business. She stated that she had just solidified the Ebbs Corner space on November 15; however, she was a traveling yoga instructor for about a year or more. The number of customers her business gets on a day-to-day basis varies depending on the classes, the time of year and the seasons. In the summer, private instruction is at its biggest. At this moment in time, a lot of beginners seem to be coming in for workshops that are held at the studio.
When asked what type of yoga is her specialty, Ivana’s face lit up when she told me that she loved working with children, and that she runs the Kid’s Yoga and Mindfulness program at Granby Elementary School. Her second favorite type of yoga is the beginner’s level – just getting people into yoga is the best. Hoping to grow the Zen Valley Yoga chain, Ivana admits that she doesn’t want to outgrow the space she has now, considering all the traveling off-site projects.
And as much as she’d love to run a second space, Ivana mostly wants to build a solid foundation at the main location for the people in the area.
Along with her, Ivana has some excellent instructors. She has Caleb, who specializes in Tae Kwon Flow; there’s Jane; Amber, who works in the shop next to Zen Valley Yoga; Zoila, who is the Pilates instructor and the Reiki master named Lauren. All joking aside, the age range of her clients is literally six weeks old to ninety-nine, since the studio offers Baby and Me yoga as well as chair yoga for those who are disabled or elderly.
The hours of operation vary, but they open at nine a.m. on most weekdays and at eight on Mondays. At her studio, there is a program called Reiki. Reiki is described as energy healing, and balancing energy levels and your chakras. After Reiki, you feel rejuvenated and energized. Overall, the Zen Valley Yoga is a calming place with fantastic employees and a boss who is so carefree and nice. If you’re looking to start taking yoga classes, I recommend going there.