Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
By: Tess Vella-Collette
— If there is one person bringing Dayton some major zen, it’s Tori Reynolds.
Tori is a yoga instructor and owner of Speakeasy Yoga, a studio on the ground floor of Cannery Lofts. Tori got involved in yoga on a whim, taking a summer class at Wright State University.
“I did not think yoga was for me,” she said.
But one good teacher and the right environment was all it took for Tori to fall in love with the practice of yoga.
“I love being dedicated to a practice that brings balance, calm, and better mental clarity to my life,” she aid. “It keeps me grounded in pretty much everything I do.”
And balance is something Tori needs as she juggles teaching classes, running her business and unveiling her next big project, Speakeasy Wayne, a new yoga studio opening up at the Wheelhouse in the Oregon District. Speakeasy Wayne is a smaller extension studio that will offer similar classes to those at the Cannery studio, but in an unheated studio.
Tori is looking forward to settling into her second Speakeasy location, because for much of her yoga teaching career, “settled” wasn’t something she felt very often. Her first business enterprise “Go With The Flow” was a travelling yoga series created with her partner Ben Rivet using his looping station, guitar and some beatboxing and vocals to create a track to which she would teach a flow.
Tori and Ben traveled all around the country, teaching at festivals, conferences and close to 300 studios over the course of 3 years. Now -- instead of making apperances at studios near and far -- Tori has established her Speakeasy locations, and she enjoys living and working in a community where she feels invested.
We caught up with this Daytonian of the Week to find out more about her.
Q: What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?
Aware. I don’t keep up as much with the world news or politics as I could, but I don’t feel like I miss much in my immediate surroundings and with personal interactions. I like to be aware of what’s going on with the people I come into contact with, as well as awareness of myself, how I’m doing, and how I’m impacting those people and the world around me.
Q: What’s your favorite spot in Dayton?
The lobby at Speakeasy. Words can’t express how much the studio means to me, and I never dreamed I would be able to build something in a space as beautiful as it is. So sitting there on the most amazing antique, crushed velvet green couch (with fringe!) staring out the floor to ceiling windows at the city I love, I am reminded how immensely grateful I am for the opportunity to do what I am doing.
Q: What superpower would you love to have?
X-Ray vision would be super cool! (And not the kind where you see people naked.) Bone structure impacts a lot of alignment in yoga and that can make it really hard to teach people since you can’t see it that easy. Although telepathy would be cool, too, and maybe throw in a little flying? I’m pretty indecisive.
Q: What inspires you about Dayton?
The people! Dayton is totally making a comeback, and all because of them. Everyone is positive and pulling for Dayton to thrive, so being a part of the business community at this point in time is a very cool experience that I will always think of fondly.
Q: If you could change or bring one thing to Dayton, would it be?
More bike lanes! Ben and I just spent some time in Copenhagen and the set up for bikers was beyond impressive. I felt so comfortable pretending to be a local riding my borrowed cruiser for those 4 days.
Q: What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
More people, expanded neighborhoods, continued building revitalization… I think we’re on the right track already. Seeing how much it’s changed in just the past four years since we moved to South Park and got really dug in, I have extremely high hopes for what can happen in another 10-15!
Know someone who would make a great Daytonian of the Week? Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us who and why.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tess is a restaurant professional, home-baker and downtown Dayton dweller. When she's not mixing drinks for restaurant patrons, she's drinking champagne, buying shoes, or writing her blog, Ciao Vella. You can read about her home recipes, party planning tips, and more at www.CiaoVellaBlog.com.