Tanya Skok Hobbs, owner + teacher @ Shala Yoga
I’m back with another LOVE Squamish feature complete with small business lifestyle photography by yours truly and am excited to introduce the beautiful Tanya Skok Hobbs, owner and teacher at Shala Yoga in Squamish.
I first met Tanya a little over a year ago when I started getting back into yoga and gave Shala Yoga a try. It was love at first sight, at least on my end 🙂
Tanya just gave off a super cool vibe, I knew I wanted to get to know her better. I have also always wanted to do a yoga + surf retreat so when Tanya posted about her retreat in Nicaragua I knew I was going to make it a priority to attend.
And attend I did! It was such a blast. Yoga and surfing are two of my favourite activities so Rise Up Surf Camp in Nicaragua was the perfect spot for us. If you are looking for a yoga retreat, definitely check out Tanya’s offerings. She will make you laugh and make you cry (in a good way lol!… rolling out my tight IT band, a memory I won’s soon forget!). We ate delicious fresh made vegan food, had lots of time to chill and do other activities too. So much fun!!
I took a few shots during the retreat so will include a few along with the regular Q&A included in these features. I love sending these questions out to business owners I admire. In reading their responses I always learn something new, always feel inspired and am always reminded of my own journey, WHY I do what I do.
Needless to say if you enjoy yoga or even if you’re curious to try I highly recommend Shala. Tanya’s classes are awesome and so are all the other teachers there. She has done a really great job, I love how Shala has become a regular part of my self-love routine.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Ottawa, and I have 4 siblings. I am fluent in three languages. I have a masters degree in Communications and after leaving my corporate job overseas, I realized that life is too short to not do what you love so I moved out West and set my sight on building community in one location. I have traveled to over 30 countries and I find that although I love travelling and seeing the world, and I think that these experiences have made me more open and more compassionate, I really I love small town living. I really enjoy being connected in a community where I see people I know at the grocery store or walking down the street.
Tell us a bit about your business. What makes your business awesome?!
Shala Yoga is a place where people can come and connect, whether you like keeping to yourself or whether you come in to see friends and catch up before or after class. I have tried to create a space to practice yoga that is inclusive versus exclusive. It can be hard starting a new thing and yoga can often be intimidating and I want Shala to feel welcoming.
I think Shala is awesome because of the amazing teachers. We really are one big family and I love how each of the teacher’s at Shala are so strong and help to create an inviting space and make students feel at home and like they are part of the community. I also feel that the workshops and immersions offered at Shala really set the studio apart.
What’s the most exciting thing you are working on right now?
Well the most exciting thing is a secret, so you will have to wait for the big reveal on that one! The second most exciting thing is that this year I am shifting the retreats offered by the studio from overseas week long sunny yoga and surf retreats, which are amazing, to weekend getaways. I always offer one weekend getaway a year, however, starting this year there will be more weekend yoga retreats, that are more affordable and more accessible with respect to the time commitment required. Stay tuned for some exciting awesome offerings.
What do like most about having your own business?
I love being able to take my visions, my dreams and make them into a reality.
I know that work-life balance is a myth, but tell us what you do to keep things fair between your business and your family.
Hahaha indeed. Well, my yoga practice is probably the number one thing. However, I also love being in nature. I am an avid skier, mountain biker, and hiker. I find that getting out in nature with friends and/or my partner helps. We also recently got a new puppy so hopefully that will help. I also like to create some boundaries (also a myth) around workdays and non-workdays so I am not constantly on my laptop, although I am not always great at sticking to those boundaries.
Do you have family photographs on display in your home? If yes, what value do they hold?
Yes, we do have family photos. I think that they serve to help you remember where you come from and those that we hold closest to our hearts, and those that hold us closest to theirs. Your support structure.
What advice do you have for anyone out there who might be thinking of starting their own business?
I would say don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Of course, it’s important to have a plan, to have experience and a vision. However, it’s also so important that you feel passionately about what you are about to embark on because it is a lot of work. So if you feel called in your heart, then follow that call. Also, get help for the business end of things – i.e. a bookkeeper and an accountant, they will literally save your life.
What do you daydream about?
Interesting question. I feel like I am living my life in accordance to what I want to be doing. So although yes, I do think about the future and the direction we are heading I rarely daydream about my situation being different.
Green – you should see my wardrobe it’s ridiculous!