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Community Highlights: Meet Tiffany Lenau of Yoga Roots and Healing Arts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Lenau. 

Hi Tiffany, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I first started practicing yoga in the early ’90s in high school at the Leelanau School. It’s a boarding school and I was adjusting to being away from family and friends and learning to be in a totally new environment. I vividly remember how peaceful and euphoric I felt after the first class. I knew yoga was going to be a part of my life forever. I was certified as a yoga teacher in 2005 and a couple of years later Yoga Roots came about. So many things fell into place that I felt the studio was being opened by divine intervention. The space was offered to me by one person, the equipment was given to me by another, money was being manifested for startup costs, all within a matter of days. It seemed like the powers that be wanted a yoga studio and I was going to be the one to make it happen. I never wrote a business plan; my first logo was a doodle. The same one I had been drawing as a kid of a tree with curly roots. That’s where the name came from. When all was said and done opening day was my 30th birthday and I felt like I was being given an amazing gift. This fall the studio turns 15 and I turn 45. I have devoted a third of my life to creating sacred space in Petoskey. Between the yoga studio and “Be the Love” a yoga teacher training school I’ve founded in 2012, I’ve been able to see the ripple effect yoga has had on so many lives in my community. I’m really blessed to do the work I do. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
To be honest the struggles are at the present moment. The pandemic has not been kind to business. We were closed by the government for five months total, on two different occasions between 2020 and 2021. Fitness studios and gyms we marketed as high level of transmission places. We’ve only survived because I started a private Facebook group so we could live-stream classes to clients and keep a sense of connection for people at home. When we were open, we did our best by wearing masks and socially distancing to keep people safe. I invested in a high-tech air filter that attached to the furnace and a free-standing unit for the room. We endured and stayed open to serve our community, myself and my staff are committed to being there for folks. At the end of the day, I think people’s habits have changed and though they are trickling back in, most days it feels like starting over again. I try to keep the faith that we will thrive again like we once did. 

We’ve been impressed with Yoga Roots and Healing Arts, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a yoga studio and a yoga teacher training school located in downtown Petoskey. We offer daily yoga classes, community events, yoga teacher trainings, sound healing trainings, meditation, and reiki trainings. Our healing arts services include reiki, private yoga lessons, sound healing, meditation, and positional release therapy. We are a sacred space for healing, peace, and presence in our community. Our space is inviting and inclusive, we teach all ages and ability levels. We strive to make yoga accessible to everyBODY. Our practice is based in self-love and compassion, we are a feel-good studio where people feel at home. We have yoga students ages 3 to 93. We’ve got skills in laughter yoga, kids’ yoga, and acro yoga on top of our normal classes. What we are most proud of is how the yoga practice changes people’s lives and how that ripples out into their relationships with others. Our yoga teacher training graduates are out in the world making a positive impact others. That legacy of brining yoga to northern Michigan makes us proud. 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
We feel it is important to go above and beyond people’s expectations. We like to go the extra mile to let our community know we appreciate them. We send a thank you card to people’s homes after their first visit, even if they are a tourist from a faraway place. We have top-of-the-line yoga mats and props for use complimentary. We have a collection of sound healing instruments that amaze people, large gongs, crystal singing bowls, antique Tibetan singing bowls, and when people hear them, they are transported to another place. We have a retail area with unique gifts that people love. Our bathroom door has 100s of affirmations that people can read while they are sitting. We have local art on the walls. Our space is cozy and feels like a home. People notice these details and tell us time and again that our studio is a gem. We’ve had numerous people who travel for a living tell us we have the nicest studio they have ever visited. Students will tell us that when they come to Petoskey, they always come to Yoga Roots. I’ve had people tell me how touched they were when they got home after traveling to find the thank you note. Our studio leaves an impression. 

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