Located in the heart of downtown Fargo, Downtown Yoga Fargo has been a space for movement and meditation since 2017. Now, it’s under the ownership of Kim Hobbs. Let’s meet her!
How did you come into ownership?
My husband and I moved here from Atlanta, GA back in March and I was the studio administrator of a very prominent studio in Atlanta. I’ve been teaching yoga for about five years and doing it full-time which means working for all kinds of different studios and basically saying yes to everything in order to make it work. So, when we moved here, the ultimate goal was to open some sort of space, whether it be a yoga studio, a wellness center—something.
It’s more achievable to do that here in Fargo than it is to do that in Atlanta where you have to basically be a millionaire to make anything happen. I was already kind of thinking of going to the current owner and seeing if she would be interested in selling, but she actually came to me and asked if I would be interested in buying the business from her, not for any other reason than she was looking to transition. And the timing just worked.
Had you been taking classes at the studio?
Yes and I started teaching here in April. So, I reached out to her just as a potential teacher before we moved here in March and then started taking classes and teaching classes in April.
Was there anything that drew you to reach out about this space as opposed to the others in town?
Well, it’s right downtown. And my husband and I live right around the corner. So, proximity-wise it appealed to me. And before I came to the area, I looked on the website and saw their social media and just felt like this was a good community here at the studio. I would have taught at other studios, and I was actually about to begin teaching at another one in town before Dani came to me. But as I was kind of plugging myself into the yoga community in Fargo, I just wanted to start with one spot and this one just jumped out at me.
Check Out the beautiful studio!
What types of classes have you predominantly taught throughout your time?
Mostly basic classes or a better way to put it would be classes that cater to all levels of experience. I really enjoy teaching beginners yoga too. In my classes, generally, regardless of what the title of the class is, I like to move a little bit slower and I like to focus on the breath and really invite the breath to be what moves the person into the different asanas or the different poses. Yoga is so much more than the asanas, so I make an effort to emphasize that in any class.
Have you ever owned a business before?
What has your experience with it been like so far?
It’s really exciting. Of course, I have the nerves that I think anybody would have. I think it would be crazier to not have kind of some nerves about it. But I feel really confident because I have worked really hard over the last five years to steward the practice of yoga in my own life and for my students as a teacher. I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. I feel like this is my calling to be an instructor. To have this opportunity to be the owner of a space and to cultivate the tradition and the practice of yoga for other teachers and other students makes me feel really at peace in my mind. So, it’s more of a peaceful feeling going into ownership than it is fear.
How have you gone about integrating yourself into the Fargo-Moorhead community?
It has been really great. My husband actually works at Fargo Brewing. So we’ve been able to kind of plug in with that community. We’ve already met some really great people and they host a lot of great shows and events that are fun to go to. We frequented the farmers market when it was going on and all of the community events that we can, especially over the summer. Those events have really given us an opportunity to see what the community is like and what the community responds to. And then teaching here has been really great as well.
The size of the community is really nice compared to Atlanta for that. We haven’t even lived here a year but we can’t really walk out the door without running into somebody that we’ve met. That has helped us get invites to other places and has helped us meet other business owners— especially the ones with shops downtown. Of course, it has been a difficult transition at times, moving halfway across the country when the only place my husband and I have ever lived is Atlanta. But we are really grateful to be here and for the opportunities that Fargo has already afforded to us.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing for probably 12ish years. I started really casually at first. I was in college and I’ve always been kind of hippie-dippie and bohemian and didn’t really like to work out or anything. But I obviously needed some sort of physical activity and yoga kind of drew me in. I’d always kind of been interested in Hinduism. I wasn’t raised in that culture or that tradition at all, but for some reason, it just always kind of drew me in. All of those things kind of came together when I was in college. I just started exploring that type of tradition and culture just because I was interested in it and so I very casually started practicing asanas. I would go to a few classes per week which were really heavily prop-supported. Then, I kind of stopped for a while. I’d practice on my own, but not much. I lived with a yoga instructor for a while when I was in college, so that was really helpful. I learned a lot from her.
And then, about five years and a half years ago, when I was in graduate school in Atlanta and teaching at Georgia State University, I just kind of felt like I was like running in circles and I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I didn’t really love being in my master’s program. I didn’t love being broke because I was in a master’s program. I had just recently got married. And so I just didn’t really know what to do. Then my husband was like, “Well, you’ve been practicing yoga for a long time you’re interested in it, why don’t you do a yoga teacher training.” So, I just Googled ‘yoga teacher trainings’ near where we lived in Atlanta, and I found Peachtree Yoga Center and I applied for the teacher training program. And that’s really where it kicked off. And I really established a daily practice and I just fell absolutely in love with it and was like, ‘this is all I want to do.’ So, once I established that practice in myself, and then was beginning the training and learning how to share the practice of yoga with others, it really sealed the deal that I wanted to teach and practice full-time. So after that initial training, the 200-hour training, I signed up for the 300-hour training. I did that for a year, quit my master’s program and slowly but surely quit all the other little side jobs I was doing.
What did you study in undergraduate and what were you studying in your master’s program?
My undergraduate degree is in English literature and environmental studies. After I graduated with my bachelor’s, I started working at a grocery store in north Georgia and it was awful. But I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my English degree yet. Then, I had gotten together with my now husband and we were moving in together. So, I was moving to a different part of Georgia at that point, closer to Atlanta, and I got a job at a shoe store. I worked there for a while and then started working at an after school program as an art teacher. And then, after a couple of years there, I got asked to be the director of that program. I did that for about a year and a half and then I started my master’s. At that same time, I began working as a writing tutor at some of the satellite campuses of Georgia State University. And then after about a year in the writing centers, I was approached to be a graduate teaching assistant. Then, I began teaching English 1101 and 1102 to the freshmen at Georgia State. I also drove for Uber and just kind of did whatever it took. My husband and I both are not afraid of hard work and we definitely worked hard to get where we are today.
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I like to craft and make anything with my hands, jewelry, that sort of thing. I like to read, obviously since I have nearly two degrees in English. I have a dog and we like to go hiking and travel with him when we can. I like to antique and shop for vintage clothes. And I like crocheting, knitting, you know, that kind of scope of activities.
What new things are you looking to do with the studio now that you are the owner?
I don’t know if change is necessarily the word I want to use. But I want to enhance things. I want there to be more workshops for the teachers themselves to develop their personal practice and develop their practice of teaching. I want to develop the studio in such a way and supports the teachers so that we can show more students how powerful the practice and traditions of yoga are instead of just telling them if that makes sense.
I also really want to share the tradition of yoga with integrity. I want to offer more practices that go beyond the asanas or poses, and really highlight the multifaceted nature of Yoga itself.
Is there anything you’d like to change with the classes?
I’d like to offer you know, more meditation, just in and of itself. I’d like to offer more Pranayama or breathing classes, meditation, kirtan or chanting.I am also in the process of creating a teacher training curriculum so that more people can deepen their personal practice and potentially decide to also share it with the community.