Profile: Beth Range Kiely '98
with the flow
love of yoga, puts Kellogg alum in position to pursue entrepreneurial
Chris Van Nostrand
room is heated between 95 and 100 degrees as Beth
Range Kiely '98 guides her clients into a posture called Tuladandasana. The participants
slowly bend their bodies forward while standing on their right
legs. They lift their left legs behind them and begin straightening
out like a flat board, creating a single line that runs from
their toes all the way through their back and outstretched
arms. It's a perfect "T" alignment: with the right
leg as the stem, they've crossed the uppercase letter with
the rest of their body.
posture requires a mix of balance, strength, stamina and discipline
to endure the 90-minute session. And though the participants
range from senior consultants to recent college graduates,
they all share one thing: profuse sweating. This is, after
all, Bikram Yoga, a practice that combines standard yoga's
spiritual elements with a feverish intensity. As Kiely gently
leads her diverse mix of pupils, it's easy to understand why
the Kellogg School graduate doesn't always think of herself
as an entrepreneur.
truth is that Kiely has melded her tremendous passion for
yoga with an innovative business venture. Along with her husband,
Terry (pictured), the two first helped bring Bikram Yoga to
the Chicago area in 2001 when they opened Om On The Range
Studio. Named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, the practice
is based on the idea that heat from the room helps stretch
muscles, ligaments and tendons while moving through the routine's
26 postures. Also central to the practice is the tourniquet
effect: the movements create pressure on the arteries and
veins, and upon release of that pressure blood flow improves
through the body.
yoginis are rare among Kellogg alumni, the decision to open
a studio was deeply rooted in Kiely's experience in The
Managers' Program. She speaks frequently of finding the
"flow" in her life, by which she means seamlessly
integrating all the different elements of her day, whether
related to business or family. This expert ability to balance
seemingly disparate experiences gained additional power when
she earned her MBA degree, enabling Kiely to pursue the career,
and the life, she desires.
enrolled in the Kellogg School's part-time program in the
midst of a successful and rewarding career as a nonprofit
executive. Only 11 years after taking her first job as a development
assistant in 1986, right out of college, Kiely was named vice
president for development at The School of the Art Institute
of Chicago. Kellogg leadership training provided her with
an opportunity to bolster her value to the organizations she
she assumed increasingly complex professional roles, Kiely
also decided to practice yoga more frequently. "For me,
it helped with stress and anxiety. As a fundraiser, I would
take these really significant goals, and I would own them
... I found that yoga really kept me balanced with school
while also helping me take ownership of things that I should,
and staying away from things that I shouldn't."
the same time, Kiely began to benefit from her Kellogg professors,
particularly about how and what to market. She says Phil
Kotler and Alice
Tybout made a profound impact. "Alice talked to me
about how if you're passionate about something, then all the
marketing will come together," says Kiely. "She
lit the flame of something deeper that I was passionate about,"
as opposed to just pursuing a career path that seemed interesting.
yoga practice, Kellogg experience and significant reflection
led to an epiphany during a vacation with Terry. "We
were in a hammock in Costa Rica, at a Bikram Yoga retreat,
talking about what we were going to do in 25 years when we
retired," she recalls. The couple decided they would
want to open a yoga studio.
came back [from the trip] and we thought, 'Waiting for retirement
is too far away.' That's when our plans all got very accelerated
and it became clear that this is what we love."
and Terry knew that the practice had much to offer a city
with cold winters, active people and executives facing similar
stresses to those they themselves confronted. She remembers
that Terry, a former management consultant with back problems
from his constant travel, used to say that all of his corporate
colleagues didn't know that Bikram yoga was his "secret
weapon" in staying healthy.
On The Range has also given Kiely the flow to her life that
she deeply values by allowing her a fuller family life and
removing the barriers between what she loves and what she
does for work. "I never have a day where I don't want
to come to the yoga studio," she says. "I never
have a day where I don't want to teach. Every day is really
great, and I learn a lot from students, I learn a lot from
teachers. It's all there."