Grand Rapids Gets Heated about Yoga

By Chucky Blackmore on June 6th, 2016 / Comments

In the midst of the bustling Grand Rapids workday, one can only imagine a place that offers peace, meditation, and 99 degrees of good vibes.  The small business known to satisfy these needs is none other than Yoga Fever, a hot yoga studio located on Wealthy Street in the Uptown business district.

Yoga Fever opened its doors in 2015, welcoming everyone from the most experienced yogi to those doing yoga for the very first time.  The modern yet simple infrastructure of Yoga Fever is what attracts local members of the community.

Upon entering the building, guests are greeted by a bright, clean reception area.  This provides members with a sense of security knowing they are welcomed in a relaxing environment.  The reception area is followed by the studio itself, which includes ultramodern humidification and an energy recovery system that allow for 30-50 percent humidity levels.  

Though the spacious studio can comfortably fit up to 50 people, class sizes typically range from 8 to 20 students.  For being a fairly new business, Yoga Fever caters to many people, which calls for the guidance of nine different instructors, all of whom possess great knowledge of the physical body, yoga philosophy, and engaging sequences that keep the fever going.   

The magic behind Yoga Fever lies in the hands of business owner and instructor Shannon Austin, who fell in love with yoga after moving to West Michigan from Grosse Pointe, MI six years ago.    

“I really fell in love with the practice when I moved here,” said Austin. “It’s when I realized there was more to yoga than just a physical workout that things started to light up for me.”

After becoming certified in 2011 through Prairie Yoga in Chicago, IL, Austin began instructing at Steelcase Global in Grand Rapids, teaching the employees various yoga routines.  She also taught at Cascade Yoga Studio, where she was taken under the wing of the owner and instructor of the studio, Viki Distin.  It didn’t take long for Austin to land an internship there, proving that the transition from student to teacher was achievable if she put in the right amount of effort.  

“I am forever grateful to Viki and Cascade for taking my hand down the path of yoga,” noted Austin. “It completely changed my life.”  

Austin’s mission at Yoga Fever aims to provide a well-rounded, fun, and challenging experience for members by integrating traditional yoga sequences, known as vinyasa, with a modern hot yoga environment.  The natural cork floors offer comfort to one’s joints and are resistant to mildew and bacteria.  Integrating the traditional and new-age yoga routines allow members to “gain strength, flexibility, and cardio all in the same class,” stated Austin.

The Grand Rapids community is rich with support when it comes to small businesses, and Yoga Fever is one of those businesses held in high regard.  More importantly, however, is the drive that Austin possesses to maintain such a inclusive location.  

“Grand Rapids has been so good to me from a business perspective,” admitted Austin. “I have had so much support on this venture from the local community, instructors, family, and friends,” she adds with gratitude.  

Austin has had the opportunity to work with two nonprofit organizations as the owner of Yoga Fever.  The first of which,  GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women), and Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids provided funds to help with the startup of her business.  Both organizations supplied beneficial information to Austin on how to build her business.  

Success for the future is not in short supply when it comes to Austin.  She thrives in knowing that her business has the ability to offer people with a welcoming and life-changing environment for years to come.  

“My hope is that Yoga Fever will flourish and develop a reputation as being a yoga studio that is taken seriously,” said Austin.  

Yoga Fever is located at 1154 Wealthy Street SE, near Wealthy Theatre.  Hot yoga times vary depending on the day, but whatever time you choose to go, a fever will be awaiting you…and the only prescription, well, is more yoga.      


About the Author

Chucky Blackmore

Chucky Blackmore

Chucky Blackmore is a fifth-year studying English and Education, with a minor in ESL at Aquinas College. Chucky is also a Resident Assistant and plays lead guitar in Grand Rapids based band Velcrofibs.