3HO Yoga Center Partner, PranaShanti, won the 2010 Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award. The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards is an annual celebration of the best of the best that the Ottawa business community has to offer. It is an honor to win this prestigious award and be included as one of the outstanding businesses in Ottawa.
For Devinder Kaur, being named as winner felt like a moment in Hollywood. "I felt like I was winning an Oscar," enthuses Devinder Kaur, who received the ‘New Business of the Year 2010 Silver Award' on November 25, 2010 for her business, the PranaShanti Yoga Centre. "It was a big celebration - there were about 600 people at the gala dinner and as a winner, I was presented with a really beautiful crystal award." PranaShanti Yoga Centre was selected out of a wide variety of business based on performance in a number of areas, such as financial growth, job creation, community involvement, and environmental practices. Located at 52 Armstrong Street in the Hintonburg area of Ottawa, the PranaShanti Yoga Centre offers 70+ different yoga classes per week. "My thinking in offering so many classes is 'Why limit ourselves?", says Kaur, who has practised yoga for over 15 years. "If it's uplifting, it's going to touch somebody."
PranaShanti Yoga offers yoga classes for all levels, from beginner to advance, in over 26 different yoga disciplines. As a full service yoga centre, PranaShanti Yoga offers a variety of classes, specialty workshops and Yoga Teacher Training Program throughout the year. With fully certified and internationally recognized yoga teachers, students begin their yoga practice from the moment they walk through the door.
“PranaShanti Yoga Centre opened October 6, 2008 to serve the community through professional health and wellness services,” says Devinder Kaur. “PranaShanti quickly established itself as one of the largest Yoga Centres in Ottawa, offering 70+ yoga classes and events per week. Providing internationally recognized Yoga Teacher Training programs, PranaShanti is a Yoga Alliance registered school, and a certified private educational institution by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). PranaShanti is eco-friendly with 3 yoga rooms, change rooms, tea/juice bar, boutique, parking, bike racks and bus access. PranaShanti employs 35 Teachers, 1 full-time Manager, 6 part-time Receptionists.
“The advice that I received that proved to be invaluable when I was establishing my business was that when making decisions, be neutral and not emotionally attached to the outcome. This has allowed me to look objectively at how my business needs to operate and to be patient, evaluate the results, and make the right changes only when needed. This advice was given to me by one of my mentors, a long time friend and self-employed business entrepreneur. Mentoring is very important to me because it provides a way to share wisdom on an ongoing basis. I have learned many skills from my mentor that would have taken me much longer on my own. We never stop learning and having the support from a mentor is invaluable for personal and business growth and evolution.
“The biggest hurdle I had to overcome to successfully launch my company was in the initial staffing of receptionists and teachers. I place a strong emphasis on offering a high level of customer service and creating and fostering relationships with our customers in order to build community. Prior to opening PranaShanti I knew it was going to be challenging to locate reception staff and teachers that were skilled and willing to sign on with a new business. Over the course of the last 2 years I have continued to refine my recruiting approach, I have developed a three week on the job training program for receptionists and created a method to screen teachers to ensure they have the skills our customers have come to expect and enjoy.
“PranaShanti Yoga Centre is a very social business and an active and important part of my business is creating and building relationships. The majority of our customers visit the virtual PranaShanti first before coming to take a class or participate in an event. The online presence and use of social media is a natural communication medium for my business. The use of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Constant Contact and other social media applications in my marketing strategy has allowed for the expansion of my existing marketing tools and to reach, communicate and connect with existing and new customers more easily and frequently. The result is more customers through the door attending classes and events.”
Devinder Kaur (Alison Finney), Owner and Director
PranaShanti Yoga Centre