This week’s Meet a Mom is Toni Thomas, founder of Salt Yoga – a beautiful yoga studio in the city near and dear to the Thomas family – East Lansing! You may even recognize her husband – David Thomas, a member of the 2000 Spartan men’s basketball national championship team. Go Green!
Toni found a love of yoga while studying kinesiology at Michigan State and has never looked back. Calling herself a “yoga gypsy” – she traveled to yoga studios all over the area before taking the leap in 2019 and opening her very own yoga studio. Salt Yoga opened just before the pandemic hit – read below how her studio adapted and was able to offer yoga classes virtually.
Salt Yoga located at 1306 Michigan Avenue, offers Hot Yoga and Himalayan sea salt therapy – breathe in the benefits of a large Himalayan Salt wall during your yoga practice. Be sure to check out the generous offer that Toni and Salt Yoga have offered GLAM followers- you can go experience the benefits of Salt Yoga for yourself!
Welcome to GLAMom’s , Toni!
Hi Toni! Please introduce yourself –
Toni Thomas, yoga teacher and owner of Salt Yoga located in East Lansing. Spartan graduate 2x over, undergrad completed in 2004 and Master’s in 2006 in Kinesiology and Sport Administration respectively. Married to David Thomas, with 3 kids and our English Bulldog, Ziggy.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in East Lansing, MI and love this community so much I continue to live, run my business and raise my family here.
You’re a mom! Please tell us about your children and their ages. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Kingston 12 , Kennedy 9. Kobi 21 months. My kids are always teaching me and reminding me of the greatest yoga lesson…the importance of presence.
What is your favorite family activity to do in the Greater Lansing area?
Watch the Spartans or East Lansing Trojans. We love Spartan basketball, football, volleyball and soccer.
You opened your own yoga studio! Please tell us how Salt Yoga came to be?
I have been certified since 2008 and have taught regularly the entire time while working other full time jobs. In 2016 I took a leap of faith and started teaching yoga full time. I took on multiple corporate accounts while teaching at local studios.
I called myself a yoga gypsy as I loved to travel/visit/learn from numerous studios. I had a business plan and dreams of a studio for years and everything fell into place in 2019.
How did you become interested in yoga?
My undergrad degree was in Kinesiology (movement science) and through that study I fell in love with all sorts of movement. While personal training through graduate school I was introduced to yoga and I’ve never looked back.
If someone is new to yoga, what is the best way to get started practicing?
Never be afraid to ask questions and talk to the teacher about your needs and desires. Trust that you do not need to be flexible to practice yoga, and check the schedule for classes that are beginner friendly:
Slow flow – a slower paced all level accessible class that flows through standing and seated postures.
Power – still accessible for beginners as it moves slower but cultivates more challenge by holding strong, powerful postures
Yin – a seated restorative class, using props such as bolsters and blankets for more comfort and benefit.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
Whether I get to practice personally or teach, I leave with my cup FULL. It is so rewarding to teach people a practice that leaves them feeling so good afterward, physically, mentally, spiritually.
How did your business have to pivot during the pandemic?
IT WAS A CHALLENGE… a practice that focuses so much on breath made people very concerned. We began to offer online classes via an online library (which is still available) as well as live classes. Once the weather warmed up we taught a full schedule of outdoor classes. But nothing was sweeter than that first class back in studio 🙂
Now some FUN ones! Can’t live without skincare or makeup products – I’m not big on makeup but I love Soulful Earth Herbals natural deodorant, charcoal soap and frankincense face oil:)
Favorite food to indulge on – Baklava
Favorite place to visit in Michigan – Lake Michigan
Favorite date night idea – We are home bodies:) We love a night at home with no obligations or activities.
Beach or Mountains – Beach (Jamaica is a fave of ours, my husband David’s family is from there)
Hot or iced coffee – ALWAYS HOT, even in summer
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”? Yoga 🙂
Last one – Who is your biggest mentor in your life? My parents, both unique in the ways in which they offered support.
Salt Yoga has been generous to offer our followers a special offer!
I’d love to offer 20% off their first package (excluding the summer punch card package) Mention GLAM20 when purchasing via phone, email or in person.
Thank you, Toni! We loved learning more about you and Salt Yoga. And always, GO GREEN♥