Tina Mandl strides into the empty studio and flips the switch to illuminate the huge peace sign.
“We have it here because this is the yoga and barre studio,” said the 26-year-old owner of Oranji Fitness.
“But really it’s a symbol we want peace everywhere, not just in yoga.”
Such a cool vibe is the signature of Oranj, the Kelowna fitness facility with a difference.
Oranj is just as much about empowerment, inclusion, peace and love as it is about working up a sweat.
“I’m so lucky to be able to take over all this greatness,” said Mandl, who purchased Oranj Kelowna last year as a franchise after operation for six years under founder Sheila Chutskoff.
“I worked here for six years on the front desk and as an instructor, so I knew how it well it was run.”
Chutskoff has gone off to start Oranj franchises in Fort McMurray and Castlegar and soon Grande Prairie and Airdrie.
While the original Oranj concept of offering a myriad of dance, yoga and fitness classes works well, Mandl felt there was room for improvement.
So she’s taken over the property next door at 539 Lawrence Ave. and putting in Astroturf flooring to create a new-generation gym for personal training.
The four dance, yoga and fitness studios remain in the original space, while the expansion will also allow for a bigger room for spin classes.
Oranj offers an astounding 115 classes a week, many of them with catch names such as Tour de Oranj, Will Spin for Wine, Get Tight and Fight, Spin Your Ass Off, Femme Fatale, These Hips Don’t Lie, Totally Ripped, Rock Solid and Yoga for Rebels.
Mandl also leads a separate dance troupe called Femme Fatale, which does burlesque shows at special events.
“As a kid, my goal was to own a dance studio,” she said.
“That’s difficult in a smaller city such as Kelowna. But I have the best of both worlds with Oranj and Femme Fatale.”
Oranj has its own charity called Mats for Metta, which donates yoga mats to various community organizations.