The Kennedy Center

Alia Khan


A native of Austin, TX, East Side Yoga founder Alia J. Khan is a recovering attorney-turned-entrepreneur. She began practicing yoga when she began practicing law, because she knew she needed a way to balance out the stress of her new career, and obtained her 200-hour teaching certification in 2012. After nearly 5 years of working as an associate at an AmLaw 500 firm here in DC, Alia knew that the legal world was not the place for her. She embarked on a long and winding journey to find her dream career, making stops in the worlds of food writing and real estate along the way. Through her professional adventures, teaching yoga has always been a passion that fulfilled a very important part of her. But she knew that teaching yoga full-time would never fully satisfy all of her professional ambitions, so her search continued.

Alia had always dreamed of owning her own business, though she used to think that she wanted to open a restaurant. Two years of writing about the restaurant industry rid her of that notion completely, but her entreprenuerial spirit still burned strong. Her undergraduate degree was in business, and she longed to return to her business roots after her foray into the law. While using her real estate knowledge to help her partner search for office space for his business, she stumbled across a listing for a former dance studio just five blocks away from her home.
 The moment she set foot in the space, Alia knew that she had to open a yoga studio there. After years of living on the Hill and crossing town to get her yoga fix, she was convinced that her neighborhood had a real need for the type of studio that she could open and the community she would build around it. And so, East Side Yoga was born! The studio is about to celebrate its second birthday, and a the end of 2016 Alia decided to expand into retail with the launch of Sanctuary, a line of artisan self-care products designed to help her clients take better care of themselves outside of the studio. You can learn more about Alia and her endeavors at
Alia Khan