Q&A with Keri Kenney owner of Alignment 8 Yoga + Cycle

Keri Kenney is a Trauma-Informed, 200-hour registered yoga teacher with a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania in Positive Psychology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition. Kenney owns Alignment 8 Yoga + Cycle in Midland.

She has experienced the depth of life and has gone from barely surviving to thriving while living her life with anxiety, depression, grief and PTSD. Kenney considers herself to be a warrior of justice, peace, truth, and things that have given her resilience and new life include yoga, meditation and self-care.

Q: Keri, can you please tell us about your business and how you got started?

A: Alignment 8 Yoga + Cycle was created before I even knew it was going to be a part of my path and growth. I entered A8's doors for the first time in the fall of 2014. At that time in my life, my husband and I had just moved to Midland and were on the path to a new normal since our “normal” had been washed away clean.

When I had first found A8, I was completely broken from grief, depression, anxiety and trauma - but something very powerful happened when I walked through those doors. I took my first class on a Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning, I was offered a position as an instructor. Spinning had been very healing for me after losing my parents to homicide and suicide by police officer. I felt like I was living in the darkness, and Alignment 8 was a bright spark of light. After a few months of teaching I truly fell in love with the business, the people and the space. When hearing that the doors may be closed forever I trusted a voice and feeling inside of me that told me to “go for it!”

It made no sense in the moment, because money and time were two things I lacked, but I trusted my heart and intuition and on March 1, 2015 I signed the papers and became the proud owner of A8. This March will be our 4th Anniversary and I am still shaking my head in awe and wonder!

Q: That is such a powerful story. What made you decide to go into business for yourself?Keri Kenney, owner of Alignment 8 Yoga + Cycle,.

A: It was a sensation I felt. My heart and soul at that moment in life were completely crushed, lost and depleted. A8 fueled my resilience and sparked a light within me I had forgotten I had. I trusted what my intuition told me and have been working very hard ever since. It has been the most rewarding and challenging four years of my life. There has been sacrifice and moments of doubt, but everything that is behind me has prepared me for this.

Q: What are your favorite forms of exercise?

A: I love anything with movement! As a dynamic being, my "favorite" seems to always be changing. Back in the day, I really loved high-intensity movement. I used to run quite a bite and even dipped my toes in triathlons for a brief moment. Eventually, I found spinning, which was what brought me to A8. That in turn led me to my love for yoga and all the healing and resilience it provides for the body, mind, heart and soul. In this moment, I would probably say yoga is my favorite, but I truly love it all and feel so blessed to have the ability to do and share so many different forms of movement and exercise.

Q: What is something unexpected that has come from being an entrepreneur?

A: I will always be the first to admit I know nothing! I am however, very open to growth and learning. As an entrepreneur, I really enjoy the flexibility and freedom to be dynamic and stretch beyond some of the limitations I create for myself. Coming into my own, I have been able to view the world from more of an abundant mindset, especially when we lead with our hearts. I think that is the biggest lesson I am learning with each day. That if I show up from the heart, rooted in love, it doesn't have to make sense to any outside source and it doesn't matter the adversity or challenge at hand.

Q: Do you have any stories from clients about A8, and perhaps how their lives have been changed or transformed?

A: I have many beautiful testimonials from clients and it blows me away! Not only are we transforming physical bodies, but we are also transforming minds and hearts. A8 is a space where all people are welcome and we encourage everyone to meet themselves where they are today and to not judge but appreciate and acknowledge the bravery of stepping into the room. Our clients are dynamic as well and range from high school students to those who are celebrating their new life at fifty, sixty, even seventy years old.

Q: It sounds like you’re working very hard to expand your outreach to many different places! Do you have community interests or other organizations you are a part of?

A: I feel so blessed to be a part of this community. Midland is such a beautiful place to live with so many amazing opportunities and organizations who are also rooted in love and healing. I have had the honor and privilege of working with The Rock of Midland as a Youth Mentor in their Resiliency programs, the United Way of Midland developing videos for their team as a tool to build connection, unity and calm, I am currently working with Midland Corrections Facility and offering Trauma-Informed yoga to the female inmates (the first Michigan grant-funded correctional facility to provide yoga to inmates which gets me super excited). I am also working with The Arc of Midland and providing Trauma-Informed yoga as a tool of resilience, hope and healing. I am very aware of who is not in the studio and have been intentional about getting to those who cannot make their way to us.

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