Today we’d like to introduce you to Tania Hughes.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
“I cannot stay quietly rooted anywhere because of the many sides of myself constantly sprouting, the layers of latent mysteries, the things I am not yet.” -Anais Nin
My work is a creative expression, a dance of communicating love and support for fellow beings. People intrigue me; each individual is a treasure trove of gifts and talents. I have always fascinated over what makes folks thrive. As a kid, I volunteered plenty and it had a lasting impact on me…. everything from day camp counseling in the summer, making and selling cotton candy at Shriner’s Circus, to the beautifully enriching experience of working with mentally disabled youth in high school. All of this fostered a curiosity about how I can contribute to the betterment of others. That interest is consistently sparked in my career to this day.
It’s always been a joy to help others flourish, and generate a climate ensconced with care. I had an interest in advertising and went to school for Marketing Communications because I wanted to know about what impacts that media and society have on the choices people make, and why people form the habits that they do. After my first job in the corporate world I made a pretty swift departure when I determined that I perform best when I can impact others working with people directly. Full circle, I now work in business settings with a very different role.
I was a restaurant server collectively for 11 years starting at the age of 16, and between corporate jobs enjoyed intermittent work in cafés, diners, and fine dining (my last restaurant job was as a server at RL, Ralph Lauren here in our great city of Chicago). Each place lent a unique observation of people appreciating a basic need in dramatically different social settings, thereby informing me of human expression on many levels.
In 1999 I completed my certification with CSMT, Chicago School of Massage Therapy and dove deep into my calling as an enthusiastic wellness ambassador. Over the last 19 years I have built a healing practice which began as a massage and craniosacral therapist, then lead to certification to teach yoga. Now my central work is teaching health and wellness in business and private settings.
I continue to teach weekly and monthly yoga classes and workshops. You can practice with me privately or in a group at Nature Yoga Sanctuary in Wicker Park and Oak Park, and in Avondale at Garrett Wellness Center. I also teach continuing education to massage therapists, estheticians and cosmetologists for state licensing, which is a gratifying way to always advance myself and stay relevant. Occasionally my clients join me in Chicago Acro Yoga classes, exploring exciting trust-building and centering techniques.
Community is a passion. As an adult, I still volunteer regularly and am active in environmental and social justice through involvement with the OEFF (One Earth Film Festival), WIG (Women In Green), GCC (Green Community Connections), and BwB (Burners Without Borders). I’m a dedicated member of the Dill Pickle Co-op in Logan Square, and I strongly support local business.
Learning about the Slow Food movement has been profoundly transformational for me, affecting all the choices that I make concerning my internal environment, our social environment, and the environment of our planet.
Growing up, I was given freedom to roam in nature for hours until the sun went down. I love water sports- for a while we lived on Lake Michigan. We also lived on a river where I could swim for hours. I would explore our 10 acres of woods, ride my bike down country roads, canoe to my friend’s house (or cross-country ski in winter).
This lifestyle was an enormous blessing, which taught me about life all around us. I learned to slow down and observe the nature of life and its cycles — in the earth, plants and animals. To study how there’s an intelligence in everything on the planet. It’s a blessing I wish to influence others with- this graceful rhythm of calm and sensibility.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been smooth, in that early on in my life I made a conscious choice to remain dedicated to engaging with others from a baseline of honesty and respect. I stay informed by discontent. If there is static in my connection and flow, I reframe my outlook and start again.
As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats. Through the study of neuroplasticity, I have learned to be adaptable. Consider the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself. We can form new neural connections throughout life to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust activities in response to new situations or to changes in the environment. This makes everything easier!
Tania Hughes Wellness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
What do I do? I create custom care via stress management, including the practice of balancing cognitive, emotional and physical well-being. I offer learning modules of:
-active breath coaching
-good food creates a good mood
-anatomy & yoga study
These programs, seminars and sessions are offered to businesses, small groups, and to individuals who are invested in their health and well-being.
What do I specialize in? I provide comprehensive plans that cultivate an ongoing dedication to balanced health. This means that we are interested in engaging and developing the whole person, to thrive individually as well as with interpersonal connections. Consider this on various levels — mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. It’s the concept that the human being is multi-dimensional. My focus is to maximize the energy of others and help them step into a place of authentic personal empowerment.
What sets me apart from other wellness providers is how I customize to suit my client base. It’s discernibly personalized.
I’m proud of the connections that I make with clients, which has formed fantastic client retention. My playful approach invites health and fortitude in a compassionate, supportive fashion.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success means that I live a life I am proud to share. Success means am I connected to my inner fire. Success means I am grounded in my values and principles–especially in hard times. Success in business means that my contributions inspire others to be the most vibrant, healthy, happy versions of themselves possible.
- Website: taniahughes.com new, updated website underway
Kendall Karmanian, Danielle Dettore