When searching for the perfect name for her business, Brigett Allen drew inspiration from the time she lived in Hawaii, a place that she says is forever part of her soul. She settled on the concept of “Kahanu,” which means “the wave of light that makes you gasp.”
Allen said the idea of a force of light that can remove blocked energy and recharge people was exactly in-line with what she hoped to offer at her yoga center and spa. Kahanu Yoga and Meditation Spa, located at 126 Vintage Park Blvd. in Suite D, provides high quality instruction in yoga and meditation coupled with outstanding customer service in a calm, luxurious and professional environment. The spa also offers infrared sauna sessions and water-capsule massage.
There is also a retail side to the business – with a large variety of yoga accessories and tools as well as one-of-a-kind bags on the racks. Customers often browse through jewelry and all natural skin care options either before or after classes. The yoga studio and spa is one of a number of independently-owned businesses that call Vintage ParkShopping Village home.
The restaurant, retail and entertainment center is joining the national movement for Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday started in 2010 as a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both of which usually benefit big box stores instead of small, local shops. A number of tenants at Vintage Park will offer specials for the shopping holiday on Saturday, Nov. 28.
Starting a business
Allen has practiced yoga for a number of years. She started after breaking her back in five places during a parasailing accident. “Yoga is what kept me off of pain medications – and helped me remain pain free,” she said.
She wanted to share her positive experience with others. And, after having spent 20 years in the telecommunications industry as an engineer, working in management and training and project management, she made the decision to change her career.
“I wanted to start my own business,” she said. “I wanted it to be about the pain management tools that I had been using. And I wanted it to be about meditation, which keeps everything in balance and feels so fantastic.”
Allen also wants to foster a community of individuals, dedicated to supporting one another on their personal journeys. “I want to give back,” she said. “It’s been my 15-year dream and how I really want to live my life. I want to help people feel better.”
Allen and Jeff Powman, her partner in life and business, found the ideal location for their business inVintage Park. “We’d been visiting Vintage Park for a long time, and I thought if I ever opened a business, that’s where I’d want to do it,” Allen said. “It’s the perfect place; it’s so beautiful.”
Building a community around yoga
Right from the start, the business was well received. “We had a big impact when we first opened,” Allen said. “A lot of people came in who had always wanted to try yoga but just never had.”
A number of new students signed up for classes. “We also had a lot of people who had practiced for a long time but couldn’t find a place to do hot yoga,” Allen said.
The studio offers three levels of heat. In “hot” classes, the room is heated to 95 degrees, while in “warm” classes, the temperature is set at 85 to 88 degrees. There is also a “no heat” option, and the room remains around 75 degrees, but no air conditioner is used either. Several types of yoga are offered – from vinyasa flow, hatha and hatha vinyasa to restorative, gentle and yin and yin flow.
“We have a lot of different styles and a lot of different teachers,” Allen said. “There is no specific discipline in our studio. We want the teachers to offer what makes them happy – and you’ll find a different experience with every teacher. Because our instructors are so diverse, people can pick what works best for them.”
She said the variety sets Kahanu apart – as does the spa atmosphere. There are towels scented with lavender and eucalyptus, fireplaces in the studio, tea service and time for relaxation. There are luxurious showers available for those who would like to get ready for work or a night out on the town after class. Shower rooms include natural hand lotions and sea salts for the ultimate pampering experience.
“Our slogan is ‘experience the difference,’” Allen said. “Kahanu is welcoming and open. We’re here to help you have the best practice in yoga. Our vision is to see more people make yoga and meditation part of their lives.”
About Vintage Park Shopping Village
Vintage Park Shopping Village is Northwest Houston’s premier destination for business, shopping, dining and entertainment. Vintage Park is a visual transport to an Italian shopping promenade, with a nearly one acre pedestrian area, as the heart of the center. The Piazza features a series of fountains and beautiful landscaping that can be enjoyed by diners from one of the many venues that overlook the area. Where else can you find award-winning restaurants; world-class healthcare; unique entertainment options and a variety of boutiques and shops available in one location? There’s always something happening at Vintage Park; 110 Vintage Park Blvd. (Located at Hwy 249 at Louetta Rd) Visit vintageparkhouston.com