Are you moving to the Cleveland/Akron area and devastated to leave behind your favorite yoga studio? Don’t be! Northeast Ohio has many incredible resources for those that exercise or relax by doing downward dog and tree pose! Executive Arrangements helps people moving to Northeast Ohio find their happy spot. For yoga resources, we turned to our own EA Guide Suzanne Dannemiller, who has been practicing yoga for years. Suzanne connected EA with Tammy Lyons and Michelle Hunt from Inner Bliss Yoga Studio to learn what makes yoga special in Northeast Ohio.
Tammy is a studio owner and a certified and registered yoga teacher. She opened her first studio 17 years ago as a way “to encourage a vibrant yoga community in Cleveland with a safe, nurturing environment for the practice of vinyasa yoga.” Tammy’s first studio was in Lakewood and then moved to Rocky River. She opened a studio in Westlake seven years ago and one in Downtown Cleveland two years ago.
Michelle joined the Inner Bliss team in 2005 and is the vice president of bliss. Her focus is client relationships at all three studios. She also manages the studios, the software, and 40 teachers and desk staff, called Blissmakers, that report to her. She’s the day-to-day back bone.
Inner Bliss offers vinyasa yoga, which is a powerful yoga practice in which breath is linked with movement as a way to heal both body and mind. They work on all levels…basics, beginner workshops, hot powerful flow, prenatal, kids, restorative, etc.
Tammy and her crew also started the Believe in CLE movement in partnership with Lulu Lemon. They have offered community yoga experiences at the Rock Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Q, 78th Street Studios, Mall B, the Browns Stadium, and Progressive Field. These events are large-scale experiences like giant pep rallies for Cleveland with yoga serving as the common link. The event at the Rock Hall this year had 2,400 participants…the largest event yet! The second largest event involved a partnership in 2014 with LAND studio and the AHA! Cleveland Festival of Lights. 2,200 people participated in breath and movement beneath glowing lights. All of the Believe in CLE events are free! An urban yoga festival could be in the works for the future.
We asked Tammy and Michelle a few questions that Northeast Ohio newcomers might have when looking for a way to explore the yoga scene here. We’ve compiled their thoughts on each question below…
If I’m new in town, how do I find my way about the yoga scene, other than Google? Are their additional resources or tools?
The MINDBODY app is a very useful way to discover classes and studios. It can help you find the right fit. Almost every thriving yoga studio will have a relationship with MINDBODY. Lulu Lemon is also a great resource. They have a location in Eton Place on the east side and in Crocker Park on the west side. They have ambassadors in the area with a great knowledge of our region’s offerings and always have a list of upcoming events.
Describe the yoga scene in our area. Anything unique about yoga in Northeast Ohio?
Tammy has traveled a great deal and shared some insights…”Related to my travels, I do feel we have one of the most vibrant and eclectic yoga communities in the country. The depth of offerings and expansive landscape of studios provides a variety of yoga experiences. Vinyasa does seem to be the most prevalent, but many other styles can be found. In my experience, studios are friendly and welcoming to newcomers and visitors.”
In our area, there are a plethora of choices, teachers, events, classes, workshops, times of day, etc. You are never just jam-packed and disappearing into a dark room in Cleveland. Spaces are comfortable and inviting.
Yoga in Cleveland pays great attention to heart opening experiences and movements. Many people new to the area recognize this as well. We live in a welcoming and warm area, and our yoga reflects that.
In fact, Inner Bliss’s mission statement embodies this “open heart” concept. Per Tammy, “Our Mission Statement reflects what we feel is most important about the yoga experience we create: Our mission is to open hearts. We are dedicated to co-creating a space and experience for the heart to open through breath and movement. We offer a safe haven for our students supported by clear, intentional energy. Attention to professional warmth toward each other and our community along with sincere friendliness, inspires healing from the inside out. All of our thoughts, words, actions and reactions come from a place of love.”
There are many great studios in our area in addition to Inner Bliss…Chagrin Yoga in Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood, Flow Yoga Studio in Gates Mills, Yoga Bliss in Fairlawn and Green, and Oasis Yoga + Wellness in Solon. And, this is just to name a few.
What is trending right now in yoga around the country? How does Northeast Ohio fit into that trend?
In the world of yoga, most things unfold from the west. An emphasis on meditation will be seen in studios in the coming months…a getting back to basics. There has been a creative blossoming and craving for some basics.
Any advice for parents introducing yoga to their children?
For kids, stay the course! Find a way into yoga that speaks to them. Be the example as the parent. Keep up your practice, and they’ll meet you at some point.
Here are some additional articles to help you find your yoga path in Northeast Ohio…