Leading a Business While Honoring Self-Care with Brett LarkinFeb 05, 2024
In today’s enlightening episode of Leadership is Feminine, we delve into the exciting world of yoga, self-care, and leadership with our amazing guest, Brett Larkin, a yoga entrepreneur and new author of Yoga Life: Habits, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos. Brett credits mindset shifts that host, Kris Plachy, coached her through as crucial in her journey of managing her company and writing her book, all while navigating personal challenges.
During their chat, Brett shines a light on the importance of making your yoga practice truly your own, emphasizing the critical role of awareness and breath work over prescribed poses. Kris and Brett's conversation touches on how important it is for female founders to integrate yoga into daily life, emphasizing how the practice of yoga fosters a deep connection with oneself, significantly benefiting physical and emotional health.
This inspiring conversation serves as a gentle reminder to prioritize self-care, be mindful of our bodies, and understand their undeniable connection with our overall well-being. After all, as Brett emphatically puts it, “You are your most precious asset when running a business."
A lot of us have resistance, especially as entrepreneurs to slowing down. Because all of a sudden there's this empty space. It's just us and our breath. We don't have a phone to distract us, and emotion comes up. But it's so important to feel that. -Brett Larkin
Key Takeaways From This Episode
Brett Larkin's Professional Journey and Accomplishments: Launching yoga teaching training online and managing the shift in business strategy during the pandemic
The Importance of Investing in Oneself: Emphasizing the need to care for and nurture one's body as a vessel
The Role of Yoga in Holistic Health and Wellness: Yoga as a form of emotional processing and introspection and the impact that has for entrepreneurs
Insights into Leadership, Team Management, and Entrepreneurship: The role coaching played for Brett as she maneuvered through different aspects of her entrepreneurial journey
Adaptability of Yoga: Looking at the core tenants of yoga, and being able to adapt and integrate it into big and small moments
Brett Larkin is the founder of Uplifted Yoga® and the author of Yoga Life: Habits, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos. Her Online Yoga Teacher Trainings have set the standard for quality online certification since 2015 and matriculated thousands of yoga teachers.
Brett’s award-winning YouTube channel with over half a million subscribers and Uplifted Yoga Podcast empower you to actively design your life using yoga’s ancient wisdom. Yoga enthusiasts love her courses on Kundalini Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and the Uplifted Yoga® Academy.
Learn more at BrettLarkin.com
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Kris Plachy: This week, I'm super excited to bring you an interview with one of my former clients, Brett Larkin. Brett is an amazing female entrepreneur who also just published her book. And it's called Yoga Life.
Brett and I came together right around COVID. In fact, I think it was right when COVID really struck and she has been running an online yoga teacher training program for years. And she's been doing it well before COVID, but of course, when COVID hit, it really, really took her business from one level to the next.
And so she reached out to me and did the full 12 week, How to CEO program with me, three, four years ago. She's simply delightful and she serves such an incredible need in the world for what she does.
But what I love so much about what she's now done is written a book for all of us, right? Who may not want to be yoga teachers, but really understanding how to have a yoga practice in our lives that isn't just about going to a class and being there for however long. But just integrating it into all of the different pieces and parts of our lives. And so we spend our interview talking about what she calls soul poses and really helps us understand how we can find synergy in ourselves, and peace in ourselves, really within a very short period of time.
I invited Brett to be a part of this as an extension of a bigger goal that I have this year. So this year, my word is amplify. And along with amplify meaning something for me, which is to make my voice more heard, to be willing to be seen, to ask all of you who are part of my community to help me let other people know about what I do.
I also want to amplify the voices of women that I care about and that I have had the opportunity to know and benefit from. And I have a lot of really amazing clients who've written books. And so I would like to share their work with you.
I hope that for those of you who are trusted listeners, and you've been here for a while, you would know, I'm not going to share someone with you that I don't have full faith and trust in. So bringing Brett on as my first representative of this goal for the year, I hope indicates to you that I think she is bringing very authentic, very sound, very genuine, and very real expertise.
So I'm going to turn this over to the podcast so you can tune into our conversation and get to know Brett. And make sure you go and get her beautiful book and tune in to all of her beautiful wisdom.
Okay. So hi, welcome. I'm so glad that you're here, Brett. It was so cool to hear from you and get your email and say that you published your book, and you're ready to go, and you do such amazing work in the world.
So I know I introduced you a little bit before we got started here, but why don't we take a minute and have you kind of tell everybody a little bit about you and who you are and why we're here
Brett Larkin: Thank you. Yes. Well, I think it's really important to say that I am someone who thought I could never make money teaching yoga. So I had that very firm belief for a very, oh, my goodness, many, many years. So that delayed me. But once I got over that hurdle, I started uploading videos to YouTube in 2012. I thought I was late coming to YouTube in 2012, but it turns out I was still early. Then I put a yoga teacher training online in 2015. And that kind of became my core business model, certifying yoga instructors online.
And in 2015, Kris, this was extremely weird. We had an entire two weeks built into our curriculum to teach people how to use zoom because no one was using it. Obviously, the way the training works is I mail you a manual. So you get a paper manual, you take lessons in our app, but then there's also a live component that I was doing on this weird thing called Zoom. So obviously the industry has changed so much over that 2020 hit, and now we don't need that module anymore because people just get it.
Kris Plachy: I didn't know. I did not know Zoom existed in 2015. That's so crazy. Yeah.
Brett Larkin: It was interesting as a marketer, too, because from 2015 to 2020, all my marketing had been about the legitimacy of learning online and how you could learn to teach yoga online. And then once 2020 hit, all my marketing had to change because no one cared about that anymore. I was like, "Oh, yeah, this is the only option." Like online learning is just normal now.
So a lot of my marketing and strategy had to shift towards why our trainings are the best and why they're the most expensive. It's just been a very interesting journey as an entrepreneur to be really early to a niche market and then have that industry blow up and have the entire world kind of meet you in that room, and what happens after that.
And there's a particular year in there. That is why I wrote the book that I can tell you about. But I know we have a lot of fellow female founders listening. So I don't know if there's anything you want to touch on in
Kris Plachy: Well, that's when we met, right? It was 2020. I remember, I remember, right? Because COVID hit. I remember you on a call, like, you had a baby, if I'm not mistaken, right? You had a little baby, or were you pregnant? I
Brett Larkin: I think I was pregnant with my second.
Kris Plachy: Right. Okay. There was, and you were just like. You know, there were some women on phone on the calls that we did that were like, how am I going to lose my business?
Right? They were terrified that they were going to lose their companies that they have to shut the doors because they were brick and mortar. Right? And you,
Brett Larkin: Like drinking from a fire hydrant.
Kris Plachy: "There's so many people who are here." And, "I don't know how to do this." And, "I don't- it's me and my husband," and I think maybe you had one other person.
I so vividly remember the juxtaposition of a variety of you, right? There were some of you who were like, you said, drinking from a fire hose and others of you who really other women who were really terrified because they thought this was it. So, catch me up, right? Like, you've done some beautiful work since then.
So because we do have so many founders who listen, I'd love to just sort of hear how you navigated that exceptional experience and to really how you've now where you are today, right? That required a lot of refinement.
Brett Larkin: Yes. So when I met you, I did have a team, but it was small and I don't think I was managing them that well. I mean, like most people listening to this podcast, I have a huge issue with control and perfectionism and my face is the, like, I am the face of this business. It's a personal brand. And I think anytime you're a personal brand, that relinquishing control, which is actually one of the ethical tenants I talk about in the book, funnily enough, but that relinquishing control can be very challenging.
And I was also trying to hire and scale during that time. And I think that's why I was really interested in working with you, Chris, because all your messaging was very focused on, like, leading your team and how to hire. And I was making a couple pivotal hires that year. My husband was working with me - I have since parted ways, he's back at his own career now -but we did have a really intense two years side by side.
And so, you know, lots of interesting things that came up there, but, you know, your mentorship and so many of the things and reframes that you taught me a couple, which I can regurgitate here if you're open to it for people listening.
Kris Plachy: Sure. I always love to hear back.
Brett Larkin: Yes. So one of the key paradigm shifts, I think you really helped me step into was that I need to believe that there's someone who wants to do this job. And I've since echo that to other founders that I know even now. I mean, I'm like, someone wants to operate the nitty gritty of this business and all the student questions, and... You know, believing that there's someone who is enjoying that and who wants to do it and who loves it. That was a huge mindset shift for me, as well as so much of the information you had about the hiring process, test projects, candidate crushes.
I mean, like all of these fun terms, because I think as entrepreneurs and we're overwhelmed, we can have like savior syndrome or we're like, "Oh, this person's going to save me," right?
And you just helped call out all of those pitfalls, which was so, so helpful. I think you also talk a lot about how we need to let other people fail and give them accountability. That's something I'm still working on, if we're going to be honest. But I
Kris Plachy: When it's your face on the on the sign, right? Or literally on the
Brett Larkin: literally.
Kris Plachy: You still assume all the risk. So, letting other people fail doesn't compute, right? When it's my risk, why would I let that failure happen? But it really is the only way we can go forward.
Brett Larkin: And then you talked about our businesses being precious, like a precious kingdom. And that really stayed with me because I think it's easy for me to think, well, I can't offer the benefits that a huge tech company in my area can, you know. Who am I to demand top candidates or fantastic work or...
And I just love that reframe that, you know, this has to be an A player team. I deserve that. This business is my, I don't know what you said, but it was so beautiful. Like our garden or my
Kris Plachy: Queendom. I usually use the word queendom.
Brett Larkin: I don't know. Yes.
Kris Plachy: Yes. And instead of like, you know, hoping that someone will want us. It's more like who's worthy of the moat going down and getting an invitation.
Brett Larkin: Exactly. Yeah. And that is a game changer and still has been a game changer. And I honestly think without some of these mindset shifts that you coached me through the book never would have happened because I just wouldn't have had the time. I mean, it was still a stretch.
So anyone who's listening to this and thinking of writing a book while running your company, like, be forewarned. But you would definitely want to work with someone like Kris, if you're not already working with her to really just figure out how to delegate and trust your team and build and hire the right people around you, so you'd have the bandwidth for a project like that.
Kris Plachy: I'm so glad. I love it. And I love, you know, not to get too mushy, mushy, but you know, you have such a beautiful message to share. And it is one of the biggest heartbreaks for me is when I do watch women not do that because they're not investing in themselves to learn exactly what you said: delegation, trust, like, just really believing that you and your business are worth so much more support than a lot of women don't give themselves opportunity for. And then that message, and the work that is on your heart doesn't get put in the world for other people.
And so you being able to build, and be, and create this beautiful body of work in yoga life is the gift now of the investment that you made in yourself. It's now the gift for the rest of us, which I think is stunning. And lovely. So thank you for that. That's really wonderful to hear. And I love knowing that you went on and continue to do such beautiful things with your business, and feel so much better, and stronger.
And your husband and you are still together, even though you made that two years, you made it work, right?
Brett Larkin: Romantically very together, but not together business wise
Kris Plachy: Exactly. Yeah. That's, that's a tough, that's a tough road. A lot of people go into working with their spouse and realize there's a lot to figure out there. So kudos to you both for doing that.
So let's talk about your book because I want to know everything. So you wrote a book, uh, called Yoga Life: Habits, Poses, and Breath Work to Channel Joy Amidst the Chaos, which is a apropos description of the world if I were to pick one.
Um, so why did you write this book?
Brett Larkin: So I wrote this book because a couple years prior to 2020, my business was already doing well, and it was growing and beyond my wildest dreams. And I became pregnant with my first son, became a new mom, uh, never had, you know, it was sort of a surprise pregnancy. So I, I, we, my husband and I planned on having kids, but it happened much sooner in our marriage than we would've planned..
And so I become a new mom for the first time. The business is really finding its legs and growing. And during the same 12 month period, I walked my father through a death portal. Essentially, I was his sole care provider during his life ending battle with cancer. He was living in my home. It was really just him and me.
I'm an only child. He's divorced, didn't remarry, like, It was me and him. And so giving birth, saying goodbye to him, having the business growing all at the same time, it put a pressure on my time, Kris, that I'd never experienced up to that point in my life. I couldn't go to group yoga classes anymore. I gave up whatever last in-person teaching I was still doing.
And what was really embarrassing is I couldn't even do the routines that I was putting on social media, cheerleading other people to do, because my life was bedpans, diapers, calling the insurance company. It was so humbling to realize that I couldn't practice yoga in the way that I used to. And necessity is the mother of invention, right?
So during what I call this kind of dark year, even though there were some good things that happened, but it felt very overwhelming at the time, I started to reinvent my practice and embrace a lot of principles that I talk about in the book. The idea that less is more, you don't need 90 minutes. These yoga habits that I talk about in the book, which are basically how you can slip yoga and breath work in, even if it's just here and there between other activities.
The big reframe is that yoga is no longer a thing you have to do or a place you have to go, but that your whole life can be a yoga studio, hence the name yoga life. So it's very much adopting, uh, like do what you can let go of the rest.
And the book walks you, as a reader, through the process of developing a 20 minute personalized yoga ritual. And there's quizzes in each chapter that's going to guide you to your soulmate poses. I know you were excited about
Kris Plachy: I love that. Yes. The soulmate pose. Yes. Yes.
Brett Larkin: You really only need six to eight postures and you only need a couple breathing techniques that work for you.
Because I saw from my community that students would like, some students would love a certain technique. They'd say, "Oh, this makes me feel amazing."
Someone else would say, "This gave me a migraine."
Right, so we know that we're all different. We understand that pharmaceuticals affect us all differently. That's why there's such a long list of side effects we just don't know. But what I realized is everyone still practicing yoga the same way, like the same poses at the same breath cadence, like it's taught like a group fitness class, but all the research that went into the book, I kind of prove that yoga was actually never supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be highly adapted to your mind, body type, your mind, body, spirit, and that a 20 minute routine that's really great, you know, designed for you specifically is going to be more potent than a 90 minute generic class. So that's what the book is helping you design.
And then, of course, at the end, we say, here's how you make this modular, right? Here's how you take your 20 minute thing and make it 90 minutes because, you know, your team is really awesome this week and you have babysitter and everything's great. And here's how you'd make it 5 minutes. Here's how you make it 15. Here's how you change it up if you have a big meeting or something stressful that you have to do that day. Here's how you change it up if you want more energy. So there's really just a couple of key principles that I would love everyone to learn.
And then it's like you can kind of make your yoga work for you.
Kris Plachy: I love this. It's like, I know that you talk about your definition of yoga and is that, is that when you talk about like it's, it's a personal practice. Is that- what is the definition?
Brett Larkin: The definition I give in the book, which is controversial, but I say yoga is awareness. So I say that any moment where you stop and observe your thoughts and tune into your breath, you're doing yoga. And I think this is a great reframe for all the founders and entrepreneurs on the call, because we do this thing where we think, "Okay, I need to check off my fitness," or, "I need to check off my yoga," or even me.
I'd be like, "I need to check off my meditation practice," but when we reframe that the results of our practice are cumulative, just like when we put money into a savings account, that money grows slowly over time. When we take that stance with our yoga and spiritual practice, it's like one moment of breathwork between emails or one deep breath in the midst of chaos or an argument with your partner is worthwhile. It's all money in the yoga bank. It's all adding up.
So what I say in the book is like, even if you're doing these acrobatic fancy yoga poses, if you don't have an awareness of your breath - and the yogis love the breath - because they said the more awareness you have of your breath, the more awareness you have of the thoughts in your head, the more space between your breath, the more space between your thoughts.
So yoga is awareness. So anyone who just stops right now on this podcast, and if you just want to take a deep breath and notice what's going on in your mind, you've done yoga today. According to my definition,
Kris Plachy: So beautiful. Because that is such a, overlooked asset is our own awareness of ourselves, right? I think, especially right now, there's so much pulling us out of who we are. And for women who have businesses and families and right, I mean, your story is, I'm sure very similar to so many, right? So many people in this sort of sandwich space between young children and older parents and business and that we don't, we disconnect.
I love the permission that you just gave us that just a deep breath and you participated, you've invested in your yoga practice, right? Yeah, you've
Brett Larkin: I love how you just use the word asset. Because I know that's a business word that I feel like I've also learned and heard from you. But I mean, if you are the founder, you are the most precious asset. And I know you've talked about that. And one of the downsides of running your own business and being a founder is that, like, there's infinite things that you could make better in your business. It never ends. There's no, I mean, you have to be the one that says enough is enough, which if you're a workaholic, like probably many people listening, is challenging.
So when it's like, I need to protect my most precious asset, which is me, and let's be realistic. If you're running a company, are you going to be able to start every day with 60 minutes or 90 minutes of yoga? I mean, if you can, that's amazing. And you should do that. But I know that's just not realistic for everyone, which is why I wanted to offer a different way, a different path and hopefully teach women that like a apothecarian has all these different mix, like, how to just whip up a tincture, like a yoga tincture for you that meets you in the moment you're in.
You don't need to learn a lot. You just need to master a couple basic principles to know which are those soulmate postures. I define those as the ones that usher you into a deep breathing state the fastest and most efficiently and also involves some essential spinal movement. But again, the book has little quizzes you can take that just helps you figure this out as you go.
Kris Plachy: I'd love the permission here. Because I, speaking as someone who I used to do yoga a lot when my kids were younger. And then, I don't know, the yoga instructor I loved he left. And then I've tried other ones, and I tried the hot all the things. I've done all the things and, I just always felt like I was doing it wrong.
So the, what you talked about, like, we've built yoga into like a fitness experience rather than an internal journey experience. I think that's why I love that one instructor I had, because he was so about, like you, even though there were 60 people in the room, he just managed to keep it very personal.
But in other environments, it always felt like I was trying, I was like performing in some way. Cause then teachers would come around and move your body and it always felt like, oh. I was more worried about doing it right than I was actually like in it, right?
So I love what you're saying about because immediately I could think of there's poses that I love doing. I always loved to do, and then there were some that I just, that the whole time I did it, it hurt, but I felt like I had to do it because that's what you're supposed to do.
Brett Larkin: Oh, my goodness. Yes. I mean, one of the foundational tenants of all my curriculums in the training is that the presence in the posture is the goal, right? The pose is not the goal. The presence, the level of your awareness in the posture is the goal because many people push themselves too hard in these postures.
And I loved how you talked about, you know, there are things I like. And when you reframe that your yoga practice is here to nourish you, and your mat is a safe haven that can always nourish you, I mean, so many people are messaging me daily on social media asking, how can I get more consistent? And it's like, this is how you get more consistent by making your practice adaptable and finding a couple key poses.
Like, I could see how you lit up when you were like, "Yeah, there's a couple ones that feel really good". It's like, Kris, get those in your ritual, right? Like, those are going to be the foundation.
Kris Plachy: I could do tree pose and I love it.
Brett Larkin: Those are the foundation and we work with a principle in the book where it's like, meet yourself where you are. Give yourself what you want, right?
So if you want tree pose, we're going to start there and then transition to what you need, because there might be some postures that could stretch you in a good way,
Kris Plachy: That are uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean. Yeah, exactly.
Brett Larkin: But we want to lead in with what's nourishing. And then, you know, there's days you feel strong. Where you might want to do those. And then there's days you don't. And when you know how to adapt, it just becomes such a magical experience.
And I want to say another thing that I hope everyone can can take away from this conversation, which is that I think there's also this idea that in order for yoga, or spirituality, or meditation, or breath work to be meaningful, it needs to look like a scene from Eat Pray Love. And you need to be at an eco resort in Bali. And you need to be like beautiful and wearing like- and so I give a lot of specific examples in the book of how I've had some of my most Earth shattering moments of bliss and enlightenment in a tiny hotel room, practicing between the wall and the bed, wearing my pajamas, often dirty pajamas.
So when we open up this permission slip that there's magic, divinity, and things that we can infuse from our yoga practice anywhere, at any time. It just makes it so much more approachable. And I can give some practical examples of this. Probably every woman listening to this podcast makes tea or coffee in the morning.
That is a moment where like I put the kettle on for tea and then I connect with my breath. I do some simple side stretches, I press my hands into the counter and stretch my back. I just do neck rolls, hip rolls. I just do a couple things while I wait for the tea kettle to boil. That is a yoga habit, an in between moment where most of us would just doom scroll on our phone and you can actually connect with yourself.
A lot of times I have yoga mats stashed in every room in my house. I just buy the cheap ones, like don't get expensive stuff guys, like, cause I just want them accessible. So I just stuff them behind
Kris Plachy: It's like me and my readers.
Brett Larkin: Yes, exactly. So I have a yoga mat in my bathroom and like, I'll just be doing cat cow, which is a very basic, like essential spinal movement and yoga. And my husband will be shaving and we'll be talking about the weekend plans. I'm not- now, do I want to do a deeper potentially, you know, more spiritual practice alone later in the day? Yeah, that would be great. But this is better than nothing.
So I think the car also, everyone listening, is like your best friend, especially your garage. I do a lot of breathwork in my garage when I pull in. You're between two worlds. Right? Usually I've left my children somewhere or I've finished something. I know when I walk into the house, different children will meet me or there'll be things to do. So again, finding those in between moments, it doesn't have to be long. It can just be a couple moments in the car with your hand on your heart, doing the diaphragmatic breath exercise I teach, which is life changing.
So this is doable, right? Like, if you can't fit your whole ritual in, you have all these other habits to fall back on is the idea. Yeah.
Kris Plachy: I love it. I keep thinking as you're speaking that you're sort of just reminding me right now, but I'm sure others listening, like you have a body, you have a body that is, it's your human body that you live in. And it's your vessel and it needs you to feed it and to love it and to care for it, and not just be the vessel for which you create or do things like it's a, it's a,
Brett Larkin: It's like owning a pet. It's like owning a
Kris Plachy: It’s its own intimate relationship. Yeah. Much more intimate relationship with yourself, in a way that is, it drives. It's like everything else you want to create. We do so much better when we have a connection to who we are, instead of just being sort of mindlessly through the day and not just reserving that either for, "Oh, well, I have yoga at eight. So that's when I do that part," right? Like, the continuousness of yoga life, right? Like, all day. You're still in this body.
So, you know, when you're in the bathroom and you your husband's shaving, just do a cat cow for 2 minutes, right? Like, it also just helps you remember that your body can move and you can keep it going.
And so I certainly can say as, you know, I just turned 54. And so that is a focus for me is recognizing, like, this body is different than the body I had 10 years ago, and it moves differently. It requires different forms of love and care. And also rigidity doesn't work for me. And I love the fluidity of what you're presenting here, is a practice that is bespoke.
Brett Larkin: Most of us are disembodied, especially entrepreneurs. We're up in our head. There's so many demands on our time. I mean, look at Zoom. It's like you're literally a floating head. So I really have found that I've really found that these practices,
Kris Plachy: Yeah.
Brett Larkin: And I mean, it's not convenient. A lot of times I wish like, I don't know, I could just have like a little injection, and then my energy would be like it contained like a little needle. It contained all my food, all my nutrients. If that were available, I would probably buy it because I love to create and be productive. But that's not reality, right? The reality is that we are chained, for better or worse, like in this physical body house. And it is like being the owner of a dog or a cat where like, you need to remember to feed it. You need to take care of it.
And I think a lot of us just wish like, I mean, how many people listening to this podcast have worked through lunch? I forget to feed myself. All the time and teaching this kind of stuff is my life's work.
Kris Plachy: Right.
Brett Larkin: So it’s just so easy to do. And that's why, I mean, we always start with ourselves, right?
Like, I wrote this book for me. There's a really fun chart in the last chapter where I play a game with myself. And I see how many of the yoga habits that we talked about I can weave in a day, just like, my little competitive nature. I'm like, "Oh, did I do the car meditation? Did I do the like bathtub thing? Did I do..."
And it's just a great way to remember that you need to take care of you. And I think that ties back kind of full circle to everything we've been talking about. You are an asset. Without you, your business can't exist. And I have to remind myself of that all the time because it forces us to be very - selfish is a charged word, but I think you need to be because if you're not taking care of yourself, you're not going to be able to make payroll for everyone else. It really is like put on your oxygen mask before
Kris Plachy: When you think about, you know, I know that yoga, to me, is one of the most encompassing practices, I think, in terms of self restoration and restorativeness, and connection. Because it's the breath work, it's the movement of the body. And then you combine that into kind of that spiritual access. It can become quite meditative and whatever way that is for people, because they all, everybody has a different way of connecting spiritually.
So I'm curious how you might integrate that into also other ways that we can strengthen and take care of our body. And I'm just kind of curious how you think about those, like weightlifting or cardio, or I'm just curious how that all flows in your mind and compliment each other if they do.
Brett Larkin: They do. I mean, the good news about yoga is it complements everything. I think women should definitely be lifting weights. That's something that I'm working on doing more and more. You do have weight bearing exercises in yoga, so it's not like you're getting none of that, but
Kris Plachy: Your body itself is, right? Yes. Yes.
Brett Larkin: And even if you- a lot of women have sensitive wrists, so they're like, "I can't do yoga because I have sensitive wrists." I'm like, what are you talking about? There are so many adaptations and workarounds for that. You can do cat cow on fists, for example, or, you know, prioritize more standing postures or seated postures. Yoga is so adaptable.
But I think, you know, having a lot of conversations for the book launch with folks, I've been seeing some a-ha moments with people where they're like, "Oh yeah, I run. You know, that's my thing. But like, I could do a couple stretches before I run or, you know, after." Or, "My primary thing is I lift weights, or but yeah, I could totally just slip a few of these soulmate poses into my cool down."
So again, I think that's really the reframe of, you know, taking what is magical about this ancient science and a little bit chopping it up for parts, figuring out which poses give you the biggest bang for your buck, which breathing techniques give you the biggest bang for your buck based on your personality type.
There's a little personality quiz right at
Kris Plachy: Oh, I love that. I'd love that.
Brett Larkin: Because most people are doing styles of yoga that exacerbate their less desirable traits and tendencies. And just, for everyone listening, the style of yoga you're initially attracted to is often the one that you actually should avoid.
So again, it's all about figuring out who are you, right? And how are you interacting? Just like you'd interact with a pharmaceutical. Like, how are you interacting with the energetics behind these poses and breathing techniques? Because they do have real energetic power behind them.
So, I get ads for personalized shampoo. I don't know if other people do whatever that company is called. We have personalized nutrition. Like, everything's about personalization these days, but that's, again, why I wanted to write the book. Because no one's personalizing yoga for folks, right? It's all just follow along or, you know, make it look this one way.
Kris Plachy: Yeah, it's wonderful. And I think, I mean, I think in many ways, especially for people who are listening, who are founders, who tend to be, as you've said, a little perfectionistic and controlling, right? That's an interesting challenge to say, there's no right way. In fact, the best way is to tune into yourself and try each one of the lessons that you teach, to align and build something that's just for you. There isn't going to be a measure at the end that says you're doing it.
Brett Larkin: No goal. No.
Kris Plachy: Yeah. So that's good practice anyway, just to do that and practice listening to yourself instead of doing it the way everybody else is doing it.
Brett Larkin: And a word of warning for most people listening to this. As you said, they're probably like me, you know, controlling, perpetualistic. A lot of times when you do slow down and you make your yoga practice more nourishing, your practice becomes an emotional processing time where all the things that you've been resisting feeling, or shoving down, bubble to the surface, sort of like bubbles in a champagne glass. And you begin to realize like, "Oh, that's why I love that hot yoga class where I just sweat my guts out, because it kind of kept me in competitive mode. It kept me, you know"
Kris Plachy: Oh my gosh. I did one of those and the woman at one point she locked the door. She wouldn't let us out.
Brett Larkin: They do that because they lock the door and
Kris Plachy: I don't know. Yeah.
Brett Larkin: Again, for a certain personality type, that hot yoga class would be phenomenal. But I talk about in the book how I was initially attracted to hot yoga, but in it, again, all yoga is beneficial, but the yoga that I truly need is one that's slower, more introspective, forces me to slow down.
And A lot of us have resistance, especially as entrepreneurs to doing that, because all of a sudden there's this empty space. It's just us on our breath. We don't have a phone to distract us. And emotion comes up, but it's so important to feel that.
I talk about this in the stretch section of how you're stretching time, if you use it intentionally, can really just be like emotional processing time or do double duty. Because if we repress and suppress those emotions, they're going to come out in negative ways later. It's not like they go away. So it's so much better to kind of have a container or a time where you feel them fully.
And again, this can be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, less, It doesn't have to be a big thing. So I know that's been really powerful for me. It's just to get clarity. It's like, how am I really feeling? And a lot of times I get brilliant business decisions made, after I do a practice like that, or after I meditate, there's a whole chapter on meditation, which I think is also really misunderstood.
So, so many people I talk to think yoga is just to relax and that's just not true. There's techniques that can rapidly energize you. There's there are techniques that can help you fall asleep. And then there's techniques that can really usher in creativity, like, new ingenious solutions that you'd never think of.
Kris Plachy: I love that.
Brett Larkin: like those under the shower moments where you're like, "Oh yeah", it's like yoga helps you cultivate those because of the mind body connection, which I think ties back to what you talked about with like, we have to admit and realize that we have a physical body that needs care.
And again, I'm all about optimization. I mean, I think honestly, I like yoga because it's just like breathwork movement and therapy and spirituality, like rolled into one.
Kris Plachy: I can do it in 20 minutes or less.
Brett Larkin: You personalize it,
Kris Plachy: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that you talk about the emotion because I know in coaching, that's a lot of what we do as well, right? We really look at the emotion that's triggering the behavior, which ultimately leads to the results that we're getting. And unfelt or denied emotion, the body will keep that, right? The body will retain, right? What's that book? The body keeps the
Brett Larkin: The Body Keeps Score.
Kris Plachy: And we know that that channels itself out of you, which is why so many women- I just recently am addressing this in the Gen-X podcasts I've been doing, right? So many women my age have adrenal fatigue, right? They're, they're chronically exhausted and it has so much to do with the fact that there's been all of these triggered trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger, unfilled, unresolved.
And then we're we're completely depleted, and then there's also hormones and all the other things, which I know yoga is also fabulous for working through all those hormonal ups and downs that women go through at different stages in their life.
So I think your wisdom here and your messaging is so vital to just honor a feeling. Because, you know, feeling isn't going to kill anybody. They can be hard to acknowledge and allow, but allowing them takes all the power away, especially if it's a difficult emotion that you haven't allowed yourself to feel.
Brett Larkin: There's new science coming out that says it only takes 90 seconds to fully feel an emotion if you go into it in an extreme way. And I mean, 90 seconds is not that much. So the more we learn about this and how the body and mind work together, again, this doesn't have to be long.
Kris Plachy: No, it's a, it's a wave. I know with clients, sometimes that they're moved to tears and something we're talking about. I just hold space for that and let it move through them, right? And they don't sob. They just have to allow to go through them. So it's just beautiful wisdom that you're sharing.
So let's, let's get some details here because your book comes with other fun things. So what else is, what else is happening in here? Well,
Brett Larkin: You'll get the quizzes and all the things. And then there's QR codes throughout the book. Obviously my primary way to teach is video, YouTube, all the online video courses. So it was very weird for me to write a book. I was like, "We need videos for all these exercises". So if you get the book, there's 30 companion videos. They're totally free. You just scan the QR code in the book and you can just watch all those videos.
Some people love to learn through reading, but a lot of people want to do it along to a video, so we'll kind of experiment and troubleshoot a lot of the key postures together, figure out how you might adapt it for your personality type, which we figure out at the beginning.
Yeah, I'm so excited that it's out in the world. And I would love female founders to have this knowledge, and to feel like a success story just by noticing their breath or by fitting something little in. And to know that even someone whose entire life is dedicated to yoga, running a business around this, like some days I don't fit the traditional ideal practice in. But I have these yoga habits off the mat to fall back on, as well as some philosophy that's interwoven throughout the book, like that relinquished control is a key theme. So I think a lot of people here will resonate with that.
Kris Plachy: I mean, you know, controls a lie. We might as well accept that truth, I suppose, maybe, if you really want, but we can keep trying to control everything to the extent that
Brett Larkin: But it'll exhaust us. It's not, the Yogi's would say, you know, it's a very poor use of energy management. I mean, that to me is what yoga is really about, the science of energy management. And these Yogi's figured out trying to control people in circumstances outside your control results in suffering.
Buddha kind of came to that same conclusion. So where you want to spend your control is on you, your breath, your body, the things you actually can control. And, you know, the book talks a lot about that too.
It's available everywhere. Books are sold Amazon, independent retailers. And Kris, again, I really just want to thank you and applaud the work you do in the world, because I do think it's rare to find a business coach who is so compassionate and grounded.
And I mean, I know that's why I was always drawn to you because you do hold that coaching space so beautifully and realize that this is an emotional process for for most of us.
Kris Plachy: It’s your work. It’s your body of work in the world. It's what you were here, aside from the family you've built, right? It's your message. And so it's vital and it's essential that you. I'm just so glad that you invested in yourself because your businesses continue to blossom, which is so lovely. And tell us a little bit about that, just so everybody has a sense of what it is that you do do outside of the book.
Brett Larkin: So I have basically a consumer version of the Uplifted Yoga platform. So that would be kind of like Netflix. There's yoga courses and classes and mainly designed for students and people who want to deepen their expertise or their education. And then the arm of the business that's certifying yoga teachers has really grown.
So it has, there's different trainings, 200 hour, 300 hour, different styles, Kundalini yoga, Vinyasa yoga. I'm adding an embodied yoga life coaching certification. That's take combining yoga and life coaching and interweaving them.
So there's a lot of fun certification programs. And we have a lot of doctors and nurses and healthcare professionals move through our programs.
I actually launched a doctor's round table this year where we're interviewing all the physicians who've been through our programs and putting them in touch with one another, which is really cool. So yeah, that's the business. It's a school, essentially. It's like a large online school,
Kris Plachy: Well, yeah, I think just the holistic approach to I love that you're integrating physicians and, you know, there's just so much change that needs to happen in our medical care system in general. And so, that's lovely to hear as well. And where will- the book is everywhere, but where can I find you personally, if I want any of those? Yeah.
Brett Larkin: Yes, that's my website, brettlarkin. com, B R E T T L A R K I N, and you can also look me up on YouTube if you just want to like, do a free little class. You might find something recent, or you might find something from 2012. That's the beauty of the internet,
Kris Plachy: I know it's all the algorithms and
Brett Larkin: All out there!
Kris Plachy: Your Instagram, um, the same Brett Larkin.
Brett Larkin: It's actually at Larkin Yoga TV and I love connecting with female founders. So if any of you are thinking of writing a book or need a push, you know, I'm, I'm always happy to connect and do Kris's programs because I look back and just see that that was such a pivotal investment in myself and seeing myself as a CEO.
And I just, can't wait to hopefully work with you again soon. So
Kris Plachy: There's always something else,
Brett Larkin: There's always the next level. So
Kris Plachy: Yeah. Well, it's been so lovely to spend time with you today and I'm proud of you for a lot - without sounding too paternalistic. I'm just proud. I know how hard it is to write a book and get that. As you want it and then get it as other people think it should be like that battle is, no joke. And so congratulations on a really significant accomplishment. So well done. You
Brett Larkin: Thank you, Kris.
Kris Plachy: You bet.