Local Studio, Workshop and Teacher Training Space Turns Six
Photographer / Linda Oldiges
A small Zionsville business, Blooming Life Yoga Studio + School, found a way to survive amidst the pandemic-related shutdowns of many unique businesses that make up the heart of the community.
Blooming Life Yoga Studio + School has operated one block east of Main Street for the past six years, serving its loyal client base of members who come for physical and mental wellness.
This month marks its sixth anniversary, and quite a few changes have been made in that short time.
When the doors to the business closed in mid-March, the studio made some adjustments and reopened on June 1, under new ownership and with the addition of a virtual class platform. Member-turned-owner Kristen Barfield and her husband Geoff took the reins of Blooming Life in June.
“We bought it June 1, during the pandemic – it was kind of crazy,” Kristen Barfield says. [The former owners] wanted to get the community on a live-stream platform and they loved it, and our teachers were on board learning the new technology. We have safety protocols with social distancing, and a mask-on policy until you’re on a mat.”
Barfield, 48, had been working as a registered nurse, and had been coming to Blooming Life since stumbling across it before the doors officially opened in 2015.
She says her commitment to the studio has been similar to other members who come through the door and stay, drawn by its atmosphere.
“I walked in [six years ago] before it was open to practice yoga, and wanted to try a new studio,” Barfield says. “The second I walked into the studio I knew I was at my new home.”
Throughout the month of December, Blooming Life focused on mental health, stress and anxiety.
“Given the challenges now, people are suffering from isolation, missing family and a sense of community,” Barfield says. “We focused on mental aspects of yoga, meditation, and body nourishment to feel good mentally. Teachers share the benefits of the physical side, but emphasize how it helps filter stress from the body and not accumulate.”
Classes are taught by 15 independent contractors, and the studio also functions as a school for yoga certification. Barfield completed her certification in 2015 and teaches courses. She describes former owner Lily Kessler as a friend and mentor. Kessler and her husband Michael remain on board for the teacher certification process.
Virtual classes are held with live instruction, and Geoff has helped in getting the livestream platform up and running.
Yoga and meditation classes are always the focus, and Blooming Life has also added bounce classes with mini trampolines for an element of cardiovascular focus. The classes also help with balance, bone density and immune-system support.
Blooming Life’s current January promotion includes two weeks of free classes for frontline responders and teachers. A new-student special features one-month unlimited trials of all classes for $39.
The studio will offer free community yoga on the first Sunday of each month, beginning January 3, from 11 a.m. to noon (10 spots only). Teacher training classes are now available as well.
Barfield laments the loss of local businesses who have had to close their doors permanently, leaving Blooming Life as the only yoga studio left in town with in-studio instruction.
“My husband and I decided to take the leap and just do it,” Barfield says of the decision to assume ownership. “I couldn’t let the studio close. We’ve all invested time and energy into the studio and we have this community, and closing the doors was unacceptable. Physically, mentally, emotionally and financially, we are invested in making sure those doors stay open every day.”
Blooming Life Yoga Studio + School is located at 30 South Elm Street in Zionsville. For more info on classes, workshops, pricing and more, visit them online.