Sat07262014

Your Health

Finding your happy place: New yoga studio owners aim to offer something for everyone in Los Altos


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Classes at Yoga of Los Altos are now run under the auspices of Jochen Kumm and Toni Adams (in glasses), who assumed ownership of the State Street studio last month.

Jochen Kumm wants Los Altos residents to know they’ll always have a place to go when they need to unwind, find a little spirituality or simply loosen up tight muscles.

The Palo Alto resident assumed ownership of Yoga of Los Altos in March along with business partner and former yoga student Toni Adams – replacing retired owner and yoga instructor Andi Bruno. Kumm, who also teaches yoga at the studio, said he hopes to turn his business at 377 First St. into a place where any Los Altos resident – from weekend warrior to senior – can find a style of yoga that fits his or her lifestyle.

“The policy, really, for anyone is an open door – as many classes as we can offer sustainably so that people always have a place to go,” said the German native, a biotech and genomics expert who works for the Life Sciences and Healthcare Division at IBM Research-Africa. “We’re very open-minded about bringing many styles of yoga and many different teachers here.”

Kumm noted that he plans to hire additional teachers in coming months to expand the studio’s offerings. He has already hosted a weekend workshop for those interested in learning more about practicing yoga.

“The wonderful thing with yoga being so popular is that you have an amazing selection of really talented people bringing their own perspectives,” Kumm said. “We just want to bring that here so that Los Altos can have easy access.”

He added that he’s also eager to start hosting weekend jogging and cycling excursions to show active adults how they can incorporate yoga into their fitness regimens to speed up muscle recovery and reduce the possibility of injuries by gaining flexibility and mobility.

“I think it’s a natural way to get lots of physical and mental benefits while improving – if you choose to – your performance,” said Kumm, an avid cyclist whose studio currently offers 11 yoga styles. “You just feel better on that bike, you feel better running, whatever it is. We want to make it a part of people’s lifestyles and make it an overall pleasant experience.”

Enriching the Los Altos lifestyle

Kumm said he began practicing yoga as a Stanford University graduate school student nearly two decades ago after previously practicing tai chi for 10 years. He quickly found that practicing yoga on a daily basis allowed him to handle other areas of his personal and professional life better – such as managing stress.

“That same persistence that you bring to the (yoga) mat, you can also bring to your daily life. It’s not just professionally – it’s in your relationships. It’s an attitude, a lifestyle thing,” he said.

Although he’s still easing into his new venture as yoga studio owner, Kumm said his early interactions with students, teachers or simply anyone walking by have been positive. It’s the very reason he and his business partner chose to take over Bruno’s business in the first place, he noted.

“It’s a very friendly town with lots of great people,” Kumm said. “We just wanted to be in the middle of a community, not just a service off in some location. So we’re really lucky. We just want to be a resource and a place that – as trite as it sounds – offers something to people that makes their lives better and happier.”

For more information, visit yola.herokuapp.com.

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