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Beach Waves Yoga: A Journey of Resilience, Friendship and Transformation

“This is a pretty special place. Once you come in, you’re not going to want to leave.”

Beach Waves Yoga, located in the heart of Litchfield, is more than just a yoga studio; it’s a testament to the power of resilience, friendship, and transformation. Founded by Tina and Jenn, this haven for fitness and wellness emerged from personal struggle and blossomed into a thriving, community-driven space.

The story begins with Tina’s journey of recovery from a devastating hip injury. Three years ago, a fractured hip left her questioning if she would ever run again. But fate intervened when she crossed paths with Jenn, a neighbor and ex-professional fighter turned fitness instructor. Little did Tina know; Jenn had been watching Tina run every single day for more than a year whilst running on her own treadmill inside. “I watched how hard she worked, and I respected that a lot,” says Jenn.

Jenn suggested that they should start running together, and Tina burst into tears, telling her about her hip injury and how she’d never be able to run again. Jenn suggested that Tina work with her to get herself back into running shape. Tina began taking Pilates with Jenn two to three times a week, worked really hard, and came out the other side stronger and fitter than she was before. It was at that time that she looked at Jenn and said, “Why don’t you have your own place?”

With a shared vision of creating a space for healing and empowerment, Tina and Jenn embarked on the journey of opening Beach Waves Yoga. They poured their hearts and souls into building their dream studio, from painting the walls to laying the floors, all to create a space that promotes holistic well-being for everyone in the community.

However, the roots of Beach Waves Yoga run deeper than physical fitness. Both Tina and Jenn found solace and strength in each other’s stories of overcoming adversity. Jenn’s escape from domestic violence and Tina’s commitment to rebuilding her life after injury forged a bond that transcended mere business partners; they became each other’s pillars of support and lifelong friends.

Perhaps my favorite story they shared happened on a day that they were building out the studio. As they were working, they realized they hadn’t gone on that run together. The whirlwind of creating the studio nearly caused them to miss out on what had been the whole point of all of it. So, they stopped what they were doing, and went on their first run together around the parking lot. When they came back, they stopped and stared at the studio they created together and burst into tears. They’d done it.

But the journey didn’t end there. Beach Waves Yoga continued to evolve with the addition of Liz, a retired Army veteran seeking a new path of self-discovery and community herself after 26 years of service. After leaving the Army, Liz started attending yoga classes and found that it was a great outlet for her to slow her mind and find stillness in her new self. “When you’re in such an institution for 26 years, you bury pieces of you that aren’t in line with that military mentality and it takes a toll,” she says. She was introduced to Tina and Jenn through a mutual friend, and there was immediate synergy between the three of them. “Liz was the missing piece of the puzzle,” says Tina. On one of her first nights, Liz walked out with Tina and looked at her and said, “I feel like this is where I belong.”

The studio’s success is rooted in the sense of community and belonging that keeps people coming back. Whether it’s Pilates, empowering hot yoga sessions, or rejuvenating Yin classes, every experience at Beach Waves Yoga is guided by support and inclusivity. “We just have a little bit of everything for everybody,” says Tina. Every class can be modified to match where you’re at fitness-wise. “Everybody is giving it 100%, even with modifications,” says Liz. “Seeing people pushing their limits to get stronger is very empowering to watch.”

As Tina, Jenn, and Liz reflect on their journey, they offer some words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: embrace adversity, trust your instincts, and be willing to pivot when necessary. “We’ve done a lot of pivoting in two years, and I think we’ve made the right pivots to get to where we are right now,” says Tina.

It’s clear to me that Beach Waves Yoga isn’t just a business – it’s a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who walk through its doors. I encourage you this month to try one of their classes. Get out of your comfort zone. Walk away from your desk. Walk away from whatever it is that you’re doing and make time for you.

“Whether you’re a man or a woman, a grandma or a grandpa, a high school or college student, make time for yourself. There are so many other forces in life, and if we don’t stay healthy, then it’s all for nothing.” -Tina

Haley Brandon

Haley Brandon

Articles: 26

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