The yoga/indoor cycling studio at 1896 Garnet Ave. in Pacific Plaza II is co-owned and operated by Bam Coulibaly, who recently arrived from Paris.
Coulibaly cut her teeth as a physical training instructor at gyms in Paris for 14 years before exporting her talents to San Diego to reboot her career here. Bam's business partner is Karim, a former high-level Karate competitor on the French national team, whose business philosophies are in line with martial arts values.
Asked about her workout studio, which has been open since July 4, Coulibaly said, “This is a place where you can be free, no troubles. Just come here and take a cycling class for 45 minutes, or a 60-minute yoga class. Oxygen is about an experience, a journey.”
Instruction at Oxygen is more than just a physical workout.
“You not only want to workout and sweat, but you can learn about yourself,” Coulibaly said. “Just think about who you are, who you want to be, (while) on a bike.”
Coulibaly added an Oxygen workout has positive consequences.
“You can find a balance with yourself with this kind of workout,” she noted.
And what of the studio's name?
“You need oxygen to breathe, to be alive every single second,” said Coulibaly. “It's why I chose the name, because with me, I even smile with oxygen. We have a French expression, 'I need to get my head out of the water to breathe and find oxygen.'”
Bam said yoga instruction can help work out the kinks. “Yoga is very important for me,” she said. “I can be just crazy and I can do yoga, and I can be just calm.”
Will Oxygen Studio be a prototype for workout studios to come? “Maybe,” said Coulibaly. “I cannot say."
Oxygen's website states that the mission “is to create a community with an emphasis on cultivating positive energy, where everybody feels welcome. Taking care of yourself should be a priority. Oxygen Studio brings smiles and balance. It’s not just about fitness, it’s a lifestyle.”
The website goes on to state that the workout “journey” starts with music as patrons “disconnect themselves in candle-lit rooms,” bringing the best out in themselves. “Trust the process, follow the rhythm, and let yourself be guided by an inspiring and passionate coach,” states the website. “Together, we will create a spicy, energizing experience. Anything can happen...”
Bam invited the public to come in to her studio and “live the French-American experience."
Asked what is the difference between Oxygen and other workout studios in town, Bam answered, “The culture.”
Where: Pacific Plaza II, 1896 Garnet Ave.