EP33 Part 2, The Depths of Johnny Gillespie and The Balanced Athlete

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Today’s episode features Part 2 of Johnny Gillespie. Whenever somebody suggests a podcast guest, I do a little bit of research and the first thing that I saw when I was poking around on Johnny’s Facebook page was a video of him and a couple of his buddies doing “Murph” (an insane CrossFit workout) in his basement Thanksgiving morning and right away, I was like, “Alright, I like this dude.”

Johnny is a Buddhist, yoga teacher, husband, father, mentor, meditator, meditation teacher, alignment teacher, business owner and truly a fully balanced man.

A lot of very well-known yoga teachers in New England and around the country, bring Johnny in to their teacher trainings as the opening act. He opens up the teacher trainings with the work he does stemming from one of his companies, Balanced Athlete.

Johnny is a guy-guy with a beautiful bright shiny soul walking through life in a heart centered place and a heart centered mind every step of the way.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Show Transcript

BOL 33




[0:00:14] KC: Welcome to The Business of Life Podcast, Keith Callahan here your host and as always, fired up and grateful to be doing this. If it’s your first time listening in to the show, welcome. Today is going to be part two of the interview with Johnny Gillespie. So if you haven’t heard the first part, check it out, it was a week before this, so last Wednesday and you may want to listen to that one before you listen to this episode.

For everyone else, as always, grateful to have you here, it’s because of you listening, tuning in, every single week that I’m able to do this, I’m able to do what I love, I’m able to really quench this curiosity about the world, about people, about people who are living these big, beautiful, bold, bright, shiny lives and I get to interview them every single week and bring all of that goodness to you.

If you’ve been listening for a while and you’re looking to give back in any way, the number one thing you can do, the number one compliment is to help us to get this show out there to the world. Share it on social media, share it with your friends, share it with your family, let them know what you’re learning on and let them know what it’s about. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and get Johnny Gillespie back on.

[0:01:46] KC: What type of meditation do you practice now?

[0:01:52] JH: Again, my meditation teacher David Nichtern, he’s been studying the Shambhala Buddhist tradition since 1970. To put that in perspective, I was born in 1972. So he really has never missed a beat since 1970 and he’s been my teacher for over 10 years, it will be 11 years this January 7th was the day I met him. It’s the three styles are Samatha which is calm abiding, which is just learning how to stay, concentrate the mind, notice when the mind has wondered and then basically come back to the breath but it’s not like the breath in Pranayama or anything, it’s just the natural breathing.

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The second thing is Vipassana which just means insight or clear seeing and then the third style or the third approach which is Metta or Maitri which is loving kindness, meditation. Those are the three approaches that I’ve been taught and trained and certified to teach through David. I don’t spend a lot of time as a meditation teacher per se in the classic form, on a cushion teaching people but I use it within all areas of my life and I use it in Balanced Athlete.

The idea of just learning to focus your mind and research is going to keep proving how it keeps your brain healthy. They already are showing it with eight, and 12 week studies doing brain scans before, brain scans after and they see the changes that it makes in learning how to pay attention, breathe, remain calm and get in touch with your landscape.

[0:03:46] KC: Gotcha.

[0:03:47] JH: You can do that, but the cool thing is Keith, can you do that when you run? Sure. Can you do that when you lift weights? Sure. Could you do that in Yoga? Sure. I think, and this is just a sneaky suspicion as Scooby Doo says, this is just a sneaky suspicion that there’s a lack of mindfulness being taught within the yoga community.It’s just a sneaky suspicion because I don’t like to make generalizations about a whole community, I don’t get around that much.

But the idea of learning to be mindful as you’re moving your body, I think there’s a real lack of it. Anytime we have students that come to our Empowered yoga studios, they kind of pick up on it. Your mindfulness is really important here, it’s everything that we do. It’s everything that we do, it’s everything we do on Balanced Athlete is mindfulness. Learning how to swing a kettlebell or do a burpee, can you learn how to do a burpee mindfully?

Somebody might be like, “How could you do that?” It’s like, “You have the focus of Tom Brady.” If you can focus your mind, there’s a lot that you can do with your body and when your mind is very unfocused and when you’re discursive while you’re moving your body then your body is probably not going to move as well, does that make sense?

[0:05:09] KC: Yeah, it really makes total sense and I think that what I’ve seen and one of the things that I used to, I think I used to rush people through the beginning of a mindfulness

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practice and what I mean by that is some people’s emotional bodies aren’t ready for mindfulness 100%. It can really kind of shock the system right?

I think that, so one of the things that I’ve noticed and this was through personal stuff is getting into mindfulness by just focusing on something and it can be something as simple as coloring in a book right? But it’s something that — and I think exercise is a great way to do it as well, it’s something that can occupy the mind while the mind is being mindful, does that make sense?

[0:06:07] JH: Sure. Sure. I mean I was not, there was no mindfulness whatsoever in my first two years of yoga. It really wasn’t until I started practicing Ashtanga and then like as I’m practicing Ashtanga I had this real, again, this forever changing moment. I was practicing with the senior teach D Silver up in Philadelphia who studied directly with Katabi and Manju Joyce. After practice one day, it was my sort of style. She said, “Are you coming here this Saturday?” I said, “I am.”

She said, “I want you to practice next to this guy,” and almost like he was a pacer for me. And up until that point, I was so in my head, every time I was practicing yoga whether it was Bikram and I’m looking around at girls or in my head about what the teacher thinks about me or I’m thinking about this or I’m thinking about that or whatever. Moving my body sloppy. A Baptiste power yoga, again it was so fast and I would almost hyperventilate.

All of a sudden, I tried other styles of power yoga and then I had that moment and that morning, I didn’t believe that gentleman’s name was Stuart and he had a beautiful practice and so eloquent. Because my source is done quiet, the next thing you know, I’m starting to feel and understand what it means to not be in my head and to actually focus on the Ujai breathing, to focus on my eyes and to focus on how my body was positioning.

From that moment on after that practice, I continue doing a Ashtanga for a while, I did the training in Asthanga with David Swanston. Eventually I was just like, I got it. I get it. Then I could go back into Bikram and I could have mindfulness in Bikram, I could have mindfulness in Baptiste power yoga, I could have a sense of presence that I really didn’t have before and to me it’s like, that’s the most important thing that I do as a teacher is I keep mindfulness as the very

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foundation of everything that I do. Whether I’m teaching somebody to do a goblet squat or whether I’m teaching them how to position in the downward dog.

It’s like, “Can you be present, can you breathe, can you let go of the conceptualizing mind and the discursive nature that our minds can possess and can you really feel into your body and into your breathing and can you move your body in a way that’s not aggressive?” I did burpees this morning. It’s like, I don’t look like I’m straining, I don’t look like my face does — it’s not like I’m killing myself. And I think that’s the powerful thing about mindfulness is that it can really fit into anything that you do. Anything can be done in a mindful manner.

[0:09:14] KC: Just to reproach and talked about this before we went off for our 10 or 20 minutes on mindfulness, for the beginner listening that isn’t 100% familiar with mindfulness, how would you define it?

[0:09:30] JH: it’s great question. So first of all, I would just say it’s a very ordinary mind and mindfulness, it’s the capacity that we have to come to our senses and to be able to allow ourselves to have a shift from a very kind of almost like an overly dominant, cognitively focused process into a very kinaesthetically rich environment where we’re using our five sense to develop the sixth sense, which is intuition.

Which again I think somebody like Tom Brady is just, the guy’s got it. He’s got it, great athletes have this sixth sense and the way that you develop it is by learning how to focus your mind but not like, you know, I mean I don’t know about you Keith but I was raised in Catholic school and I was raised in kind of like the focusing or the paying attention or whatever was kind of, you were yelled at. No digs on the church or anything like that or a coach yelling at you.

That’s not the kind of focus that I’m referring to. That’s where the whole Samatha meditation practice steps in. When you first start to sit in Samatha meditation then you really start to realize that a lot of people realize one of the first realizations is, “I’m really hard on myself and when I’m focusing, it’s almost like too tight, it’s too tight. Just relax a little bit, we’re just sitting here and we’re breathing.” These are all realizations that I had.

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You ultimately start realizing that you’re just kind of holding too tightly, you can loosen up a little bit and not lose your focus and then all of a sudden, the practice takes on a little bit of a joy feeling and it takes on a feeling of just being able to kind of — there’s more space, it becomes a spacious place because we’re starting to kind of take emphasis off of that very firm grip on conceptualizing and having to overthink everything.

Anybody who is listening, if they’ve never sat in meditation, it’s kind of like me talking about chocolate cake but you’ve never tasted it. Or people say, “Yeah, I tried meditation, I have ADD.” It’s like, “Well, you know, everybody’s got ADD. You know?” “I’ve tried sitting and I’ve got a — I’m just not good at it.” It’s like, “I know, that’s why I sit.” You sit because you’re not trying to change anything, you’re just trying to become aware of what’s going on.

[0:12:27] KC: Mindfulness, I love it. [0:12:29] JH: Yeah.

[0:12:31] KC: So I want to jump back to yoga and again, we have a lot of teachers who listen to this podcast, a lot of students and one of the things — so you’ve developed a business that supports your family, supports you and…

[0:12:52] JH: Yeah I have three kids, a wife.

[0:12:54]KC …is thriving. I don’t know how much it’s still like this but when I was teaching and my yoga practice is more at home now and when I was going to studios a lot, there was a progression that I would see where someone would come from corporate America, they would become a student and they would dive all in, they would become a teacher and it was almost like an undertone of anger towards the other side or the establishment and then over time, we come back to that balance and realize like, “Okay, I do need to earn a living,” and that type of thing.

I was wondering if you could just explain or share your philosophy in your relationship with your practice and the joy that you get and the dedication to helping your students, at the same time, it’s your business, your career?

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[0:14:00] JH: Yeah. Well I think there’s a fine line you know? I always say that I have to be at 50% business owner and I have to be a 50% yoga teacher. I have to think fiscally on running a business because 90% of businesses don’t make it past five years. If you’re going to be part of the 10% club then you better have some very unique practices, business practices that allow you to be part of that 10% club.

Running a studio is very challenging, it’s not like I think when I first opened up Wilmington yoga, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I had no business really opening up a yoga studio. I saw an opportunity in 2002, I jumped on that opportunity and my father who is still our COO and my hero came along and he had retired and he flunked retirement and he wanted to help me and if it wasn’t for my dad, I don’t know whether I would have made it.

I’m an okay businessman, I’m a really good teacher and I’m okay saying that. I’m an okay businessman but I’m a really good teacher and I’m a really good coach. A lot of times, having people that have skill sets that are around you, that fill in the gaps in the holes for where you’re weak is something that I would recommend to people and the other thing is for studio owners that are out there or people that are thinking about opening up a studio is just to keep in mind that 10% rule.

If you are not going to up your game as a business person and you’re not going to really take serious what you’re getting ready to this endeavor that you’re getting ready to do then you might want to think about not doing it. It is going to forever change your life and it is going to consume your life for a while until you get it up. Now I can tell your right now Keith, I’m working just as hard now as I was working 20 years ago, if not more.

I’ve got more responsibility, I’m putting in a lot of hours and we’re in a very competitive and we’re in a very challenging time. You can’t really let up, I think it’s one of the things in life. You think you’ll get to your 40’s and you’ll be able to kick back a little bit and I’m working and between Christmas and New Year, this will be my second week off, I’ve put a lot of long days, lot of weekends, lot of travel and just to make sure that my business, our business keeps going in the right direction.

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BOL 33 Transcript [0:16:41] KC: Have you ever read the book The E Myth by Michael…?

[0:16:44] JH: Yeah, I almost suggested it. I read that book on the way to Scotland in 1997 and it definitely changed my outlook on business and understanding the importance of roles, systems, yeah, it’s a fantastic book and anybody who is thinking about opening a studio or is running a studio or struggling with business should definitely buy The E myth and the E Myth is the entrepreneurial myth.

The book is based on the fact of just because you’re a good teacher, it doesn’t mean that you’re a good business person. Yeah, it’s a different skill set. So I’m fortunate that I’m surrounded by a lot of very talented business people and I don’t want to sell myself too short, I’m a pretty good businessman but I’m surrounded by a lot of very talented people that help me fill in the gaps on where I’m weak.

[0:17:35] KC: Gotcha. And I was going to ask or that was going to be a follow up question about the difference between being a good teacher and being a good business person. I think you hit the nail on the head for anybody in any industry if you’re thinking about going from being an employee in the industry to being a business owner, The E myth is like a must read.

[0:18:04] JH: I couldn’t agree more.

[0:18:05] KC: Tell me a little bit about how you treat your diet nowadays?

[0:18:11] JH: Balanced man, I love pizza, I love junk food. My wife at this time of the year, she’ll make a thousand cookies and she gives cookies out to people and they fall into my mouth a lot. So I’m all about balance. I eat really healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time I don’t eat healthy. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and then I always eat every three hours I eat.

It’s probably like, again, I was just up at the store earlier before this interview and I really love asking people when it relates to their profession, “What would you do if you were me? What would you do if you were me?” Because they have a skill set whether it’s a plumber or whether it’s a technology guy or whatever. Everybody should hear what I’m getting ready to say loud and clear.

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[0:19:15] KC: As long as it’s not a sales guy right?

[0:19:20] JH: The biggest, in 20 years of doing this, the biggest mistake I see people make, especially women. When it comes to weight loss and balancing your energy, balancing your hormones, the biggest mistake, people do not eat every three hours. They eat breakfast, lunch and dinner or they skip breakfast. If you want to age quicker, if you want to be fatter, if you want your metabolism slower, if you want to have instability in your emotions then just don’t eat every three hours.

But if you eat every three hours, again, breakfast, lunch and dinner, snack in between. And you eat whole food and you try to make sure that you’re eating some form of protein, some low glycemic carbohydrate and a good source of fat and this is not that difficult Keith. You will have more energy, you will have less fat on your body, you will have more stability, your whole body will work better. There’s a book that’s out right now that my wife read and it’s one of the better nutrition books that I’ve kind of peeked at in a while. It’s called the Fast Metabolism Diet.

She is a Hollywood person, she’s got the stars and she’s got all that stuff. She’s selling a lot of books. What she talks about in the book is really, really good and it’s basically the premise of what I just get done saying. It’s also, she talks about making sure that you’re not eating like the same things and there’s almost like you’re kind of cross training your metabolism.

If somebody’s reading this or listening, they might say, “So you don’t believe in fasting?” I’m like, “I do believe in fasting. Do I sometimes not eat every three hours? Yup. I do,” because it keeps my body guessing but I am also at a weight that I’ve been at the same weight, I shouldn’t say be at the same weight but I’m around the same weight I was when I was 18, 19 years old. I have beefed up to 190, 195 but if you have fat on your body that you want to get rid of? That’s how you get rid of it.

Once you get to a weight that you’re good at then I recommend to people that you start exploring kind of things like fasting and juice fast and doing different things to keep your metabolism guessing. That’s a big one for me, I do eat meat, I try to eat a lot of fruits and

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vegetables, I try to stay away from processed foods but I do like pizza and French fries dude, come on, French fires. It’s like French fries are like, I mean potato chips…

[0:22:17] KC: For me, that stuff doesn’t get me, it’s like pasta and meatballs, that’s all man. [0:22:23] JH: Dude, I had pasta and meatballs yesterday morning.
[0:22:25] KC: So good isn’t it? What’s your morning routine look like?

[0:22:31] JH: Well, it depends on the day but I wake up in the morning and it depends, like this morning, Monday’s are a little bit lighter for me. Big day in the fitness and yoga industries, I teach one class but I wake up a little slow you know? As Jack Johnson says, that one song, wake up a little slow.

I wake up a little slow on Mondays and because I work on Sunday mornings, I teach a couple of classes. But at some point in the morning, I try to sit, meditation, I eat breakfast right away, That’s another big mistake people make is you have to eat breakfast within a half hour of when you wake up or your metabolism starts getting slow and your energy levels drop. I love coffee, drink too much of it, I love coffee.

[0:23:17] KC: Me too.
[0:23:18] JH: Yeah, all throughout the day, every day’s a little — every day is different, every

day is different.

[0:23:24] KC: Awesome man. What about for the most inspirational person that you’ve met or that you’ve interacted with in your life and why?

[0:23:37] JH: My dad. Several years ago, the Wilmington News Journal was doing a thing on successful professional business owners and their teachers. They called me and it was really funny because the guy on the other line was probably expecting me to say like Swami swami. And it was an article on your most influential teacher and I said, “Well that’s my father. There

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was just silence on the other end of the phone and he said. “Well okay.” We winded up making the cover of the thing because they thought it was really unique that I would have said my dad.

My dad, he’s my hero and he helps me run my company and I’ve learned how to be… I always say that if I’m half the man my dad was then I’ll be a good man.

[0:24:28] KC: That’s awesome.
[0:24:30] JH: My dad.
[0:24:30] KC: That’s an awesome thing to share.

[0:24:34] JH: Everybody loves my dad, he runs our business and stuff, he’s always around Mr. G, everybody calls him. Yeah, He’ll be 74 this summer and my dad lost, he lost like 40, 45 pounds when he was… this is a great little short story. I was always trying to help my dad but I was a kid, you should lift weights, you should do this. Then this is back before the digital age, we took a Polaroid of him with his shirt off in 1997.

I think he was 56, 57 years old, he had a high cholesterol, high blood pressure, 45 pounds overweight and his father died of a stroke at that same age. We got the picture back and he got depressed because he was just like, “Wow, I haven’t had a picture taken with my shirt off since I was in the Army and I’m really fat. I look bad.” I said, “Well you know what dad? We can change this.” He said, “I’m ready to listen, what do you want me to do?”

I said, the first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to wake up every morning and you’re going to put your stuff on and you’re going to walk one mile outside the door and then you’re going to turn around and walk back another mile. As soon as you come home, you’re going to eat breakfast right away. After you eat breakfast I want you to eat a mid-morning snack, a lunch, just like I just got done saying, then I want you to go to the gym two or three days a week and I want you to start lifting weights.

My dad lost 45 pounds and I have a before and after pictures. He doesn’t even look like the same man and people were like, you super imposed your body on his body and his cholesterol

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went down and his blood pressure went down and everything went away and it all went away because he did it and to this day my dad still has maintained the weight and he still maintains a very healthy lifestyle and he’s one of my success stories.

Because he did the work, again, it goes back to the thing on the Buddha, you have to be a light unto yourself. It’s like, you know how many people I told to do what my dad did? Thousands. My dad actually was a light unto himself and he actually did it. He’ll turn around and look at me and say, “You saved my life.” “I didn’t save your life man, you saved your life, I just pointed,” that’s the whole Buddhist thing, it’s like pointing at the moon, don’t look at the finger, look at the moon, don’t look at the finger.

Too many people are looking at the finger, look at the moon, you can do it but you need to be empowered and you need to stop blaming people and you need to just kind of put both feet down on the ground and do it.

[0:27:28] KC: Mr. G did it.
[0:27:30] JH: Mr. G did it, you know?

[0:27:33] KC: One final question and then I want to just ask you a little bit more about your businesses. If you could pinpoint one or even a couple small changes in your life, sounds like we’ve already talked about diet piece but small changes in your life that really moved the needle, that really have the biggest impact? Anything you’d suggest?

[0:27:59] JH: Yoga and I’m including meditation. I just think it’s like brushing your teeth, it’s like really diving into yoga practice was without a doubt a game changer. Then I’m going to say the other thing was after that 10 year hiatus from a whole industry, getting back into the gym again and when I got back into the gym again, it was at my wife’s encouragement and she encouraged me that summer, I was 39. We were sitting on the beach and she just looked at me and she said, “I think it’s time that you go back to the gym.”

It wasn’t like because my body looked bad or anything, it was more like there’s a lot of drama in the yoga community. There can be a lot of, it’s almost as if what the macro chasm of the micro

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chasm. I was having a lot of challenges within our yoga businesses and our fitness business was less dramatic. I think she just saw that, my wife is a Spartan woman. Do you know what a Spartan woman means?

[0:29:07] KC: No.

[0:29:09] JH: Spartans, when the Spartans went off to war, their women waited for them and they supported them. A lot of times when life gets really challenging and you know when you go home at night that you got a Spartan woman, that’s powerful. I definitely married a Spartan woman. Sorry, I didn’t plan on that one. When I went back into the gym, I hated it, I just wanted to do yoga and I started because my mindfulness practice, I was trying to really watch my mind and as I watched my mind, I saw that my mind was lazy.

I saw that my mind didn’t want to challenge itself. I saw that when I did challenge myself, I would just get really aggressive in the gym and I started to work with that and I was like wow, after I got a couple of months into it, she was in there one day in one of our gyms and she was watching me train and she said, “You’re getting pretty intense, you’re really going after it?”

And I said, “Yeah. I’m working another capacity of my mind that I have not really addressed in 10 years just practicing yoga.” And I can’t over emphasize enough, it’s not like I’m aggressive or unmindful, I’m actually bringing mindfulness into the gym. Since we’ve actually closed that gym and we had a CrossFit box and we have closed the CrossFit box. Yhey got reopened by another owner but there’s I think in the yoga community, there’s a real benefit once somebody starts understanding the essence of yoga and mindfulness, to really start incorporating that mental gear into other things.

And for me, it was weight training, involving dumbbells and kettlebells and bands and different things. As I kept doing it, I would go back to my yoga practice and I was just like, “I’m not getting tighter, I’m actually getting stronger. I’m actually not tightening up.” It made me start realizing too that when the human body is tight Keith. Tightness is a reaction to, it’s a protective mechanism. The body does not feel stable, it does not feel safe. The body gets tighter as a response to being able to protect itself.

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Somebody hurts their back, their hamstrings get tighter. Why are their hamstring’s getting tighter? Because it’s a protective mechanism. Many times, it’s like tightness is secondary to weakness. If you’re weak and that’s why your body’s tight, trying to stretch something is not going to do anything, it’s not going to do anything at all. One of the things that I see within the yoga community and going around and teaching and this is one of the things that Jack’s got so intrigued with is a lack of spinal stabilization.

So spinal stabilization, for the listeners, can really easily understand it from the crown of your head to the tail bone. Can you keep that area of your body stable and still as you move your limbs. For most people, this is what we do on Balanced Athlete level one, they realize, well the answer is no. The cool thing is, in a weekend training, we can start teaching you how to develop that stability and the really funny thing is Keith is that all of a sudden people start feeling that their shoulder joints and their hip joints become more mobile.

Now I’m using the word mobile and not flexible. Again, for any listeners out there that are teachers, you need to also make this jump. I try not to say that like “you need” to or whatever. It’s kind of silly languaging, so forgive me for that. The thing is that when we talk about flexibility, it’s just referring to muscle. When we use the word mobility, we’re referring to joint health.

I’m seeing more and more yoga teachers that have been around for a while that are having surgeries and hare having problems with their joints. The problem is, if you stretch, if you keep pulling on a joint, it’s going to break. What we really require is stability. If you can learn how to stabilize your spine as you move through a dozen movements. What you’re going to start feeling is that your hips become more mobile, your shoulders become more mobile.

Because it’s a law in human movement and I’m going to tell you the way the law states and then I’m going to make it even more user friendly. Proximal stiffness creates distill mobility. Proximal means closer to the center. Stiffness is basically like almost like strength. Now, if we use the word stiffness to general population, most people are going to say, “Stiffness, no I’m stiff in the morning.” We’re going to rephrase that term.

Spinal stability creates better range of motion in your hip joints and your shoulder joints. Because the more stable your spine, the less clenching your shoulder joints and you hip joints

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feel like they need to do because they’re very supported by a spinal column that’s very strong. Now, continuing on that, so somebody might say, “So you don’t believe in being able to have a mobile spine and a forward bend or a back bend?” I did not say that.

What I’m saying is, what should precursor any type of mobility work, whether it would be forward flection or spinal extension or lateral flection or extension should always be spinal stabilization. Because you need to have your spinal column incredibly strong before you start working on trying to bend it in all this different directions. Because if you don’t, you’re just going to accelerate degeneration within disks and it’s a big problem I see.

The biggest ones are what? High plank. Can you hole a high plank for a minute? You should be able to, you should be able to stabilize your column and if you can’t hold a high plank for a minute then you need to work on it. The Guinness World Book of records for plank was just set recently by a marine. Five hours 25 minutes.

[0:35:58] KC: That’s crazy.

[0:36:00] JH: One minute and if you learn and the best way to do that and we do this in Balanced Athlete training is we take PVC piping and we place it across and we have each other, you work with a partner and you place the pipe so the back of their skull, in between their shoulder blades and their sacrum is all touching the pipe. Now what’s not touching the pipe is the space behind your neck and your lower back because we want to make sure that we maintain those arches in the spine so we can stabilize the deep muscles of the spine and it’s amazing.

Because the more, I mean I don’t need to sell people on this stuff because when they do our training, after the weekend, they’re like, “Man, it’s incredible.” I have people coming in, I got a lady in first weakened in November, she was scheduled for a hip replacement, hadn’t slept through the night in five years. Friday night and Saturday, balanced athlete training, she slept through the night Saturday night. On Sunday morning when she came back in for the last day of training, she was in tears. I’m like, “Wow!” So all the work that we’re doing with the spine started taking the pain away from her hip

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BOL 33 Transcript [0:37:13] KC: Right away?

[0:37:14] JH: Right away. I have countless stories of people coming in before weekend training with a lot of pain and the pain going away. Now the Buddhist in me, I ain’t promising anybody anything. Because we don’t promise anything, we don’t promise that I’m going to fix you or I’m going to heal you but I can tell you, that’s what a lot of people are getting and it forever changes and it will forever change your yoga practice.

A lot of people will do the Balance Athlete, the level one teacher training, weekend training and they go, I don’t really want to teach balanced athlete but you’ve just made me understand the operating system on how the human body is designed to move and this is forever going to inform the way I teach yoga. I say, “That’s great, that’s fantastic.” You know?

[0:38:08] KC: For everybody listening with all of — what do you have going on coming up in 2016?

[0:38:16] JH: I’m in the middle of doing my schedule right now but I’m going to be — I’ll be up in Boston, I’m doing a level two training so you got to already have done the level one in April with Jackie Bonwell, that’s April 16th to the 18th, that’s in Canton, Mass. And then I’ll be there in the fall, I think it’s in mid-October, these dates will be up on Thebalancedathlete.com and I’ll be doing that one through Jack’s Bonwell too in the fall and then she’s going to have me up in Maine, I think in Portland doing — I think that’s at the end and that’s part of her 200 hours so somebody could do the 200 hour and if anybody is listening and they’re looking for a 200 hour, I couldn’t recommend Jack’s 200 hour or more.

What she has me do is she wants me to kick off these trainings because she wants her graduate teachers to understand the operating system of the human body because she sees it as that valuable. If you’re going to be a yoga teacher, and if you’re going to have her stamp of approval, she wants you being a smart teacher, she wants you to understand. Because there’s a lot of things throughout the yoga world that we do that’s not so good that if we could better inform our teachers and our students, I think we would bring a lot more integrity into the yoga community.

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BOL 33 Transcript

[0:39:45] KC: Then with the Balanced Athlete that weekend training, do you run those down in Pennsylvania regularly?

[0:39:54] JH: Yeah, I’m doing one, I have a level two January eighth to ninth and then I’m going to do a level one I think at the end of February, those dates aren’t up on our website yet but they’ll be on. If people want, they could Facebook friend me, Johnny Gillespie three, Facebook or they could go on to balancedathlete.com or they could just thumbs up the Balanced Athlete and then we don’t send out a lot of information and then they could get information on the trainings and stuff like that.

I’m at the point too Keith, this is pretty cool, where if I do a training and you come, because the weekend training is $500 bucks and some of these weekend trainings are $1,000 bucks, some of them are $1,500. It’s $500 bucks. If I do not completely shit your idea of mindfulness and movement then I will donate $500 to a charity of your liking because I’m so confident that you’ll do the weekend and you’ll say, “Oh my god.” The most common feedback we get from people and I know this is a little cliché but it’s absolutely true is, “This weekend was life changing.” Because it is, it’s a life changing weekend.

[0:41:11] KC: Awesome man, well, we’re going to provide all the links, I’ll provide everything that you just mentioned in the show notes and I just want to really thank you for taking the time to talk with me and be available for our listeners and just grateful for who you are as a person, as a man, as a father, as a husband, as a mentor, leader to the people out there.

I’m sort of inclined to bring this up, we talked about your wife being a Spartan woman, it really touched my heart and was thinking about my wife as well. Grateful for her in your life and all the work that she’s doing too because it’s definitely, the way you share that story shows the power behind her too.

[0:42:03] JH: Yeah, well she does Balance Athlete, she’s a coach and she’s a teacher and her classes are more popular than mine. She does some of the training with me. One other thing I didn’t mention too is I do, do trainings too at Metro West Yoga with Shawn Shaw and she runs balanced athlete program at her places and she’s in Western in Westborough and I do them up there as well. I forgot to mention that.

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BOL 33 Transcript

[0:42:31] KC: He’s got a couple of studios now too right?

[0:42:33] JH: Yeah we do. Ann Arber Michigan too, they’re running a full program out there, we got a place down at Bethesda, Maryland on Connecticut avenue, they’re going to be opening up a whole studio, it’s all based on Balanced Athlete.

[0:42:47] KC: Awesome man.

[0:42:48] JH: Yeah, so it’s cool. I just want to thank you too because I enjoyed talking to you although I did the majority of the talking but the talking that we did offline and I think you’re putting a lot of energy into trying to bring some good information and some good education into the world and I know a little bit about your path and your background and you haven’t taken the easy way out.

You’ve been a light unto yourself. Know that that’s touching your four children, it’s touching your wife, it’s touching every person who you interview, it’s touching every listener that listens and all the trickle-down effect. In those days that you’re kind of like, “You know what man? Am I doing the right thing? Am I making a difference?” Know that you are making a difference.

[0:43:39] KC: Alright man, I appreciate it. [0:43:41] JH: Yeah. Thank you Keith. [0:43:43] KC: Thank you.

[0:43:45] KC: I hope you enjoyed the time with Johnny as much as I did and I have a feeling after talking with him, we’re going to end up doing some more stuff together. This probably is not the last you’re going to hear from Johnny Gillespie and as I started out the first episode, just an amazing man, amazing husband, father, mentor, leader, leader of leaders, out there empowering people to live their full authentic lives.

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BOL 33 Transcript

Just an awesome dude, awesome conversation and if you want to get in touch with him, we’ll include links in the show notes at keithcallahan.com. Johnny also mentioned how to get in touch with him but yeah, I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did and grateful as always to have you tuning in. Have a beautiful rest of your day.

[0:44:42] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Business of Life Podcast. Apply what you learn today and you’ll be one step closer to creating the life you love to live.


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