Sharli Kiner turned to yoga as a way to cope with pregnancy-related pain. The ancient Hindu discipline has brought lasting improvements to her life.
“Sciatic nerve pain was real, and yoga was the first thing that brought me relief,” Kiner said. “I just wasn’t interested in pills, and this worked immediately.”
Her enthusiasm for yoga continued long after the baby was born. Before long Kiner started thinking about ways to help others discover the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga.
Five years ago, Kiner started Limber Tree Yoga at 212 N. 29th St. The business offers classes that feature a variety of yoga styles.
“Our mission is to share the practice of yoga, aerial yoga, self-care and dance arts to enhance and promote a healthier, inspired and compassionate community,” she said. “Limber Tree Yoga is a place for students and teachers alike to center and be challenged mentally and physically in the advancement of personal growth.”
As the business took off, Kiner saw an opportunity for expansion and even opened a second studio on First Avenue North. But she decided to close a second Limber Tree yoga studio about a year after it opened. She said the experience taught her many valuable lessons.
A study conducted for the Yoga Journal found that 37 million Americans practice yoga daily. Kiner says interest in yoga remains strong locally.
“In Billings, we have a really interesting dynamic when it comes to yoga,” she said. “We have four studios apart from the gym, and every one offers something completely different. I see it growing, but the growth remains inconsistent. I still wish there was more steady attendance than there is, but there are more people coming around to yoga. Yoga is still amazing for so many different reasons.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job? Staying positive and patient amidst the seemingly unstable moments and challenges. Through the opening and closure of a second Limber Tree location during the years of 2014-2015, I have learned to have to trust my own creative skills and to release the tendency to think of myself as a failure. Using my yoga and meditation practice has been key to staying positive, even when personal and financial insecurity sets in.
What’s the best business advice you have received? Do not expand your business until you are bursting at the seams.
Who gave you that advice? Jim Markel, owner of Red Oxx.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: My business plan is moving in the direction of offering more specialized workshop and training opportunities for members of the community to dig deeper into what the true and pure practice of yoga entails. My business and personal goal to improve the community starts with making sure that I create a well-rounded class, workshop, and training schedule to fit the individuals’ needs. Through these educational opportunities involving breathing techniques, postures, meditation practices, wellness opportunities, dance, and spiritual growth opportunities, Limber Tree will continue to be a place for people to find growth and joy within their own selves so they can share that with others.
Outside of work, my biggest passion is: My children/family, fur and feather family (three dogs, two cats, a fish, and six chickens), and mountain adventures.
Which living person do you most admire? Louise Hay: This amazing woman has endured some of the greatest challenges in life. She was severely abused and neglected as a child, has been through a painful divorce, physical diseases and ailments, and remains the most positive person. She now has a major publishing company, Hay House Publishers, and shares her experiences through books and seminars at 90 years old! She is a living example that not only can you recover from hardships, you can flourish from them. Her mission is to help others heal through mental positivity. She also is an example that you are never too old to start a successful endeavor.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? Positive feedback from people who have experienced the true joy of yoga and life improvement because of Limber Tree makes a HUGE difference in my mentality regarding the success of my business.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Seeing my children grow to be mindful, kind, and compassionate people is, by far, my greatest achievement.
I’m happiest when I’m…with my children. Whatever the setting may be, it isn’t complete without them.