To me, its all yoga

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March 12, 2010
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie
// Lisa Bloom is one of the top leaders at the fast-growing CorePower Yoga //


You can’t help but feel relaxed after chatting with Lisa Bloom.

She exudes a sense of peacefulness and optimism that can be rare to find these days.

Bloom, a North Loop resident, is the Minnesota regional manager for CorePower Yoga — a fast-growing company that got its start in the Twin Cities with its Downtown studio on Washington.

Since opening the 7,500-square-foot, three-studio yoga facility in 2005, CorePower has opened several other locations, including studios in Uptown and Stadium Village near the University of Minnesota campus. There’s talk of opening another studio soon on the east side of the metro, too, Bloom said.

Nationwide, the Denver-based yoga company has 40 studios. Most recently, it’s been focusing on expanding into the Chicago area and adding more locations in Colorado and California.

While she might appear to be a laid-back yogi, Bloom, 34, has a lot on her plate. She’s in charge of business development, oversees CorePower’s seven locations, nine managers and the teacher training program in the Twin Cities. Besides those responsibilities, she also teaches four classes each week and manages to find time to practice four to six days a week, too.

All told, the company has about 170 teachers locally. People with wide-ranging backgrounds have gone through the training — college students, lawyers, doctors and stay-at-home moms and dads. People recently laid off from their jobs have also enrolled.

Bloom said she isn’t worried about saturating the market with yoga teachers — something people have asked her about.

A native of Colorado, Bloom started practicing yoga at the age of 19. She first tried classes at a studio in Fort Collins. Then after moving to Denver, she got into Iyengar Yoga, which emphasizes alignment, and eventually tried Bikram Yoga, a 90-minute practice done in a studio heated to 105 degrees — the style she got hooked on.  

“I didn’t even have a yoga mat,” she said of her first time trying Bikram. “The class was insanely packed — probably 60 or 70 people in this little shoebox of a studio. … I fell in love with it.”

Bloom practiced consistently for a year and went through some major changes.

“I shed some layers and cleaned out what needed to be cleaned,” she said.

The impact of the yoga went beyond physical benefits, too.

“It started as a physical transformation,” she said. “I really didn’t even know it was going to give to me such emotional balance and clarity. The physical practice brought me there and it just came with so many other benefits. Now it’s just a way of life for me. To me, it’s all yoga.”

Bloom started practicing at CorePower Yoga when it opened near her home in Denver in 2002. She had an affinity for the power vinyasa practice because she grew up dancing. Soon, she decided to go through the teaching training program.

When CorePower expanded into Minneapolis in 2005, she was one of the teachers who came out from Colorado to help launch the Washington Avenue studio. Despite what she heard about the harsh winters, she developed an affinity for the city and ultimately decided to move to Minneapolis.

Francesca Mazzulla was one of the first students at CorePower’s Washington Avenue studio. Bloom has become a good friend.

“One of her greatest strengths is her personality,” Mazzulla said.

Bloom said she’s grateful to have a hand in creating a community at CorePower.

“During these economic hardships, people are coming to their yoga mats to find that security and consistency,” she said. “There is something very safe about just coming to your yoga mat, taking a class and not having your laptop or cell phone — or being worried about what’s going on in your bank account. It’s just one hour for you to restore.”