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Meet Jana Rife of Hanalei SUP Yoga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jana Rife.

Hi Jana, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
This is a great time to reflect. I am approaching the 7 year anniversary of leaving my corporate job and becoming self employed. The whole process has been a journey and a dream come true. It all began with yoga. My corporate job was stressful and it had a negative effect on my health. Doctors and friends had suggested yoga as a way to cope. After my first class, I felt the benefits instantly and I was hooked! A few years later I enrolled in a nine month 200 hour yoga teacher training. That was truly the best experience for personal growth. I gained the confidence to be true to myself and follow my passions. During this time my husband and I would vacation in Hawaii. On a trip to Kauai, I wanted to learn how to stand up paddle board. My husband and I took a lesson up the Hanalei river and in the bay. It was a beautiful experience, like walking on water. Six months later we returned to the islands, this time Oahu. I took my first SUP yoga class in Waikiki. Flowing through a sun salutation on water while facing Diamond Head crater was magical. The water was clear, I had tropical fish below me and a blue sky with sunshine above. I knew in this moment it was an experience I had to share. So halfway through the yoga teacher training I left my job. I felt a huge weight off my shoulders and an incredible amount of freedom. Shortly after, I flew to Key West and completed a SUP yoga teacher training and earned my World Paddle Association Class I instructor certification. I came home knowing I was about to change my life completely. Immediately after earning my 200 hour yoga instructor certification I started Hanalei SUP Yoga.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a business and building a client base is always challenging. My first year I had a very small but loyal group that would attend classes. Each year gets easier and it has been a joy to see my business grow. I still have some of the same clients that started with me and they are now friends. The pandemic created a different set of challenges. People wanted to get outside and my classes would book quickly. The demand was high for outdoor activities. This made it challenging to get and sell paddle boards and equipment. Overall, it was a learning and rewarding experience.

We’ve been impressed with Hanalei SUP Yoga, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a very unique and rewarding business and thankfully it is my dream job. During the warmer months we offer a variety of stand up paddle board classes on the lakes. Beginners can learn the basics of paddle boarding in our Intro to SUP class. It is very rewarding to watch clients successfully stand up on a paddle board for the first time. Yogis can take their practice to the water and experience a new challenge to balance, strength and stability in a SUP Yoga class. For those that like a good cardio and strength workout, we have our PaddleFit classes. I am a PaddleFit Pro coach and I enjoy teaching this fun and challenging workout. For those that need to relax, we offer SUP Yin, a seated stretch class on the water as well as floating meditations and night classes. But my favorite part of my business is offering retreats. We host day, weekend and week long retreats for a chance to really escape the everyday stresses. We’ve paddled and hiked some incredible places in Arizona, snorkeled and swam with manatee in Florida and meditated while floating in a salt marsh in Alabama. All have been really memorable experiences for everyone. In June we go to Costa Rica and back to Arizona next September. I also like to share my knowledge of Yoga and SUP. I am now an E-RYT 500 hour yoga instructor, a YACEP and WPA Class II instructor. That means I can certify others to teach paddle boarding and SUP Yoga classes. Every spring I offer a SUP Yoga teacher training and a World Paddle Associate Safety and Instructor course.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Easy, success is defined by happiness and living my true passion.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
David Vaughn @Superdavesphotos

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