Considering giving yoga a try? We'd like to introduce you to Tammy Lyons, yogi, CLE Believer, and Inner Bliss Yoga Studios owner. Founder of Believe in CLE, a yoga movement celebrating Cleveland, Lyons shares a bit about the community events, her passion for yoga, and her goal of spreading CLE love.
Z: How did Believe in CLE originate?
Tammy Lyons (TL): The original event was held four years ago at the Rock Hall. Local Lululemon team members Amy Basha and Adam Tilocco and myself envisioned a large scale yoga event that would be held for the sole purpose of elevating Cleveland through the undeniable energy that is generated when we come together to breathe and move. With the help of Tim Mueller (Inner Bliss student and CLE leader), we were able to convince the Rock Hall to host the first event. On a beautiful summer night in 2013 we expected 100 or so yogis to turn out and 800 showed up to demonstrate their belief in their city and their yoga practice. It was magical. After the event, I wanted the energy raised that night to continue and created the Believe in CLE movement. While Lululemon could not continue their involvement, they gave their blessing for Inner Bliss to continue momentum of that first event and build on it. And that is what we did, collaborating with local studios and organizations to create nine events all over CLE, with thousands of yogis joining in over the nine events.
Z: What's up next for Believe in CLE?
TL: We have been invited back to the Rock Hall this summer and there may be a surprise event in the meantime!
Z: What have been your top three favorite events?
TL: The first Rock Hall event in 2013 holds a special place in my heart as it was unexpectedly impactful not only in size and numbers but in scope and magnitude of the energy and enthusiasm generated! I loved the event we did with LAND studios at the AHA event on Mall B because of the group we worked with at LAND as well as Deputy Cleveland Police Chief Ed Tomba gave an emotional, heart opening speech that night I will never forget. And the event we did at The Q was exciting as we partnered with the Cleveland Cavaliers and practicing on the court was kind of unbelievable!
Z: What is your number one goal for Believe in CLE within the next year?
TL: To continue to spread CLE love within the land and expose as many Clevelanders as possible to the healing benefits of yoga.
Z: What does your day-to-day with Believe in CLE look like?
TL: Continuing to search for landmark locations to hold an event and building relationships with potential collaborators!
Z: Do you have any advice for first time yogis?
TL: Just try it! And remember, it is a practice, not a performance. Enjoy falling over and smile as you get back up and begin again. Breathe.
Z: What was your first yoga experience like?
TL: It was like a hot mess! I was so tight, so awkward!
Z: Do you have a favorite pose?
TL: I am a down dog junkie. It clears out my spine and relaxes my nervous system.
Z: What is the most challenging part of yoga for you?
TL: As a long time runner, my hips are eternally tight. So any pose that requires open hips makes me cringe. But I breathe and do the best I can.
Z: Is yoga your favorite form of exercise, and if so, why?
TL: Yes! Because a yoga practice brings me out of my head and into the moment. The deep breathing relaxes my nervous system and the fluidity of vinyasa invigorates me energetically. When I lie down for savasana I feel lighter, sweeter and at ease.