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Karina Ramírez - DRC

Genuine connection

Profile image for By Karina Ramírez / Staff Writer
By Karina Ramírez / Staff Writer
A bulletin board at Authentic Yoga Life displays photos of some of the studio’s students, notices about class offerings and more.Karina Ramírez - DRC
A bulletin board at Authentic Yoga Life displays photos of some of the studio’s students, notices about class offerings and more.
Karina Ramírez - DRC

Studio owner hopes to help people find the benefits of yoga

On any given day, the temperature inside a classroom at Authentic Yoga Life studio in downtown Denton is between 93 and 95 degrees. The temperature is just right to conduct Baron Baptiste’s Power Vinyasa Yoga-inspired classes, which provide mental clarity, self-awareness and spiritual connection, according to proponents.

Studio owner Valerie Warren said yoga helps people learn more about themselves.

“It is more about strength than flexibility,” she said.

Now, with the yoga studio she opened last month, Warren wants to help others try the practice she has come to love for the past four and a half years.

“I am looking forward to people getting fired up about being empowered themselves,” she said.

Warren left her 26-year career as a flight attendant with American Airlines in June to follow her dream, said her mentor of two years, Michelle Andrie, a Dallas yoga therapist.

“She was referred to me by a yoga student of mine, and we began to meet one-on-one,” Andrie said. “She revealed this dream she had, and we worked on bringing it to fruition.”

Andrie, who has been practicing yoga for 30 years, said she was there to help Warren find the right space. Andrie said she has helped other students open three studios in the North Texas area.

Andrie suggested Warren start small, and what they found was a 1,200-square-foot spot at Austin and McKinney streets in downtown Denton.

“It feels like home and it feels more in touch with what is going on with the Square,” Warren said.

The building once sported cream colors and a tiled floor. In about a month, it was completely transformed with bright green and purple colors and a wooden floor.

The reception area offers yoga clothing, yoga mats and other accessories. The front room also has a wall with the studio’s logo along with the words “Powerful. Serve. Shine. Everyone. Liberated.”

Andrie said the business is just how Warren envisioned it.

“She followed her heart, her desire, her dream,” Andrie said. “It took a lot of courage and a lot of belief in herself. We worked together to overcome the challenges so she could create this. It is about being her authentic true self, which explains the name of the business.”

Originally from Dallas, Warren said she wanted to come back to Denton. She earned her business degree from the University of North Texas in 1986 and, in researching locations for her yoga studio, something about Denton brought her back.

“When I went to school here, we had to drive to Dallas to do anything,” Warren said. “There was not much happening at the Square then.”

She also noted there were not many locations for yoga in town. Denton has a handful of yoga studios and instructors.

Warren’s business is not an affiliated Baptiste Power Vinyasa studio.

Baptise, a best-selling author and instructor, developed his form of power yoga in the 1990s. According to Baptiste’s website, there are about 40 affiliated studios in the U.S., Canada and Australia — with one each in Dallas and Fort Worth.

“It takes a lot to be an affiliated store, and I don’t know if that is what I am going for here,” Warren said.

But she is continuing on the road to earn her certification. Last month, she attended a seminar led by Baptiste called “The Art of Assisting.”

She said learning from Baptiste is powerful.

Since Authentic Yoga Life began offering classes Jan. 14, students have caught on.

Kevin Landreth said he was not initially a “yoga person,” but he started going two days after the opening.

He also trains in a gym, at Lifetime Fitness, but yoga, he said, is just different.

He goes to the beginner’s power class each Wednesday. He said the room definitely gets hot while he’s doing yoga, but he sticks to it because Warren believes in the practice.

“I have never seen anyone who is so passionate about what they are doing,” Landreth said.

“There is something to being right there in that room, at that moment. And she forces me to get in there and get in that moment and on that mat. It is refreshing to me.”

Warren will host a grand opening for her business  Saturday, Feb. 23, with a free class at 10 a.m. benefiting the Denton Food Center. Donations of nonperishable food items such as peanut butter and cereal will be accepted.

Authentic Yoga Life’s grand-opening celebration will continue from 1 to 4 p.m.

To celebrate the grand opening, Warren partnered with TrendZen, a mobile boutique that offers athletic and lifestyle apparel, as well as NV Cupcakes, which is located next door.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is



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