Meet Tim Mueller: Entrepreneur, Visionary, Yogi, Friend

If you enjoy Believe in CLE yoga events, you have this guy to thank.

Tim Mueller's vision, support and perseverance have sustained the movement since its inception in 2013.

WE RECENTLY CHATTED WITH TIM AND LEARNED MORE ABOUT WHAT HAS CARVED HIS WAY, AS WELL AS HIS THOUGHTS ON THE EXCITING NEOCYCLE FESTIVAL IN CLEVELAND, WHERE HE WILL BE OUR FEATURED SPEAKER!

Believe in CLE (BIC): What's your connection to the Believe in CLE movement and what are your thoughts on how it is growing?

Tim Mueller (TM): I am so proud to see what Tammy Lyons and her team at Inner Bliss Yoga Studios have done by taking a brilliant idea, and cultivating it into the Believe in CLE movement. What better way to celebrate the re-birth of our incredible city than by practicing with thousands of other yogis synchronistically, at sunset, on a summer night? 

While typically in a group setting, my daily yoga practice is a very private experience for me. But I can’t help but open my eyes and look around to see and feel the positive energy during the BIC events at the Rock Hall, Mall C, Cleveland Museum of Art and other historic landmarks around town. 

BIC: Tell us a little about your history and connection with Downtown Cleveland?

Tim Mueller got this movement off the ground with his tenacity and his belief in the practice of yoga. He saw our vision and was willing to go to bat for us when it mattered the most. Thank you Tim!
— Tammy Lyons, Founder & Owner, Inner Bliss Yoga Studios and Believe in CLE

TM: I was born and raised in the City of Cleveland near the Metroparks Zoo. My mom was great about introducing us to all the things that made Cleveland a special place — the West Side Market, downtown department stores, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, ethnic festivals, various neighborhoods and experiences. While in high school, my friends and I explored what I thought was every corner of downtown. We identified classic places to eat and listen to local live music, and people who were uniquely CLE. At the University of Dayton, I found myself defending our City from all of the tired and worn out jokes people would make (burning river, mistake on the lake, a Tower that is Terminal, looking over a lake that was Erie, etc…), which continued to be the case as I later travelled extensively for business. 

In 2002, after selling one of my tech companies, I was honored to serve as Chief of Development (Deputy Mayor) for Jane Campbell, our city’s first female mayor. Ironically, my first day on the job in the Mayor’s Office was the first time I had been in Cleveland City Hall since registering for a bicycle ID tag at age eight. This amazing life experience gave me an insider’s view on how a city of this size is managed — everything from safety & fire, street maintenance, and health & human services, to city planning, workforce development, and housing. If anything, it reinforced my love for this city as we facilitated the E. 4th Street development, the Health Corridor Transportation Project (between Public Square to University Circle), and the $750M East Bank project. 

BIC: Are you an avid cyclist? 

TM: In addition to my yoga practice, I cycle as much as possible. I look back at classic photos of my children as toddlers (who are now 13, 11 and 10) sitting in my bike trailer as we rode to the West Side Market (history coming full circle), through the downtown area, and around our neighborhood. As each child outgrew the trailer, they graduated to a seat attached to the back of my bike, and eventually to their own bicycle. Today, they ride lots of places on their bikes — as do I.

BIC: Thoughts on NEOCycle in Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission?

TM: NEOCycle is the brilliant brainchild of Dave Gilbert and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The Commission has managed more than 160 sporting events to date, generating in excess of $410M in economic activity. NEOCycle is now the largest urban cycling festival in the country — and it’s only getting bigger and better with the addition of paddle boarding and yoga. 

My wife and I are looking forward to the Night Ride with our kids on the 12th, where a four-mile strip of the Shoreway is closed at dusk so thousands of people can ride an eight-mile course at night with neon lights. Very kid friendly. Very magical.  

BIC: Why yoga?

TM: To be honest, I started yoga to fill the physical exercise void that surfaced when I stopped running marathons. But going into my 7th year of practicing, yoga today is more spiritual for me. It clearly makes me a better person, more compassionate and kind, and provides a better awareness of myself and others. 

No doubt, studies demonstrate the physical benefits of yoga — but the psychological and soulful benefits are why I’m a devotee. And I would not have come to this conclusion had it not been for the instructors and environment that Tammy Lyons has curated at Inner Bliss. It’s one of only two places on this planet where I can leave everything behind and come out a better person, husband, father and friend. 

BIC: Tell us 10 things most people don't know about you.

  1. I 100% trust the timing of my life…95% of the time. 
  2. In my life, the line now blurs between my biological family and my chosen family.
  3. I believe expectations unarticulated are disappointments guaranteed. 
  4. Aside from Inner Bliss, there is no place where I feel more at peace and centered than at a cabin that my wife and I built near the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. My ashes will someday be scattered there.
  5. I nearly attended the Culinary Institute of America -- but felt I'd never cook for fun if I made it a career.   
  6. After traveling to more than 30 countries, I believe we live in the best country in the world. 
  7. I've bungee jumped in Jamaica, hitchhiked in communist East Germany (before the WALL came down), recently participated in a diplomatic mission in Cuba...and I hate artichokes. 
  8. For 20 years, I carried a picture of my high school track coach in my wallet. He suggested that I give up competitive running in favor of basketball and baseball. I immediately quit the basketball and baseball teams to prove him wrong. His picture motivated me every time I was told I couldn’t do something. (Editor’s Note: He ended up co-captain of that track team and has since completed several 26-mile marathons.) 
  9. Thanks to Wayne Dyer, I vowed to not die with my music still left inside of me.
  10. I believe in being kind to everyone.
Tim and his family (absent: son Brady) at Believe in CLE Event #8 at the Rock Hall, September 2015

Tim and his family (absent: son Brady) at Believe in CLE Event #8 at the Rock Hall, September 2015

Here's to Tim, our champion and friend. If you know him, you're lucky. If you don't know him and get the opportunity, introduce yourself. This friendly soul is kind-hearted and loves Clevelanders! 

Sign up for NEOCycle events including the Night Ride (use code BLISSRIDE for a $5 discount) here →