I follow a plant based diet as it is the future. People are taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing. I believe many people are now choosing plant-based options rather than going on medications. Recently with Beyond Meat going public, the reaction on Wall Street has been huge. More and more meat eaters are turning to non-meat options. I also practice daily meditation. It’s great for the mind-body connection and so important to give some time to yourself every day. Finally, I exercise daily, be that a class or a yoga session. It’s vital for my physical and mental wellbeing.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tevia Celli. Tevia is the Director of Education for CycleBar, one of the largest indoor cycling franchises. Tevia developed the class types and Education for CycleBar Franchising.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Tevia! What is your “backstory”?
I opened the first high end boutique style indoor cycling studios back in 1998 in Los Angeles called Body & Soul Workout. My former partner now shares the same job title at Soul Cycle. We were pioneers in the indoor cycling community because no one else was doing such a premium, intimate experience with such a strong sense of community.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
I follow a plant based diet as it is the future. People are taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing. I believe many people are now choosing plant-based options rather than going on medications. Recently with Beyond Meat going public, the reaction on Wall Street has been huge. More and more meat eaters are turning to non-meat options.
I also practice daily meditation. It’s great for the mind-body connection and so important to give some time to yourself every day.
Finally, I exercise daily, be that a class or a yoga session. It’s vital for my physical and mental wellbeing.
Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I never wanted to be a fitness instructor. I opened Body & Soul as the “business person” who would run the studio. One time, an instructor no-showed and I had to step in to teach in her place, which led the path to my successful career as it is now.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I recall when I first started teaching that during class a woman pulled out her phone and took a call. I turned off the music and paused class. I later found out that the member was waiting for a call regarding her sick father. From that moment on, I vowed to never call anyone out in a class because you just don’t know what people are escaping from to work out.
When it comes to health and wellness, how are you helping people making a bigger impact in the world?
Our philosophy is to empower people who walk into the studio. Through motivation and empowerment, students walk out feeling better and more capable of taking on their day. I think the programming we set is at the core of that experience and I make sure our instructors, or CycleStars, embody that passion in every class.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have been fortunate enough to work along side so many empowering women. Janet Fitzgerald, the Director of Education for Soul Cycle, and I were business partners and the day our instructor no-showed, with 55 bikes sold out, Janet told me to get on the bike and teach the class. She had complete faith that I would be great. That was the turning point for me as my instructor life began that day.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I feel as though CycleBar is a movement. With over 200 studios open and more opening every week, we lead the industry in the most indoor cycling studios open and are able to bring such an amazing experience to members across the country.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
At CycleBar, we have made the CycleGives program an integral part of the brand. It allows all the instructors to give back to their communities through Charity rides on a very regular basis. They are directly aligned with our core values as a brand — giving to local communities across the country that each studio can support.
What is your “1 Thing I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.
I wish that from the very beginning of this journey with boutique fitness, someone had told me memberships could work in indoor cycling studios. People love the idea of being members and making it affordable creates loyalty. I wish I had thought to take this leap in the business model from the beginning. Focusing on a membership model leads to a strong community because people are more invested in their goals, studio experience, relationships etc. which is a core value for us. But also just in general, fostering community builds human connection and authenticity, something everyone craves.
Do you have any “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would they be?
This is a tough one. I am lucky to be in contact with so many of my colleagues. Although I consider Ruth Zukerman of Flywheel and Soul Cycle a friend, I have so much respect for her because through everything, she maintains such a high level of integrity.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
I became plant-based back in 2005 when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerolsis. As a means to taking care of my body without medications, turning to a plant based diet was key in my success of staying in remission.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
TeviaC on Instagram and Tevia Celli on Facebook