With the arrival of the new year, the Redmond community welcomed the arrival of a new yoga studio, Sattva Yoga located at 16541 Redmond Way, which opened its doors in the beginning of this month. The studio offers a  wide range of heated and non-heated classes to meet the needs of many different practitioners. The two new owners, Ali Valdez and Brittany Granger, have goals to create a bonafide experience for the community as a whole. We asked Valdez and Granger a few questions about their background, the studio, their passion and their vision so you can better understand the people behind the Sattva Yoga brand.

SYN: Brittany, tell us about yourself, and what inspired you to open the studio?

Granger: Becoming a yoga teacher and then a studio owner was not a dream I always had, but rather a path where doors opened and the fit was perfect. An avid practitioner since 2000, for many years I worried that teaching yoga would take away from my personal practice. In 2007 the opportunity presented itself to go to a 10 week intensive teacher training and I went with the thought that at least I would learn more about yoga, even if I decided I never wanted to teach. Well, it turned out I loved teaching, and the experience caused me to grow as a person in ways I hadn’t imagined. After teaching for a few years, more doors opened and I found myself opening my own studio with a fellow teacher and friend. My business degree and corporate background came into play, and I found my dream job! Three years and three kids later, I decided it was time to sell my studio and focus on my family life while my little ones were so young. I always thought I would own another studio, but little did I know it would be just 18 months later! Again, doors opened and even though I’m now on the road to four kids under four, I am fully confident Ali and I are creating an amazing yoga space and community that can thrive, and at the same time we can both enjoy our families!

When the opportunity presented itself to take over the old Bikram Yoga Redmond space I was not interested because of the million other things going on in my life. However, an old friend encouraged me and I found myself daydreaming that if I found the right manager I just might be able to make it work! After searching around for potential managers, another old friend brought up the name of Ali Valdez, my teacher from many, many years ago. She’s a woman I always respected as an instructor and business person, but most importantly, just as a human being. All of a sudden I realized that a partnership with someone like her was definitely something I was interested in! Her knowledge of yoga programs, workshops, and trainings was a perfect complement to my background of owning/running a studio and knowing what it takes to make it work! So I contacted Ali and asked her if she’d be interested in becoming involved in this studio in any way with me. Redmond is my old stomping ground (born and raised there), and the studio space is literally in Ali’s backyard. And it worked. It all clicked. Ali had already been contacted multiple times and something was gnawing at her that it was the right thing to do. And after many years of no contact we began working together side by side and creating something amazing.

SYN: Describe the vision of Sattva Yoga.

Valdez: I have studied and practiced multiple systems in various yoga traditions. The vision for my business, Sattva Yoga Online, has always been clear: We are a group of practitioners passionate about contributing to the evolution of the science of yoga. As Brittany and I discussed a potential partnership, we both felt that yoga is for everybody and our byline says it all: A community yoga studio for everybody offering hot and non- heated classes seven days a week. We want everyone to feel like yoga has something of value to offer them to enhance their lives and improve their health.

SYN: Tell us about the variety of classes Sattva Yoga would offer.

Valdez: We offer general and specialized courses, as well as bringing in-house all King County certification trainings and continued education. For regular classes, someone can expect daily hot hatha classes, the classic twenty six postures sequence and other non-heated yoga classes. For those interested in a warm room for dynamic movement, we offer Power CORE and Power Flow. Coming from trainings in Tripsichore, freestyle Vinyasa and Universal, the Vinyasa classes are non-heated and highly innovative in their sequencing and integration of various yogic tools. In our third practice space, Studio C, we offer non-heated, specialized classes: Yin, Meditation, Intro to Yoga, and Pre and Post Natal. We also run the Sattva Yoga Philosophy book club for those wishing to delve deeper into the sacred texts and providing reading resources that I have created and a community of people for an enlivened exchange.

Why a yoga studio & why now? 

Valdez: I have always led teacher trainings at other studios. I’ve been hired out to nationally teach and train in teacher trainings and workshops. In November, a Bikram studio across the street from my house became available to rent at the time that I was going to acquire another studio. Four different members of the teacher community approached me about taking over the space and admittedly, my heart was open to praying about it. Loving and serving a community by building and maintaining a sacred space is hard work. You do not have the luxury of dialing it in or just showing up, dazzling them with your class, and leaving. It is a major commitment. I have helped my students/Sattva graduates open studios, and have been consulting yoga businesses and presenting at conferences on the topic. When Brittany approached me, I felt like it was a sign. For me, it’s 100 percent about community, public service and taking care of and helping develop and mentor teachers. Brittany has a solid head for business, so we are complementary in that respect. Truthfully, the alignment is uncanny.

Can you tell us a bit more of what prompted you to form this partnership and what you both envision for the studio and the community? 

Valdez: We are both serious yoginis with strong business backgrounds. We are both committed to offering the highest quality yoga. We are also both mothers of daughters and want to set an excellent example of what women can accomplish in business and how women can collaborate and work well together. We are offering child care for certain classes during the week, and will be conducting community classes as well. We do not wish to contribute to the notion that yoga is an elitist practice for a privileged few.

SYN: In your opinion, what is the secret ingredient for a successful partnership? 

Granger: A successful partnership starts with a common vision and goals that align, it builds on a foundation of trust, honesty, and respect, and it thrives when each person is given the freedom to exercise their unique gifts and talents thus taking the business to its fullest potential!

Valdez: It’s being reasonable and fair. I want Brittany to feel heard, understood and that we are making decisions that are sound, well-reasoned and equally beneficial to one another. We extend that to our staff of teachers and to our students too.

SYN: Where do you see the studio five years from now?

Both, Valdez and Granger: A meeting place; a community hub where practitioners are seeing growth in their practice and in their network of friends.

[Photo by yoga mama – CC BY]

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