I sat down with my yogi Alex Schimmel from LifeTime Fitness here in Phoenix, AZ.
Because I believe the health benefits of yoga are too important to ignore or at a minimum, spread the word, I had to have Alex on to share his knowledge with all of you, my listeners.
If there is no other exercise you ever do, you MUST do yoga to stimulate every area of your body. It’s amazing how using your own body weight in various poses, can make you really strong and get you in the best shape of your life.
Styles of Yoga taught at Life Time Fitness
- FIRE (HIIT)- Experience our new high-tempo format that blends intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods
- ROOT (Fundamentals) – Start here and begin to understand yoga movement while holding the body in long basic poses
- SOL (Guided) – SOL is a guided yoga format that provides direction throughout from supportive teachers in a dynamic vinyasa format
- FLOW (Vinyasa) – Try our new guided practice where your teacher provides more deliberate cues throughout class
- SURRENDER (Yin) – Experience long connective tissue stretches and meditative breathing for greater breathing and self-acceptance
- BE (Meditation) – Develop a conscious, calm mind through meditation with a focus on breathing
Alex’s Links:“Inspire The F*ck Out of People” – eBook Presale
Alex Schimmel – Life Time
LifePower Yoga Boutique Manager
LifePower Yoga Teacher Training Faculty
LifePower Yoga Master Trainer
Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014
Andy’s Links: http://andygalore.com/
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Joe: Ok. Today, my guest is Alex Schimmel. Alex and I met over at Lifetime Fitness in the Biltmore area. And Alex is the yoga manager over there. And I was super excited to take as many yoga classes as I could. And luckily, Alex is the person over there that we really fell in love with. The way he teaches is his demeanor, everything about what he does. So, Alex, I’m really excited to have you here. And thanks for taking the time to do this.
Alex: Yeah, thanks for having me, Joe. A pleasure. Looking forward,
Alex: You get to know each other better.
Joe: Yeah, man. So my first. What I want to do first is just get to where we are today in the sense of how you got into this. I would I would assume that, you know, you took yoga like me, and then it became more of a passion. And then you became a yogi. But what can you go to when you started? Why you did it? How long you did it? Before you decided to make the jump to be a yogi. And and then we’ll go from there.
Alex: Yeah, for sure. So I’ll give the abbreviated version, because it could be pretty long, but so my mom’s a yoga teacher, so I’ve had yoga in my life, like, forever. I remember being a young kid maybe like seven or eight years old, and my friends would be playing wild in my house. And my mom would like eat. Guide us through relaxation in my living room. Like, you know, just to get us to probably calm down is it’s probably not just to show us yoga, but to help us chill out a little bit. And so I used to go to my mom’s yoga classes and I was like a little kid. And then my teenage years kind of rebelled against it. I thought the yoga was something that just like women do. Just people my mom’s age did. So I wasn’t really too open to it. And then towards the end of high school, I started to just get more like into spirituality. I read some spiritual books as I was given a book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra. And there’s a lot of yoga philosophy in it. And it was things that I really like. It made sense to me. And it was the first time that because I wasn’t really religious, I grew up Jewish, but not really like strong in religion.
Alex: And those that that book and those spiritual teachings, it just it just resonated with me. And so that kind of open my eyes a little bit. And then I had an injury. I was a baseball player in college and I hurt my shoulder just playing like backyard football. And to kind of help heal that, I started to get into yoga, go to my mom’s yoga classes again and. Soon after. I noticed that yoga was like. Not only did it make me feel better in my body, it also really helped me balance my schoolwork and just help me. Like I felt like it was just making my life better. And a lot of ways. And then my mom encouraged me to do this like two week teacher training. That was when I was like 19. I was my first teacher training. And that was really for my for my own knowledge. I wasn’t really sharing it yet. But it was something that I knew enough where I could practice in my living room at home. And then fast forward a few years. My senior year of college actually got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. And
Alex: I was a pretty tough, pretty tough time in my life. There was a lot of challenges. And yoga then became like instead of it just being an exercise, it really became my medicine. And to this day, it’s still my best, my best medicine. So that was like that was the moment in my life where yoga was no longer just like a hobby or something. I did sometimes just like it’s what I needed. And it became a daily way of living again, not just what I did on my map, but like a way that I live and honor all my relationships. And then after college, I graduated and I worked a sales job in New York City and really hustled and then did the grind for about a year. And it just was not a good mix for my health. And I realized, like, I was making a lot of money, but I wasn’t fulfilled at all. And I I left that job. And then for the next, like three months, I traveled around to different yoga retreats and I did my first real two hundred hour teacher training. That was seven years ago now. And. And then once I got back from that, I was like, yeah, this is my. This is my path. It’s my purpose. And I just kept going from that.
Joe: That’s really cool. And where did you take this training?
Alex: Yes, it was it was so special. I did a. It was like a three week immersion and it was twenty five days in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. So it’s a little island off the coast of Cancun. And it was like a super cool kind of rustic resort hotel retreat center. Like no TV’s in the room. Very, very basic. But it was it was just like super blissful. And, you know, I feel really blessed and privileged. I was able to take that kind of trip to do my teacher training. I definitely, you know, empty my savings account and those, like, months of, like, wobbling around. But it was super special. And that training, it was way different than what I teach now. But it really taught me how to be a yogi. So it taught me not just how to teach yoga, but what it really means to to live a yoga lifestyle, what it really means to be good at yoga. And it was it was really powerful.
Joe: Yeah, that’s cool, and people talk about going to certain places to become a yogi, right? I mean, I guess I think like even myself, you think that people that do meditation and yoga and it stems out of like being in India or something like that. Right. Is that true or is that just another fallacy that
Joe: You know.
Alex: I mean, yoga’s origin, like, you know, the first the first time yoga was kind of found in any text or whatever it did, it did seem to originate from India, at least the yoga exercises. Right. The poses if you look at pretty much every spiritual tradition as far as like the philosophy goes. All of them are ways to practice yoga. So that’s why some people can be really religious and they can practice yoga and they can become a better or more devout Christian or Jew or Muslim. So it’s it’s not like yoga is not a religion, but it is a spiritual practice. And a lot of those teachings are are universal, which I think is another reason that yoga is growing so much because they realize, like, wow, this kind of goes with what what I believe in. But as far as like historically. Yeah. And India’s India’s the the the birthplace of it.
Joe: Kind of like the Mecca. Right.
Alex: Yeah, yeah, it takes
Alex: A lot of people go to India for four different paintings and stuff. There’s I haven’t been to India before. I think a lot of yogis kind of consider it like a rite of passage. You know, once you spent time in India, maybe you get a little more street cred and some.
Joe: So that’s the I so I was wondering, I guess my next question was going to be, had you gone to India yet? But it sounds like not yet, but I assume at some point maybe that’s a goal.
Alex: At some point, I mean, it’s not like the top of my bucket list. There’s a lot I love from Alan Watts and I think it’s really applicable to that. He says the only Zen that you’ll find at the mountaintop is the Zen that you bring with you.
Alex: So like, you know, India sure, you can be immersed in a culture. And I think it’s cool to learn about the history, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a better yogi to spend time in India. You can you can find all those teachings. They’re already they’re already inside you, right?
Alex: That’s the idea. Like, whatever, you know, whatever yoga you find in India is probably yoga that you already have. Know, it just helps you kind of uncover it. So for some people, it becomes a life changing experience. And I’ve heard from other yogis that, you know, it didn’t it didn’t do so much for them.
Joe: So let’s bounce back to something that you said was was when you were in high school, you rebelled a little bit against it. Right. And it was based on the stigmatism that we all think about. There’s these yoga people walking around, burning incense and walk around and samples and, you know, draped clothing or whatever. I don’t know. Right.
Joe: But I. But the purpose of this podcast for me is to inform people and to bring subjects like this, especially when I believe in it. Like, I wouldn’t do this if if it was something I didn’t believe in. I know how it’s helped me. And I look forward to being there in your class. So I don’t think enough people do yoga. And I think it’s such an amazing thing to do if you can’t do anything else. Like, if I have a day where I know I’m slammed and I can’t go and pump a bunch of iron or whatever, and there’s days where I’ll do it before yoga and yoga is like the release of all of it right from me. But I would like you for me, it’s like God if there’s one thing you can do. Just do yoga.
Alex: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think it’s I think especially like the styles that that I’ve learned, you know, and I do feel really grateful that I’ve been taught the practices that I’ve been taught. It’s really all encompassing. Like, there’s some people that I know that practice just yoga and they are ripped. Strong human beings, if that’s what you’re going for. But then in addition to that, like in addition to the physical, you get the mental benefits of the focus and the memory and the kind of meditation aspect of it. And then I think also just moving your body and doing breath where there’s an incredible emotional release. And to me, most importantly, it’s it’s a spiritual practice that you connect with your essence and who you really are. So, yeah, I think I think yoga is it’s it’s amazing to do. And I and I agree with you more people. It’s growing for share. It’s great. Becoming more and more mainstream. But there’s still a lot of people, especially especially men, that would benefit, that would benefit from it. How long
Alex: Have you. How long have you been practicing?
Joe: To be honest with you, when we got to Lifetime and started with you. That’s the only time I had done it up to that point. And I think I might even said this to you is that we had the P90X disc right. From Tony Horton and that, that yoga program on that desk was pretty good. It put us through a lot of cool things, but I don’t think I ever took a class until yours.
Alex: Nice is awesome. Love it. You got them there. You guys been there almost every day, it seems
Joe: Now I’m hooked. And so here’s the thing that I want to convey about you, just to take kind of like my own little infomercial about you and the reason why it’s it’s such a great class and Joelle and loves it and Ashley loves it. And there’s you have this combination about you that is like the perfect yoga instructor or I don’t know what. Is that what you call it? Yoga instructor. What’s the proper.
Alex: I guess the guy’s a teacher. Some people
Alex: Say doctors I feel like instructors, correct? Teacher. Teachers connect.
Joe: Perfect. OK. So to me, you encompass the perfect yoga teacher. Now I’m lucky that I found you as my first. And I didn’t, you know, whatever. I didn’t get tarnished by anything else. But you’re, you’re the tone of your voice. That’s the first thing we all talked about when we got back, was like your. Your voice is like very soothing for the practice. And then you do ramp up really nicely through the class. And then it comes back down really nicely. The storytelling that happens intermittently throughout the class. So I encourage anyone to just go there and take one of your classes. I know that. I think. But you can only go. You can only do it if you’re a member. All right.
Alex: Yeah, I think that right now, with with everything that’s going on, I don’t think really guest, guest passes.
Joe: That’s right.
Alex: But luckily for everybody and all your listeners, too, there’s a lifetime app and you don’t have to be a member to download the app. And there’s recorded classes on there. And I was just in Minnesota, I just recorded like five classes. So probably in the next week or two. Everyone, if you have a if you have a phone, if you have an app and on YouTube, I believe you, you’ll be able to take my classes online. It’s not the same experience. I’ll tell you about it really even. I made a post on my social media about it yesterday. It’s different teaching to just a camera. Like I realized that I really feed off people’s energy
Alex: When I’m in class. And I think and this is a shift that’s happened to me more lately when I teach now. I used to be like a big planner. I got a plan what I was going to say and what stories I would tell. And now I just go in there with maybe a loose idea of what I teach, but I just kind of let it flow like and I feel like the students that are in the class, in a way, bring bring what they need to hear out of me. So it feels really good when that happens. And it was just different, you know. There was no students to bring it out of me. So much so. So those online classes are a different experience, but yet still still good in a way. You can check me out.
Joe: Yeah, that’s perfect. So I’ll make sure that in the show notes, I put the link to all of that so that everyone can get a taste. And then unfortunately, the reason I didn’t want to do this episode with you is I don’t want the class to get full. And then
Joe: I can’t get in it. So
Joe: I was this balance between I want to have Alex on and I don’t want people to take my spot in the class.
Alex: Make sure you get a spot to.
Joe: So let me see what I had. Oh, so I want you to tell. I want you to tell a couple of stories that you’ve told. So I, I and I remember, too. So I want you to tell the water bucket story. If you don’t mind.
Alex: Ok, to that
Joe: I think
Joe: It’s super cool.
Alex: Yeah, so I love stories, first of all, I actually just wrote an e-book for teachers, leaders, speakers. It’s called it’s called “Inspire the Fuck Out of People.” And.
Alex: And it’s a book about it’s really just a book about storytelling mostly and like themes. It’s what I do a lot in my teaching. All of my students realize that, like, when you come to my class, it’s going to be more than a physical. There’s always gonna be there’s not always a story, but there’s something deeper. So I just I just wrote my book. I compiled, like, all my stories and everything together. So. So that’s pretty cool. And I do love stories. And one of the things about storytelling that’s really cool is, is we’re wired for storytelling. That’s how we like as it as through history. That’s how we’ve communicated. And so our brains are actually wired and there’s all kinds of research and studies that have been done. And one thing that’s really cool is when you tell a story, your you and your audiences brains get sinks. So I kind of think about like Inception. Have you seen the movie Inception?
Joe: I probably have and I don’t read. I’m the worst at remembering that
Alex: A stupid.
Joe: Be surprised how many times I purchased a movie on Netflix and 10 minutes into it and like, damn, that’s $4.99 I just wasted because I already saw.
Alex: So anyway, so it’s just like the idea when you when you tell stories, you can you can like better plant seeds in your audiences mind. So it’s a really powerful way to convey messages and meetings and deeper teachings. So that’s where I look. What’s one of the things I love about storytelling? So that that storytelling of the the water bearer. So it’s a story that there’s a water bear. And I think the story of the woman is in India. And every day she has to go and walk like two miles to get water for her family. And she carries this big pole on her back with two buckets on each side. And every day she fills up the buckets and or the pots. And when she gets back to her house or her family or whatever, one of the parts is always like a little bit down, like half empty because there’s a crack in it and a cracked pot feels inadequate. Right. It feels like it’s not enough. Very similar to how a lot of humans feel and different things, especially when we live in such a world of comparison and competition and starts to feel like upset. And tell us the woman, you know, I feel so bad. You work so hard, you know, to take this long walk. And I don’t I don’t carry my full weight. Right. I always, always let some water go. Norman says the tomorrow when we take the walk, just notice the beautiful flowers that are along the path.
Alex: And so they take a walk in the pot sees all these beautiful flowers shining in the sun. And it’s like, you know, temporary happiness school. Beautiful. They get home still, that pot is half empty and still is is upset. It’s like, yeah, I noticed the flowers. But that doesn’t I’m not full, you know. And the woman says to the pot, hey, I knew you had a crack. So every day I noticed that you were like dripping water out. So what I do is I planted seeds all along the path. And did you notice how there was only flowers on one side? So every day we take that walk. When you leave the water out, you’re not leaking the water. You’re watering these beautiful flowers. That makes my walk more beautiful. It makes my family happy when I can bring the bring the wildflowers home. And, yeah, it’s just it’s a really big reminder that we all have cracks. We all have things that we look at as flaws. And recently, I don’t know. I heard this from from one of my teachers. But our our mess. Right. They got flaws can become our message and they can become our purpose. And a lot of times those things that we view maybe as as ugly or we hide from others can end up being the most inspiring thing that we have to offer the world.
Joe: Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s so true. Man, this is part of why I started to share just some of the things that have gone on through my life. Just because I think you have to tell these things to let people know that they’re not alone in in these struggles or these these turns in the roads or whatever might happen. It’s like you were talking in class about I think you reference about, you know, getting knocked to our knees and getting back up. And it’s when we’re in certain poses and that you can feel the distress and that sensation. And, you know, my arms is doing the side planks today. And my arm was wobbling like crazy. And I like man and it’s true in it. And it’s it’s the way you teach it and it’s the metaphors that you bring up and and you never correct anyone in the class. You know, everyone smile. There’s a slight hint like, no, raise your arms up, not for whatever. But it’s it’s it’s you know, it’s done in a very compassionate, gentle way. And that’s what keeps me coming back. It’s like I don’t want to go to a class and not know the poses and be judged, you know. And I was lucky, like literally Tony Horton’s disc taught me enough to at least initially walk into that class without feeling completely ridiculous, but.
Joe: Right. But the cool thing is that you have these classes online that people can learn. Some of these initial poses are what you call them.
Alex: Yeah. Yeah.
Joe: Ok, I got I don’t want to say the wrong thing and go, oh, my God, it is. And then take your first class. If you do some of the basic things, you’ll feel really comfortable. Right.
Alex: Yeah, and I’ve I have begin people that have never taken yoga classes that come in and take take those flow classes that are hot and and challenging for sure. But, you know, one of the big things and one of the things that like let me rewind a little bit when I was first starting to get back into yoga that I didn’t like is I would take classes that were very like alignment based where it was all like posture focused. And hopefully you get and when you take my class, it’s not really about the pose. I like
Joe: Correct, Absolutely.
Alex: Most. OK. It’s it’s there and it’s good to move your body, but it’s it’s not so important. So I use to take these classes in like the whole class would just be pretty much like you’re doing it wrong. This has to be turned this way and this has to be done in this way. And I felt like it didn’t make me feel empowered. It made me feel like I was just like not good and weak and that like that I really had to honor what the teacher was saying. And then I decided that I tried to teach. I want you to come in and realize, hey, if all you do is breathe for 60 minutes and that happens sometimes, it hasn’t happened so much and more because it’s a new community. Sometimes you just gotta come on to your mat and breathe and it doesn’t matter anything else that you do. Like if that’s what you mean. Beautiful. And the poses truly are secondary and they truly are just an opportunity to to have some awareness in your body. It’s not about like perfecting the pose. And I really want people to know that not just for me, but for many yoga teacher, yoga teacher stressing or like or like marketing themselves on. I’m going to help you do this posture where you can get really good at poses if you if you practice my yoga. There’s a there’s a A out there. You know, I think that some people really like that. And I get it. For me, though, there’s there’s so much more. And like I say, in say in my classes, we don’t practice. You’re going to get good at yoga poses. We practice. You’re going to get good at life.
Joe: Yeah, man, it’s it’s so true. Like I said, I can’t thank you enough for, you know, this the way you handled the classes and it’s we’re like we’re signed up for as many as as many as we can take. I don’t want to, like, dehydrate myself. Taking a high flow class every day. But, yeah, we keep signing up. We love it. So before you when you you took the training and to become a yoga and where. How did you teach and how did you get into. What did you do before you landed at lifetime.
Alex: Yeah, that’s a great question. So first of all, like when you do a teacher training, the kind of the introductory level is 200 hours. That’s like that’s the training and really 200 hours because yoga is so complex and deep and there’s so much to it. Two hundred hours is like kindergarten, right. You get that that kindergarten degree and you definitely have a knowledge foundation. But then you have to become you have to continue to learn. You have to always be a student. And so for me, I finished my 200 hour. This was this was after I lived in York City. I moved back with my parents and I came home from that training and I convinced my parents to get rid of our couches in the living room and turn it into a little yoga studio. But a yoga studio at my house and I didn’t I guess I didn’t really feel that confident yet to apply. There was really only one yoga studio in my town and I didn’t really feel that confident yet. But what I started to do is just have three classes at my house and I put it on Facebook and I invite people to come in sometimes and have three or sometimes five. A lot of times like one and a lot of times just no one would come because again, I was like new to my, you know, seven years ago even there wasn’t a whole lot of people that were practicing yoga wasn’t very popular where I was living in South Jersey. But I did that for like three months. And I probably had like three classes a week at my house and started sharing where I could. And then and then I felt ready to audition at a local studio and taught there. And then fast forward, like, you know, for my first year of teaching, I was teaching and probably like five or six different studios in South Jersey. They’re all super spread out. Those times are I’ll drive an hour to go teach a class
Alex: And like,
Alex: You know, and when you’re a brand new yoga teacher, you don’t get paid a whole lot. So sometimes I would like, you know, drive an hour to teach a class for fifteen bucks. But if that wasn’t what it was about, it’s never been
Alex: About that
Alex: Night. I do feel like I’ve, I’ve been blessed and I am happy that I have an entrepreneurial mind where it’s yoga. I live a good life. I’m very happy with with the lifestyle and able to live through it. But I was teaching for a while. And then what I really wanted to do was share yoga, like I wanted to share with as many people. That’s been my my mission for a long time. I heard this somewhere that inspired me where they said something about like instead of focusing on being a millionaire, how about you influence a million people? So then I. So my goal for, like, I don’t know, forever, when I heard that, I was like, OK, I want to be a billionaire. I want to have an impact on a billion people. That’s a lot of people. And I know that the way to do that is to influence people that are influencers. So. So my my next kind of step in the process was I knew I wanted to lead teacher training. You know, I wanted to teach other people to teach yoga there. There I would have like an exponential growth on who I’m impacting. And I met someone actually out here in Arizona, which is funny, was way before I lived here. This was this is about five years ago, a little over five years ago. And they told me that they recommended a a three hundred hour teacher training. So that’s like, you know, 200 hours, the kindergarten, 300 hours, like
Alex: Maybe you got a high school little a little higher level. You go a little deeper in. And they told me to do this teacher training in Michigan with with my teacher, Johnny Quest. And I went there and it’s funny, like the way I in life, I let things flow so. Right. That like that it felt very like just. It just made sense to me. So I didn’t even do much research and I just went to this 300 hour training in Michigan. It was another immersion. It was like three weeks, three weeks straight.
Alex: And when I was there, I realized that that training was the style that they teach at lifetime. And and that was. And then I was told when I was there about one of the other teachers that their friend was going to Grand Open. They were going to be the general manager of this club in South Jersey that happened to be like 40 minutes from my house. So when I get home from the training, I went to talk to the one of the managers there about just teaching that I was thinking, like, I you know, it’s an hour away, 40 minutes away. Maybe I’ll teach, like back to back classes. Let me see if it’s worth it. And then, like, I show up one day and kind of just tell my story. And the woman who’s a dear friend of mine now, she’s like, well, we have a yoga manager. And you’re hired like you’re the you’re our guy, you know, because I was the only person in that area that knew the style that
Alex: We taught. So, yeah. So, again, fast forward a little bit. Got hired at that. That was my first lifetime. I was the yoga manager and we had like just a thriving community. Just incredible. You know, there would be we’d have classes where there would be 80 to 100 people in a Wednesday night.
Joe: Oh, my
Alex: Well, like, almost the whole floor was mats. You know, there’d be that maybe I would I would say it would it wasn’t really a joke because it was true. I’d be like, if you don’t know the person next to you, then you can have like two inches between your mats. If you do, another person next to your mats could be touching. So very different world than now. I don’t think super to me people would be into that. But it was amazing. The energy was incredible. People made like lifelong friendships. And I was there for a while, kind of felt like I was without a teacher. So then, you know, and the universe provided me the next step where my teacher, Johnny, called me and said, hey, come to Michigan, learn from me, learn with me. There’s no there’s like we need a yoga manager at this lifetime, Michigan, when they’re taught for a few years. Also, you know, is it amazing to be a part of that community because they had all really learned from my teacher. So it’s just a really strong community. They just really got what we did. So a super cool. And then I got tired of the Michigan winter. So
Alex: The last
Joe: I don’t
Joe: Blame you.
Alex: Last year, I was like I called my my boss who do directs Lifetime. I said, Terry, I need to know, like, what lifetimes are opening in the next year. And this built more. One was one of them. And, you know, I’d I’d come here on retreats. I’d led retreats in in Scottsdale, Phoenix, for three years, my first three years of teaching at lifetime. Not sure why Phoenix. Like, that’s just just a synchronicity. I just happened
Alex: To have picked Scottsdale to come to you and I was again familiar with it. And now I’m here and I love it.
Joe: That’s awesome, man. That’s a great story.
Alex: Yeah, and I think that one of the things that’s important about it, too, is like if you look from a from an external point of view, it might just look like, oh, like everything just fell into your lap. You’re very lucky. And I don’t believe it’s luck. I believe that, first of all, it’s blessed. I do feel very blessed in my life. My life, not my whole life hasn’t been a blessing, but in a lot of ways and very blessed. And I recognize that. But also, I believe that when you are doing your work and yoga, get called Dharma, when you’re doing like your soul’s purpose. Doors are going to open up for you that you didn’t even know existed. And and then, like the old paradigm is that you have to have, like, super hard work to live the life of your dreams. And the new paradigm is if you’re on your path, your path. Right. That’s important. Not what other people think
Alex: You should do
Alex: When you’re on your path. It doesn’t it doesn’t feel like hard work. You know, I’ve had a lot of success teaching yoga. And I’ve been a student and I’ve put effort in and I’ve taken inspired action, but it’s never felt like hard work. And I think it’s. And I know it’s because I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m doing my my life’s work.
Joe: Yeah, it’s so awesome. And this is great because my audience, the listeners, this is what I preach when I don’t have a guest like you on, you know, it’s all about that. Even though I’m older, it’s taking me all this time to finally say I just need to do the things that that speak to me, that make me happy, that make me want to wake up every day
Joe: And smile. Yeah. And so I’ve come to the game late, but I’m working on it, you know, and hopefully I have a few more years before I take a dirt nap and I can get a bunch of really cool stuff done. So we’ll see.
Alex: And really, too, like your neck, it’s never too late to to to to move in the direction of your dreams and really realize, too, like it’s it’s not a destination. It doesn’t matter how early you start. You don’t eventually get to this place where you like up there. I don’t care
Alex: Anymore because it’s there’s always there is always a path, a continuous journey. So it doesn’t matter when you get on the path. But it’s it’s a beautiful thing that you’ve found it, you know, because for a lot of people, they don’t find it till maybe they’re laying in their death bed. Right.
Joe: I know.
Alex: Lot of
Joe: And I.
Alex: It takes lifetimes to find it.
Joe: Right. And I’ve actually I’ve I’ve talked about this in some of the. I’ve done a couple where it’s just me kind of spilling my heart saying you don’t want to have regret, you don’t want to lay me there. And, you know, you want to have it be where you feel like you really live an amazing life. And so you more people have control over this than they think. And the problem is they they don’t think they have control over it. They’re they’re just they’re letting their life become something that is being steered by other people, other things, whatever. And. And I think that’s why this time with the corona virus happening, this wasn’t just a localized thing. Right? It was the whole world shut down and it gave everyone the opportunity to sit back and reflect on what it is that they do and what’s the next step for them. And if they got laid off or fired or whatever, you know, they might not have a job. So what do you want to do with your life? Right. So to me, this is it’s a cool conversation because it’s it’s not just about yoga. Your frame of mind is in the same thing that I’m trying to convey to the people that listen to this podcast is that let’s, you know, pick what you want to do and make yourself happy. You have control to engineer your own life to to live the fullest life that you can. So figure it out and start. Now, we’re never gonna get a plan. I did a podcast on this. We’re never gonna get a break like this again. Our lease? I don’t think so. Not in our lifetime, where literally everything just halts.
Alex: Right. And also a lot of people get it individually, right? Sometimes it comes as like a diagnosis or a we’re getting fired or laid off, you know. But this is a collective where we have an opportunity as a collective to reflect on, like, how do we want to be not just on our individual life, but how do we want to live as a community, as a whole, as a collective? And I think also that’s why a lot of things are coming to the surface. You know, a lot of the tension and seeing like injustices and starting to the fact that there’s more awareness there. It’s a beautiful thing. Weather doesn’t matter. You know, there’s there’s a lot of different opinions on how it’s been addressed. But we’re going to see. And I really do believe this is like a new paradigm. Things are no longer hidden. And and we’re seeing that and more and more and more and more ways, like even restaurants go to go to new restaurants. They almost always have like an open kitchen. Right. Like you
Alex: Go to because you can see the food being prepared. And that’s how our whole life is starting to be, where it’s there’s there’s nothing hidden anymore. And we don’t want the hidden. So, like, whatever’s been in the darkness where we’re shining light on it. And it’s it’s arising. And like what you said. Yeah. It’s so important to do what you love doing, to do what makes you feel good, because there’s a lot of people that are even super and putting this in quotes against successful. Right. And usually that’s like a monetary thing. That’s kind of how our American dream
Alex: Then equated that are like super rich and just like so unhappy and numbing themselves. They’re addicted to all kinds. All kinds of shit. Whatever it is that that, you know, everyone has different ways to numb themselves. But, you know, it’s not just about money. It’s not just about like working hard. It’s about loving your life and living the truest version of your life. That’s that’s what’s going to bring you the most fulfillment.
Joe: Absolutely. You know what? And here’s a good segue way, because you talk about community and how we’re all thinking about the future together. Now it’s really like a shot in the head for everyone saying what is going on and we’ve got to fix this. And and it’s not just singular now. It’s it’s your your family. It’s your community. It’s everything. And when you were in yoga and you talk like that, can feel it in the room that everyone is is realizing that we have to make the right changes to move forward. And. And it just it’s it’s powerful. So this is a Segway to that really cool story you talked about with the kids lined up and the
Alex: Oh yeah.
Alex: The trive…yeah. So there’s a there’s. A phrase in African culture from certain tribes in Africa. And it’s I don’t know exactly how to pronounce it, I think it’s Ubuntu, Ubuntu. And the idea that phrase means I am who I am because of who we all are together. So like we’re a product of our environment. And an anthropologist went to this tribe in Africa that kind of lives by this ritual. And they didn’t experiment where they lined up all their all the children. And in the distance, like 100 hundred yards away under a tree, they put a basket of fruit and candy and all kinds of sweet treats. And this this anthropologist explained the rules of the game. He said, when I say go, it’s a race. And the first person there, they get the basket of treats. They get the basket of goods. So obviously, like some of the older kids have a big advantage, they’re probably going to be a little faster. So you lines them all out and he says, “Ready? Go.” And the kids, they didn’t have any time to talk to each other beforehand. And as soon as he says go, they look at each other that turns had side reach out and grab each other’s hand. And together they like kind of jog or skip to the basket and they get there at the same time and they shared all. Anthropologists ask one of the older girls in the tribe that that probably was was one of the fastest, fastest ones. And you said why you could add it all to yourself. Why do you do that? And she said, you want to. How can one of us be happy if the rest of us are sad?
Joe: It was so powerful when you told that story as a wow.
Alex: Yeah, I mean, when you get that story mixed with, like, intense, you know, physicality, transformation, that’s another thing that’s beautiful about yoga. What I love about this platform is when your physiology changes. So if you’re doing some kind of activity, you’re also more open and receptive on on all those dimensions. So then when you hear something like that, it really lands. It really impacts you
Alex: More than even just listening to this or listening to a podcast or something. It’s a different level when you’re getting your physical involved.
Joe: Yes. Absolutely.
Alex: Huge one too like that idea, because a lot of us and this is another, like old paradigm we’re taught. How many times we hear it like the idea of survival of the fittest and it’s a shark eat shark or
Alex: Dog eat dog world or starve.
Alex: You’ve got to be a shark. And you’ve got to know in order to be successful that you need to kind of push other people. There’s there’s people that you need to kind of push down for you to to rise up. And that’s that’s bullshit. Like that’s gone. That maybe that’s how it used to be. But that’s not how this new world, this new paradigm that we’re moving into is like now it can be rather than competition, it’s collaboration or conscious competition where we can kind of grow together. There’s
Alex: A quote that my teacher used, always used that all ships rise in a high tide. So collectively we’re raising each other up or lifting each other up and there’s enough abundance for everybody. And that’s huge to understand and to really get to and believe because we believe it on an individual level, the collective starts to believe it and then we’ll start to really see it in our lives that like there’s enough work for all of us.
Joe: Yeah, yeah, and that’s why the classes are so strong in the sense of it’s the it’s the work out that you get and it’s that all of the things that that you get out of the class, but it’s you get this benefit of all of this positive energy that comes out of it. And it’s just it’s amazing. That’s what I want to touch upon. All I want to know for people that don’t understand yoga. And obviously it’s new to me. But I. I just know the benefit. I can feel it. I can already twist certain ways that I couldn’t twist a month ago. Whatever it is. But I want to educate the listeners who have been on the fence about taking a yoga class. What are the benefits that you can express of what yoga does and why it’s so needed?
Alex: There’s there’s a there’s a lot of benefits, and it really happened in in a lot of different ways. So I’ll talk about the four dimensions. I talked about that a lot in my trainings and stuff four dimensions, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. And yoga has it’s going to improve your life and in all of those physically. Is gonna help you feel good, right? Like moving your body and breathing deep. It’s medicine for your body. And and and like, if we’re honest with ourselves, we want to feel good. And there’s enough shit that we do that kind of brings us into a state of not feeling great that this will help balance it out. Right. So if you’d like to party a little bit and drink or maybe, you know, indulge in some unhealthy food, that’s fine. But this will help you. This will help you be balanced and and moving your body has it has a ton of benefits and moving. You’re like just body weight is really good, too. So I know that a lot of people like my age. And when you’re younger or really I should say, like men, men in general, we we think and we’ve kind of been programmed to think that in order to be. I don’t know, appealing and sexy. And we need to lift a lot of weights. Right. And it’s good to be strong for sure. But there’s just so much wear and tear that comes from lifting heavy weights.
Alex: And in most cases, like, we don’t need that kind of strength. Right. Like like in our day to day life, we’re not doing things well. So then it becomes not even that functional. But yoga, moving your own body, that’s it. We’re constantly doing and through those body weight movements. Not only is it going to build strength, but it’s not going to, like, wear you down as much as I’m doing other other types of exercise. So that’s a one big one physically is just feeling good in your body, going even deeper. Like I can tell you. So I have two autoimmune conditions. I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is intestinal inflammation. Kind of throws off my digestion and diabetes, so affects my blood sugar. When I practice yoga or really now I see it more now and I don’t practice yoga because I do it frequently. If I don’t practice yoga, my blood sugar is way higher. So it regulates my blood sugar. And there are studies that show it helps really everybody’s blood sugar, which is good. But you have diabetes or not. It’s good to have regulated blood sugar, helps your body just stay in and kind of balance. And and my digestion is better, too. And there’s a lot of people that that have digestive problems. So just moving your body around and a lot of the forward folds and twists, it’s like a massage for your digestive organs. So those are just like little benefits.
Alex: And I’d say that each person you kind of have to experience it for yourself to really get to know. Right. Like I could tell you that honey is sweet and delicious, and I could talk about it all the time. How good honey is. If you never taste honey, you’re not going to really understand. But when you really do it yourself, then you’ll start to realize, like, well, yeah, I do feel better. So that’s physical. Mental. It’s gonna help you. I think the biggest one is it’s going to help you be less reactive in your lives. So reactions are like, you know, someone cuts you off in traffic and you die. You start getting crazy and like fight or flight response, start getting angry. Or maybe it’s with your partner that you live with where they say something that kind of pisses you off and you you just get super agitated right away. And there’s no like, there’s no. There is no cause from like the stimulus to the response. It’s just right away that you’re super reactive. And it’s really powerful to be able to increase that space. So something happens, there’s some kind of stimulus, and you’re able to take a little bit more time to respond with with your whole being, not just like out of emotion or not just like out of anger or you’re able to more intellectually, intelligently and emotionally respond. So I think that helps a lot.
Joe: That’s really interesting, too. I never thought of it that way. But to have that space between between what happens in your reaction is really cool.
Alex: It’s huge when you can when you’ve made that space even bigger, when that gap becomes bigger. That’s really you talk about regret a little bit. Usually we only regret things when we react to them. When you have that space and you usually have a little more time before you respond to something, then you’re probably not going to regret you’re probably going to make a decision that’s that’s going to be best for it, for all parties involved. Definitely increases your ability to focus. Right. So if you want to be more proficient, efficient at work, if you want to be able to have better conversations, be a better communicator. Is going to help you with that, too. So mentally really powerful. And it just goes to improve your mood like movement and breath helps you feel better. So you’re gonna be in a better state of mind when you’re not when you’re in a better state of mind, in a more elevated state. You’re going to attract better things into your life. That’s the best law of attraction and law of attraction. Is not this like hippy dippy, crazy thing that is real. And we’re all doing it constantly. Right. We just aren’t necessarily aware emotionally. Yoga is a great way to express it. So it’s another thing with men like men were taught that to to be a strong man, we need to be stoic and we need to not really show emotion.
Alex: And that takes it takes a big toll. Right. And that’s why more men have like serious health conditions, because this is a popular saying mom like wellness practitioners, our issues are stored in our tissues. Right. So if we never release emotionally, then then then we have so much stress that we’re just holding in and holding onto. I think also that’s a big part of why I had a disease, why I got diagnosed, because I didn’t have a healthy outlet to express the things I was feeling and some of the challenges that I went through. So. So yoga like moving your body, breathing. Kind of shaking things I talk about. Like shaking. That’s a way that our bodies release. So that’s a really powerful thing on an on an emotional level. And it just allows us to feel right. Like, most of the time we’re numbing ourselves. Yoga is like the opposite. Like, go ahead and feel. You can feel angry. It’s OK. You can feel happy. You can. You can. You know, there’s a lot of people that practice yoga. And they they feel emotional, like they might cry or like feel like they’re tearing up beautiful and you off to try to make sense of it, just like that’s a release that had to happen.
Alex: And then finally, the good news is that.
Joe: Not I don’t know if it’s it’s exc. I was just going to say that you talk about the emotion part of it and how I even said to you after one of the classes, I couldn’t keep tree pose, I couldn’t keep it without falling out of the pose and losing my balance. And I found myself getting mad at myself a couple of times. And over the months I’ve learned to to just breathe and settle into it. And then it’s it’s become a better way of doing it for me. But I used to get mad at myself because I want I’m one of those people I got to do everything good or I suck, you know, and it’s.
Alex: You know, that man and I and having the awareness of it. That’s a huge benefit of the practice. I say it a lot in my classes. How you do anything is how you do everything.
Alex: And, you know, this is an opportunity to become more aware of, like what happens when you struggle. Right. Do you get pissed at yourself? Do you start to have this negative self talk? Because all that does is bring you to a downward spiral. Right. So as you become more aware of it, you go into your yoga mat and you might do something that like, OK, you’re going to struggle in it, but can you still stay, like, optimistic? Can you still keep your energy up even when you’re struggling? And that’s going to help you so much in other areas of your life and your relationships in your in your work, in your, you know, whatever it may be. So that’s really powerful. And in the final dimension where you get benefits is the spiritual and spiritual true. That’s a pretty, like, misunderstood term. Couple of things that that it means to me. One of the one of the most powerful emotions or traits, I guess, to feel is inspired and inspired is that word in spirit. So it’s like when you’re connected to soul, right? When you’re connected to your true self. Because you don’t have a soul. You are so right. Every single human being is
Joe: Mm hmm.
Alex: A school. We have a body. We have a mind. But we are we are soul. And when we’re in that place of spirit and soul, we get out of our own way. And we start to realize that we are our biggest obstacles, like our ego. Right. That that part of us that maybe gets pissed when we’re not doing so good or maybe gets offended or overthinks things like we get in our own. Our ego gets in our own way all the time because we just want to be loved and we want to be appreciated. We want to be like, you know, our ego wants to be the best and recognized as the best. And when we’re in spirit, we don’t care about that. Like when you’re really inspired, all that shit goes away. And I think everyone’s experienced it in some way where they’re just in the flow of life. So, like, I’m a big athlete, I love playing sports and I’ve had moments in life. I’m just totally in the zone. Right. I know musicians and runners. They experience it, too. And in the zone is the same thing. You could change interchange that word with being in a state of meditation or being in it in a state of inspiration. In spirit.
Joe: Yeah. And it was interesting because, again, talking about the practice of yoga. And I wanted to actually ask you, what do they call it, the practice of yoga.
Alex: Yeah, I love that because it’s not a performance and it’s not a competition, right. And it helps you realize that it’s not a destination. So if you if you’re not performing yoga, there’s no one that you’re trying to impress with yoga. Social media. Maybe there’s some other things about it, because you’ll see a lot of these famous yoga accounts that just pose like pretty photos. But to me, that’s not really what yoga is about. And yoga for four more more of the time that it’s been around, as has not been about postures, it never really was about posture. It’s just in the past few hundred years, poses became became what yoga is like known for. It’s never a performance and it’s never a destination. And, you know, one thing about practice is like you don’t really need to label or judge it as good or bad just by putting the effort in. You get the results out. And I think that’s a pretty powerful thing because most of the things we do in life, we’re doing to, like, impress other people or to to perform something and almost everything that we do, we do to kind of impress other people or or get some kind of recognition and yoga. It’s not about that. Just you come to your mat. We just practice certain things. And what you’re really practicing in yoga, not getting good postures. You’re really practicing strengthening the qualities of the mind that serve you right. So equanimity, having a balanced mind, non reactivity, kindness, compassion, enthusiasm, inspiration, like those qualities, the mind you’re strengthening and then you’re learning to weaken by just not giving energy to the qualities of the mind that that detract from you. So like competition and judgment and negative self talk, those things. So really, that’s what you’re practicing. You’re practicing getting better at living your life.
Joe: Yeah, awesome. I want to, if you can, and I don’t know I don’t know how deep you want to get into it, but I want to get a little deeper in the physical part of it, because I think that that’s what’s important for people to understand. I don’t want them to think it’s like to showing like I think the other benefits will come out of it if if they understand the health benefits in a physical nature of what it can do to them. And I know that where we’re in certain poses and when we’re in class and you’re talking about how your toes are spread out when you’re let’s say you’re in downward dog or your fingers are spread out. And it’s and they talked about us all getting more down into the earth, like sitting on the floor during the day occasionally, like feeling more connected to the earth.
Joe: And and I know that when we do these poses and you talk about how you’re pushing on your ankles and your fingers and your toes, and it’s it’s creating this circulation in the areas that normally aren’t getting that kind of attention.
Alex: For sure. Yes. Love it so. So let’s start by saying, like, first of all, in in our Western culture, right. In America, there’s something like one in four people have chronic illness. It might even be higher. It might actually be like one and two. But we live in a culture where a lot of people have disease and disease dis
Alex: Ease. So the opposite of having ease in the body is dis-ease and the cause of most diseases. And this is really according to like all traditional medicine practices that have been around for thousands of years. Right. Way longer than our modern like pharmaceuticals and what we do here in our health care system. But like traditional Chinese medicin, Ayurveda which is the kind of sister science of yoga, traditional medicine that was practiced in the Middle East for thousands of years. It all says that the main cause of disease is stagnation. Right. Like when there’s just stuck, when we’re stuck, they’re stuck. Energy, that’s the reason that we get tension, everybody. That’s the reason that our digestion kind of sucks. So yoga in the poses and we work in the yoga posture to bring sensation to every single part of our body and wherever there’s sensation that that’s that goes hand in hand with there being stimulation. Right. So that part of your body is stimulated. And if you just, like, took your arm and you stack smacked your arm a lot. Right. This is stimulation. It’s going to start to turn red. That’s increased circulation. So wherever you stimulate whatever part of your body you stimulate. There’s more blood flow, more energy flow. And when everything is flowing, that’s when we’re at a at a greater place of of health. Better place of healing. And I love using the analogy of like a stagnant pond.
Alex: Right. It’s like very murky. It’s it’s kind of nasty. A lot of mosquitoes and bugs compare. And that’s that’s when we’re stagnant. And if you think about it, probably a lot of people that we know well, maybe people that are listening to this right now. We spend hours a day sitting in a chair. So there’s a lot of stagnant energy, a lot of blockages. Tips are so tight, our low backs are so tight. That’s the pond. That’s real stagnant energy. And then if you look at like a stream, it’s very clear. It’s smooth. It’s flowing. That’s the. That’s what yoga helps helps us get like, more circulation in our body, more energy flowing in our body. A huge one. A huge benefit of the practice is you don’t you’ll see that you, like, don’t need to be addicted to coffee and caffeine to have energy. Right. Like, you can find weight. Just breathe deep. You’ll have more energy. Do some sun salutations, which is like a basic yoga warm up super D. D series of movements. You’ll you’ll have more energy. And that’s a beautiful thing too, because it’s really empowering. You start to realize, hey, I can take my healing into my own hands. I can take my energy and my efficiency into my own hands. So that’s a big part of how the physical postures work, is bringing more stimulation and therefore circulation to every little party about.
Joe: Yeah, I think it’s really important, so I wanted to just kind of drill that home because again, I think that the the idea of what yoga is, is you have to experience it. Like you said you can. You can tell me all day that that honey is sweet. And if I don’t taste it, I’ll never know. Right. So I just I want to encourage the listeners to initially if they just want to watch you online in a training, but ultimately I don’t care if it’s at lifetime or. I do care. I don’t want anybody at lifetime. I don’t want that.
Alex: Save you a spot.
Joe: No but I encourage people to go in and when they’re ready to go take a class, because I really think it’s super important.
Alex: And I’m glad you said that because that it is a little bit of a blind spot for me, because if you talk to people that are close to me, like you’ll see like I love yoga for definitely more than just the physical practice, like the physical to me is like really a smaller benefit to all the other practices. Like I said you don’t practice yoga to get good at poses. You practice, you’re going to get good at life. But I also realize it’s really important for people to realize that, like, the physical is usually the introductory. Right. Most people come to yoga because they want to feel better in their body. They want to be more flexible. They want to kind of like, you know, if they have low back pain, they want to they want to help take care of that. So I think it’s important for me to realize that and talk to that, too. And really, if you come just for the physical, that’s fine. You’ll get everything else. That’s how it works for most people. They come for the physical. They want to
Alex: Be more flexible. They want to, you know, open up their hips a little bit. And then they start to realize, like, wow, this is. Like, I didn’t freak out when someone just cut me off. I used to have road rage. Whoa. This is like my yoga practice is helping. I breathe. I did deep. I took a deep breath. Instead of, like, maybe yelling at my partner or yelling at my kids when they kind of pissed me off. Like, I saw that there’s a little more space between my response. You don’t have to. You want to go to yoga for that. But you’ll get the.
Joe: Right. So on top of that, this is just more of a personal question. Do you meditate also?
Joe: Ok. I just that was a selfish question because I’ve done it off and on. And I was just wondering if it’s something that you do as part of your daily lifestyle.
Alex: Sure. I mean, I’ve I’ve been inconsistent over the years where I’ll go and be really consistent with we’re going to fall off. But that’s like the seated meditation practice. And I feel like there’s a lot of misconceptions about what meditation is. I’ve had I can’t tell you how many students I’ve had say I can’t meditate. I can’t get my mind to still to be still. I can’t get my mind to calm down to any thoughts. And like, that’s very natural. But that’s that’s part of being a human having a human mind. It’s not about making your thoughts go away. The practice of meditation and this is ancient yoga philosophy. This is like that the eight limbs of yoga, which is a really foundational yoga philosophy teaching before you get to meditation, that kind of the precursor is is concentration. So when you’re doing when you’re meditating, what you’re really doing is concentrating on one thing. And if your mind wanders, it’s OK as part of the practice. But you just sucks instead of letting your mind go away off into the distance. You notice it wandering and you bring it back. You notice it wandering and you bring it back. So the practice is concentration. Meditation is not really a verb. It’s more of a noun that you might get into. But just because you sit and sit for five minutes doesn’t mean you’re gonna get into that state of meditation where you’re like in the zone.
Alex: And that’s not it’s practice another you know, another thing like you want to judge it as like, oh, did I actually meditate or not just take if you. And I like to teach when I do like one to one coaching, I just teach. Hey, guys, this is like we’re just gonna practice concentration and let me call it meditation. We’re gonna practice concentration. And as you get better at concentration, you start to get into the zone. And some people, almost everyone meditate just in different ways. Like runners. You know, I’ve talked to some people, too, that work with or might you have like a concentration practice, ignite or meditate. And I was like, well, what do you do to kind of like get out of your own head like or like, you know, what do you do to kind of if you have a lot of thoughts going on it, like why I like to run when I’m running, I’m just like fully in the zone and not thinking too much. Perfect. That’s your meditation. Some people meditate when they play basketball and they play music when they create art. So there’s a lot of different ways to do it. And I think that’s important to realize, too, to.
Joe: Yeah, and it’s funny because what yoga has helped me to do is to understand how poorly I was breathing because I’m definitely a breath holder type person like I. The tension from holding my breath for certain things. And so it’s opened up the fact that I need to breathe deeper and longer. And it’s all part and it’s all these little benefits that you don’t realize you’re getting. And that’s why I think it’s so important. I wanted to have you on because of all of this, you know.
Alex: Yoga changes your life does
Alex: If you commit to it. And it just it just works for everyone. The big thing is you have to find the right teacher, right? The right
Alex: To feel like I’m not everybody’s teacher. I’ve had people that don’t like the way I teach. They don’t. I talk a lot to a lot of stories. Some people like that. Some people like more silence. You know, I play my music really loud. Some people like that. And that’s fine. And I and I realized that, like, not everyone’s going to like me. I think if people if I wanted everybody to like me, I’m probably doing something wrong. I’m sacrificing
Alex: My truth. But there’s plenty of teachers. There’s plenty of styles of yoga. So once you find your teacher and your style and your person, you dive in and and like, it’ll it’ll change your life.
Joe: And you touched upon something there that I wanted to ask you, this is about the music and how. How do you think that Paris, with what we’re all doing in that room and and how do you I would, knowing you, the little that I know you, but knowing as much as I do at this point, I would think that you have carefully curated that music based on something you’re trying to convey at that moment in the class, the way the way your classes progressed. And I could be wrong. I could be overanalyzing it. But it I feel like the music, the way it matches with certain things is really timely. But I was just wondering, how important have you ever taught a class without any and what’s the difference? What does it feel like or what.
Alex: You have taught classes of dance music, you know, even like the classes that I just got for the Lifetime app, it’s all unlicensed music. So it’s not music that I’m from is familiar with. And I will say that I think that that good music. And again, like my idea of good music, I feel my music’s pretty good, but but we’re not going to like it. But I feel like, you know, music does a lot for you. Music. Music can move you in itself. Like, just music can make you feel things that can make your body want to move around. Setting using music well in a class can make a big difference. It can help you steal something more emotionally. It can help give you energy. Right. Like, my classes are pretty physically demanding, especially my fellow class. Not every class I teaches is is super challenging, but especially flow. It’s physically demanding and sometimes like that right song can just kick, you know, kick on and it makes you like I got more gas in the tank and I’m going to I’m going to keep going. So yeah. And then like, as far as I do, I do plan, I play less and I just try to create an energetic of the classic you actually identified. You said that like I do, like slowly builds up and then you kind of get to that peak, that climax. The music is loud. There’s a lot of intensity. And then and then you kind of calm down again. And I think music just helps to to create that that arc as well.
Joe: Yeah, it’s.
Alex: That’s all about music, too, and there’s benefits to that also. You know, I think that allows you to really be have like an internal practice, like in, you know, just like meditation. Like, I usually encourage people to meditate in silence because I think in silence you can hear more. So you start to listen and you start to be able to be more in tune with your intuition, start to be more aware of your thoughts. Sometimes music can be a distraction or a crutch.
Joe: I do the Sam Harris meditation, and I just I really like it again, something about him, the way he does it in his voice.
Alex: I me that I know Sam Harris has some of his work, but I haven’t know about his meditation. So you
Joe: Yeah, it’s really cool. I do want to keep you too long, because I’m sure you’ve got a million things to do, but you talk about different forms of yoga in the class. Sometimes she’ll say when you’re talking through some of the poses, that vinyasa. Right. And you’ll how how much do you know how many styles there are. Is.
Alex: Yes, that’s a good question. So. So there are a lot of different ways to yogas, yoga is also more of like a state that we work to get into the word yoga means to. It comes from the root that means to yoke to like join together our union. And the union that’s happening is you are in alignment with yourself. So like many body mind spirit is on the same page. And also the union of recognizing that you are a piece of the whole that you are a piece of the collective. You start to feel more connected to other people. So and then one of the biggest aims of yoga is to free yourself. Free yourself from physical pain. Free yourself from doubts and fears mentally. Free yourself from the feeling of separation or isolation. And there’s different paths to get there. So the most popular one is called Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga is just it just the physical practice of yoga. So it’s like yoga, breath and body. That’s what we do on the mat in the the realm of half the yoga, which is like what we do on a mat. There’s there’s been Vinyasa yoga. There’s Ashtanga there’s Iyengar. There’s Yin. There’s a ton of different variations of that, of the yoga you do with your breath and body mass. And then there’s other paths to to get to yoga. So like one of the other popular ones is karma, yoga, calmly yoga.
Alex: You’ve heard the word karma before. Kind of means like cause and effect. But karma yoga is the yoga of service. So if you’re, you know, like donating to charities, that could be a form of karma, yoga. If you’re cleaning up the parks or the beaches, that would be a variation of karma, yoga. So you could be a yogi, you know, like a good example. That would be like maybe Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa is not your classical yoga. Like, she probably hasn’t done yoga poses, but she’s a great yoga because she’s dedicated her life to service and then other paths. There’s there’s Vienna Yoga, which is the yoga of knowledge. So if you study like scriptures, study yourself. So maybe like in Judaism, like rabbis, they basically they devote so much time to studying and studying Torah. That would be considered a Gyana yogi. There’s Montre yoga where where you use sound and like singing and your voice to connect to that higher level. And there’s Bhakti yoga and yoga devotion. So if you really like heart center and maybe, you know, maybe devotional with like your religion, you pray a lot. That could be that’s another path to that. So there’s there’s like six main paths. But then a bunch of different styles when it comes to half a yoga. There’s there’s so many different different ways to do the physical practice.
Joe: Got it. OK. I just. I know you mentioned it before in class, and I just wanted to get an idea what we were doing and how it’s labeled.
Alex: So we’re doing Hatha yoga. And
Joe: Ok, cool.
Alex: That means it means the union of opposites. So we’re working to, like, transcend the opposites in our life. The biggest one is transcending the opposite of, like, comfort and discomfort, because usually comfort and discomfort we cling to comfort. We crave it. And we really push away or have aversion to discomfort. Where will we be able to stay equanimous through the ups and downs of life? Because there will be ups and downs and we can free ourselves from reacting so much or avoiding or craving. Then then we we can free ourselves. So that’s how
Joe: Got it.
Alex: Hatha yoga.
Joe: Cool in regards to the classes that lifetime and the labels on those classes. Was that something that is sort of a corporate mandated thing and it’s the same at all lifetimes?
Alex: Yeah, pretty much.
Alex: We have signature formats. You know, there’s one hundred and fifty clubs. So you’re still gonna get a little variance. If you’re if you travel around a little bit. But but you’re gonna get you’re going to pretty much know what to get from each each format.
Joe: Ok. And what I’ll do is so you don’t have to go through the description of that now is that I’ll put the different classes based on what’s on the website in the show notes, so people can understand the types that they can take. What’s the easiest one that that’s over there? Is that Surrender?
Alex: So, yeah. We don’t really have levels as far as, like, advanced or beginner goes.
Alex: It’s more about like intensity levels. So Surrender is the chillest.
Alex: Right. Pretty
Alex: Much all seated poses, stretching and mobility work. And then we have a slow route is our slow pace class. Sol is medium paced. Flow is like our faster paced class. And then Fire like our balls to the wall class.
Joe: I don’t know if I’ve taken that yet, have
Alex: Is only twice a week, Tuesday mornings at 6:00am., and I teach it Tuesday night at 6:30pm. It’s HIIT yoga. So high intensity interval training mixed with
Joe: I think JoEllen mentioned that today. I think we’re going to give one of those a try.
Alex: Yeah, it’s something it’s something it’s good for
Joe: All right, cool,
Joe: Cool. Is there anything that you want to say that you feel is important for the listeners to understand about yoga? That’s my first question. So is there anything that you we I might’ve missed
Alex: One of the biggest things is just like recognize, I know there’s so many people and there’s actually I looked at the research of it where there’s so many people that that are very interested in yoga that say that they probably will take a yoga class in the next year. The hardest part is getting started. Right. So the most important thing to know is that when you take a yoga class. No one no one really gives a shit about you. Right? Like a lot of people have this fear of like, oh my God, I’m going to look dumb and I’m not going to. I don’t know what I’m doing. No one’s paying attention to that. Like, so you come and you just do what you can. And then after you get over that first one, then you’re like, oh, all right, all this I was creating all this stuff in my mind. And that’s that’s the same thing with so many things in life. Right. We do it one time. It’s, it’s good. So I’d say like if you’re even feeling a little bit inspired. Take take the step, like take that inspired action, because yoga and I say it with confidence. It will change your life if you if you dive into it. But no one can make. No one can do that work for you. It’s got to be something that you do for yourself. And I’ve really never met someone that has taken yoga consistently and say like, oh, I regret that I did yoga. I don’t you might you might take one class and be a little uncomfortable because maybe, you know, it was a little hard for you to follow along. But again, like, no one cares if if anyone’s been in your shoes, everyone has started before. So they know what it’s like for you to come to class for the first time. And I think that’s that’s a big one. Just do it and see how you feel and get get out of your own way.
Joe: Yeah, it’s definitely a very welcoming community, and no one will ever judge you. That’s the one thing. It’s so cool to be in that environment. If you can be in that environment for that appear, that period of time every day and a non-judgemental situation. That’s got to do a whole lot for your soul.
Alex: Yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Joe: All right. I, I think we hit upon pretty much everything that I wanted to ask. I’m sure I could talk to you for another hour, but I wouldn’t.
Alex: They do another one in a month or so.
Joe: Yeah, we’ll do another one before we go, I. I want to get any of your links so anything anywhere that you want anyone to connect with you? I want to be able to to also you might have to send it to me, the link to the e-book so I can get that in the show notes. But, you know, where’s the best place for someone to get in touch with you
Joe: Or to follow
Alex: I’m actually getting my whole website and my brand kind of revamped and redone. So the
Alex: Best now is social media
Alex: On Facebook. It’s just my name. Alexander Schimmel. And on Instagram, it’s at the yoga general and. Yeah. And, you know, I can also send you my email, just email@example.com. But I’m I’m super open. You know, if anyone has questions, if anyone is interested in some direction. Right. If you live around here. Beautiful. Come to my classes or I’ll do some online classes. But I do a lot, too. I do online classes. I do some private coaching. And the e-book I’m working on, of course, right now about manifestation really creating the life that you want to create. And it’s a really practical, applicable course so that you’ll come out of it or you’ll go through it and and use these tools that you already have. You don’t even know you had to start to move in the direction of your dreams and never too early, never too late to get started. So again, right now, Instagram is is the best place for that. But what Facebook and email works really well too.
Joe: Cool. I get all that stuff from you and I’ll put it in show notes for everybody. Man, I can’t thank you enough for doing this. I. You are an inspiration everyday for me. I’m grateful that I found you. Grateful that I’m in your class. I’m glad that I get to do this with you. I’m lucky. So
Alex: I mean,
Alex: We’re both blessed and I’m I’m happy that you are you invited me on. This is really good conversation and
Alex: Yeah, look forward to getting to know you and continue to connect.
Joe: Thanks, Man. I really appreciate it.
Alex: Thanks Joe…take care guys.