EP18 Jacqui Bonwell, The Spiritual Mother Of New England
“My greatest mission in yoga is to direct people back to their original selves – where their greatest source of freedom and strength already exists.” Jacqui Bonwell
In this episode I interview Jacqui Bonwell, who I’ve nicknamed The Spiritual Mother of New England.. It started off as The Spiritual Mother of Massachusetts but as the reach of her magic wand of love, compassion and understanding has increased, I had to respectfully switch the nickname. Just like everyone else, your life is going to be blessed through coming in contact with Jacqui. Enjoy!!
- Jacqui shared how she was humbled into living out the life she wants to live at an early age. [5:36]
- She shares some of her “toxic” habits like smoking and makes an analogy how deep breathing of cigarettes was like deep breathing of doing Pranayama yoga. [9:17]
- Jacqui then goes on to share how she went on medication for ulcers, was overweight by 80 lbs and how she found yoga in Randolph, MA. [9:37]
- Although she found yoga and followed the instructor, Sagarika Ghose, she was still smoking [11:39]
- As the stress of work and her ulcers continued, she continued with yoga but she knew she needed to leave social services [12:43]
- After her health scare, she decided to look more into the field of yoga and went to teacher trainer with Open Doors, she shares how the teachers provided her strong energy healing. [15:13]
- Jacqui shares how life is short and she needed to take care of her and change her role in life [17:32]
- Jacqui shares how she had to give herself permission that she has done good work, that she can rest at night knowing that she has done the best and that now it is time to walk away. Sharing this idea with fear, there is fear with everything. [21:17]
- She talks about her experience of reading Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention. [24:58]
- She shares her experience of winning her wedding through a radio station, Magic 106.7 [26:47]
- Talks about the hustle – this need to infuse it with more faith, a little bit visualization and definitely some personal time so you don’t burn out. [30:39]
- Jacqui discusses how she “stalked” Rolf Gates and now they are working together. [33:40]
- She shares how Rolf Gates “coached” her. [35:34]
- The story of her connection with Rolf Gates continues and how the two of them work together and have a huge respect for the other. [35:49]
- Jacqui shares how she loves teachers and training. She feels she is a natural born coach. [38:45]
- She shares a very true story of “How are you?” situations she has come across in life [41:33]
- She shares how she loves to leave and that she truly is a talker [43:16]
- Having grown up in a funeral home lifestyle, Jacqui shares her thoughts and views on death and dying [44:36]
- Jacqui shares her daily practice as a mother, business woman, yogi and wife [50:43]
- She shares one of her practices, balanced athletic practice [52:24]
- What does meditation look like for Jacqui? [54:30]
- She uses an insight timer and is in love with Thomas O’Neil [56:29]
- She discusses whether or not the dynamics of yoga classes and trainings have changed at all over the years. [1:00:54]
- Jacqui’s suggestions for a new yogi and how they approach their first class and beyond. [1:03:34]
- She talks about how yoga wakes people up to what they have and what they can do for themselves [1:04:48]
- Jacqui shares some online resources for people who don’t have access to a regular studio. [1:06:05]
- Yoga poses to complete if you only could do 5 – what are they? [1:08:16]
- Talks about turning 40 in September and future projects. [1:10:20]
- Classes that she is teaching at various locations [1:12:44]
- Future trainings for 2016 [1:13:43]
You’re listening to The Business of Life podcast. Practical advice for creating the life you love to live. Here’s your host, Keith Callahan.
KC: Welcome, Keith here and we have Episode 18. I can’t believe it’s 18 already of The Business of Life Podcast and super grateful to you here listening and helping me to do something that I’m passionate about, so really getting these messages out, interviewing people that I admire and respect. And then, you know, taking time to teach some of the things that I’ve learned along the way. It’s really been a passion project of mine, grateful to be able to be sharing with you and excited about today’s episode. So, today’s episode is with Jacqui Bonwell. Jacqui, I refer to her, it started off as the Spiritual Mother of Massachusetts, now the Spiritual Mother of New England and believe it or not, this is actually the first time that her and I have ever spoken face to face. So, we recorded this episode on Skype and we’ve connected and talked and been in the same circle for the last 10 years or so and my wife has gone to a bunch of her yoga classes and always spoke so highly of her. So, it was great to be able to connect with Jacqui in that face to face manner and hopefully over the next couple of months we’ll be able to meet in person one of these days and I can give her a big hug and thank her for all the things that she’s done and the blessings that she’s brought into our family’s life. So, amazing woman, yoga instructor, instructor to the yoga instructors and really just someone that is, you know, when you come in contact with her and when you’re following her and when you’re getting sort of in the Jacqui zone, she’s sort or I shouldn’t say sort of she really blesses everyone’s life that she comes in contact with. So, it was really fun for me to do this episode. I enjoyed it a ton. I know this is going to be one of our most talked about episodes. It really is good, good stuff. Before we jump in there, the show notes you can find on KeithCallahan.com/episode18, so KeithCallahan.com/episode18. If you can’t remember that, just go to KeithCallahan.com and hunt down the podcast section. And then, one final thing and we’ll get Jacqui on. If you’re willing, one of the things that, you know, we do this podcast for free. We don’t do any commercials or anything like that and we want to try to help as many people as possible. So, if you’re willing, if you haven’t done so already, jump over and give us a rating and review. So, if you don’t know how to do it, just Google it, whatever, wherever you’re listening, if you’re on an android or an iPhone, it’s pretty simple and that will help us to continue to reach more people. So, that’s all I wanted to say about that and let’s get Jacqui on. Enjoy!
INTERVIEW WITH JACQUI BONWELL
KC: Alright, so I’m excited to introduce today’s guest to you guys, Jacqui Bonwell. Jacqui, welcome to the show.
JB: Hi everybody. Thanks for having me.
KC: It’s so awesome to have you on here and as we were chatting a little bit before we just jumped on, I was thinking about we actually still haven’t met face to face.
JB: I was laughing because I’m like I can’t believe our first formal meet and greet is on Skype here, after how much interaction we’ve had with each other.
KC: I know on Facebook and everything. My wife has gone to so many of your classes and loves your classes. So, yes, we’re taking the relationship to the next level. Now, we’re face to face on Skype.
JB: Right, right. Well, any love of Amy’s is a love of mine so I’m happy to be here today with you.
KC: Hey, well, it’s great to have you on and if you’re willing, I kind of want to dive right in. So, I had, I don’t know when I started or brought this up but I coined you the Spiritual mother of Massachusetts.
KC: And then, I know we expanded it out to New England and as we keep growing we’re going to get further and further out.
KC: But, congratulations and everything on your business.
JB: Thank you.
KC: And, I guess really, I kind of want to dive into the how you got to where you are right now because the listeners and what we’re always doing on this show and focused on is really 2 simple things, to identify the type of life that we want to live and I think that’s an important piece. And then, once you do identify it actually creating that type of life. So, how did you, you know, you’re at least from what I’ve seen and us talking, you’re living that life and continue to get closer and closer every day to living out the life you want to live and how did that, has it always been that way or was there a shift that happened that got you to where you are now?
JB: Yeah, I, you know, to be honest with you, Keith, I was pretty much humbled into all of this. I kind of brought myself to my own knees and just really had to come up with a better way. At 26 years old I was on medication for ulcers. I’ve kind of always gone from zero to Oprah with everything I’ve ever done. So, basically, I you know, went to school for social services. I majored in Family Violence which I don’t really recommend but it’s very necessary and started off in social work. So, I had been a social worker prior to yoga. I’m still pretty much a social worker by blood if I’m honest. But, I was a social worker prior to being a yoga teacher and I worked, moved over to Ireland and worked over in the Flats in Northern Ireland and worked in a refugee, they call it a refugee shelter for battered women and children and we’d do the intakes at 3 in the morning. I was like 19 years old. And, the children would always come into the inn at 3 in the morning and then I’d go home to take a little bit of a break and then I’d come back and then they were gone and they kept coming in to the shelter and then they kept leaving. What was great is that I developed a lot of compassion at that point as to why people go back into dysfunctional and troublesome relationships because the burden of trying to do it on their own is a little bit too much. So, I developed a lot of compassion, a lot of empathy for people who are really struggling why drug addicts relapse, why battered women and children go back to batterers. And so, my mentality became, when I left Ireland was “That’s fine if they want to go home, I’m just going to go home with them.” So, only legal access into the house would be to work for the state. It wasn’t enough for me to just have a nice little desk where people come in and tell me how life is going because I have that zero to Oprah mentality. I was like “I’m going to go into to the house and speak to the judge myself and be in the thick of all of this.” So, I came home from Ireland and applied for a job with the state which took me about 6 months to get. And so, I worked for the Department of Social Services for about 7 years. I really gave that 150% of my heart and soul. I was the legal guardian for about 14 children in the state at one point and I worked every different facet of the job. I primarily did case management. I worked the hotline, worked and helped with investigations and assessments and you kind of end up doing everything when you’re there. But, primarily, the case management and then towards the end I was working more with the chins and sort of the runaway and the older kids. And, I, you know, flew to Florida to get kids out of, you know, psychiatric hospitals and reunite them with family and just kind of went all over and I was really young. So, I had pretty toxic habits when I was trying to handle the stress of this job. I smoked cigarettes pretty regularly and never, not an alcoholic but I would drink, you know, on the weekends with my friends and…
KC: Do you miss the cigarettes?
JB: You know, you are a smoker sometimes when you smell one and you want one but I don’t. I actually didn’t even quit until I was in yoga teacher training and I only quit because I felt guilty.
KC: Honestly, I used to do cigarettes and chewing tobacco and if there’s one thing I miss really I loved nicotine. I really did.
JB: Yeah, I was a big fan. Well, what was funny is when I look at it now and I look in hindsight, all my smoke breaks were really just deep breathing breaks. I mean all I was really doing was Pranayama, it was different forms of really deep breathing, you know, in these little cigarette breaks. I just chose to fill it with toxic, you know, cigarette smoke while I was deep breathing.
KC: Yup, yup.
JB: So yeah, I just had really toxic habits and I ended up being on medication for ulcer. So, there I was, I was like 80 pounds overweight from eating chicken parm subs and washing them down with Mountain Dew, you know, and then having a cigarette afterwards and then maybe some candy. I mean it was just a disaster of a nutritional, you know, path that I was on and I don’t know what. I was at Workout World in Randolph, which was my moment of enlightenment at Workout World in Randolph and they were having a yoga class. So, I was like, “Well, I’ll try it.” So, I put out my cigarette and I went into yoga class and I loved it. I loved it. I didn’t care if she wanted to sing ‘happy birthday’. I felt like I was in this cocoon with sweet music and this nice little woman and, you know, had a good class. It was the first time I’d ever really been connected to my body in a way that I was appreciating my body. I’ve always done, I’ve always like even when I smoked and had toxic habits and was overweight, I still went to the gym but I had no connection to what it was really like to be in my body or to find solace or some type of peace from myself. I always looked outside of myself for peace instead of within myself. I thought it was something I had to achieve instead of something that I just have. So, I went to this class and everything was kind of shut out and I felt like I was just in a really safe and nurturing, in a very cool place. So, I followed this poor woman. She worked at Workout World in Randolph, Workout World in Norwood, 24/7 Fitness in Stoughton and some other place and I belong to all of them. I think it was Fitness Unlimited in Milton. I belong there too. And, I would just follow her around and I loved her so much, I’d start going twice a day and she was like “Oh.”
KC: Do you mind if I as what are name was?
KC: I don’t think…
JB: Her name is Sagarika Ghose.
KC: I’ve ever met her.
JB: Yeah, she’s intense. And so, she would be like, “Oh, it’s you again.” I was like “Yup.” I put my cigarette out. I go in. I’m still smoking. Four years I followed her I still smoked on the way to yoga class. I’d put [inaudible – 00:11:53] on and chew gum and that’s just the worst because then it just really smells terrible. But yeah, so I followed her around and then I finally just felt like I’ve been with her for 4 years. I really loved it. I had no clue what I was doing. She was from India and she was lovely but I had no clue really for 4 years like sometimes what she was saying or what we were doing. I just went because I just loved the environment and the music and the connection to myself and just the peace. But, there wasn’t a lot of crossover from the yoga studio into my life. It was like my only peace was at Workout World in Randolph.
KC: So, sort of the entry way in was it was an hour or so of escape and then back to…
JB: Back to stress.
KC: Yeah, okay.
JB: Yup, back to stress. And so, I finally, you know, I was getting sicker and sicker with the ulcers. I was on the medication. I was going to yoga. It wasn’t really making too much of a difference and I just started to feel like my job is killing me and it was the breathing room in yoga that I realized my job is killing me. I’m really young, I’m 26. I’ve given all I can to all these people and I love them dearly but I think I got to get out of this. And then, the divine sort of intervention because truth be told there’s a lot of guilt in leaving social services. There’s a lot of guilt in getting out of I mean being basically the mother of 14 children saying “I’m not going to do this job anymore. It’s like they keep having people leaving them and leaving them and I felt like I was yet another person who’s going to leave them. So, it was really, really hard for me to leave that job and I didn’t even leave until there was a threat on my life and I had to have the police come to my home and it was at that point that my now husband, who was my boyfriend at that time said, “You know what, you’re done. You have to get out. You’ve given all you can. Nothing bad has happened at this point and just give yourself permission to go and try something new. And so, I took the yoga teacher training through Open Doors and tried to learn a little bit more about this. I only started off just to deepen my own practice. I thought “Well, maybe I’ll do real estate or maybe I’ll be a singer in a blues band. I had all different ideas of what I would do and it’s just funny. I mean I’m really kind of was just humbled into all of it and here I am, you know, 10 years later and it’s my dharma and it’s my life and it’s my purpose and it just came at me in such a random roundabout, very gradual and slow way.
KC: That’s beautiful. So, we’re sort of in the, there are a lot of similarities to our paths. A quick question because we run in the same circles. Who were the teachers at Open Doors then, the teacher training teachers?
JB: So, then it was Richard Lanza. It was Susan, who’s now Susan Tucker. It was Richard, Susan, Shawn Cornelison and I feel like those were the 3, oh and Jene Rossi. Oh my God, hello?
KC: She was my first teacher.
JB: Yeah, Jene Rossi who’s like my soul sister. I love her. And so, it was a lot of really the influence of those teachers that made me, you know, really get jazzed up and excited about teaching.
KC: Yeah, yeah.
JB: They’re also such a heavy strong energy, they’re energy healers not so much, Susan wasn’t as into it as Richard and Jene and Pat Iyer also came in to do our anatomy. So, Pat, Richard and Jene were all very into the energy healing. And so, the influence of the 3 of them in our training, I mean we were basically kind of raised by energetic healers and psychics. So, it was a really heavy emphasis in our training and I’m really grateful for that because I think I would’ve been missing a major, major piece of what all of this is all about if I did not have the component of energy healing right out of the gate. Like, when it comes to teaching it’s my primary language.
KC: So, I want to dive into, when you were talking I was thinking about the social services and sort of going back to that theme of creating the type of life that you want to live, right? I’ve had this same conversation and I just want to take your take on it. So, some of my friends have left really I would say promising and rewarding in the sense of the public eye, like doctors, lawyers and I’m thinking of a friend in particular, he was a very successful attorney but the way that his practice went, he got into environmental law and there was no business in environmental law and he wound up doing bankruptcy and divorce, like that’s where the business was and he left because it sucked the life out of him. And, I guess going back to your social services piece, there’s a need for that but there’s also that piece where energetically you’re putting yourself into that every single day and besides the danger piece which is, you know, it sounds like that was the nail that really, like that triggered the leaving. Can you see like what or can you share like what was happening over time like being in that like not so good energy all the time, right?
JB: To be as, you know, just as fair of a picture as possible, I met so many amazing people in social services and what it exposed me to, it was human resilience at its finest. Really, just beared witness to people and just the throes of absolute chaos and able to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and get it together. Met so many wonderful children who I still carry very deep in my heart and can see their faces, you know, as I speak. But, the joy of it just could not wave the stress of it and I think what kept me going back all the time was guilt that so much needed to be done, that there was nobody else to do it, that I really loved them and I think guilt kept me in there so long and the dual conversation that started to happen which could probably be the very similar conversation internally that the doctor and the other friends that you had mentioned were having is that, “You know what, life is very short and life can be easy and I’ve done all I can and to continue to sit in something that’s eroding my spirit, well, what if I died tomorrow? You know, which is morbid thinking but very truthful.” And, I think I just started to feel like, you know what, I want to get married and I want to have kids and I don’t want to have to worry about my safety. I don’t want to have to be in this job where I’m always on high alert. I mean I was always just in a hyper sensitive, high alert kind of state. And, when you’re in that, if you look at doctors, lawyers that, just that constant sort of hounding on your psyche of things that need to be done, details that you need to remember, you know, just liability and just having your ass on the line all the time. I think all of a sudden, you just sort of sit back and I don’t know if it’s spiritual maturation, I don’t know if it’s, you know, something, if it was a life even that happened or who the hell knows but you just kind of sit back and say, “Life is short and life can be easier and I can still give and it doesn’t have to be, you know, to this magnitude.” I mean with my yoga, I’m basically doing social work within my yoga because the service aspect of the yoga practice is everything to me. You know, the philanthropy of it is everything to me. That’s why I do it. And so, that piece of being able to give in different ways and being able to release the guilt, being able to knock down the levels of stress because I think everybody just kind of stops and has an epiphany. Life is short and life could be easier and let’s try to figure out a better way that isn’t so depleting and isn’t killing me because we were given this gift of life not to suffocate it and massive amounts of stress. God didn’t say, “Hey, here you go. Now, strangle yourself with all of it.”
KC: So, when you got to the guilt piece and, you know, I’m really asking for, a lot of our listeners will and I know for me, like this is something, the reason I’m digging in with this because it’s something that, for me there’s sort of a dual piece. It’s guilt and also fear. Even though in a situation like you’re in there’s the fear of like a literal fear for your life but you know that world and like leaving that world and stepping into or stepping out of that world into another world. So, you have this guilt piece but, you know, for me personally, there’s also the fear of the unknown sometimes. And, was that something that came up and I guess for our listeners to, like how do you deal with that because you’ve definitely, like you continue to take your life to the next level.
JB: Yeah, I think you just have to take the freaking leap, you know, if I’m honest. You know, I think you just have to say, you know what, life is short. This can be easier, I’ve got to go back to the drawing board. I’ve got to internally get back on track and with the guilt, really it was, is I just had to give myself permission. I had to say, “You know what, other people are perfectly capable of doing this job.” I have to give myself permission that I have done good work. I can rest my head at night knowing that I’ve done my best and give myself permission to walk away. And, with the fear, there’s fear with everything. You know, one of the greatest quotes is “Most of the things you fear never happen.” Sometimes they do but most of the time they don’t. And, thank God, even in social services before yoga came along I’ve always had strong faith, you know. So, I always just kind of had that relationship with God to say, “Look, I’m going to make a move and, you know, if you can guide me, I’ll keep listening to you and just get out of it.” Nothing is worth the total erosion of your spirit. Nothing is worth sitting in a job that you hate. I mean you can find a better way, you know. It’s like I tell my husband sometimes. You know, he works in the corporate environment. I’m like “You know what, I’d rather you have, you work at Dairy Queen with your dignity, you know, than work in a job that’s going to make you feel less than or, you know, uncomfortable everyday or…” For me, life is too short and a lot of that Keith it probably comes from losing my father when I was 9. He was 33 years old, 32 at that time. His 33rd birthday was weeks away. And so, at a young age I think I felt like, “You know what, it’s okay to hang in there with something for a little while but don’t let it consume you, you know.” So, it’s kind of sad but I guess fear of dying sort of gave me permission to live.
KC: It’s very real though, yeah.
KC: So, sort of the one of the themes that I’ve been on lately and want to hear your opinion it. So, you have this epiphany. You know you’re going somewhere else. You start going to these yoga classes. And then, eventually there’s a draw to that, right? One of the things that I really believe in. One of the things that I teach is we don’t have to have the whole map laid out. Like, there used to be this philosophy that we have to know every single step of the way on how we’re going to get somewhere and like I personally believe that the how to and all that’s going to take care of itself. It’s really, like just getting clear on where you want to go with your life, like what that vision is and then the only thing we need to do on top of that, it’s a real simple process is ‘what’s the first step’. And then like “Okay, what’s the next step.” So, I was wondering like what your thoughts are on that. Like, you made this huge transition. Was it something similar to that or did you have the graphs and the pie charts and all this stuff while you’re writing it all up?”
JB: No. No, I just bought a mic for the first time, well, it [inaudible – 00:24:35] Skype, I certainly didn’t have graphs. What was really cool around, so in 2005, so I graduated yoga teaching, I took the course from 2004 to 2005 and I had read the book.
KC: So, not that long ago.
JB: No. So, I’ve been teaching only 10 years and my 10-year anniversary.
JB: And so, I had just finished the book, The Power of Intention by, God rest his soul, Wayne Dyer, Dr, Wayne Dyer. I read that whole book soup to nuts, I absolutely loved it and a lot of that book at that time, it was really like a divine teacher, Wayne, coming to me in this book talked about, so I had the faith, you know, sort of to make the leap and to try to put together what was going to be next. But then, I had all these tools from this book, The Power of Intention, which talked a lot about when you visualize, so if I was visualizing I want to teach yoga full-time, I would close my eyes and sit in that visualization and try to get all of my undertones of energy and the universe just sort of get onboard with me to create this plan. So, a lot of the, the 3 things I sort of took away from that book were thinking from the end, never doubting it, never doubting, not saying, “Well, maybe I’ll be able to teach full-time.” It was like, oh no, all my verbiage is “When I teach full-time, you know, I’m going to take trips.” Or, “When I teach full-time, I’m going to be able to be with my children.” ‘When I do’ not ‘If I do’, not ‘maybe’ like no doubt about it. And then, sort of like putting blinders on and tunnel vision for what you want and then just allowing for my, the way that I speak and the way that I think to only support my mission. And, it was funny because I feel like I created my career that way. Honestly, to be honest, I wish I could say it was nice pie graphs and charts. It was actually Wayne Dyer and God. And then, also, probably like 8 months after I switched my job, I used the same power of intention to win my wedding. So, I won the Magic 106.7.
KC: I remember reading something about this.
JB: Yeah, in the Venezia restaurant, the contest for a wedding. So, I had finished the book. I entered my essay for the wedding and then every night my husband and I would use these tools, visualizing everybody that we love in the room, always talking about, like “Oh, we’re getting married on February 14th, you know.” And, everybody was like “Oh, I bet. I’m sure. Okay.” And, I was like “Oh no, no, no. We’re going to.” So, I think a lot of what sort of my glue and my plan was really just sort of mental that this has to happen. This is only going to happen and that’s the direction I’m going. So, you’re either onboard with me and low and behold, you know, the universe starts to respond. And then, I remember sitting there when I won the wedding that night and I was like “Wayne Dyers’s awesome.” I’m like “His stuff really works.” You know, I remember like everybody screaming “Jacqui and Eric won.” And, I was like “Oh, no, no, Wayne Dyer won. Wayne Dyer won.” Because, all this is really happening and after I won the wedding, I’ve had no other strategy. I just visualize, don’t doubt it and think about it as if it already happened.
KC: That’s awesome. I love it.
JB: Yup, yup. So, that’s kind of how I ended up putting the plan behind what I wanted to happen and then it was just picking up classes wherever I could get them, teaching children, old people, 5 in the morning, 9 o’clock at night, just making it happen. That first year was a hustle just to get the classes that I wanted. And then, I spent like a year in a [selthy/inaudible – 00:28:24] warehouse on the fourth floor with one student, Ray Muchi, who I will always love and then I ended up going to Prana and I was their Manager for a while and taught a bunch of classes over there and have a great love and affection for Taylor and Philippe and the time that I had there. And then, I had kids and kind of branched off on my own.
KC: So, so much in there. I love the wedding story. I feel like the average person has these dreams and I feel like it’s also becoming easier to become your own boss, right, to really create the type of life you want to live and to create a business around that and, you know, using the word business, it’s not even a business, it’s really, I feel like the I’m blessed in my job that I get to sit and talk with people who have created lives that they’re doing absolutely what they want to do and somehow they figure out a way to get paid for, right, which is sort of what you’re doing. But, I feel like there’s also a reality to that and I was wondering if you could just dig in a little bit deeper because everyone that I’ve talked to goes through this period of just flat out hustle, like it’s not, it’s not necessarily pretty but there’s passion behind it and there’s hustle and you’re just out there making something happen and you don’t know how. You don’t know where. You don’t know when. But, you’re just out there doing and I was wondering if you could just dig into that piece a little bit deeper. And then, I want to talk a little bit more yoga stuff, but…
JB: Yeah. I think it’s really challenging because it’s hard for me to say how it would not be a hustle at first when you’re trying to get something up and off the ground. I mean in hindsight, I probably would have had more structure around my hustle so that I would have more personal time and it wouldn’t be, you know, eating, sleeping, waiting, thinking, you know, I’m going to make this happen.
KC: I feel like that’s how everybody does it though. Like, everybody that’s gotten to the point that they now have the structure. Like, it’s almost like you need that year or 2 of all in.
JB: Well, what’s funny is I remember, you know, with all the universe stuff and the universe will be there to help you and I was always like 99% universe but like 1% like “Well, I need to like pull an all-nighter and write this paper and do this and do that. I think I always was fearful of thinking that the universe is just going to take care of all the details because I’ve always been a hustler, you know, I’m a work horse. I mean my whole motto growing up was “I might not be the prettiest. I might not be, you know, the fastest but I will outwork you.” And, that’s really not the mentality to have. So, I’ve kind of always been a work horse, you know, from the beginning. So, it doesn’t really bother me to work this much because that’s just sort of the pace that I’ve been going. But, you know, I mean it’s easy to say to people, you know, try to have a little bit more faith in the hustle, try to kind of not push yourself so crazy because what happens is you’ll burn out. I think we get impatient with things when we’re trying to create them. We think the details aren’t happening fast enough. You know, it’s like if I say I want to be an astronaut and I’m like “Well, NASA will never go back to me. I don’t really like this food and my helmet doesn’t really fit so you know what, screw it. I don’t think I’ll really do this and I’ll, who knows, be a basket weaver.” But, I think that a lot of times we get impatient and we get fearful and we start kind of freaking out that the money’s not coming fast enough. I think any new business for the first year you’re kind of doing the laundry. You’re sort of seeing what sticks, you’re getting a clientele, some want to do it, some don’t want to do it and I think the only thing I would recommend because it is a hustle is to try to infuse it with more faith, a little bit visualization and definitely some personal time which I didn’t take a lot of and I still have to work with that. It’s definitely taking some personal time so that you don’t burn out on what you’re trying to get up and off the ground. You know, it doesn’t feel like work all the time when it’s your passion. I mean I could eat, sleep and drink yoga because it’s my passion. But, I do think that having those personal boundaries of alone time and family time and putting it on the shelf and not worrying that just because you left it for a day that your business is going to be, you know, in the hole and never quite get off the ground. I think that, I think it can be difficult but I think if you would have tried to have a little bit more breathing room within it that it wouldn’t be so hard. Everybody thinks it’s so hard the first few years. It’s a hustle but you can take the hard out of the hustle.
KC: Got it. I like that. So, switching gears, I was talking to a mutual friend of ours last night, Rolf Gates. We recorded his episode. So, I think that the way these are going to publish is his will be published and then a week later, yours will be published. But, you guys just recently started working together too, right, like you started running teacher trainings together. Tell me about like how has that evolution been because it was yoga student, yoga teacher and now really teacher to the teachers, right?
JB: Right. Well, I stalked him. No, I’m just kidding. So, Rolf, for me, came into my life also around, I really kind of had like this explosion, you know, in 2005 between Wayne Dyer, Richard Lanza, Rolf Gates, you know, really kind of, they sort of came into my world when I was ready. There’s always that great quote ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.’ And so, for me he was really one of them and I don’t know, I went to a few of his classes and I was like “What is he doing?” It’s really just so moving, you know, the way that he just effortlessly he would just infuse the dharma, you know, while you’re moving and just perfectly placing the words at the right time. Like, knowing when to hold them and when to fall them, I was like “This guy’s good.”
KC: And, an hour and a half would go by and it was like you just got the craziest workout and you didn’t feel a thing. It was like “This was awesome.”
JB: Oh, I know. I saw him like 2 weeks ago, I was like “You don’t even mess around.” I’m like “You’re good.” And so, I just started to follow him around and actually when I discovered him it was 3-day training for teachers at Prana and this was a long time ago and I came out of that. I wrote like a 10-page paper. I gave it to all the teacher trainees. I just was so fascinated by what he was saying and what he was doing and I just loved his story that he was very real. You know, because he was an alcoholic and he had such a big background and I was like “Oh well, I’ve had really toxic habits too and look what he did.” And so, I found his life inspiring. I found his spiritual work inspiring. I found his class really inspiring. And so, then he ended up moving to New York and we were still kind of connected to each other through Prana because they had opened a New York location. And then, I just continued to just keep him close. I did a ton of life coaching with him in…
KC: I did that too.
JB: Yeah, in 2009 which was so great. I really looked forward to my calls with him. And so, I did for like 16 weeks or something. He was probably like “We don’t really have anything to coach anymore.” And, I was like “I know. How are you doing?”
KC: I just want to pay you money to hang out.
JB: [Inaudible – 00:35:49], right? But, I was like everything he said just taking copious notes. I don’t really know. I just felt so inspired by him on a personal level. He really helped me to get through a miscarriage that was pretty bad in 2009. I felt like he single-handedly sort of pulled me out of that along with my husband and my mom but he was a huge, huge healer for me at that time. And so, through the 4 months of life coaching and then I ended up doing some additional study with him, eventually completing my 500 hours certification in Mexico when I went and spent 7 days with him in Tulum which was unreal. I went to Costa Rica with him for a week. So, you know, I think just kind of having all those different interactions and then growing my business in Boston and teaching a lot more places and having many more mutual friends. I think I had, he knew I had very deep respect for his work. And then, what was cool is that in studying with him so long. I think, you know, he started to stand back and have respect for my work and, you know, admiration for what I was doing in the Boston area and then eventually we just sort of agreed that we always wanted to work together in some facet and the 500-Hour ended up becoming our sort of baby and becoming our work of art together, along with David Vendetti. It was about a year ago we did it and it was awesome. It was really awesome. We had, you know, like 30 amazing trainees and we felt like they all really got it. All of them came out very social service based using their yoga for the greater good and he and I just had a really good time working together. We get along really well and have very deep respect for each other.
KC: So, was that the first teacher training, the one that you and Rolf did or have you been doing them?
JB: That was the first 500-hour.
JB: So, since then I’ve been doing 500-hours on my own at my studio in Canton to be closer to my family. But, I had been running 200-hours but I needed to get my 500-hour certification in order to be able to run the 500-hour training with him. So, I spent the whole year before we even started that program, making sure I had all that I needed in order to be able to run it.
KC: Yeah. So, you started going to yoga yourself and it was a very healing on the level that you would have refuge and quiet your mind and then eventually started teaching yourself, like you were teaching other students. Once you’ve gotten to the level now that you’re teaching teachers, has the satisfaction, probably isn’t the right word, but what’s the joy that you get out of that? Is it different than just teaching a class?
JB: It’s very different. So, I would say, I think a lot of what I really am when it comes to teacher training, I go like so excited about them, like sit back on my chair, I’m like “Are you ready for this?” I get so excited. I love my teachers and I love training. I am like a natural born coach. You know, it’s like give me somebody and I want to be nose to nose with them, you know. So, I like to take a small group like 30 people and really know them inside and out. I have that style where it’s very hard for me when outside teachers come into the training because I just kind of have that nurturing, we’re going to go through an experience, we’re going to through a journey and you’re going to come out of this transformed. And, in a drop-in class, you know, you just kind of have sort of that transient community sort of coming in and out which I love too and workshops you can get a little bit more into the teachings and the philosophy and the, you know, you can bring other things and for more concentrated periods of times like breathing, chanting, all those other aspects of, you know, outside of just the poses that I love. But, when it comes to teacher training it’s really getting somebody to lead and I’m a leader and so my job and a lot of my purpose in this life is to create leaders. So, when I think about creating a leader, I need somebody coming out confident. I need somebody coming out nurturing. I need somebody coming out commanding, somebody safe. I want somebody authentic. And so, in order to do that I am like up their nose, you know, for like 8 months and that’s my training style. And, for some people it’s like “Whoa” so I’m not everybody’s teacher. I’m like way maybe intense for some people but my teachers know I love them and I really feel strongly about creating a relationship for life. I’m not just a course that you take. I’m a friend that you make. I’m a mentor that you make and I will know you and you will know me and we will be connected for the rest of your life.
KC: So, along the same lines with that, this is something that I’ve recently realized about myself and a lot of other leaders have a similar quality. Are you more comfortable talking to, I’ll say either a group or a long term relationship like that than having small chat? So, for example, like if I’m a wedding and I don’t know that many people, it’s not a very comfortable atmosphere but if you put me in front of the entire wedding and I have to present something, I’m way more comfortable doing that.
JB: Yes, I really do.
KC: Do you know what I’m talking about?
JB: It was funny. My husband used to work at State Street Bank. You know, nothing against State Street, I met very, very nice people. They were very good to us. They had a couple of children on their insurance plan. I’m very grateful. And so, I would always walk in to the Christmas party and the first thing I would say is “I read palms.” And then, everybody would give me their hand and be like “Am I going to die?” And then, we were off and running. And so, I felt like the palm reading was sort of my icebreaker to try to get to like, you know, sort of other things that maybe mattered. But, I do have difficulty with small chitchat. I can do it but I, you know, I grew up in a funeral home, Keith. So you know, pretty much, I grew up in the only funeral home in Marshfield. I mean I lived with my mom in a separate residence but we were with my Gram a lot of the time. And so, I spent my entire childhood looking at people and saying, “How are you?” You know, or “How you doing?” You know, there was never like “Oh, hi, how are you?” As soon as like I popped out of the womb and immediately it was “How are you?” And then, I went into social services and then it was “How are you”, you know, because there was never just sort of that, oh, you just knew everything was going bad. So, I feel like I’ve always sort of been and exposed to these situations where everything’s kind of going bad and we can’t really have the normal sort of chitchat conversation. We sort of get right down to the heart of the matter. And so, even with yoga, you know, when you see yoga students in classes, not always because things are going good. So, there’s sort of always that “How are you?” You know, I’ve never really had that, the ability to ask the question light-hearted and surface. It was always very, you know, sort of holding space and carrying someone say “How are you?”
KC: Yeah, yeah.
JB: But yeah, I love to lecture. I love to talk. What was kind of funny with the teacher trainings is I literally, for the regular dropping class I was talking too much and so I had to like sort of expand into doing workshops for 2 to 3 hours. I could just talk for 2 to 3 hours. Then, that wasn’t enough so then I did the teacher training so I could just talk, you know, for 8 to 10 hours, you know, and just have at it, you know, because I’m a lecturer and a teacher, you know, by nature, so. So yeah, I am with you. You and I would be at the wedding in the corner, a couple of wallflowers.
KC: So, there’s another question. I wrote this one down like prior to us jumping on. I always, I do a little meditation and then really get into the questions that I want to ask and this one question popped into my mind and I didn’t know if I was going to ask it or not because I didn’t know if it would be appropriate for the conversation but you brought up the funeral home and Wayne Dyer just passed and you had also brought him up earlier and I wanted to bring up the topic of death and dying and what your thoughts and view are on that.
JB: Geez, you know, I’m at peace with it. I mean I’m at peace with it because I have a really strong relationship with God. I have a really strong relationship with the spirit and my loved ones who have passed. I talk with them each day. I have 2 children in heaven. So, it doesn’t really scare me too much to go there. I don’t know if this is the only life we get or if we get a couple more. You know, I’m kind of on I don’t really know in terms of reincarnation or if it’s you know, we get up there to the pearly gates and I have to answer one way or the other. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I am cut from a pretty miraculous cloth in the body that I’m sitting in and whatever created this world or whatever created all of us, you know, could only be nurturing and loving. So, when I become spirit, I know that I’ll be immersed in total, unconditional nurturing love. As to where I go, you know, what I do, I don’t really know but I know that I’m at peace with it. Where I struggle with it is having children and leaving my children and not being here with my children and that’s probably just going to be sort of the practice that I do around fear and death probably for the rest of my life because I want to be here for them. So, that’s probably my greatest struggle would be that I’m okay with it. It’s kind of like flying. I was okay with flying until I had kids. And that was like, “Oh no, nothing can happen now.” You know, so I don’t know where we go and I don’t know what we’d do but I know that’s it good because when I spend that time each day in sacred time with myself and meditation and I take the time to listen to God and agree to be led, I know that I’m in really good hands. My mom always said, my mom is like my greatest teacher really but my mom always said “I always just believe that if he put me here he’s going to take care of me and give me what I need in order to do it.” And, she was like single mom and had, you know, went through hell and back when we were younger and just really pulled out of it, such a graceful, you know, unconditionally loving, beautiful, beautiful lady. I really struck gold with my mother. So, when it comes to death and dying, I’m okay and it took a little while to be at peace with it and I think it’s because of my meditation practice that I became okay with it. Just to be surrounded in that loving source of energy each day. But, I definitely have to do some practice around it when it comes to my children. I don’t find it that easy to just poof and go having them.
KC: Yeah. I appreciate you answering it honestly. It’s definitely a, it’s a thought provoking question and it’s one that, yeah, it was weird when I was, like I said, a quick little meditation before us jumping on and that lie popped in and I don’t ignore stuff like that when it pops in. I was like “Oh, alright. Maybe I’m supposed to ask that.”
JB: Yeah, I think if people are afraid of dying. I think sitting each day and a little bit more meditation and sitting with, you know, the cloth that you’re cut from and the source of energy that made you, you wouldn’t feel so scared. I think that’s the only thing that’s really helped me. Otherwise, I might be scared because then it’s like where am I going and who’s going to take care of me and, you know, it’s really scary. What I thought was interesting though when I’ve been thinking about death lately, like every day. No, I’m just kidding. I’m freaking out, Keith, no. So, somebody said hospice, “Had you picked one?” So like, sometimes I’m like “Oh, well, like I love Jesus, a big fan of Jesus, big fan of Mary, big of Buddha, big fan of Quan Yin and, you know, the great sky and I like them all, you know. I’m down with all of them.” But, hospice, apparently at the end of your life makes the recommendation that you pick one. That was really interesting.
KC: So, hospice is a service that you, it’s like a…
JB: Hospice helps people to transition to the upper room, to the other side. Hospice works with those who are transitioning into the, I guess they don’t call it dead. They call it different. And so, they’ll be, you know, passing on and moving to the next stage of their life and apparently, I don’t know If this is true or not but somebody said hospice has you pick one at the end of your life so that you don’t die, I guess in a state of confusion. You die in a state of comfort. I have to look into this. I’m kind of speaking off the cuff but somebody said that. But, I’ve just been kind of sitting with that, you know, like “Wow, if I had to pick one, what would that look like?” And, I don’t have an answer. I just am kind of sitting with that question.
KC: I think that’s a tough one to answer. For me, I’ve always had a hard time relating to it having to be one way, like if somebody says that unless you’re XYZ religion you don’t go to heaven, like that’s always been like “Well, that’s kind of confusing.” If you weren’t born in a certain place and raised into that religion like you wouldn’t be that religion. So, yeah, I have a hard time with that as well.
JB: Well, a lot of the Catholicists and the things we’re saying, “Oh, you’re going to go to hell” and what not. A lot of that threat was used for social order back in the day. So, it really isn’t necessarily the teachings as much as it was kind of installing fear into a society that was probably a bit barbaric, you know, back in the day.
KC: Yeah, to control it.
KC: Alright. So, I think we’ve talked enough about death.
JB: That’s hysterical.
KC: Your daily practice now like you as a mother, as a businesswoman, as a yogi, as a wife, what does your daily practice look like?
JB: So, you know, it was funny. I feel like when I had kids my practice was really shaken just because of schedules. You know, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for like a decade and, you know, with the schedule that’s been like a game of 52 pickup. So, having that structure, I think it took me a little while to find my feet. The physical practice I’ve always done probably about 4 times a week. So, I don’t do it every day and a lot of it I’m really grateful that I didn’t do it every day because I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time and I have a hamstring insertion borderline tear and I’ve had it for a while and it’s from coming in to downward dogs with no other muscle engaging that pose. I did a lot of the poses really wrong for a long time. I think a lot of the yoga world is evolving now alignment wise and, you know, anatomy wise, I think, we’re you know all of a sudden everybody in the yoga world is like a scholar when it comes to anatomy and that’s not a bad thing. But, for a long time I was doing everything really wrong and the whole back side of my body is way overstretched from a decade of forward folding and downward dogs. So, I actually have pain in my body if I practice 6 or 7 times a week. So, what I try to do now is 4 times a week I’ll do the balanced athlete practice within my yoga. So, that’s based on the teachings of Johnny Gillespie. You can check it out on balancedathlete.com. It’s really just really smart movement. And so, I’ve been infusing way more of the balanced athlete principles and incorporating some weights into my yoga.
KC: How long is that practice?
JB: So, a full balanced athlete practice or a full yoga practice I do for about an hour. So, I would say my yoga practice is an hour, 4 times a week. And then, on the off days, like my yoga will be going for a walk, you know I have a beautiful reservoir that’s down the street from where I live. And so, sometimes I’ll go down there I’ll balance some rocks and do a meditation. For me, the yoga practice hasn’t always just been an Asana practice, just poses practice and I had to kind of scale back like I said, a little bit and incorporate more weights and smarter movement into my yoga practice and my yoga practice looks a little cookie crazy. It doesn’t really look like a traditional yoga practice but I think that’s also the entire yoga world is getting smarter and smarter of not just relying on old recipes that could potentially be toxic and pulling the body into stretching positions that are overstretching ligaments and causing damage and some of the older folks and the older generations of yogis at this point you see having hip replacements and, you know, having some problems. So, I tried to do real smart yoga practice 4 times a week. And then, on the other days every day is meditation so I try to do at least 10 minutes of meditation if I’m really busy or I can’t get it in before bed. But, ideally I use the act for the insight timer to do guided meditations every day.
KC: Oh, I got to connect with you on there.
JB: Yeah. So, I try to do that. I try to do an insight timer meditation every day where I’m being guided. My yoga practice is a self-practice I’ll either do at the gym or at home 4 times a week but I’ve been trying to go out to class a little bit more. I’ve been trying to go out and actually be led and be taught. I think as my schedule was so erratic, it’s hard for me to always fall under class times but I’ve been the past month and a half trying to go back into the studio more and be led by other teachers than just having my own home or gym practice.
KC: Yeah, so for the meditation, is it mostly guided meditations that you’re doing?
JB: Yup, at this point yes and it’s because I was doing my own meditation, just quiet meditation, you know, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and I actually just, I had never really given a shot to the guided meditations. I always just kind of felt like “Well, I don’t really want to be like led down into some garden somewhere. Like, that’s nice but I’ll just, you know, sit here and listen to my breathing instead of something.” Some of them can kind of be a little campy, you know, but it’s like I don’t know, “Stop and listen to your soul.” It’s like I don’t, I am not really that. I’m a little bit more, I’m just not that. Like, some of them are syrupy, you know what I mean. Some of them are kind of cheesy, between me, you and the lamp post and all the listeners. But, so I wasn’t really into it because I thought it was kind of syrupy and a little bit cheesy. And so, I would just do my own meditation and with Rolf, you know, he’s such a meditation teacher so I had, you know, really good training with meditation from him. So, I would sit like the 15 minutes, 30 minutes each day. And then, I didn’t even know that the insight timer offered the guided meditations. And then, I started up with it, you know, a few months ago. And so, each day, I tried to commit to doing one of the guided meditations and I feel like it’s taking me a little bit deeper than I was with sitting on my own. And, I think when you have a 10-year relationship with something, you know, it’s like sometimes I might be into the guided meditations. Sometimes, I might want to do it on my own. Sometimes, I might be doing really vigorous 90-minute practices and then I’m doing 35-minute practices with 10 minutes of breathing and 5 minutes of meditation, My goal is to try to always get a little bit more structure and a little bit more schedule around when exactly it can fit in and at the same time my practice is going with the flow and understanding that life isn’t always that, you know, perfectly packaged and just to make sure that I get it in that 4 times a week no matter what.
KC: Awesome. And then, meditations every day?
JB: Everyday, yup, with my insight. My new guy on that insight timer is Thomas O’Neil.
JB: Oh, I love him. He’s got accent. I don’t know what he does but he’s got a really good one like if you’re feeling upset, you know, if you’re like sort of feel like your nerves are out. He has a 3-minute meditation on that one called the Settling moment and it’s 3 minutes long and as soon as he comes on he’s like “Just come into the moment.” And, I’m like “Okay.” It’s like God talking or something. I’m like “Okay, Thomas. I’ll come into the moment.” So, he’s good like on the fly. But, I’ve been trying to do the guided meditation each day and then definitely 4 days of just a really smart, you know, one that’s working on functional movement, really smart yoga, really good Pranayama and breathing practice 4 times a week.
KC: Before continuing, I just want to share this quick message about our sister podcast. Okay, before continuing, I want to quickly let you know about our sister podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. So, partnering with Beachbody, the makers of P90X, Insanity, the 21-Day Fix, Shakeology, you know, the Shaun T/Tony Horton Company, it’s played a huge role for Amy and I in creating the freedom to do what we when we want with who we want and not only has it helped us to achieve our goals, it’s how I’ve mentored hundreds of others just like you to achieving their goals and ultimately living the life they love to live. So, if you’d like to learn more about how you can partner with me and be mentored one-on-one by me for free, check out the All About Beachbody Coaching podcast. Alright, back to today’s episode.
KC: And, for everybody listening, I probably should have mentioned this earlier, don’t like pullover and need to write all this stuff down. We’ll have everything that Jacqui’s mentioning saved in the show notes. So, if you just go to KeithCallahan.com, you can go to the podcast section and search Jacqui but don’t like get in an accident or something because you want to write all this stuff down. And then, I also wanted to, it’s so funny, this same exact thing came up with talking with Rolf last night. Isn’t it funny, like with the insight timer how we know the benefits of meditation and we know what it does for us but somehow, like psychologically or whatever it is, we’re more driven to get those little stars than like, I’ll be on like I’ll be on Day 8 because you get if you do 10 days in a row, right, you get a star and I’m like, “I got to keep, I got to do another day” where I wouldn’t necessarily like I would skip it but I won’t skip it because if I skip I don’t get my star.
JB: It’s like the fit-fit of meditation. It’s like get your 10,000 steps, you know, or get your star. It’s hysterical. Well, you’re very goal-oriented so that would work.
KC: Yeah, so it’s probably pointing out some of my dysfunction there. That’s…
JB: Right, right.
KC: I got to get my star.
JB: Right, right, right. That’s awesome.
KC: So, in the yoga classes now. I’ve sort of been removed from the, we have a small little studio that I practice here and there’s only really like 7 or 8 of us that go there. But, like 15 years ago, it was a predominantly female based clientele and I would say like 90% female and 10% male. So, for the male listeners, if you want to meet a wife, no…
JB: That’s hysterical.
KC: Another side thing, that’s how I met my wife.
JB: I was going to say, you are offering up some very authentic advice here.
KC: A lot of the males were in there with either like severe like anxiety or depression and then there was also like a lot of construction workers whose bodies were just totally wrecked and they would go in. And then, with women, it was more of a balanced dynamic where there were some women that came in. Like, we kind of go to something through desperation or inspiration, right? And, with women it was sort of mixed. Like, there are women who are inspired to go and there were women who were desperate to go. And, with men it was like they were all there because they had to be there.
JB: Right, right.
KC: Is it still sort of that way or is the dynamic shifting?
JB: Yeah, I mean I would say, obviously, more than 15 years ago that it’s, you know, there’s way more men, I mean. But, it really is still predominantly, you know, female presence in the yoga classes and the trainings and the workshops. You know, you really kind of see all walks of life, you know, coming in at this point because yoga’s really kind of become the catcher’s mitt of a lot of other maybe modalities that are expiring. I mean people are, you know, graduating physical therapy and it’s like “Go to yoga.” You know, people who are in, you know, mental therapy, it’s okay for anxiety, go to yoga. So, the yoga teachers’ kind of standing there and better know a thing or 2 about rotator cuff issues, as well as anxiety and depression. You know, we’re sort of like, I always tell my teachers, it’s like that seen in the Catcher in the Rye when he’s kind of catching them all off the cliff. The yoga teacher at this point has to be well-equipped in multiple areas because we’ve become a catcher’s mitt to all these other things that are now yoga’s their recommendation. Doctors telling their students, “Go to yoga.” So, what we’re seeing come in now, you know, is people rehabbing from physical therapy, people coming in for anxiety and depression, people coming in, you know, just because they want to exercise. It’s a tough thing for a teacher sometimes to orchestrate in an all levels class because some people are there for mental. Some people are there for rehab. Some people are there for a workout. So, it’s like 5 people come in with an injury, you know, backed by, you know, 30 people, maybe like 20 people who have been practicing for 30 years who are like dying to, you know, stand on their eyelashes, you know. And then, you’ve got other people who are coming in, who are there more for the meditation and a proper Shavasana and good breathing and there for mental reasons. So, I think you definitely see more males than you did a long time ago. But, I think the demand on a yoga teacher to really know their stuff in multiple areas has definitely increased and especially as a trainer, it could be haunting the amount of information. I feel like I need to gather in order to well-equip my teachers to be able to orchestrate in an all levels class. I want my teachers ready if somebody comes through in a wheelchair, followed by somebody who’s been 30 years practicing. I want them to be able to orchestrate a fluid class with all those dynamics.
KC: So, for the listeners, if they haven’t gone to a class or if they’re just in the beginning phases of their practice, what do you see happens to a student who continues to go? So, I don’t know if I worded that correctly. They came for one reason and then what happens?
JB: Yeah, I think, you know, when they come in at first, I always try to get the new students and tell them it’s like riding a bike. You know, that the first few weeks you might kind of feel a little rusty, maybe the meditation doesn’t come easy because I always start class with a little bit of silent sitting. So, maybe the meditation doesn’t come easy. Maybe the chanting, they’re like “Hell no.” You know, maybe the, you know, the physical stuff because it’s flowing, you know, you kind of feel like, you kind of feel like when you were in the old aerobics classes and you were like “I have no clue what’s going on.” The teacher would be like “Great, fine.” And, everybody would go to the left and you would like go into the right. So, always kind of laugh and tell them that it’s kind of like you’re learning a dance but you don’t know the moves yet. And then, eventually, it’s just [inaudible – 01:04:18] you just kind of keep coming, keep coming and then by like 3 weeks into it all of them, you know, hands down they’re all like, “Ohhhm.” You know, they’re like chanting their face off. They love it and it doesn’t really take that long, you know, to turn onto yoga. And then, I always tell my teachers, I’m like, “No matter what, even if you think the class is a holy hot disaster, always just give a long Shavasana and then everybody’s happy.” So, when in doubt do a long Shavasana.
KC: Got it.
JB: But, you know, I think what happens is people come in and they wake up to peace that they already have. They wake up to resources and skills. You put them in challenging positions and then you point out how masterfully and gracefully they’re holding themselves. It’s like who wouldn’t want to sign up for that. Who doesn’t want, you know, $15,000 drop in for that and that’s what happened with me was just sort of this wake up of I’ve got skills. I’ve got resources. I can do this, I can do that and all of it’s coming from me. And, the teachings of yoga say the minute you look outside yourself, you’re in trouble. So, as soon as you start waking up to what you have and what you can do for you, nothing outside of you, what you can do for you, people keep coming back. It’s an easy sell after that first few weeks.
KC: I love it. So, I have one or sort of a two-part final question and then I want to just touch on what’s going on with you over the next few year or 2 and how people can find you, etcetera. If I’d live in a part of the country that I don’t have access to a regular studio, is there an online resource that you would recommend or what would you recommend for someone like that.
JB: As far as an online resource goes, I mean there’s a ton of them. There’s Yoga Vibes. There’s Rolf Gates has some classes that you can access through his website, RolfGates.com. That will hook you up with some of his Vinyasa classes which are very good. So, the online resources, I think, between, you know, Yoga Vibes, Yoga Glow, all of those, you know, have some [inaudible – 01:06:28 to 01:06:38]. Yup, yup. I’m a big fan of Jivamukti Yoga even if the sequencing that I do is a bit different from what they do. I think a lot of the philosophy and the chanting and the meditation, you know, some of the energetic aspects that Jivamukti brings in, they have their own CDs that you can get. Also, David Magone has put out a really good CD. Kevan Gale of Stil Yoga has put out a good CD. So, those are the CDs that I have that are kind of my go to if I need an online resource. But then, the other thing is just in order to hit the entire kinetic chain of your body and in order to hit the energetic system of your body without getting to complicated, in order to align, you know, all of your major joints and all of your major energy field, you always want to work yourself from the ground up. So, if I was to think about a home practice, I would do my feet first, then I would do my ankles, you know, work my knees and all my class, work my hips, work my belly, work my back bends, work something from my throat and then Shavasana for my brain. So, it’s kind of, I always tell people, when you’re thinking about a home practice always sequence from the ground up and, you know, do a little something, something for each area each day.
KC: So, I don’t know if that answered my second question. If you only had time to do, say 5 yoga poses, or you could only choose 5 yoga poses, what would they be or does it vary so much on each human body?
JB: Well, it depends. Are these the ones I love or are these the ones that would be the smartest ones to do each day?
KC: The ones that are going to bring you the most life force?
JB: Okay. I would say definitely sun salutations, something for my feet so I would either do like ball rolling or roll my feet up on a pipe or arch massage or toes pose because anytime you activate your feet, it just activates so many areas of your brain. So, I would say sun salutations, something for my feet, something for my quads because I typically have pretty tight quads , bridge and Shavasana, so those 5. I really want to say triangle but I’m okay.
KC: Alright, so if you have a bonus minute, you can do triangle too.
JB: If you have a minute, yes, sneak it in there.
JB: There’s so many that I love, you know. But, I also go through, you know, when you have a life long relationship with something, you go through poses that you struggle with. So, like right now I’m really struggling with warrior 1, you know, and sort of what I think the benefit of that is I’m struggling with twisting right now. Not, I’m struggling in my mind with thinking, you know, about “Have we been doing this the right way? Is this smart movement?” You know, so I really in my study with Johnny Gillespie have been obsessed and, you know, pretty much really looking at smart, smart, smart movement. Movement that is going to make your body when you’re 90, you know, really smart and collected and not looking at orthopedic surgery.
KC: Yeah. So, that’s really where your brain has gone into. I love that, like when we’re 90, right. Like, what’s it doing for us?
JB: Yeah, I’m not a teacher that you come to, to you know, to do fancy tricks. I’m a bare-bones. I joke with people. I’m like blue collar yoga. We just do some really good healthy, smart movement. We do some breathing. We do some positive thinking and we do Shavasana as far as, you know, stretching my body and wrapping my legs behind my head. A lot of that stuff just doesn’t even make sense to me anymore. I don’t think it’s that smart because it’s pulling ligaments and it’s overstretching which isn’t supportive to the joints. And so, as I turn 40, which I will on September 22nd.
JB: I know. I’m really looking forward to it. Everybody’s like ‘Oh no, 40.’ I’m like “Forty. I’m going to make it, you know. My father died at 33 so I’m very excited to make it to 40.” But, you know, the more I’m looking at yoga as a whole, I think we’ve been in like flexibility and stretching mode and I think that’s actually put our bodies in a pretty dangerous place. So now, I’m kind of working more with stability and smart. And, if you have a stable smart body, it’s going to be flexible naturally, without you having to pull it into, you know, dynamic positions. So, you want advanced poses and trickery and still smart, go see David Vendetti or Amy Rand or one of the other ones. But, for me, if you want just smart good solid blue collar, you know, smart practice then you’ll come see me.
KC: Got it. So, for your students, there was one sort of, I poked around a little bit and there was one question that came up a few times that wanted to be asked and it was when or are you and if you are, when are you going to write a book?
JB: Ah, I don’t know. I write like I talk. Even in my manual I put that. You might see the word “uhm” or “so”. I’m not, you know, I write like I talk so I need the editor of the century, you know, and my punctuation is all off. Like, my mom proofreads e-mails so I don’t really know but it’s definitely on my bucket list to put something out there. I mean I think about this stuff all the time, I write all the time. I will put posts on Facebook. I try to keep Facebook sort of a neutral place for, you know, some of the thoughts that I think about, the yoga practice and post them. But, I’ve got so much writing and journals on little pieces of napkins, you know, even like on my phone where you can write notes. I mean I’ll be like in the car doing talk to text just with different things that come up in my mind. So, it’s definitely on my bucket list and definitely something I hope to do at some point.
KC: So, for your existing students and for people who are listening and they want to learn a little bit more. They want to connect with you a little bit more, I guess a few questions. How can people find you? And then, what do you have going on over the next couple of years for trainings and classes, etcetera?
JB: Yeah. So, my website is my name, JacquiBonwell.com. So, all my workshops and retreats and different things that I do are on there. So, I only teach one drop in class a week at Hip Studio in Needham on Tuesdays at 9:15. And then, outside of that I pretty much do mostly workshops. My biggest thing is probably the Chakra Cleanse, which is a 3-hour Vinyasa class to the tune of the 7 major energy fields in the body and getting nodes in balance and educating you on what adds to them and subtracts from them. So, I do the Chakra Cleanse at multiple studios and all those are on my website. So, hopefully the listeners can catch one of those someday. As far as trainings go, the current October Advanced Training is sold out. The current 200-hour basic training in September is sold out.
KC: That’s a good thing. That’s awesome.
JB: Yeah, I’m excited about it.
JB: Thank you. So, I’ll run the same ones again next year. So, September 2016 I’ll start the basic training October 2016. I’ll start the advanced training again. So, the trainings I do once a year just to try to also have the balance with my family. I have my other teachers that I live with, my 3 year old and my 8 year old. And then, I have been working with Kripalu the past few years, which has been really fun, out by Hugh in Lenox, Massachusetts. So, I’ll do a 5-day retreat in October, October 18th through the 23rd called Back To Your Roots and that will be, you know, this coming fall at Kripalu, which I’m excited about. And then, I’ll be back there again February and I believe May of next year. So, I’ve got quite a few things going on with Kripalu and the trainings will be keeping me busy in the upcoming months and I think the best way to get me would be through the workshops at this point. If you can’t hit that Tuesday class at Hip and I’ll try to get you back on the good foot and give you a big fat verbal hug.
KC: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time, Jacqui, and I really appreciate it and I was really looking forward to this particular interview and I want to talk to you after we pop off here about October and maybe we can work something out to get Amy over there. But, from all the work you’ve done with her, I really appreciate it.
JB: Well, absolutely I feel really blessed to be a part of what you’ve launched here. I think it’s been very cool to sit back and watch you manifest all of this and put your intention and your passion behind everything you do. And so, I feel very honored to be a part of your program and I have been admiring you and always your wife from afar.
KC: Well, thank you so much. There we go Jacqui Bonwell, such an amazing episode. Such a, you know, I say this all the time but I am blessed to be able to have the job that I have and really to be able to talk with people that I admire, that I want to learn from and I hope that you’re having the same experience listening to these as I’m having. So, if you are, would love to hear your feedback. Shoot over to our Facebook page and that is The Business of Life. So, if you could just go to Facebook, just type in The Business of Life or The Business of Life Podcast, you’ll find our Facebook page. And, as always, if you want to get the show notes or any of the links that Jacqui had mentioned, just go to KeithCallahan.com. This is episode number 18. Alright, see you on the next episode.
Thank you for listening to The Business of Life podcast. Apply what you learned today and you’ll be one step closer to creating the life you love to live.