In this episode, we are going to talk about the opportunity that every yoga entrepreneur has to really impact people by enabling them to experience a non-ordinary state of consciousness through a beautiful class environment.
To achieve that, we as yoga teachers have to be vulnerable and share our stories and experiences in life with our students, which can be a bit hard because most of us somehow feel unqualified or unworthy of doing so. Once you can open up and find the courage to be your authentic self, then people will be naturally more attracted to you (and your studio).
Listen in to learn how you can overcome that feeling and start impactfully sharing your stories in classes.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released August 14, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Don’t be afraid to be real. In a world full of photoshopped, polished, tweaked images that make everyone’s life look amazing, what we’re all striving for, what we all really want is authenticity.
00:15 What’s up everyone? You are listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. I am Chris Yax, and I’m John Yax. We are part of a small group of yoga entrepreneurs who are committed to making a living, doing what we love, without feeling guilty about making money, or ashamed of being successful, because we know the real value of yoga and how the world needs it now more than ever. This podcast is here to teach the strategies and tactics so we can thrive financially as yoga entrepreneurs. We are the Yax brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.
00:46 Alright. So, that was a powerful beginning John. We are all looking for authenticity. I totally agree with you. So how does that relate to yoga entrepreneurship? So, I guess when you look on, you know, what I was really touching on with that dramatic intro was… dang, dang, dang… when you scroll on Facebook and my wife…. So, the other day my wife came to me, she was like, “All my friends look like they’re just living the life.” And I was like, “What do you mean?” She was like, “Well, I see them on Facebook, and I have this one friend, I’m like, she’s in Puerto Rico, and then she’s in Hawaii, and then she’s in Brazil, and then she’s in Portugal.” I’m like, “What does she do for a living? Like, how is she traveling the world, and she has two things…. and are they hiring, and like surfing all these places and traveling the world doing this thing.”
01:34 I was like, “Baby baby, baby. That’s Facebook.” Like, we’re all… Facebook is our representatives. Right? It’s like, we want the best pictures that are just tweaked the right way, perfect angles, polished, photoshopped a little bit, and all over the world. That makes it look like we have our lives dialed, and what we all crave, cause we… and we all see this, right? And I do it. Like I make sure that if I’m posting something on Instagram, like the filter’s gotta be right. I mean like scroll through Yax Concepts’ Instagram, and you’re going to see, it looks pretty good. It looks pretty good purposely so. And, it’s driving people crazy. We want… so there’s a purpose for it. We think we want that representative to be representing us, and representing what’s going on, and what we’re doing, but, but, we need to be real. We need to be authentic.
02:24 Like this is when… so because of that world, because of social media, because of what everybody’s experiencing, where you see these polished images, what people want is authenticity. What they strive for is the experience of somebody being real with them. Like, we crave that, we crave that. So we have this great opportunity as yoga teachers, yoga entrepreneurs because we have this beautiful venue for people to come in and experience something, and what some of our teachers call “A non-ordinary state of consciousness” where you have an opportunity to really impact them in a way because of the environment that’s being created in a class. So here’s one of the things like, so here we are in 2019, and if you asked someone what yoga, is like, “What’s yoga?” They’re going to like say, “Some form of stretching.” Right? Yoga for the majority of the United States. I don’t live in the rest of the world, I live in the United States, but I would say it’s very predominantly physical. Right?
03:22 It’s this physical experience, and most people think, “I gotta go to yoga because I need to stretch.” And like, what’s beautiful is, I’m not like one of those naysayers. Like, that’s bad, it’s more than Yoga. Like, it’s more than just stretching. First, I would say it’s not even stretching. It’s for strengthening. You’ve got to integrate before you expand, another podcast, but it’s more than that. But what happens, because it’s a physical thing, people… because we’re such physical beings, we really care about how we look and how we feel. It’s such a great entry point to get people through our doors, so that we can impact them in more ways. And what we’re saying with… like don’t be afraid to get real is, now you have that opportunity while they’re in class, to drop the wisdom. And not just like speaking on high, and like talking down to people, but getting like real and raw with people.
04:11 This is an issue John and I had in the beginning when we started teaching because I started, we did martial that we taught martial arts for I was like 18 too 22 and we taught it after that. But like I started teaching yoga very consistently. Uh, so 23 so like 24 I was 24 years old. So like early to mid-twenties is when I was really getting into like teaching super consistently yoga classes. And the challenge was we were in our twenties and we were teaching people that were our age all the way up to 55, six years old. And we had these life lessons. We had this wisdom, we had these deeper teachings that we were just, they were inside of us that we wanted to talk about. But at the same time we were afraid. Like I was scared to like put myself out there to, to talk about things that my mind taking me over, like my emotions taken me over.
05:01 My inability to be still my letting go. Forgiveness, loving-kindness, true these things, right? These things that in my mind, this 50-year-old person was going to be like your 20 something dude. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You haven’t lived enough life to understand what those things really mean. And in one aspect, yes that’s true, but in another, I know 50 and 60-year-olds that haven’t lived long enough to know what those things mean either. But my point is is like do you have life experiences that give you the ability that gives you the what truth really is to be able to share and that’s what we’re talking about. Like don’t be afraid to share those experiences that you’ve had in your life that have made such a difference. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Yeah, there’s a like age, the number of years that you live is not the qualifying factor for the ability to impart wisdom.
05:58 It’s the experiences that fill those years, that age, the soul. Now it does help. We’re not going to lie. Right, of course. Because you have more years, you have more opportunities to have more experiences that kick your ass and life and teach you a lot of stuff. Life kicks you in the teeth a few times and you live more decades. But my point is that there is a student of ours, her daughter was like in her early teens and she was diagnosed with cancer and then she battled cancer for like her entire teenage-like young youthhood. Right. Adolescence and so [inaudible] coming off of that you don’t think she has some depth of wisdom to impart to help other people have who have gone through that same experience or like to just impart like the value of health and what like life really means like so it’s not the number of years.
06:47 Yes, the number of years gives you more opportunities, but it’s the experiences that you have within those years and in those years. And for me, I felt muzzled because I had this like this hang up around my age, an inability because of that age to speak the truth that I knew to be true, which was born from having a crazy childhood. Literally, like the experiences, we had growing up. Like we could fill a book, we probably should fill a book with them, but you know, we had like from bipolar disorder that we dealt with in our family to dad leaving and the resentment that we had to learn to forgive and us growing up six kids and experiencing what, what it was like to be on welfare and to go to school and get free lunches and the, you know, back of the day, the stigma around that. The things that really challenging in life growing up that we’ve all experienced, right?
07:35 We all honestly, regardless of our age, we all have stories that can impact people’s lives, which can really make a difference in people’s lives. Now when we teach classes, what our teachers do is they, what we call theming, right? And so what a theme is, it’s kind of a storyline of the class, right? So you got this vehicle that we use to bring in spiritual teachings to the class. And so in the very beginning of a class, a teacher will universalize this theme. So they’ll stare quotes, something that encapsulates what their story is going to be later on. So they’ll, they’ll introduce a theme and real quick and succinct. And here’s a great quote in the beginning, cause everyone’s at that point, everyone’s in Beta state as far as the mind goes. And like they’re sort of, they’re in this to do, like while I’m checking this off my to do list, we’re like, get this done.
08:20 Like get me going, I’m ready to move. So you make it quick and succinct, but throughout the class you drop little soundbites in. She’s, you’re talking a little bit about how the physical practice relates to that theme and that very end, we personalize it. And this is where we’re able to, to tell our story, guys, this is the juice. This is the impact that it makes in people’s lives. Where they’re, they’re in Shavasana, they’re in the last pose, lying down on the floor. They’re open their bodies, or are there [inaudible] taken through this entire experience and the teacher dropped that quote in the beginning related to an experience in their life. They get real them for a moment. Oh yeah. And all of a sudden there’s an explosion in their heart. Right? The emotion is I boss. So good. Yeah, it’s, and the value of that and what John, I just want to really highlight it at the end.
09:06 The way to personalize it is to tell the story, the story, because this, everyone, we’re like wired biologically for stories. The way information was passed down from generation to generation at some point was only through stories. Think about when there was no TV, when there was no, it was like there’s maybe this barely music that barely instruments how people would entertain themselves and we’d all sit around a fire together and tell stories. Right. So that has been hardwired into our DNA. Yeah. I see in my children when we’re reading a book and they’re like, I’m telling them a story, like [inaudible] read a book and they’ll just be enthralled with a book we read like two or three a night right before bed. But I’ll also tell them stories about like how me and their mom met and like my oldest fare and her birth story and like they want to hear it over and over and over again.
09:53 I literally, certain nights I tell like to like the same story two and three times to him. But there’s literally in like enthralled like and all they want to hear is that. And so we all have that. We’re all biologically wired for that. And so the way you can get real with people is to tell your story. Now that’s a higher level because it literally takes this willingness to be vulnerable, to expose the parts of yourself that we are taught to keep inside to keep secret. Don’t ever let anyone see it, otherwise, you’ll be banished from the tribe. Rumi calls it the open secret. Right? So we have these hidden stories within us that we feel like are unique to us and the details of them are unique, but the pain or the experience, the humanity that is really underlying that story, the feeling that’s part of that story [inaudible] open meaning everybody has it and when we tell our story to people, all of a sudden would they relate to us, they connect with us.
10:48 They have a story that’s similar to what we experienced and then all of a sudden it softens the emotional intensity behind the stories. Storytelling is phenomenally important and if you’re trying to get your studio out there, get your, whatever you’re offering as a yoga teacher, you want to put yourself out there and say, hey, I want own social media or advertising, whatever the thing is, I want to put myself out there. Doing it through a story is the one of the key secrets. Yeah. There’s so much around this, like part of me wanting to talk about Joseph Campbell in his studies of anthropology and how that there’s this common story, this common mythology that all of like literally every culture has and the these common themes, archetypes within that mythology that all these different cultures relate to. But I don’t want to go down that road right now cause that’s another episode.
11:34 It is. It’s total as, so what I want to do is backtrack and be like, okay. So the first like number one is be willing to go where most people aren’t willing to go and to like just share things that would help them but also make it relevant to what you’re teaching, what the human experience is that you’re to impart, whether it’s present moment awareness, whether it’s and the things that keep you from being present in an experience in your life where you weren’t present in the effect of that and what you learn from it. So it’s not just a rambling about you and your life in some weird like quasi therapy session where you just got to unleash shit on top of your class. That is not what we’re saying. No, there was a skillful way of doing it. There’s a skillful way of doing it, the way of doing that as prep.
12:17 All right. Write your story down before you go into class, write down the quote that you’re going to say in the beginning. Write down a few soundbites, right? The personal story that’s related to the quote that you’re going to talk about at the end. And if you’re in the beginning in somebody you know, so if you’re listening to this, you may be kind of a beginner teacher or kind of just newer to this. You can use someone else’s story of plenty of beautiful stories out there that can create that same emotion in your students. That may not be your story in the beginning, but maybe like I knew this person, I got a friend of mine who, uh, and so you can use it. You can do it that way and still have just a greater vision of an impact as you would your own personal story until you get comfortable enough to say, okay, I’m ready to start sharing my story.
12:55 Totally. And in that same vein, you may tell a story that isn’t yours. It isn’t some, but it’s, it isn’t somebody else’s. It’s just a story. John would always tell this story about this whale that was trapped in nets off of San Francisco off the coast of San Francisco. And the story was how these divers cut the ropes and how they were affected by the freeing of the whale and what it did afterwards. And like literally you’re in class and you’re like in either in tears, your heart’s just like exploding with love and like there was a message after that. Like sometimes we need people in our lives that are willing to help us on the lines that keep us held down. Yeah. So the secret is be willing to go there, do it in a skillful way. And the reason is you then let them impact people in a way where they will literally carve out their entire schedule around getting to that class because of the way you make them feel and that is the way to like keep people coming to your class to impact them more and to keep your business, your classes thriving by being willing to go where most people in the world aren’t willing to go and this for another episode, but when we’re actually trying to promote our business, whatever our businesses doing it through storytelling is such a powerful way of doing it.
14:12 So yeah, that’s all we got for this one. Thank you so much for listening. Peace.
14:19 Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
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